yeah, that's the obvious problem here. RPG battles aren't necessary, but mario RPG battles have always been really entertaining.
even if pape has the least depth of any mario RPG series, replacing them with bland stuff for the sake of being different makes no sense.
what always made the games stand out for me was its dives into fun characterization and care/detail put into the world.
that's something completely separate from any genre trapping,s but since basically everything else good went out along with the battle system for sticker star, it's not really a surprise that people just clamor for a return to the old design.
also i'm still kinda salty about the revelation that nintendo really has been preventing them from being creative with mario character design.
in freakin Toad Town alone, PM64 has 23 different NPC designs, not counting recolors.
they've always been so good at it. why would you throw that away?