I inked all over your face
Wii U9.40
Overall 9.40
Were you, like me, suffering from Paper Mario malaise? Was the series something you didn't look forward to anymore? Did Super Paper Mario leave you with a sour taste of ink in your mouth?

I wasn't looking forward to Color Splash, I only randomly bought it on a whim, what else is there to buy on Wii U?

It turned out to be, probably the best game I've played on Wii U aside from Splatoon and that's saying a lot given games like Captain Toad and 3DWorld, XCX and more.

At first I was thinking, how the f*** did it take Intelligent Systems 4 years to get this out? But as you play the game, it unfolds in generous layer after layer.

As I have said before, this is a full fat RPG with tons and tons of levels.  

I completed it in 43 hours but if I had attempted to do everything I could easily see that figure rise to 50 hrs.

So what makes this game special? Well, it's the love and affection the developers have in creating this universe. I'm not going to pretend the gameplay is revolutionary or anything like that. It just feels like the developers love what they are doing in creating this world and that shines through and you appreciate it.

It's writing is whimsical, it's gentle and unusual humour clicks in a non-offensive way that can sometimes be really hard to pull off. Jokes about Paper characters and stacked characters et all.

The scenarios are precious and unique, so memorable like a Haunted Hotel caught in a time loop, or a Dinosaur dig site, an epic train battle, or a pirate adventure.

It's one of those games that if you had played it 20 years ago, it would have been burned into your happiest childhood memories.

It's constantly making you smile. The graphics are awesome, in HD it feels like the art style has finally been perfectly realised. High resolution 2D art, clean lines and scalability makes the game environments pop in the way they are trying too. It really looks like they have build the environments like they are made from corrugated cardboard.

The music may be the best music I have heard since Mario Galaxy, full orchestrations and an arrangement that sounds like the composer is really not only showing off, but loving it too. Pump out the music on a proper sound system and it's a joy for your earholes.

So what are the problems the game has? There are a few but only a few and although annoying they don't ruin the game experience in any meaningful way. One problem is a shy guy that runs to a place on the map and if you don't get there on time he sucks all the color out of a level you have already painted, if you don't beat him to the level. That only happened once to me the whole game so its not really a problem.

Then there is Kamek, who can impose all sorts of battle restrictions on what cards you can use in battle. It only happens a handful of times over the course of the whole game. He flips your cards so you cannot see them, so you end up wasting high level cards that can have no effect on the enemy and is quite annoying. However, there is plentiful money in this game and you can always buy more cards. Gamers who value challenge may argue that that is unbalanced and makes it too easy but that's a choice they have to make. If they are like me and mostly uses the cards that appear during the levels you wont have that overpowered feeling.

This game can also feel a bit like an old school graphic adventure where you get stuck and wonder where to go or what to do and some people love that. You can find places that need a specific card but you may not know what that card is. This rears its head in bossfights but if you pay attention to garbage pail toad in town, he will let you know what you need in terms of important items.

Some of the bosses impose unfair terms in the battles like taking away all your paint, or needing a specific card which you don't have on you to beat. So there is a trial and error element where you have to face and lose to them once in order to know what to do the next time. What you do is inevitably trudge back to town to pick up more cards.

These flaws in no way impact on your overall enjoyment of the game though. If you wanted a Paper Mario that can proudly hold its own against The Gamecube Paper Mario then this is it. Nintendo may be out of the hardware race, but when it makes games like this, you can hardly care either way.

Color Splash is a do-not-miss title that may be sadly overlooked given that its releasing so close to the end of Us life.  
Posted by gamingeek Tue, 20 Dec 2016 13:35:49
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 14:06:54
This review needed more puns.  As it stands it's pointless like a broken pencil.  It's just a collection of wafer thin analyses taped together, easy to tear up and rip apart.  Colour me unimpressed.  I don't have a shred of doubt that this game is bristoling with charm and plan to play it at some point.
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 14:27:09
You're tearing me up.
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 22:38:28
It's definitely one of the best games in the U and a very pleasant surprise for me too.  I'm thinking it's now my favorite of the series.
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 11:42:13
It might be mine too. I'd have to reply TTYD first to confirm.

Oh I didn't mention the Roshambo temples in the review.

They are hilarious at first, but become really tedious if you actually try and pass them all. Thankfully you can just skip them all if you want and your rewards aren't that great. Very great for collecting huge sums of cash though.
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 12:09:34
I always go back to the first four to score loads of coins since I know what cards they will use.
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 11:02:20
I tried to burn through them offscreen while watching tv. Still pissed me off.
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 13:55:49
Fri, 23 Dec 2016 17:29:03
I read that a few of them are random for the last draw. Getting the first two rounds right is easy. People have driven themselves mad trying to do all of them. I ignore them.

There's a great walkthrough on "mario party legacy" of the whole game.
Sun, 25 Dec 2016 19:33:54
Damn you GG now I need this. Great review.
Tue, 27 Dec 2016 11:40:18
Dat soundtrack.
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