Now here’s an interesting point that should annoy more than a few Paper Mario fans. Remember how many of the complaints about Paper Mario Sticker Star were that it was too different from the earlier games and didn’t feel enough like an RPG? Well apparently the earlier version was the complete opposite. You know, the one which probably had the Chain Chomp as a partner:
Maybe this version could have been better?
So why was the earlier version changed? Because Miyamoto thought it was too much like Thousand Year Door. No seriously, here’s a quote from the latest Iwata Asks interview:
After E3, Miyamoto-san played the prototype and said it was just a port of the GC version.22
I had heard that at first Miyamoto-san said that something like an RPG would be fine, so for a while I thought that something like the previous one would be fine.
Well, it looks like we might have actually got a nice traditional Paper Mario game if Intelligent Systems had continued along their original path for the game. I heavily suspect people might have really preferred the prototype…
Especially given that while stickers were still a feature, that they weren’t the core of the whole game. Here’s a quote about that:
Originally, the plan was to use stickers here and there for solving puzzles on the overall map and so forth, but then we thought, “If we’re gonna do that, then we might as well use stickers for the whole thing, including battles,” and we decided to begin rethinking the game mechanics.
Perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea. Indeed, I suspect the game could have been even better if they’d just continued along with their original plan and just made the whole thing like a proper sequel to the original and Thousand Year Door complete with partners, badges and story. And you know, it reminds me of Super Paper Mario to some extent, where the game was completely overhauled to focus on just one specific gimmick (2D to 3D) and everything was kind of shoved aside because of it. That obsession with single big gimmicks and game mechanics might be a weakness of Intelligent Systems…
But back to the main point. At one time, Paper Mario Sticker Star was meant to be a nice traditional Paper Mario game with all the familiar stuff people liked from the first two games, and it was pretty much all tossed aside because of Miyamoto and Intelligent Systems not wanting a traditional sequel.
Isn’t that a bit of a shame?