Paper Mario: Color Splash
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Paper Mario: Color Splash is an action-adventure, turn-based role-playing game for the Wii U developed by Intelligent Systems. It is the fifth installment in the Paper Mario series, succeeding Paper Mario: Sticker Star, as well as the twentieth and final Mario game released for the Wii U.
At Port Prisma on Prism Island, various Toads are enjoying playing with the various colors of paint available. Bowser, who is looking from above, jumps into the rainbow-painted area in the middle of the Big Paint Stars with the intent of giving his shell a rainbow hue. However, his jumping around the paint causes him to inadvertently create black paint, which proceeds to brainwash Bowser (turning him into Black Bowser) into stealing the Big Paint Stars and ordering his minions to drain the island and its inhabitants of their color. Seemingly unaware of the black paint's possession of Bowser, the Koopa Troop willingly follow Black Bowser's orders.
Mario (who is in his house at the time) finds Princess Peach and Toad at his door one night during a storm. Surprised, he lets them in and receives a mysterious letter. The letter is actually a Toad drained of his colors. The stamp on the letter points to Prism Island and Mario and co. quickly head there on a boat, even traveling through a storm. Upon arriving, Mario finds a hammer and uses it to reach the town square, that is deserted and full of elements whose colors have been drained. Toad then heads off, while Mario and Peach, after activating an emergency mechanism, meet Huey, a mysterious 3D talking paint bucket. A scream is heard and Mario, Huey, and Princess Peach quickly head over to the sound only to find a red Shy Guy with a straw, called a Slurp Guy, draining the color from Toad. Toad gives some Battle cards to Mario and then the Slurp Guy fully drains his colors. Huey then asks Mario to squeeze him into paper form in order to obtain colors from his blood, his sweat, and his tears. The colors are used to battle the Slurp Guy and two Shy Guys that came to his assistance. After the battle the colors from Huey are used to return Toad to color using Mario's Paint Hammer, then Huey discovers that the Big Paint Stars at Prisma Fountain are gone and asks Mario to find them and return them to the fountain, starting from a Red Mini Paint Star at Port Prisma that he mistakes for a Red Big Paint Star. As soon as they reach the Mini Paint Star, they see an airship carrying a giant bucket of red paint that was stolen by the Slurp Guys. When they reach Cherry Lake they find a Toad, named Justice Toad, that was hanging on the giant bucket but in the end fell off.
At Bloo Bay Beach, Mario and Huey find themselves participating in the Oceanfest in their research for the Paint Star.
Mario eventually finds himself at the The Crimson Tower, where the airship carrying the red paint is found. Mario and Huey board the airship (by climbing the anchor) and they destroy it, causing the large paint bucket to fall onto the tower, repainting it and allowing them to enter it. Inside, they find Morton Koopa Jr., who is looking for the red Big Paint Star as well. Mario defeats Morton and recovers the red Big Paint Star, which helps repaint the large gate entrance in Sunglow Ridge before returning to Prisma Fountain.
After collecting the Big Red Paint Star, Mario and Huey return to Port Prisma, where the Red Paint Star reveals that Black Bowser has thrown all the Big Paint Stars away from Prisma Fountain. Soon after the reveal, Black Bowser shows up and reveals to Mario his plan to use the power from the black paint to take on the world and then flies off on an airship with a lot of Bowser tape on it, including a long tape holding Peach. Peach manages to leave a Holo-Peach to Mario, where she reveals that Bowser seems different besides the black paint that covers him, even though he doesn't intend to be harmful toward her.
Later on, the duo runs into the The Golden Coliseum where a gladiator battle is held between Mario and Iggy Koopa, a Hammer Bro, and a Snifit, all three on chariots attached to Chain Chomps, while Iggy promises to give Mario the yellow Paint Star if he wins the challenge.
At Dark Bloo Inn, Mario and Huey attempt to solve the mystery of paranormal incidents happening in the building, which ends up being related to a tea party that ghostly Toads are throwing. They must head to Plum Park to retrieve a teapot for the Toads after obtaining the Paint Star in the inn. Upon reaching Plum Park, they find it in a poisoned state. They eventually find Petey Piranha, under the alias of "Petea Piranha", who is responsible for this. They defeat him and return the teapot to Dark Bloo Inn.
Mario and Huey then head to Cobalt Base, where they must play the Snifit or Whiffit game show. If Mario answers four or more questions correctly, he is rewarded with a blue Mini Paint Star, which unlocks Fort Cobalt, where the blue Big Paint Star is located. After traversing through the fort, Mario and Huey find Ludwig von Koopa, whom they defeat atop his Super Ludship in order to recover the blue Big Paint Star, which helps repaint the ocean in Violet Passage, allowing Mario and Huey to set sail through the sea to find the purple Big Paint Star.
After traversing the violet islands, Mario and Huey arrive at Fortune Island, where the purple Big Paint Star can be found. To recover it, however, they must defeat Wendy O. Koopa. Upon defeating her, Mario and Huey obtain the purple Big Paint Star, which helps repaint the entire ocean of Prism Island, as well as a large sinkhole found at Mustard Café. Entering the sinkhole allows Mario to find the owner of the café, whom they help return to his café and retrieve an orange Mini Paint Star. The player then enters a train repair depot, where the train, named the Sunset Express, must be repaired. After repairing it, Mario and Huey use it to travel to Starlight Cape, and, after defeating Larry Koopa on the way, recover the orange Big Paint Star, which helps repaint a large Draggadon fossil in Marmalade Valley. The fossil transforms into a real Draggadon and flies off to Redpepper Volcano.
Upon taming the Draggadon in Redpepper Volcano, Mario and Huey ride him through the volcano to find a red Mini Paint Star, unlocking Redpepper Crater. After traversing the crater and solving some Thing puzzles, Mario and Huey arrive at The Emerald Circus, where the green Big Paint Star is held. They defeat Lemmy Koopa and recover the green Big Paint Star.
Upon rescuing all six Big Paint Stars, they create a rainbow-shaped path to Black Bowser's Castle, where Mario and Huey head off to (via a kart ride from Luigi) in order to find and rescue Princess Peach. They have to battle Roy Koopa before stopping Black Bowser.
After Black Bowser is defeated, he is rid of the black paint and returned to his usual self. Mario then uses his Paint Hammer to restore Peach's color. Black Bowser's Castle proceeds to collapse as a result of the immense amount of black paint, but Mario, Peach, and Huey manage to escape. After this escape, Mario, Peach, and Luigi return to Port Prisma while Huey stays behind to contain the black paint and release it where it will not do any more harm, turning the castle into a card in the process.
Later, while a celebration is occurring at Port Prisma, Mario and Peach notice Bowser and the Koopalings fly away on an airship. Peach then states that she hopes that they learned their lesson this time, and comforts Mario when he laments Huey's disappearance.
Paper Mario: Color Splash is an action-adventure RPG game that elaborates on the mechanics of Paper Mario: Sticker Star. It is based on Mario using the Paint Hammer to paint colorless elements, characters and parts of the environment in order to progress in the game and collect Mini Paint Stars and Big Paint Stars. When a course is completed, several new courses may become available at once, and the number-based course naming that was seen in Super Paper Mario and Paper Mario: Sticker Star is gone (the game features a sort of 'world map' like the latter though).
Super Flags return as well, this time found in the main square of Port Prisma. The battles are based on Battle Cards that can be painted to increase their effect. Painted cards can be bought at the Prisma Cardware. Once used, cards are discarded, it is however possible to buy them directly in battle using the Battle Spin and choosing one of the flipped cards. There are three types of cards. Basic Cards are used for various purposes, including attacking, healing and replenishing paint. Many attacks are similar to those featured in Paper Mario: Sticker Star, with the hammer attacks now having a charging sign indicating at which point an "Excellent" attack can be obtained. Thing Cards, which do not deplete Mario's paint, are used to summon Things, both in battle and in the course to solve puzzles. Such cards can be obtained by directly squeezing Things into Thing cards. There is a shop in Port Prisma allowing the player to directly buy Things to squeeze them into Thing Cards, and there are Replica versions of Thing Cards as well. Finally Enemy Cards, dropped by defeated enemies, are used to summon an enemy into the battle as an ally. Only one ally can be present at a time. Such an ally will attack other enemies and, when the enemies attack, position itself in front of Mario to protect him, and will stay in battle until defeated. However, it will run away in front of bosses. At the beginning of a battle, Kamek can sometimes appear and either flip all the cards or steal many cards, once the battle is won, all the stolen cards are regained and additional coins are obtained as well. The number showing the HP of the enemies as well as the number showing the amount of damage dealt in HP are both missing, while the health of each enemy is shown in the form of color that is gradually drained starting from the bottom.
Both the use of the Paint Hammer and the painting of most cards requires colors, whose levels are indicated by bars. Coins are obtained when winning a battle. They exist in at least three different varieties with varying amount of glittery parts, and the scraps with more glittery parts fill the bar more than the scraps with less glittery parts. Once such bar is fully filled, the maximum amount of colors that can be carried is permanently increased and the power of the First Strike is increased as well, up to the point that enemies on the course can be directly defeated without starting the battle. The defeated enemies also drop various items, including colors, cards, and coins.
It is also possible to permanently increase the number of cards playable in a turn during a battle by collecting special power-ups. Similarly, the maximum amount of Mario's HP can be increased by collecting HP-Up Hearts that are obtained when saving a Big Paint Star. Each HP-Up Heart increases the maximum amount of HP by 25 and increases the power of the First Strike as well.
In order to gain additional coins, there are side quests and mini-games that can be played. One of them is finding Luigi who is hiding in some places, another is playing Super Roshambo against several opponents at the Roshambo Temples, a further one is fighting and defeating The Shy Bandit on the world map.
Furthermore, it is possible to use a move similar to paperization called "Cutout" in order to cut part of the courses. Likewise, the Flip technique from Super Paper Mario returns as well, in a course dedicated to Super Mario Bros. 3 found at the Green Energy Plant. Key items also return.
The game is set on Prism Island, shaped like a paint brush, and on nearby islands, similar to drops of paint, which have been drained of their color. Locations include:
Items and Objects
Nintendo eShop description
A mystery is afoot on Prism Island and only Mario™ can solve it——by restoring the land's vanishing colors with his new Paint Hammer. Puzzling battles await, but never fear; there's always a clever way to dish out the powerful Battle Cards up his sleeve. These fresh layers of strategy make this one of the most action-packed Paper Mario™ adventures ever!
It all begins when Mario receives an odd letter in the mail and heads for the unknown in a small boat. What he finds is a series of hilariously mysterious moments, each a clue that inches him closer to answering the riddle of Prism Island. To restore its former glory, he must first rescue the Big Paint Stars. Luckily, Mario's new companion Huey has granted him the power of paint, which can be used to recolor the exotic locales he'll hit up on his journey. Examine environments for clues, revive color-drained Toads, and even participate in strange events like the game show "Whifit or Snifit." Whatever it takes to make a splash on Prism Island!
Pre-release and unused content
The game features a concept art gallery in which concept art is gradually unlocked by donating Battle Cards to the museum. The concept art allows players to see how the characters, objects and settings were gradually changed during development. It also reveals two locations that were cut from the game.
The first location is the east side of Decalburg, from the previous game, that would have featured new objects, including postboxes, differently placed Coins and ? Blocks and, most importantly a river with sewage pipes, that it would have been possible to cross using a bridge to reach an area not present in Paper Mario: Sticker Star. The second one is an unused location similar to a temple in a mountainous area of a rocky desert, that would have featured blue torches and at least three buildings connected by staircases and bridges. Many warp pipes would have been present as well, as in the concept art five of them can be observed, of which four are in a row.
The unused location on the inside would have featured blue torches, cacti, sandfalls, broken walls that allow some light to enter, drawings of a Coin, a mushroom and a star on the walls, very high pillars, bridges made of blocks of a different material, possibly sand, and spiked pits, thus making it similar to Kiwano Temple, suggesting, along with the rocky desert setting, that this unused location might have been a preliminary version of said location.
Upon being shown at the March 3, 2016 Nintendo Direct, Paper Mario: Color Splash received negative reception from some fans, the main complaint focusing around the game's similarities to Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Within hours of the game's reveal, a petition on Change.org ordered the game to be canceled, which TechRadar described as "a frightening example of how quickly, and harshly, we judge games we know next to nothing about."
Despite this, the game received generally positive reviews at release. Most critics praised the game's art direction and humorous writing, though the lack of original characters and still-simplistic storyline were points of contention. In addition, while several reviewers noted gameplay improvements from Paper Mario: Sticker Star, some elements still drew criticism, such as the battle system and linear level design.
At the opening week of October 10 through October 16, 2016, Paper Mario: Color Splash sold 20,894 copies in Japan.
Similarities to other Paper Mario games
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Differences from other Paper Mario games
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