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.
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.
Puzzles aren't exactly inspiring, but good writing and typically first-class presentation amount to a more-than-passable plumb pudding.
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.
Charming characters and zany events fill the world, which is good because you traverse the same locales multiple times
Paper Mario: Color Splash is clever and funny but a chore to play
Returning after a 9-year break from consoles, Paper Mario goes Bob Ross on countless Shy Guys by teaching them The Joys of Painting.
A dreadful combat system brings down an otherwise beautiful and funny Mario adventure.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Minor crinkles can’t stop Paper Mario from being a frankly excellent experience and one that you, yes you, should play.
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.
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.
This artsy, pseudo-RPG’s bland combat is at least partially overcome by terrific visual style, a rich score, and great writing
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.