In the demo of Paper Mario Color Splash, the Treehouse Live people went to Bloo Bay Beach, where the Toads are getting ready for Oceanfest. However, the Paint Stars are missing, and it’s up to Mario to try and locate them. There are colorless spots throughout the environment that must be colored with Mario’s Paint Hammer.
The battle system used cards that must be painted to use them. For example, painting the shoe cards allows Mario to perform a stomp on the enemies. As in past games, you’ll have to time your button presses when attacking the bad guys so you can deal extra damage or avoid incoming attacks.
All of the environments in the game are crafted of paper and gives the game a unique aesthetic. The Wii U’s power allows for some really pretty environments and a true paper look. The high-resolution graphics really do look great and the floating clouds above cast shadows on the ground.
Mario can hit items in the environment to get more paint. For example, hitting some blue flowers will give him more blue paint. In this game demo, Mario can hold up to two cards at a time. The more you paint your card, the more powerful the attack will be. Nintendo is saying that each battle is like a puzzle and you won’t want to brute force through each one because you’ll run out of paint and be hurting for future fights.
New to the series are Enemy Cards. You get them by defeating specific enemies. When used, that enemy will join the fight on your side to help out. In the Treehouse stream, they summoned a Shy Guy to try and even the odds. The GamePad’s touchscreen will be used to flick the cards from the Pad up to the TV.
In the demo was another Toad hunt, sort of like we saw in Mario & Luigi Paper Jam. Except this seemed more fun. There will be GamePad functions, like cutting things out of the background to find secrets. I’m really digging some of the new innovations here. In another sequence the player must paint a Toad to easily watch him in a lineup of other Toads to figure out who is hiding a key.
I’m really digging the animation and graphics in this game. It looks so perfect with the paper look and bright vibrant colors. The tropical area and color scheme reminds me of The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker in many ways.
A different portion of the demo shows off the interior of a castle. To get to the top players must use the touchscreen to cut out backgrounds to make pathways. For the first time in the Paper Mario series, the Koopalings make an appearance. In this demo, Mario had to fight Morton. Interestingly, if you drop certain Enemy Cards, they are so scared of Morton that they just run away without fighting. The way cards are lined up in your deck will be an important strategy in taking out more complex enemies. The Fireflower power-up is especially cool looking as Mario throws wads of paper painted like fire. As the boss takes more damage, he begins to lose color. Once he’s completely drained of color he will be defeated. Real world objects can be squeezed into cards to unleash the real item in the game. In this instance, the entire level went up in flames so a fire extinguisher was used to solve the tricky battle. These items look really cool.
The developers wanted to make special mention of the game’s soundtrack. They composed a bunch of new music, but there will be plenty of recognizable tunes as well. They spent a lot of time adding little touches to the graphics and music. I’m very impressed with the presentation.
I must admit I was skeptical of Paper Mario Color Splash the first time it was shown in trailer form. However, this new presentation on Treehouse Live actually got me excited for it! I’ll definitely be picking this up when it releases on October 7 (two days before my Birthday).