Now that the reviews have started coming out, everyone is lined up to sing the praises of Paper Mario: Color Splash, which is a big issue for me. In this FULLY OPINIONATED DISCUSSION I’m going to explain to you why that is.
So Color Splash might be a good game, I’m not denying this. Quite frankly, its quality as a game is a non-factor. It’s uninteresting, irrelevant, and in no way negates the fact that it is indeed a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This game is attempting to wear the clothes of a beloved series, known for its refined mechanics, brilliant execution of an otherwise simplistic story, and most of all, its incredible world building and character development.
Replacing these features with a one-off gimmicky mechanic, a shallow combat system, and a few jokes about everyone being made of paper can in no way bring solace to those of us who invested a lot of our lives into the true Paper Mario titles.
You could argue that it’s a nostalgia thing, and I understand where you’d be coming from. At first, I hated Super Paper Mario because I felt it was far too different from what I was used to. After giving the game a fair shake, I realized that it still maintained a lot of the character and charm that made me feel something for those games. A game that ripped all of the substance out of the mechanics still managed to stand tall simply because of its consciousness of things that matter to fans of the series. Things like world-building, character, and a development of a reality that we can believe in as players.
Paper Mario: Color Splash might be a great game, and I don’t doubt that it will be. It looks good in a lot of ways for a lot of reasons. But it will never be a Paper Mario game.