Paper Mario: Color Splash’s Combat ~ Design Doc

Paper Mario: Color Splash’s Combat ~ Design Doc


Paper Mario: Color Splash is…..oooooooookaaaaaaaayyyy I mean its pretty to look at and the exploration is pretty good…BUT MAN THAT COMBAT IS REAL
BAD! It’s a step down from what Paper Mario’s
Developer, Intelligent Systems, has created before. Regardless of where you stand on Color Splash,
the most common criticism has been the very flawed battle system. This comes from how Nintendo and Intelligent
systems have tried to step away from the series’ RPG roots while still holding on to core systems
that fall apart without those roots in place. In a nutshell, Color Splash and its predecessor
Sticker Star use a light turned based combat system where attacks are done with disposable
items. It’s a departure from the more traditional
turned based combat of the original Paper Mario and its GameCube sequel, The Thousand
Year Door but the two styles have some similarities. Let’s call the two styles Classic Paper Mario
for the two older games, and Modern Paper Mario, for the two new ones. The fundamentals of Modern Paper Mario are
not that different from Classic Paper Mario but the quality suffers from the simplifications. The combat of Color Splash and Sticker Star
lack in 4 key areas, engagement, depth, customization, and incentive. Let’s start with engagement. A good combat system gets players engaged,
something that Color Splash fails to do for two reasons, action commands & health. Action commands are a defining aspect of Mario
RPGs. For every attack that the player uses or defends
against, a little button prompt or minigame appears. Succeed and attacks become more powerful or
your defense improves. Classic Paper Mario used action commands perfectly
– they were varied and just short enough to keep battles active without being too tedious. In Classic Paper Mario, Action commands had
variety: you might pull the stick back, hold buttons, draw, shoot targets and more. But in Modern Paper Mario, it’s just timed
presses, timed presses, timed presses, mash, and more timed presses. It’s a big reason why combat is so damn
tedious in Color Splash. Even the UI in Color Splash is a downgrade
– it takes 5 to 6 inputs for an action that should only take 2. When all attacks are performed the same way
it makes battles blend together, and your engagement in any one battle will drop. It’s not just action commands that make battles
more tedious, changes in how the health system is handled make for a worse experience as well. One thing I love about Classic Paper Mario
was the use of low damage numbers in combat. Unlike more traditional rpgs like Final Fantasy
or Persona which use huge, arbitrary numbers for damage, every individual point of damage matters,
and you get a better sense of how powerful you and your opponent really are. Seeing an 8 show up for a big attack when
smaller ones show a 2 or 3 gives some real weight to those big attacks. The way Classic Paper Mario used low damage
numbers made fights more engaging as it let the player do the mental math to figure out
the most efficient way to win. Combine the small numbers with an armor system
that subtracts damage from each hit, and all of a sudden attacks feel very different from
each other. For example, multi-hit moves like Bow’s
Smack might have a higher damage output, but they are weak against enemies with high defenses, where moves with big single strikes are more effective. A simpler battle system lets the player think
more deeply about what is actually happening in combat. None of these systems apply to Color Splash
– enemies don’t have health bars and your attacks don’t display damage numbers. Enemy damage is only indicated by their color
draining. It’s a fun idea, and a cool visual motif,
but it doesn’t actually give the player a good sense of how strong their attacks really
are. It’s all for nothing anyway, because most
enemies will go down in a single attack. I mean for goodness sake a normal shy guy
goes down on the first strike of your weakest jump which then will stomp him five extra
times just to rub it in. I honestly can’t tell if there is a difference
in damage between the Normal Jump and the Hopslipper. I mean the enemy is still super dead, I just had to press the button a bit more. Color Splash took out information and made
its action commands tedious, which makes the game’s combat feel mindless, and because of that one of the strong suits in Classic Paper Mario becomes a chore, something to just get out of the
way instead of something fun. Color Splash and Sticker Star’s combat don’t
fail because they are too easy, they fail because there is so little to consider. Classic Paper Mario games aren’t very challenging
but they aren’t pushovers, and they definitely aren’t mindless. They gave you a ton of different options in
combat from normal attacks, special moves, items, star powers, and partners. Your options were complemented with plenty
of enemy types plus your limited pool of FP made you mix up your tactics. Part of the fun in combat was finding the
most efficient strategies. Your options in Sticker Star & Color Splash
mostly come down to either jump, hammer, heal or thing (YEAH…THING). Just like Classic Paper Mario you do have
to pay some attention to how enemies are set up but it doesn’t mean much. There’s practically no strategy to combat
because 4 out of 5 times you can win the fight in your first turn, there just isn’t enough
time spent for a complex strategy to play out, and the simple strategy works just as
well anyway. If the fight just happens to be too hard, try using one of your zillion Thing cards that will literally win the fight for you. Most of your overpowered attacks don’t have
any real limitations… unless you count the Paint system. Similar to Mana or Magic Points, classic Paper
Mario limited the player’s power with FP, or flower points, which is there to prevent you from spamming
your most powerful abilities. Intelligent Systems made an effort to strip
out RPG elements in Sticker Star by getting rid of FP entirely and instead made attacks
inventory-based. This was often cited as one of the more frustrating
aspects of the game. Color Splash would try to make the system
less frustrating by making items more plentiful and tried to balance it with a pseudo FP system
in the form of the paint meter. In order for your cards to do any significant
damage, they have to be painted, which depletes the paint meter. The problem is that the amount of paint you
use is so tiny and you are constantly tripping over paint refills, which makes the system borderline
pointless. Granted there are the Fire and Ice Flower
cards that do take up a significant amount of paint but you have plenty of more powerful
options than those 2, and you can get the Fire and Ice Flower cards pre painted anyway. If instead, the game raised the cost of paint
across the board and made pre-painted cards more rare, that would make your attacks more
significant, add strategy to combat and it would make the upgrades to your paint capacity
actually mean something. Speaking of upgrades, a huge sticking point
in Sticker Star was how there wasn’t much incentive for the player to fight random enemies. In Color Splash the rewards for battles are cards, coins to buy even more cards, paint to refill your meter, and scrap hammers which upgrade your
already huge paint capacity. Coins could have been a worthwhile reward
if the game’s economy wasn’t absolutely busted. Coins are found everywhere and you can easily
reach the coin cap in just a few hours. Despite having a pseudo exp system with the
hammer scraps and paint meter, there is still no strong incentive to fight. After about one or two upgrades the additional paint doesn’t really feel needed. Nor does it open up any new possibilities in combat. The only reason I fought random enemies was
that it was faster to just fight them than it was to try running away. In the end, every battle incentive boils down
to just getting more cards, but with Color Splash’s battle system as basic as it is, that really
isn’t much of an incentive at all. We still haven’t talked about the most frustrating
aspect of Modern Paper Mario’s combat, the lack of customization. Sticker Star and Color splash are games that
want you to play in a very specific way, and don’t really give a lot of opportunities to
make choices, or see much character progression. HP upgrades are predetermined, you can’t
really customize your deck of cards since they’re expendable, and boss fights are
paint-by-numbers, forcing you to use very specific Thing cards in order to win the fight. You don’t have to guess what item you need
to beat the boss, so it’s a bit better than Sticker Star, but it still isn’t fun – you
are stuck fighting the boss in one specific way. Classic Paper Mario let you customize your
character by using the badge system which in addition to giving you special moves and
abilities, it allowed players to play however they saw fit. Want to go on a low HP or FP run? Just invest in upgrading your badge points. Want to be ridiculously overpowered or underpowered? Equip the proper badges and you can. Want to try a No-Jump or Partners only run? With a couple exceptions, that’s totally
possible. Classic Paper Mario gave the player many options
in how they wanted to build their character. Color Splash and Sticker Star don’t. Now we’ve made many direct comparisons to
the first two Paper Mario games but the truth is Color Splash doesn’t have to be like
its predecessors. The series can, and should, change over time. But, if you’re going to change the system
you need to end up with something compelling and rewarding. There is a version of the Card and Paint system
that would be an improvement, it’s just not the version in Color Splash. The lack of any progression and frustrating
inventory based combat could be resolved by replacing it with some kind of Deck Building
system like in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, Baten Kaitos, or the Megaman Battle Network
series. A card system with a sense of permanent progression
makes card collecting worthwhile and fun. I’ve seen some people make the suggestion
of having specific combinations of cards to perform special moves kind of like the slight
system in chain of memories or the combination powers in Kirby 64. Adding more customization to combat allows
players to experiment and adds a little depth. They could have also gone further with the
color theme and made the different color types add elemental effects to attacks, such as
adding red to a hammer to give it a fire effect or yellow to a jump to add electricity or
purple to create an ice effect. These aren’t groundbreaking ideas, but they
also would’ve added a little depth to the combat system. Ultimately the reason why color splash’s
combat doesn’t work is that it just isn’t very fun or engaging and unfortunately this
brings down the rest of the game. Combat is half of what this game is and gorgeous
visuals and decent exploration can only bring a game so far sometimes. A lot of these design issues come down to
how Intelligent Systems abandoned some of the RPG roots of the series while still clinging
on to systems that need those roots to actually work. Ripping out core genre mechanics can work, but in Color Splash’s case, it made the game kinda hollow. *chill vibes outro from Paper Mario*

100 thoughts on “Paper Mario: Color Splash’s Combat ~ Design Doc

  1. Just finished watching every "modern" video on this channel (except the Kingdom Hearts one and the FF 10 and 13 one since I plan to play those later), and they're making me appreciate and enjoy great games much more, it's amazing how many aspects should be considered while making a single game!

    The editing and designs used are also top notch, keep up the good work!

  2. Well, after seeing all the innovation (LoZ: BotW) and back to the roots (Super Mario Odyssey) with the Nintendo Switch, maybe there's hope for the Paper Mario series when one gets announced for the Switch…hopefully.

  3. as a fan of sticker star and color splash, (sorry) this helps rationalize what i originally thought was confused complaining.

  4. The part I hated the most were the Things. They ruined every battle they were involved in, from instantly killing any basic enemy to those cryptic boss puzzles that shouldn’t exist, and with the addition of the roulette and the replicas, you can essentially skip any battle for the low price of 10 coins. They all basically do the same thing anyways, just deal a boat load of damage, and their existence in the game is just awkward anyways. It’s never explained why these realistic objects exist in this cartoony world. It’s as if the developers thought “Hey wouldn’t it be funny if Paper Mario had a realistic fan?” and left it at that without bothering to expand upon it. Honestly, if they completely ditched the Things and spent more time on making the battles engaging and less time thinking about what realistic objects to put into the game, I feel like Color Splash and maybe even Sticker Star would have been somewhat good.

  5. we mustve had a way different experience cause i dont think its as hollow as this, granted its still not better than classic but its nowhere near as bad as this sounds

  6. I agree that the gameplay is bad, but I'm much more sad about the fact that the story, environments and characters in the new Paper Mario are all so shallow. TTYD and the original PM made the Mario Universe seem so vibrant and alive, but now this series has devolved into nothing more than having paper joke after paper joke.

  7. I agree that they should just go full on card game with it (Though I am thinking more literal card game than you seem to be, heh – Not necessarily as complicated as MTG or Hearthstone, but… In the vein of traditional CCGs rather than card augmented videogames) – the concept of card based battles suits the aesthetic, a full on card game rather than disposable cards would add in a progression and customization simultaneously without explicitly adding experience (Especially if you combined it with a deck point system, so each card is worth a specific amount of points towards the deck, similar to how miniature wargames have army point systems). Combine with the wider variety of action time events of earlier Paper Mario games, balancing the system correctly so that there isn't an obvious dominant strategy, and return to having an actual story with new characters rather than a bazillion toads and I think the franchise could be really interesting going in that direction.

  8. One thing I didn't like was that you couldn't pick which enemy to attack. It would always hit the one in front of you, and then go down the line. You could never pick if you wanted to attack the back enemies first. That was annoying!

  9. Did you ever consider if there was a reason for them to change the battle system? Think about it. There were two very similar Mario RPG series running parallel at the time. One of them either had to go, or change. They made the Paper Mario series enjoyable even for those who aren't familiar with traditional RPG games, or those who can't handle their complexity. From this new perspective, I'm sure you could see the battle system in a different light, rather than criticizing it for trying to be unique.

  10. almost everything I hear about Paper Mario is saying how amazing the originals and how bad the modern are (most saying that SPM is horrible) but I love Super Paper Mario as it just goes way too weird and creepy for a 3+ game

  11. I absolutely hated this game. It's a shame that the combat system ruined the rest of the game for me, which was otherwise okay.

  12. Thus isn’t even an RPG! There are no… hmm… uh, ROLES?! It’s good, but I hate the word “Action adventure” next to a paper mario game.

  13. 2:26 You can change the UI to "expert mode" or something like that and it takes 3 inputs, less annoying but it's still worse than the legacy saga.

  14. I'm waiting for that ultimate Frankenstein's Paper Mario. TTYD's combat, Super's storytelling, Color Splash's worldbuilding, 64's charm, and Sticker Star's…actually just forget about Sticker Star. Each of these Paper Mario games have taken an aspect of RPG's and perfected it (aside from music which all of them do very well), and if we could just get the best bits of them all we'd have a perfect RPG.

  15. I'll say this, even if they made the combat enjoyable to the player… this wouldn't fix the major issue. They changed too much too fast and sold it as Paper Mario, not Sticker Star, not Color Splash. Remove Paper Mario from the title and these games would fundamentally be better. They even went back to not telling stories and not creating characters other then toad.

    The problem is they try to sell as a continuation… that was completely changed after SPM completely changed things. SPM actually said what it was, Super Mario + Paper Mario = Super Paper Mario. Simple way to say the game play changed like Mario Kart or Mario Party. (You could argue that SS was an addition as well, but keep in mind unlike Kart or Party Sticker Star tells you very little, and Color Splash tells you even less.)

    Had they evolved and changed naturally over time it would be so much better, they would improve on flaws or find new strengths. Since that didn't happen, we got 2 games which divided the community and made each half hate the other.

  16. I really hope that after releases such as Odyssey will be a wake up call for Paper Mario. Keep in mind Color Splash BOMBED on release and received mediocre reviews. Odyssey was such a great return to form for the Mario franchise with nonlinear, original, and brilliantly creative ideas that haven’t been present in the series since Galaxy. Of course, Odyssey was the fastest selling Mario game EVER, and also among the most critically acclaimed. So… Paper Mario almost doesn’t have a choice but to return to their roots and creating a true RPG experience. Hell, we’ve already seen this with Mario Tennis Aces to a extent, with its return to form and originality (character outfits, story mode). Ultimately, if Miyamoto and Intelligent Systems continue to make Paper Mario in the same sort of vein as Color Splash or Sticker Star, it could damage the Mario franchise as a whole and disappoint shareholders. Hopefully we see a return to form for Paper Mario in the near future, like how we have seen with Mario Tennis Aces.

  17. While the bosses had to be solved a certain way, it should've been mentioned that they did take the fairly boring combat mechanics and mix them up to the best of their ability. Sure, most of us will have a very similar experience fighting them, but that doesn't necessarily mean they were disappointing. I genuinely think that the Kamek and Roy fights are among the more creative and/or better boss fights among all Mario games to date. On top of that, you have Lemmy, Ludwig, Wendy, Larry and certain mini-bosses who also kept it fresh with solid fights where they took the basic and lacking combat, and still managed to mix it up in one way or another to give us an entertaining boss fight.

    Agreed with pretty much everything you said, though; great video

  18. Gonna add a little thing here. The Shy Guys only die to the first hit of your weakest attack later in the game. Marioxs base attack DOES rise every time he gets a health upgrade.

  19. In less than 10 minutes you've imagined a battle system far more engaging than what Color Splash's design team put together in [however much time it took them to make the game], well done.
    It would be interesting to see the three paint colours treated as three types of replenish-able fuel for special attacks with different effects on each enemy type, for example against the Padobo enemies, without some blue (ice) paint you're going to have a bad time. You could even mix the paint later on to amplify effects (purple, orange, green). Coupled with a level up system that offered the choice of HP, Paint Capacity or Badges this could have been as good as, if not better than TTYD instead of a mere footnote to the series.

  20. Sticker star's maybe shallow, but things get really nice if you played it thingless and 100%.

    For 100%, oh my god the sticker museum is just amazing. The sense of acomplishment I got from finding a new sticker and completing the museum is just very good, and figuring out where to stick new stickers isn't confusing at all.You'll need a ton of money for those blue doors (as many things are inside them) so fighting enemies has a purpose (more enemies defeated = more money on goal).

    For thingless, yes, you can actually beat this game thingless apart from two fights. Or you can go even further to infiniboots-less. It's nice to add some strategy to it, but unfortunately the game doesn't compliment you for that. One thing I hate about color splash is how things are mandatory for boss fights.

    I can't deny that modern PM is flawed as hell, but I strongly recommend playing it thingless+100%, if possible. Feels like stciker star has great pacing for 100% than any games I've 100%ed so far.

  21. Why would they ever remove any information on how much damage your attacks do based on numbers in an rpg?? Not even a bar, or anything… just "WOW!, GREAT, AWESOME"… that isn't satisfying or practical

  22. "If you're going to change the system, you need to end up with something compelling and rewarding." Like Super Paper Mario, granted it is different than the original as well as the best in the series, but the way it is handled still makes combat rewarding as you gain experience, items, and coins. The story is more compelling as well, instead of fighting Bowser for the umpteenth time to save the mushroom kingdom you are fighting the evil Count Bleck to prevent him from ending the world with maybe the best story in the whole series, and while there aren't really partner characters as companions on your journey to fight alongside, you have Mario, Peach, Luigi, and Bowser all with different play styles. Different doesn't necessarily mean bad, it can be beneficial and make a good game, however you have to make up for what you take away or change, Super does this Sticker Star and Color Splash do not.

  23. I'm a big fan of the first two Paper Mario games who's been playing through Sticker Star lately, and while I don't think it's nearly as good as the originals in story or combat I actually do appreciate the interesting level design and exploration. But it's nice to see this video break down and analyze the reasons WHY this new style feels so lackluster in comparison, because I was having a hard time defining it myself. I think I agree with all the points raised, and I don't have much interest in making time to play Color Splash after seeing that it seems like arguably a step BACKWARD from Sticker Star. You didn't even mention the fact that you can no longer even target which enemy you want to attack (in SS and it looks like in CS as well), which is extremely frustrating especially in combination with the fact that you start fights targeting the same enemy you already weakened with your first strike, which is often the LEAST efficient enemy to target first! I appreciate the experimentation, but I'm disappointed they didn't learn their lesson after Sticker Star, and hope they don't try to give this system a third try.

  24. While I believe battle systems should evolve I don't agree that they should change completely especially if the battle system is unique and fun as is the case with the classic paper Mario games. While I do believe that the modern paper Mario games battle system has potential it's just not what paper Mario is.

  25. This. ALL OF THE THISSSSS.

    It's not a bad thing that the games decided to try different things along the way. It's bad that they weren't as polished as their predecessors, and they didn't make sure the new things they wanted to try were as fun as what came before. After they PERFECTED the formula they went for another approach, but they compromised and left something that might or might not have had potential in its place. And it is such a shame to someone like me that loves the first three so much.

  26. i really appreciate how you break down your argument into structured points and give specific examples. so many games crit people just kind of vaguely complain or praise without a structured, demonstrated argument, which makes me feel like all i can do is agree or disagree. but your type of approach gives me a chance to learn something and think!

  27. I really liked Color Splash, and I still do, but this video helped me understand why others don't. I agree that the first two Paper Mario games were far better though, and really hope we'll see a Paper Mario on Switch that lives up to them. I'm actually more saddened by the downgraded story and characters than I am about the gameplay (although I loved Color Splash's dialogue).

  28. Steven Universe: Attack The Light/Save The Light share a lot of similarities to the original Paper Mario combat systems. I'll have to make some comparisons next time I play with these in mind. Would be interesting to hear your opinion if you have one.

  29. Changing the combat system in PM is counter-productive. TTYD's combat still has so much potential. Their time is better spent making new interesting situations in combat.

  30. Until IS get their act together and realize that none of the battle systems in either SS or CS worked, I have no faith in the Paper Mario franchise ever returning to its former glory, especially since Tanabe stated that he wants to work with a brand new idea for Paper Mario.

  31. So… Fates apparently ended up lackluster, Advance Wars series abandoned, Paper Mario series mainstreamed while making it worse… Yup, Intelligent Systems has merely become Nintendo's milk cow.

    And kids still say Nintendo is the best publisher around. What ignorant fools.

  32. Yeah, I do agree that the Paper Mario series has become increasingly gimmicky over time. I did enjoy Sticker Star, however; though I do agree the puzzles were obtuse and the sticker-hoarding irritating.

  33. I say if they want to keep with the de-RPG-ing of the gameplay, just ditch the battles all together. Take a page out of Super Paper Mario's book and have the enemies wonder around to be stomped on or whatever. You could use an item similar to stickers or cards to vary and power up your attacks. To fix rewards, make enemies occasionally give you helpful items.

  34. Color splash was a super fine game, such good mood, looks and sound. The world is diverse and fun to explore. The combat is simple yes but it's a lighthearted game for younger players, although I can see how a deeper combat system and more balanced resources could have made this game legendary

  35. I completely agree with this video. And this is coming from someone that usually defends this game.

    EDIT: One thing though: There are slightly more aspects than "Jump, Hammer, Heal, or Thing." There's also the amount of times you attack, since enemy Stacks are a thing. So, for example, a Hopslipper would be more effective than a Hammer against a Shy Guy Stack, even though both Jumps and Hammers would work against it.

  36. I never thought I would ever want a deck building mechanic in my Paper Mario, but that would've made Color Splash much more interesting in terms of customizability and progression. Slay the Spire + Paper Mario? Where's my time machine, I need to let IS know about this.

  37. Some people also forget about the companions/partners… they made the early games great as they contributed variety as well.

  38. The best part is that Paper Mario already proved that you don't need to be the exact same as your predecessors in order to be good. Super Paper Mario is it's own thing, and is amazing for it.

  39. Here's my major problem with both Sticker Star and Color Splash: you have absolutely NO option that DOESN'T use the game's gimmick; you cannot JUST jump on an enemy or smash with the hammer.

    Compared to the the previous games, Mario could jump or smash nomrally at a 0 cost, but the more powerful attacks cost points to use. Here, it's like they ditched the normal attacks for some that are cost only.

  40. If you're interested in Card Crafting look to Mystic Vale or Custom Heroes, these are card games where modify the cards themselves so they change over the course of the game. In Mystic Vale, cards are either weak or bad, so you're trying to craft cards that work past or with those limitations.This is such an easy levelling system. Have some basic cards. Over time you can change the elements, the number of targets etc. It would be these upgrades and new base cards that you find in the overworld.

  41. Paper Mario:I can see the light
    Mario&Luigi:stay with me man it’ll be ok it’s gonna be ok
    Paper Mario: I feel
    Surgeon:I haven’t lost a game series yet I NEED SOME CRAYONS AND MARKERS OVER HERE NOW

  42. Why do game developers think Using cards as a game mechanic is “Fun” if I wanna play a card game than I’ll just play Yu-gi-oh

  43. Somehow I still prefer Color Splash as a game, however. It kept me interested long enough to finish it, as did Sticker Star (though I came close in TTYD and Super Paper Mario). I really wish these games were a bit faster in general, to be honest.

  44. Nowadays, intelligent systems is known for making games starring flat, 2 dimensional characters……. And paper mario 1 and 2: TTYD

  45. Bringing up chain of memories and beaten kaitos as examples of improving the card system are actually really great ideas I hadn't considered for this game, and I absolutely love both of those games and their systems. The systems present in color splash are so lazy and hollow and empty that literally any addition would improve it but making it into card rpg like that would be really neat imo. Though, I would still want the interconnected world and interesting new mario races and characters back, color splash and sticker star are still too homogeneous.

  46. One of my favorite aspects about one of Intelligent Systems' other flagship games, Fire Emblem, is that its combat also uses small numbers to achieve much the same effect. It gives combat more engagement, as players can mentally calculate their damage output versus enemy defense, while other factors, such as hit chance and ability to double attack, complicate matters and give even more depth.
    Character stats are also on this smaller scale, meaning the stat increases with each level-up feel MUCH more impactful. Strength goes up by 1 point? You deal exactly one more point of damage. I feel this is a lot nicer compared to most RPGs, where because of the big numbers and complicated damage calculations, if my Strength goes up by, say, 3, I have no idea how much that actually improves my damage.

  47. The item-based combat of SS and CS reminds me of something…
    I'm making a Pokémon-like game where you "craft" the monsters with items you can get from killing enemies or exploring the overworld instead of catching them in the wild. Would this make it more tedious?

  48. 9:58 Baten Kaitos = Baw-Ten Kye-Toas(t), judging by the Japanese pronunciation.

    Throw this in Google Translate (バテン・カイトス) and have her pronounce it for you. …Mentally remove the "su" at the end.

  49. I would rather play Color Splash than Sticker Star. But that never happened. One, I don’t own a Wii U. But I have a switch! And two, when I bought Sticker Star I had hope and gave the game a chance so I played it. I did not like Sticker Star period. I tried but was not pleased.

  50. The problem with the new Paper Mario games is the same reason why a lot of other game series start to suck – the developers are trying to appeal to a casual audience that doesn’t exist. Nobody wanted the combat in Paper Mario to be simplified. Nintendo just did that to appeal to casual players who weren’t interested in this series to begin with. The same can be said about Bethesda trying to turn Fallout into a FPS series, or Konami turning Silent Hill into an action adventure series with shallow horror sprinkled on top. Nobody asked for any of this, and all it does is alienate real fans of your games.

  51. its really funny. its not a bad game,many people even praise it for getting the series back on track somewhat(minus the continued toadspam).but the one thing everyone agrees is the worst in the series,even including stickerstar,…..is the incredibly bad combatsystem

  52. Paper Mario 2 and Super Paper Mario were two of my favorite games of their eras. But Sticker Star disappointed me so badly I never even touched Color Splash. All the issues in the video combine to make a very unsatisfying core gameplay loop. The game actively encourages you to avoid engaging with the battle system.

    Aside from the fact that it's just not a very engaging battle system, the fact that you expend stickers and generally only get coins in return (which primarily exist to buy more stickers) means that even if you were to make enough to buy back your stickers, you're still weaker after the fight, because you can't spend those coins until you finish the level. It's the kind of system that is more suited to a stealth game (where combat primarily exists as a punishment for getting caught) or a survival game (where managing your resources is important) than a JRPG.

  53. 1:11 So… what’s your stance on Super? I personally would take Super over this game for a few reasons:
    -decent combat vs. awful combat that only lets you attack with consumables
    -well written characters that were integral to the story vs. a plethora of one off characters with good lines
    -multiple playable characters and over world abilities for puzzles vs. yet again, a consumable that comes into play once and never again
    -when a pixl with an important ability appeared it was in the same level as you needed it, so it was clear when you got the right one vs. a wild goose chase whenever you encounter a roadblock.
    Super Paper Mario was a better game than Color Splash due to its simple yet effective design. However, I think the original, thousand year door, and super are all great experiences and any one of the three can be considered the best in the series.

  54. Your essay here is very flawed and it sounds like the frustration of a 15 year old boy.
    Give more logic, why don't you piece together why it isn't engaging? The format resembles RPG for these battles but it does no effort to make it work like one. If Mario and luigi lost all of the progressive system, the game will still be engaging. There will be ways to dodge enemy attacks, minigame attacks, and all of that. Paper mario suffers because you can't dodge anything and because there's no progressive system and the fact that mini games attacks was thrown out, it's just lackluster.

  55. I will say I don't get why the battle system is automatic. There has to be a mechanic that stops you from deliberately receiving damage from an offense move. It's like having every Pokémon move having a recoil or locked in Choice Band which doesn't seem fun. I will say it is funny that one of the complaints is the lack of HP for enemies which I agree, and yet Tattling isn't a regular thing used by players in the 1st 3 games (some playthroughs don't use Goomba/Goombella/Tippi to get enemy info until the 1st boss).

  56. For me, Color Splash was the final nail in the coffin. Unless they go back to traditional Paper Mario, I will NEVER buy another Paper Mario game. Oh, Super Paper Mario doesn't count. That one SUCKS.

  57. I completely agree with all your points, I guess I just give the game more credit than most people. It looked nice, it got me laughing a good few times, I learned to cook a steak, and holy mother of koopa kids, that soundtrack is FIRE. 😀

  58. If I had made a paper Mario game it’s similar it’s going to be like the super paper Mario Wii except your in a set room like a diorama while different paint colors are different elemental atacks which you can equip with a wheel equipping up to 3 switchable stickers would boost your stats and give you different abilities which you can place on a cardboard square and put away in a sticker book all start with 1 page and cardboard and each level up is like the Mario and Luigi games as well as a forced page or cardboard upgrade to go with it plus with friends you can only equip 3 all which are from the previous games as well as a boost partner for Mario which would be the Wii sticker star and paint partners and plus you can play as Mario with the spin Luigi with the high jump peach with the umbrella abilities bowser with fire and shell wario with the fart abilities and waluigi with a wall jump and a secret link with only equipment only on weapons in the Zelda universe you can make your weapons by getting a paper blueprint as well as a bunch of paper scraps as well as cardboard scraps also you can make badges based on the paper Mario series as well as some cameos like the phantom thieves and all the bosses are based on different crafts and art while all attacks are low so are the enemies hp while the bosses have a bunch of hp

  59. I saw paper Mario color splash on a huge discount and I was like "oh cool I might get that!" then I looked at reviews and gameplay before buying…

  60. Thought the critique was a bit harsh in places but a pretty good analysis overall! Also don't think there was enough credit given to the game for the signature witty dialogue and pretty exotic characters. Of course it's so hard to beat the wit of TTYD, but Color Splash had me laughing out loud numerous times!

  61. (Old video, I know) While all of this is true, I feel like you should have done this video on Sticker Star since that was the progenitor of this style of Paper Mario and Color Splash does actually improve on what that game did, even if it still has a lot of problems because of the poor combat system.

    Second, while the gameplay may be poor, in terms of humor, Color Splash is the best Mario game. It is legitimately the funniest Mario game I've ever played.

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