Miyamoto Convinced The People Behind Paper Mario: Sticker Star To Ditch The Story

Illustration for article titled Miyamoto Convinced The People Behind Paper Mario: Sticker Star To Ditch The Story

Nintendo's got up a great Iwata Asks interview with the folks behind Paper Mario: Sticker Star that's worth a read.

Perhaps the most interesting part: Mario creator and legendary designer Shigeru Miyamoto actually convinced them that story isn't necessary to a Paper Mario game. Which might be why, when compared to the other three Paper Mario games, Sticker Star's story just isn't up to par.

Here's an excerpt:

Iwata: Miyamoto-san really persevered with Paper Mario this time. Exactly what was he particular about?

Tanabe: Aside from wanting us to change the atmosphere a lot, there were two main things that Miyamoto-san said from the start of the project-"It's fine without a story, so do we really need one?" and "As much as possible, complete it with only characters from the Super Mario world.

Iwata: That's a difficult task. In some ways that would be the exact opposite direction from recent games in the series.

Tanabe: Yeah. With regard to the story, we did a survey over the Super Paper Mario24 game in Club Nintendo25, and not even 1% said the story was interesting. A lot of people said that the Flip26 move for switching between the 3D and 2D dimensions was fun.

Iwata: That project came together because of that idea. Kudo-san, you were in charge of the script, so what did you think about whether a story was really necessary or not?

Kudo: I originally saw it in a way that's similar to Miyamoto-san. Personally I think all we need is to have an objective to win the boss battle at the end of the game. I didn't think we necessarily needed a lengthy story like in an RPG. Instead, we looked at the characteristics of a portable game that can be played little by little in small pieces and packed in lots of little episodes and ideas. I always did like putting in little ideas, so I actually enjoyed it.


Hmm. Hmmmmmmmmmm. I don't know if I like this. I don't know if I like this one bit. Maybe that's why Sticker Star wasn't my favorite.

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Of course people said Super Paper Mario's story wasn't interesting. It wasn't that interesting. Some of the characters were interesting. Yet, Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door -are- considered to have interesting stories, and I think many fans of the Mario RPGs would enjoy more of that.

I like a lot of the style of Paper Mario: Sticker Star, but it never ceases to disappoint me how little story there is and the lack of compelling side characters. Paper Mario:TTYD had likable, unique characters within minutes of starting, and they made an otherwise fun game into a classic. Super Paper Mario had some fun characters, but gamers could tell that the emphasis had been taken away from characters and story in favor of different mechanics. So, of course they responded like that. That shouldn't have discouraged them from improving that in the next game.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star is a fine game, but this instance reminds us that no matter how great a developer is, not even one as brilliant as Miyamoto is perfect. I hope that they will reconsider this impression in future Paper Marios and Mario RPGs, as I would love to have more interaction with unique, fun characters and interesting little stories.