I'm a huge Paper Mario fanboy. Maybe that colors my perceptions of the games a little bit. Then again, who cares? It's my right to like a stupid video game. Of course I'm going to have a positive opinion of a game if I like it. So of course I like Sticker Star. I like it a whole bunch. The reviews that started trickling out mostly seem to describe the game as fun yet frustrating. Brilliant yet enraging. Something along those lines. Parts where the game expects you to win some sort of guessing game that's suppose to be "intuitive" or backtrack a lot. I've also heard a few people complaining about the battle system for some reason.
Now in all fairness I've encountered the first two issues in my three hours with the game (I'm through the first world). The first time I got stuck, it turns out there was a path I was supposed to take that wasn't so much "hidden" as it was that I had failed to be thorough enough to notice that there was a fork in the road. I've also found myself going back to the main city after almost every stage to heal up and restock my sticker supply at the store. I guess I don't mind this at all because I'm the sort of person who loves endlessly exploring this series and doesn't mind a little repetition in a Paper Mario game..
As for the combat system, well, I was afraid that needing stickers to do literally everything would make managing your inventory annoying, but the game does a good Resident Evil 4-style job of making sure that you always have just enough ammo to keep on plowing through your enemies. So far it feels like I could have run out of attacks if I'd been sloppier, but I never did. I really like the combat in this game. It feels like the earlier entries in this series, only with the sticker thing. Not too simplistic, but not too complicated.
The writing is as fun as ever. Lately I've begun obsessing over the amount of localization work that goes into video games. The people who worked on Sticker Star really did a top-notch job. One of the biggest reasons I use to scour the old games was so that I could scavenge literally every last bit of text the game had to offer. One of my favorite things was reading up on the back stories of absolutely every NPC and enemy in the game. Unfortunately, this one doesn't let you do that. I think. No more finding out that Random Toad #37 who hangs out in one of the far corners of the home city actually has a cool and slightly detailed history behind him. I miss that.
Anyway, its a good game. I'm one world through it, in case you missed that part. I intend to finish as soon as I possibly can. Maybe it does feel a little scaled-down compared to the console games, but that could just have something to do with the feeling you get from playing things on a handheld. If you want a really brief summary of my impressions so far, it's like one of the first two Paper Marios only with the sticker mechanic/gimmick. I feel bad for calling that a "gimmick," I really think the sticker thing is cool. I like this game, yes sir.