As one of the last games to be released on the Wii U console before the Nintendo Switch takes over, players expect a lot from Paper Mario: Color Splash. They want to be left with fond memories of the old console before they move on to the new one, and with this game they will be.
In contrast to its lacklustre prequel which revolved around the use of unexciting stickers, Paper Mario: Color Splash re-injects that satisfying balance between gameplay and storytelling that we remember from the early days of the series.
The game’s script is the highlight of the game, with hilarious moments between our protagonist Mario and the people he encounters on Prism Island, the place in which the game is set. The witty writing is fresh and light hearted, and immersive in a way that occasionally seems to even break through that fourth wall!
The gameplay itself can feel a little slow at times, requiring a three step strategy for every single attack in enemy encounters. However, after a while you get used to it. How quickly you do that depends on how many enemies you take on!
Each level contains goals in the form of Paint Stars which, once collected, open up a path to a new stage of the game. To help you find your way through it all there’s an Over World Map which is easy to navigate and even features a news banner up in one corner.
Color Splash combines elements of a side-scrolling game with those of an open world RPG – which actually works surprisingly well. Navigation is smooth, and the different elements compliment each other very effectively.
Considering the world of Color Splash is entirely made out of cardboard and paper, It’s surprising how beautiful it is! In fact the visuals are almost as good as those in Yoshi’s Woolly World, also on the Wii U.
The developers have spared no expense in adding detail to places the average gamer wouldn’t even think to look. They even include that corrugated look between the faces of every cardboard coin!
Despite the American spelling (color!), this game is definitely worth your time. Completionist or not, Color Splash offers many hours of standard gameplay, with plenty of replay value available as well. The series as a whole provides a nice twist to the Super Mario formula and this latest addition to it is certainly one of the better ones.
I give Super Mario: Color Splash a 4/5.