Video Game Review: Paper Mario: Color Splash – Pretty as a Picture – Geek Node

Video Game Review: Paper Mario: Color Splash – Pretty as a Picture

Written by
  • Intelligent Systems
  • Nintendo
  • Nintendo Distributor South Africa
  • Nintendo Distributor South Africa
  • RPG
  • Single Player
  • Wii U

“It’s not as good as The Thousand Year Door”

“Paper Mario is dead”

“I wish Nintendo knew how to make their own game”

These are all definitely criticism that exists for the Paper Mario franchise but their validity is questionable at best. That’s not to say that Paper Mario: Color Splash is the iteration that will return the franchise to its former glory, it’s just I don’t think it’s fair to write it off just yet. Color Splash definitely exists as a bit of a mixed bag but it does, fortunately, do enough to be a worthwhile experience.

paper_mario_color_splash_geek_node_screenshot_10

The main storyline of Paper Mario: Color Splash is pretty much what one expects from a Mario game and thankfully the game is willing to admit it and even have some fun with that. Color Splash does not take itself seriously at all and that’s something that has definitely been done in its’ favour. While the story itself could have been something special, it is unfortunately too focused on its’ own meta humour to do anything interesting but this has managed to save it in some strange way.

This to say that while the story of Color Splash isn’t all that amazing, its’ humour manages to help players endure through the game’s campaign. Players will most likely find themselves playing through the game for the next cheesy punchline more than anything else. There is enough here for players to enjoy to keep them playing but if you’re looking for something that will change your life you will not find it here, but if that was the case you were always going to have been looking in the wrong place.

Even giggles aren’t your think you can at least be assured that you’ll have something pretty look at when playing Paper Mario: Color Splash. Paper Mario has always looked good by virtue of its’ simple visual themes, but Color Splash goes the extra mile to be something that will become memorable if you stick through with it. It’s not that the visuals have received and major updates but rather they’ve gone to create some visually interesting and enjoyable scenes that will stick with the player.

It’s wacky and wild and just wonderful to appreciate. Intelligent Systems has gone on to create something that is fun to look at while experiencing the game. It might be strange to call a game “fun to look at” but that’s probably the best way to describe some of the scenes of Paper Mario: Color Splash. While the game itself is not going to win any awards for best visuals and may even be overlooked for its’ ‘childish’ aesthetic, it’s definitely visually exciting and makes use of vivid colours and wacky set pieces to make sure that players will alwasy have something interesting to look at and pay attention to.

While Paper Mario: Color Splash has a lot going for it with its’ silly story and gleeful graphics, it does have one fatal flaw that will be a deal breaker for some. Color Splash is a lot of fun and the game could have gone on to be a real gem but of course it would have to add in some tedium to prevent it from becoming great. For Paper Mario: Color Splash this tedium is introduced in a place where it really couldn’t afford it to be: the battle system.

We get it, the Wii U gamepad is a big gimmick that can let you do some pretty cool things in games. Some games in the Wii U library have made some pretty good use out of the gamepad while others have more or less forgotten about it because it better suits them. This late (see: end) in the Wii U’s life no one needs to prove anything and forcing gimmicks can essentially ruin the experience. I love the Wii U gamepad and making use of it for simple things in a game is usually for the best but Paper Mario: Colour Splash decided to make use of the gamepad to overcomplicate the game’s battle system and make the whole experience frustrating.

In Color Splash you make use of paint and cards to issue commands in turn based battles. In order to attack, you must first select a card, apply paint to it and then finally attack. The thing is that all this sounds okay except it’s the execution that causes problems. This system is made unnecessarily complicated by requiring gestures on the touch screen, such as having to swipe your painted card to attack, as well as quick time events on top of all this to improve the effect of your attack. Battles are just made unnecessarily complicated and unfortunately, this does a lot to harm the player’s enjoyment of the game.

So while Paper Mario: Color Splash is a visually exciting game with enjoyable humour, it is unfortunately also a tedious game which hampers the player’s enjoyment. While I don’t want to say that this completely ruins the overall experience, it does have enough of an impact to frustrate players. This doesn’t mean to say it ruins the experience completely, but it should serve to warn potential players that this is something they might experience and may, unfortunately, hamper the overall experience. I will admit that while this may cause some headaches, there is still an enjoyable game to be played and should definitely be played by new and old Paper Mario fans looking for an enjoyable, even if fundamentally flawed, experience that’ll put a smile on their dial.

"It's not as good as The Thousand Year Door" "Paper Mario is dead" "I wish Nintendo knew how to make their own game" These are all definitely criticism that exists for the Paper Mario franchise but their validity is questionable at best. That's not to say that Paper Mario: Color Splash is the iteration that will return the franchise to its former glory, it's just I don't think it's fair to write it off just yet. Color Splash definitely exists as a bit of a mixed bag but it does, fortunately, do enough to be a worthwhile experience. The main storyline of Paper Mario: Color Splash is pretty much what one expects from a Mario game and thankfully the game is willing to admit it and even have some fun with that. Color Splash does not take itself seriously at all and that's something that has definitely been done in its' favour. While the story itself could have been something special, it is unfortunately too focused on its' own meta humour to do anything interesting but this has managed to save it in some strange way. This to say that while the story of Color Splash isn't all that amazing, its' humour manages to help players endure through the game's campaign. Players will most likely find themselves playing through the game for the next cheesy punchline more than anything else. There is enough here for players to enjoy to keep them playing but if you're looking for something that will change your life you will not find it here, but if that was the case you were always going to have been looking in the wrong place. Even giggles aren't your think you can at least be assured that you'll have something pretty look at when playing Paper Mario: Color Splash. Paper Mario has always looked good by virtue of its' simple visual themes, but Color Splash goes the extra mile to be something that will become memorable if you stick through with it. It's not that the visuals have received and major updates but rather they've gone to create some visually interesting and enjoyable scenes that will stick with the player. It's wacky and wild and just wonderful to appreciate. Intelligent Systems has gone on to create something that is fun to look at while experiencing the game. It might be strange to call a game "fun to look at" but that's probably the best way to describe some of the scenes of Paper Mario: Color Splash. While the game itself is not going to win any awards for best visuals and may even be overlooked for its' 'childish' aesthetic, it's definitely visually exciting and makes use of vivid colours and wacky set pieces to make sure that players will alwasy have something interesting to look at and pay attention to. While Paper Mario: Color Splash has a lot going for it with its' silly story and gleeful graphics, it does have one fatal flaw that will be a…

Not in the Louvre just yet

Bob Rosses - 7

7

Total

Funny and fun even if it becomes a bit frustrating. Paper Mario: Color Splash is not the series' return to form but is a more than competent and enjoyable entry in the series that'll leave players satisfied, even if they may have hoped for more.

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BiPolarBear

Gaming Author at Geek Node
The best person to offer the worst opinion. Paul's interests include adding 100 hour JRPGs to his backlog and dark walks through dungeons. You'll probably find him rambling on about old man Nintendo or that crazy newfangled eSports thingy.
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