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Sometimes, you hold hope in your heart to help you get from day to day. You have to hold on to that hope. But, after a while, you reach a point where that hope can only hurt you. And all you can do is let go and move on. It's better to simply accept that there is no hope so that you can start to heal.
Blue Elmo

PAPER Mario: Color Splash is the second title in the beloved PAPER Mario subseries of Nintendo's New Super Mario Bros. games. Color Splash's gameplay is faithful to that of the only earlier entry, PAPER Mario: Sticker Star, using only consumable items as battle action and requiring the use of Things for required puzzle-solving, even during boss battles.

Characters

Color Splash introduces the Koopalings to the PAPER world, as well as PAPER Mario's trusty new companion, Sane Kersti[1]. Other than that, PAPER Toads take the lead roles in the plot. Toads serve as the game's only friendly species. They all look identical, but it's okay because you can tell them apart by their one-note personalities[2]. Normally-antagonistic characters may also be talked to periodically, a brand-new feature for the series.

Plot

PAPER Princess Peach™ and PAPER Not Toadsworth™ deliver PAPER Mario™ a letter that happens to be the defaced, bloodless corpse of a generic PAPER Toad™™™™. PAPER Mario identifies the PAPER stamp as that of PAPER Prism Island, and they PAPER set off in their PAPER tugboat to PAPER the PAPER PAPER because PAPERfuck you, everything being made of PAPER is totally what this series has always been PAPER about, yo.

PAPER Mario PAPER wakes up Huey, the color-obsessed paint bucket guardian of the PAPER fountain whatever. The gang hears PAPER Toad's demonic screech and comes running to the rescue, only to discover that Shy Guys with STRAWS are sucking the lifegiving bodily fluids out of his pants[3]. PAPER Mario squeezes the paint out of Huey, turning him into PAPER Huey and forcing the flattened freak to hide in his PAPER overalls out of shame.

Long story short, Toad becomes a zombie, Leston begins suffering serious mental retardation from an irradiated HOT MALLET, lava bombs are engineered and deployed, a hotel is saved from a tea party-induced time loop, a game show host steals universe-crossing ancient pirate treasure, mysteries are afoot on a train, Nintendo continues ignoring the SNES, and it's all much more mundane than you'd expect from those descriptions.

Short story shorter, Bowser kidnaps Peach. Spoiler alert: He's also possessed by black paint, a plot point that will never be expanded on. In fact, Bowser and his troops are portrayed as being in the wrong for carrying out commands Bowser didn't make. Spoiler alert: Then Huey sacrifices himself and comes back to life[4].

Gameplay

It's tearable.

Field

Color Splash's overworld begins as faded and lifeless as the rest of the franchise.

Navigational and puzzle-solving tactics are limited to walking, jumping, hammering, painting, and using the brand-new Paperization technique to insert stickers into the world. There are several segments requiring Mario to "run" in a straight line to avoid something that would Game him Over on contact, which is kind of… really lazy from a game design perspective? If only there were characters that could, say, follow Mario around and use unique special abilities in clever ways, to spice up the gameplay a bit.

Players still have to place arbitrary lol-X"D-so-wacky Things into the world to progress, but it's okay now because the game just tells you what you have to do when you backtrack to a part of the main hub, instead of just having the mechanic removed altogether.

Battle

At the start of each battle sequence, Mario has the chance to make Kamek redeem his battle actions for Eekhammer Cards, based on the gimmick tool from Animal Crossing: New Leaf. These rare cards inflict major damage on enemies if used correctly. To balance the feature, Mario is unable to run from the battle where the card conversion takes place. However, due to an obvious developer oversight, Eekhammer Cards do not work on several types of enemies, locking the player into an impossible battle encounter until all of Mario's transformed cards are used up.

Notes

  1. Despite the name, he's not all there sometimes.
  2. And sometimes by quirky mannerisms, or the fact that certain individuals never do anything themselves or even fucking move. Note that the Toad species as a whole has been undergoing an intense academic regimen at MIT (Miyamandated Incompetency Training) for the better part of a decade, so they need Mario at their beck and call just to regulate their breathing.
  3. The Nontendo administration swears to god that this is not an innuendo.
  4. Spoiler alert: Oh come on, everyone has been predicting that "plot twist" since late 2012, it doesn't even need a fucking spoiler tag. It's not as if they'll ever use his ever-so-important character again anyways.

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