Gaming Post 45: Paper Mario: Color Splash

The random number generator has determined that the next game I should talk about is Paper Mario: Color Splash.

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I like Paper Mario. He’s like Mario, but paper. I also like Mario. He’s like Paper Mario, but meat.

Color Splash was the worst selling Paper Mario game, and I know why. One reason it did poorly is that it was only available for the Wii U, which fewer people bought than the 3DS and Wii. Another reason Color Splash didn’t sell a lot of copies is that it was the Paper Mario game following Sticker Star, and it was clear from the trailers that this sequel to Sticker Star would keep the major aspects of that installment that people didn’t like.

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The card battling system in Color Splash is just the sticker battling system from Sticker Star but with extra steps.

When it came to Sticker Star, a lot of people complained that there was no leveling system in it. People were sad that there were no buddy characters like there were in the original Paper Mario and its followup, The Thousand Year Door. It was also annoying that all attacks (even basic ones) expended resources, so there really was no incentive to battle enemies.

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I think a lot of people can agree on two things about Color Splash. The first thing is that the battle mechanics are just as annoying as they were in Sticker Star. The second thing is that the writing in the game is amazing. The jokes in this game made me smile on many occasions.

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It’s true that most of the characters in this game are Toads that are not visually distinct from one another. But they all have a lot of personality, and they seem to assume that you can tell the difference between them and every other Toad, despite their complete lack of physical individuality.

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Like Sticker Star, the game-world is separated into stages instead of taking place in an interconnected world. This time, with an objective of collecting the Paint Stars. Many of the minor Paint Stars are optional, but I made sure to get all of them, because they were all enjoyable to collect.

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Each chapter ends with the rescue of a Big Paint Star, which paints a large area of the drained world, letting you progress.

Bowser’s minions are using straws to drink all the paint in the world (which is explained to be the lifeblood of the Paper Mario’s biological inhabitants). You befriend a can of paint named Huey (a perfect name for a paint can), and he enchants your hammer so you can use it to repaint the previously drained people, objects and environments. Each level has a certain finite amount of missing paint, and it was very satisfying to find all the blank spots and hit them with my paint hammer.

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You can see objects drained of color even on the title screen.

A slightly different ending is unlocked if you finish the final sequence of the game after completing a few specific objectives, one of which is repainting 100% of the blank spots in every level. I did it just because it was fun, but the secret ending was a nice bonus too.

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Another good joke.

I played the beginning of this game in 2016 when it came out, but finished it much later in early 2020. I’m eager to catch up to the Mario series, but that’s much easier said than done.

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Paper Mario: The Origami King was recently announced and its release date is fast approaching. I’m eager to play it to completion as soon as it comes out.

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It seems spooky.

I know that some people yearn for Paper Mario’s original game mechanics. A lot of people want the partner system to come back to the series. Being able to befriend mushroom kingdom denizens who had unique looks names and personalities improved the lore of the Mario world and made it feel more like a real place.

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Giving Goombas distinguishing features makes them more relatable.

I do consider the removal of the old features to be losses for the series, but I don’t mind the changes as much as other people do. Hopefully Nintendo will make a game more similar to the original two Paper Mario games, but I just want whatever they make to be fun, regardless of whatever style gets chosen. Speaking of Mario RPG games, I wonder if there’s a Mario & Luigi installment in the works for the Nintendo Switch.

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Thanks for reading! =)

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