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Paper Mario makes his HD debut

Paper Mario: Color Splash is one of the premier titles to launch this fall from Nintendo on the Wii U. What could quite possibly be one of Mario’s last outings on the Wii U, Paper Mario: Color Splash is developed by Intelligent Systems. Filled with rich storytelling and puzzle solving action, Paper Mario: Color Splash improves upon the gameplay styled used in Paper Mario: Sticker Star on the Nintendo 3DS.

Game Details

Platform: Wii U
Release Date: October 7, 2016
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Action-adventure game
Modes: Single-player
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

A mystery that only Mario can solve

A mystery is afoot on Prism Island! Upon arriving at the island’s main hub, Port Prisma, Mario, Peach, and Toad discover that the Island’s colours have disappeared. Upon disembarking from the ship, the crew meets Huey, a paint bucket character who will guide Mario and friends throughout the game. We learn that the colour fountain at the centre of town, which feeds colour to the island, is dry and the town is deserted with many of it’s objects missing colour.

Huey reveals that the fountain is usually powered by six big paint stars, which never run out of paint and are the main sources of it for the entire island. Just then, Mario sees one of Paper Bower’s airships taking off, hauling a giant buck of red paint. With the big paint stars missing, Mario sets out to find the missing stars and restore the paint to the fountain.

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Explore, attack, and battle in a 3D world

You’ll travel Prism Island’s regions from level to level via an overworld map. Each level contains one or more mini paint stars that you will need to collect in order to find the big paint stars. There are levels that contain multiple mini paint stars, and luckily for the most part they are spread out so you don’t have to play the level multiple times to get all of them. There are few levels that do require multiple playthroughs, but luckily those are few and far between.

Much like previous Paper Mario games, you play as a 2D Mario in a 3D world. You will spend most of your time exploring and battling enemies with your deck of cards and hammer while searching for the mini paint stars. If you have played Paper Mario: Sticker Star, then you will be familiar with Paper Mario: Color Splash’s card-based combat. However, Paper Mario: Color Splash mixes the combat up and employs a few extra steps. You now have to fill the cards in with colour to power them, colorless cards are a fraction of normal price in shops.

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Additionally, you can use your hammer to break down walls, break open question mark boxes and paint the world around you. In order to interact with objects around you, they will need to be coloured in. Throughout your journey of restoring colour to the land and objects around you, the paint in your hammer will slowly drain. Luckily, you can pretty much hit anything around you to gain a couple drops of precious paint for your hammer.

Top-notch writing with fantastic storytelling

Paper Mario: Color Splash tells an interesting story that is just one of the many improvements over Paper Mario: Sticker Star. It is clear to see that Nintendo brought in a team of top-notch writers when creating this game. Paper Mario: Color Splash has a great sense of humour, and the dialogue between characters kept me laughing throughout the game.

Pretty much every non-playable character in the game has a one-line that cracked me up. For the most part they all look the same, either Shy Guys or Toads, but it’s their unique personalities that distinguish them from each other. My favourite character of the game is Huey, not only is he overflowing with charisma but his jokes and Mario references will have you laughing on the floor.

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Bright vibrant graphics and a simply divine soundtrack

Paper Mario: Color Splash is one the best looking Wii U games yet—virtually neck and neck with Yoshi’s Woolly World. Intelligent Systems’ art team nailed the aesthetics of Paper Mario’s style perfectly. Objects are crumpled, folded, and filleted into sheets when destroyed—with a great sense of lighting and texture that further enhances the game’s visual appeal. The colours are so vibrant and rich that it looks like you are playing in a real diorama.

The game’s soundtrack is simply divine, and rivals that of Mario Kart 8’s orchestrated soundtrack. Paper Mario: Color Splash’s musical score is delightful, jazzy, and snappy with variations on new and old themes. Each area has its own composition, and I have literally spent several hours just listening to the music I unlocked in the game’s Museum.

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Final Thoughts

Fans of the Paper Mario series are in for a treat with Paper Mario: Color Splash. Not only is the game fun and easy to play, it will have you laughing all the way through it. The game’s writing is top notch and the HD visuals are some of the best seen on the Wii U.

Intelligent Systems has taken Paper Mario: Stick Star’s battle mechanics and improved on them adding a fresh layer of strategy that makes this one of the most action-packed paper Mario games ever. Paper Mario: Color Splash is easily one of the the best games out this holiday season for the Wii U that any Mario fan will love.

+ Each region of Prism Island has its own specific theme
+ Non-stop humour that is funny and refreshing
+ Amazing soundtrack
+ Incredible visuals

– Huey can become annoying at times
– Some may not like the card battle mechanics

OVERALL

Gameplay: 4/5
Graphics: 4.75/5
Sound: 4.5/5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5

Overall Rating 4.3/5 (86%)

Get Paper Mario: Color Splash for Wii U

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Jon Scarr
Based in Toronto, Jon is a proud Canadian who has a serious passion for gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry with over 20 years experience. Jon loves to talk about gaming and tech, come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Twitter @4Scarrs_Gaming.

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