Paper Mario: Color Splash

Score: ★★★★★

Color is something that deeply affects how I personally see a game. Tones, shades, saturation, choices and association can affect how I perceive an adventure.

Paper Mario: Color Splash is a journey in a vibrant and living world where a color menace is ruining Toads' and inhabitants lives draining the world from its colors.

As Mario we have the power of cards to fight our enemies and a hammer to color back the world, thanks to the help of an awesome little can called Huey. In this journey Mario encounters situations where consequences matters and develops through dialogues and world changes, thanks also to subquests and humorous dialogues.

The world is connected with a classic Mario map that develops when we collect Mini and Big Paint Stars, those last one are tied to a boss fight after a dungeon exploration. Sure some dungeon might seem set in a uncreative location, but that's not true after their exploration, especially when the collecting order of those Big Paint Stars is pretty much mixed.

This trailer contains some spoilers from Paper Mario: Color Splash

Uncovering Port Prisma's story is fun, engaging and filled with easter eggs and fluid gameplay. Paper Mario: Color Splash is dynamic, fast with introspective dialogues and deep meaning in some occasions. Gameplay wise the card mechanic can be a bit annoying sometimes, but when fighting common enemies the game is always teaching us new strategies to adopt during a boss fight.

Music is well defined and guides the player through the levels, with on point sound effects and crafted tunes coherent with surroundings.

For what concern the design, the game is well crafted and the paper effect never gets old in my opinion, even the choice to have "common" Toads instead of characterized ones is a plus for me. Toads are part of a community, a group of defenseless that gain strength from the group, that is why Rescue Squads make perfect sense.

Obviously in times of peace Toads develop personality and specialties and I will always remember that singular Toad that did that thing in Paper Mario: Color Splash, because as a character you don't need a name to be remembered, it is your lines and dialogues that defines you and that is what happens with this game.

Paper Mario: Color Splash is an incredible game from the best Intelligent Systems I can remember, it is a shame is being overlooked by a flat marketing campaign and a press coverage that focused mainly on the equation: is it better than Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door? A game is a game on its own and videogame media diverted too much when reviewing this title.

By the way, for me, for SKNotes standards, Paper Mario: Color Splash is an equally if not better game than Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door considering the fact we are living in 2016 and nostalgia is clipping criticism and innovation.