Paper Mario: Color Splash

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Percentile Rank

Paper Mario: Color Splash is ranked in the 66th percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.

Rating Summary

Based on 67 critic reviews
Strong Man

OpenCritic Rating

76

Top Critic Average

56%

Critics Recommend

Based on 67 critic reviews

Score Distribution

Unscored Reviews

The A.V. Club
Unscored
Unscored
Oct 5, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash has vibrancy but little depth

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Kotaku
Unscored
Unscored
Oct 5, 2016

Color Splash is so damned imaginative and beautiful, though, so colorful and confidently funny. Even when it annoyed me, it was only fleetingly. It makes the abstract world of Mario so personable. Its gentle, playful weirdness and irreverence contrast so positively with the prevailing seriousness of fall’s big games

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TechnoBuffalo
Buy
Buy
Oct 5, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash is a beautiful game that leans on the classic paper aesthetic to deliver a funny, charming and virtually tactile experience.

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GameXplain
Liked-a-lot
GameXplain

Top Critic

Liked-a-lot
Oct 5, 2016
Paper Mario: Color Splash - REVIEW (Wii U) - YouTube video thumbnail
Eurogamer
No Recommendation / Blank
No Recommendation / Blank
Oct 11, 2016

Bowser's latest m'ch�-nations are boringly familiar. Despite the usual fizzy writing, this series doesn't make us crease up like it used to.

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Washington Post
Unscored
Unscored
Oct 11, 2016

‘Paper Mario: Color Splash’ makes a game of dragging the past into the present

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Scored Reviews

FNintendo
9 / 10
9 / 10
Oct 5, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash brings a delightfully funny plot to an involving and extraordinary adventure that can keep the player in front of the Wii U for over 50 hours of gameplay. With its lovely visual presentation, exquisite soundtrack and well implemented gameplay mechanics, Paper Mario: Color Splash is set to be one of the Wii U's most outstanding titles in the console's still growing catalogue.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review

NintendoWorldReport
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 5, 2016

There’s a lot of content and fun to experience here, and Wii U owners owe it to themselves to give this game a chance. It’s not a direct sequel to Thousand Year Door, but it doesn’t need to be. Color Splash is a fantastic game in its own right, and deserves to be played by everyone.

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CGMagazine
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 7, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash is an absolute delight.

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Digital Spy
Oct 6, 2016

Paper Mario Colour Splash might not be the Paper Mario game everyone wanted, but it's a game that oozes polish and manages to sit somewhere in a niche between RPG and adventure game. It's a memorable journey full of charm, craft, chuckles and a whole lot of paint.

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COGconnected
90 / 100
90 / 100
Oct 12, 2016

If you’re willing to accept the fact that Color Splash is more of an adventure platformer, and less of an RPG, then you’ll be in for an absolute treat of a game.

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GameSpew
9 / 10
9 / 10
Oct 15, 2016

Prism Island is full of secrets, and finding them all is an adventure worth having in itself.

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Nintendo Insider
9 / 10
9 / 10
Oct 4, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash isn't the Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door successor that many still resolutely hold out for, but that day may never come. But, the adventure that unfolds is a remarkable one, and joyously memorable for all the right reasons.

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GamesBeat
90 / 100
90 / 100
Oct 5, 2016

Paper Mario Color Splash isn’t frustration-free, but compared to the Mario platforming games Color Splash is light and refreshing, an opportunity to have an adventure with Mario and his friends that doesn’t require lightning-quick reflexes and high frustration tolerance. You’d better be ready for some cringe worthy puns, however.

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IGN Italy
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 5, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash is an engrossing journey and a funny and colorful game. It plays a lot like Sticker Star, but does everything better.

Review in Italian | Read full review

Impulsegamer
4.4 / 5.0
4.4 / 5.0
Oct 29, 2016

Although there are many similarities with the last Paper Mario game, the developers have addressed the concerns of their fans and created a much more rounded and enjoyable experience. The setup of the game is great as you explore the world, take on the Shy Guys plus the meddling Bowser, it’s assisted by the stylised graphics to help with the overall immersion factor. The soundtrack is brilliant as well, so if you’re looking for something fun to play without too many headaches, Paper Mario Color Splash is that game and so far, it’s my favourite game on the Wii U this year.

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Paste Magazine
8.6 / 10.0
8.6 / 10.0
Oct 6, 2016

What’s so impressive about this latest Paper Mario game is that, for all intents and purposes, it could have been just as grinningly dumb. This is an adventure revolving around the antics of paper-thin varietals of cartoons. No one expects Tolstoy. But the writing is smarter than most serious videogames attempting to evoke actual emotions. And that attention to detail—and a restraint diametrically opposed to its surface lunacy—is what makes the experience so humorous.

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Destructoid
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Oct 5, 2016

But that's it. That's the extent of my issues with this game, and for me, the positives far, far outweigh the negatives. If you didn't like Paper Mario: Sticker Star because it wasn't like the first two games in the series, I don't think you'll be satisfied here. For everyone else willing to give it a chance, Paper Mario: Color Splash is a charming journey that will delight your senses, your funny bone, and the part of your brain that houses your nostalgic feelings towards Nintendo.

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DualShockers
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Oct 5, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash is a hell of a good time. If you are able to look past a gimmicky battle system and a couple of shoehorned mechanics, Color Splash oozes with both charm and humor. Sporting a great aesthetic, it is a title that should be in every Wii U owner’s library.

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SA Gamer
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Oct 4, 2016

It improves on the shortcomings in Super Paper Mario and Paper Mario: Sticker Star and while very different to The Thousand-Year Door it exudes the same quality fans have been expecting form the franchise. A must have title on the Wii U towards the end of its lifespan.

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Game Informer
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Oct 5, 2016

Charming characters and zany events fill the world, which is good because you traverse the same locales multiple times

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God is a Geek
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Oct 5, 2016

Minor crinkles can’t stop Paper Mario from being a frankly excellent experience and one that you, yes you, should play.

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Digital Chumps
8.4 / 10.0
8.4 / 10.0
Oct 5, 2016

It’s no Thousand-Year Door, but Color Splash really does provide an overarching sense of consonance which was conspicuously absent from Sticker Star and even Super Paper Mario. It’s a good balance of humor, environment, variety, and casual puzzle elements. And it seems likely that, provided they can sit back and relax and reset their expectations for the franchise, the fanbase will really enjoy what it brings to the table.

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IGN Spain
8.2 / 10.0
8.2 / 10.0
Oct 5, 2016

Paper Mario Color Splash is a delightful visual experience that keeps alive the series RPG style and offers new features thanks to the Wii U pad possibilities beside a great length.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

Attack of the Fanboy
Oct 5, 2016

Once again Nintendo has delivered an overall enjoyable game that doesn't seem to deliver what fans may have initially expected. Putting aside expectations though, Paper Mario: Color Splash is a decidedly solid adventure-platformer, with some great storytelling and humor layered on top. The papercraft visuals are gorgeous, and the soundtrack will have you humming along in just a few minutes. The card-based battle system is a real downer though and the loss of deeper gameplay elements is still hard felt, dragging the whole experience down quite a bit.

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TrustedReviews
Oct 5, 2016

It won’t do much for those crying out for a proper Mario adventure on Wii U, but Paper Mario: Color Splash is a lively cocktail of Mario, RPG and papercraft puzzle-solving with funny dialogue and a surreal, self-aware sense of humour. It won’t be for everyone, but it’s a great game for those who get its lovable oddball vibe.

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NZGamer
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Nov 10, 2016

Color Splash is a fun game that is almost the step in the right direction the series needs to take.

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Cheat Code Central
4 / 5.0
4 / 5.0
Oct 5, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash has a lot going for it. Most of the time, it's the kind of game that simply brings a smile to your face as you enjoy the fresh world and amusing dialogue. If it weren't for the tedious side effects of the card system and the disappointingly unoriginal cast, it could be a genuine Game of the Year award contender. As it is, it's still thoroughly worthwhile for its enchanting paper world (and the attendant tunes) alone.

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Reno Gazette-Journal
4 / 5.0
4 / 5.0
Oct 5, 2016

“Paper Mario: Color Splash” is a stamped love letter to gamers who pine for some old-school action adventuring with a dash of classic RPG mechanics. The touchscreen controls for combat can be a tad cumbersome and aiming that hammer can make you go postal at times. A charming presentation, however, combined with delightful visuals, entertaining dialogue and tight combat make Color Splash an adorable adventure for folks both young and old.

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Cerealkillerz
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Oct 4, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash überzeugt mit einer amüsanten Geschichte und interessanten Aufgaben, spart aber leider etwas an den RPG-Elementen und übertreibt es ein wenig mit dem Einsatz von dem alt bekannten Pilzkopf der Mario Reihe. In Sachen Gameplay fordert der Titel einen leider auch meistens recht wenig, aber dank den gelungenen Animationen und den vielfältigen Kampf-Karten, macht der Titel trotzdem ordentlich Spaß.

Review in German | Read full review

pressakey.com
Oct 7, 2016

Kunterbunt und quietschfidel: Color Splash sprüht nur so vor Kreativität, Spielwitz und Abwechslung und macht trotz abermals schwacher Kämpfe einfach nur Spaß.

Review in German | Read full review

Fintendo
Feb 8, 2018

"Clever writing, pretty visual style, overly simplified combat system."

Review in Finnish | Read full review

Nintendo Life
8 / 10
8 / 10
Oct 5, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash isn't just painting by the numbers. The series still straddles that awkward middle ground between pure RPG and adventure title, but this most recent entry has successfully found a comfortable niche that has silenced many of our prior gripes. Almost everything has been polished to a papery sheen - showcasing some of the series' best writing and presentation to date. Both the battle system and the overall plot are still some of the weaker aspects of the experience unfortunately, though they're moving slowly in the right direction.Simply put, even when we were left unsatisfied by enemy encounters, Prism Island was always a joy to explore, with diverse environments and an endless amount of catchy tunes to keep you engaged from start to finish. It's a game of memorable moments that we would love to share but wouldn't dream of spoiling on you. Take Color Splash for what it is, and you might just find it to be a messy work of art.

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Marooners' Rock
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Oct 9, 2016

So, yeah, while Color Splash isn’t quite perfect when it comes to its battle system, there’s still more than enough to enjoy here, especially when it comes to exploration, storyline, genuine laughs and solid presentation. If all you have is a Wii U this holiday season, consider this a colorful addition to your collection.

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ZTGD
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Oct 7, 2016

While I’m still wishing the RPG elements of Thousand Year Door were back here, I still had a pretty great time with Color Splash. It looks amazing, plays great, and has some really great pacing that kept me coming back knowing I was just one more step away from another paint star. Wii U owners have been looking for a new game for a while now, well you just found a great one here and I highly suggest picking it up.

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EGM
8 / 10.0
Emma Schaefer

Top Critic

8 / 10.0
Oct 5, 2016

Color Splash presents a beautifully crafted paper and cardboard world, populated by witty paper Toads and existential minions. Though it’s got its share of backtracking and battle system quirks, the new painting mechanics are satisfying, and the mini-story arcs are almost creative and clever enough to make you forget that your princess is (yet again) in another castle.

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Everyeye.it
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Oct 5, 2016

Although is not a perfect title (the fighting system is not entirely convincing in terms of balance and rhythm), Paper Mario Color Splash remains a work of undoubted quality; delicious to see, listen to and explore.

Review in Italian | Read full review

We Got This Covered
Oct 10, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash is a vibrant, humorous and fun experience. Continuing on the path of Sticker Star, its lack of more traditional RPG elements will leave some players cold, but it still carves a satisfying path all its own.

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Wccftech
7.8 / 10.0
7.8 / 10.0
Oct 5, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash is the Wii U game you shouldn’t write off. Though it has issues, its fun, funny and looks excellent. If you’re looking for a lighthearted, casual RPG-style experience then look no further, this is the best Paper Mario game in years.

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New Game Network
78 / 100
78 / 100
Nov 19, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash makes some mistakes that prevent it from being one of the iconic plumber’s best role-playing outings, but its level of creativity, wit, and overall charm is irresistible, resulting in a very entertaining time.

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Post Arcade (National Post)
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Oct 14, 2016

This artsy, pseudo-RPG’s bland combat is at least partially overcome by terrific visual style, a rich score, and great writing

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Critical Hit
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Oct 5, 2016

Seriously fun if only for all the Mario jokes and impressive use of music. Clever level design is great, although irritating combat and lackluster RPG elements might alienate fans.

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Nintendo Enthusiast
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Oct 5, 2016

Excellent writing, impressive visuals, and great presentation save the game from the somewhat lackluster battle system and make it a solid game that will provide fun for fans of Mario games and the Paper Mario series.

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Gaming Gamma
7.3 / 10.0
7.3 / 10.0
Oct 9, 2016

Overall, Paper Mario: Color Splash is quite a remarkable experience despite some ideas falling flat. The sluggish battle system hinders the gameplay as a whole, despite the amount of fun I had exploring each level. It may not be the sequel to the ever beloved Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, but I’m glad I played it.

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IGN
7.3 / 10.0
IGN
Terri Schwartz

Top Critic

7.3 / 10.0
Oct 5, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash is a step in the right direction for the series after the 3DS’s Paper Mario: Sticker Star, continuing its shift from RPG to action-adventure game while also introducing some smart changes to its battle system. The beautiful Wii U graphics and playful humor stay true to the spirit of the Paper Mario franchise, but the story is straightforward and a bit bland. Inventive level design in the second act offers some much needed diversity to some of Color Splash's otherwise linear gameplay before the disappointing third act regresses into simple and uninteresting battles. Though Color Splash still isn't back to the high points of the first three games in the Paper Mario series, it's a strong step in the right direction.

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Gamerheadquarters
7.2 / 10.0
7.2 / 10.0
Oct 9, 2016

Paper Mario Color Splash was a solid game that's great for all ages packing not only a vibrant world, but a charming story as well.

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IBTimes UK
Oct 5, 2016

Paper Mario has historically given Nintendo free reign to bring something new to the table, all while poking fun at the titular character's notable legacy. In this light, Color Splash is a riotously funny, joyfully eccentric, but disappointingly safe reimagining of its premiere mascot. For every instance of dull combat, though, there's a humorous home run that makes Port Prisma a worthy vacation spot.

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GamesRadar+
Oct 5, 2016

Puzzles aren't exactly inspiring, but good writing and typically first-class presentation amount to a more-than-passable plumb pudding.

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Game Rant
Oct 18, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash is the best looking installment in the series, offering the most immersive world to-date. Still, its battle system suffers in a misguided bid to innovate.

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Rectify Gaming
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Oct 24, 2016

A colorful experience held back by a few paper cuts

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RPG Fan
70%
70%
Nov 8, 2016

It's not exactly Sticker Star, but the change isn't necessarily for the better. Still, despite its flaws, there is fun to be had here.

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GameSpot
7 / 10
7 / 10
Oct 5, 2016

Returning after a 9-year break from consoles, Paper Mario goes Bob Ross on countless Shy Guys by teaching them The Joys of Painting.

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TheSixthAxis
7 / 10
7 / 10
Oct 5, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash is a wonderfully realised game with plenty of humour to keep you smiling throughout. However, it’s hampered by some annoying design decisions and carries the legacy of Sticker Star – both good and bad – which many series’ fans may find problematic.

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USgamer
Oct 5, 2016

Make no mistake: Some of Color Splash is best-in-class material. But some of it is just awful. As much as I'd like to be able to give it an unqualified endorsement, I really can't. The excellent visuals, music, structure, and writing sit at odds with the toilsome combat system and the addition of far too many gimmicks and gotchas. The game is as irritating as it is inspiring — and while there's much to love here, be aware that finding it requires slogging through some truly rocky moments.

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Polygon
6.5 / 10.0
6.5 / 10.0
Oct 14, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash is clever and funny but a chore to play

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Cubed3
6 / 10
Adam Riley

Top Critic

6 / 10
Oct 10, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash is a complete joy aesthetically, looking and sounding fantastic, complemented by some very amusing script work. At its core, though, whilst attempting to mix things up as much as it can in order to keep the action fresh, its battle system grows tiresome very quickly, dragging the enjoyment factor down several notches. When tied in with its unnecessary - and awkward - reliance on the GamePad, it makes for somewhat of a rollercoaster ride, with fun elements followed by lots of frustrating experiences during the battling sections. Nintendo and Intelligent Systems should pick one route and stick with it: either go for straight-up platform action or make it the true RPG successor to the original Paper Mario and The Thousand Year Door that fans keep asking for. This current mish-mash of styles just drags down the series' reputation. For now, stick with the Mario & Luigi titles…

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games(TM)
6 / 10
games(TM)
games™ Team

Top Critic

6 / 10
Nov 24, 2016

A disappointing new step in a declining series

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Digital Trends
Oct 10, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash is a charming, but paper-thin RPG

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The Digital Fix
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Oct 27, 2016

A colourful, often hilarious RPG-lite adventure, crippled by a tedious and frustrating combat system.

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Digitally Downloaded
Digitally Downloaded

Top Critic

Oct 26, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash is an endlessly charming, cutesy journey that represents a greater achievement for the art directors and script writers than Intelligent Systems as a whole. It’s a shame that such a talented studio opted only to tweak the flawed Sticker Star and, as a result, dull and unbalanced gameplay often holds back this whimsical romp. As one of the final Wii U titles, though, it’s certifiably hilarious and might just warrant a second look.

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Goomba Stomp
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Oct 13, 2016

Color Splash's story, gorgeous aesthetic, and brilliant writing keep it from being an absolute waste of time. But, it's utterly broken battle system proved to be just as aggravating and pointless as it was three years ago.

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Shacknews
6 / 10
6 / 10
Oct 7, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash is the kind of simple, lightly enjoyable experience that I might have willingly gotten lost in at one point in my life. It's mostly inoffensive, usually charming, and a visual treat. The battle system is a drag, but it's emblematic of a larger problem that is also reflected in the quests: it simply doesn't respect the player's time. With more aggressive story editing and less desire to reinvent the wheel, this may have been something truly special. Instead it's merely fine.

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M3
6 / 10
M3

Top Critic

6 / 10
Oct 25, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash is one of those games that works best if you play it a couple of hours each time. The graphical design is as wonderful as ever, and the adventure offers plenty of charming settings. Sadly the gameplay feels a little too monotonous, and the battles aren’t as dynamic as the previous games.

Review in Swedish | Read full review

Metro GameCentral
6 / 10
6 / 10
Oct 7, 2016

Nintendo continues to paint over some of the best features of previous Paper Mario games, but the great script just about saves the dull combat.

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GameCrate
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Oct 10, 2016

Paper Mario: Color Splash could have been so much more than it was, but its attachment to Sticker Star’s failed mechanics holds it back.

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WellPlayed
5 / 10.0
5 / 10.0
Nov 23, 2016

Is this a colourful entry into the series, or is it like watching paint dry?

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Giant Bomb
Oct 14, 2016

A dreadful combat system brings down an otherwise beautiful and funny Mario adventure.

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