Nintendo

Color Splash Producer Discusses Why Paper Mario Moved Away From RPG Elements

While the original Paper Mario games were traditional RPGs, the more modern entries have been much closer to action-adventure games. Paper Mario: Colour Splash, the upcoming Wii U game, seems to continue this trend. In an interview with US Gamer, Colour Splash’s producer discussed why these changes came about. Tabata claimed that the series needed to distance itself from Mario and Luigi, another Mario RPG. Paper Mario was the one to change because its 3D graphics allowed for more dynamic action events. You can read the full interview at the US Gamer website.

Tabata: So, as you know, the first Paper Mario was very much a role-playing game, and Mario and Luigi is of course also a role-playing game. Yeah… obviously, we have these two RPG series, but they both allow us to offer new and varied experiences to players.

The old Paper Mario games, they were obviously RPGs and had a lot of good elements, but they weren’t just about the RPG elements. They were full of solving puzzles, solving mysteries, the color factor, the visual style. For the Paper Mario series, we’re focusing more on those elements — the puzzle-solving.

On the other hand, the Mario & Luigi RPG series is created more in a 2D space. And obviously, because we have this fully realized 3D world in the Paper Mario games, we’re able to have much more dynamic events, like you saw in the trailer, with the game being rolled up and the camera panning around.

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76 comments

    1. Sorry but my conspiracy theory prophesies that
      ** ‘N’ovember, ‘X’ (10th) ** will be the reveal date. It also lands on a Thursday; Nintendo’s favorite day for NinDirects and announcements.

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  2. Really? Even though PM and M&L have totally different elements, you’re gonna drop what made one lovable in the first place?

    Hmph. Your mistake. I know some people are definitely going to swear Color Splash off now after this came out.

    1. Yup, it may do just as bad as FedForce did in JP; only 4000 in a week. Plus the fact that this is on WiiU (smaller install base)… I don’t see a very good future for ColorSplash.

  3. This is kinda old news but regardless.. This is kinda. Not true at all. Paper Mario existed as an rpg before mario rpg ever existed, mario rpg has been going downhill if I recall correctly, and the overall styles between the rpgs is massively different anyways. So it’s a pretty bs explanation.

    1. Exactly, I was going to make a comment similar to your. Paper Mario is around for much longer than Mario and Luigi, and Tabata comes with that lame excuse.

      Nintendo has gone completely out of touch. First Animal Crossing is violated, then Miyamoto saying “oh, let’s make a Star Fox for kindergarten children”, then Tanabe practically kills the hopes of getting a proper Metroid game, and now… This sh*tty excuse for not getting a real Paper Mario.

        1. I have. I put in it more than 15 hours, probably, but I just couldn’t like it. At all.

          Anyway, below I quote what Miyamoto said about Star Fox and children a while ago:

          “I think personally Star Fox is a really fun game if you sit down a play it. I think, for example, an elementary school kid who plays it without any preconceived notions, I think it would be really fun for them. I think it’s also really, really fun for siblings to play it together.”

          He just didn’t realize that kind of target audience does not game on the Wii U.

      1. I haven’t completely finished Mario RPG for the snes but personally I’d have to say I’m feeling like it’s a lot closer to Paper Mario than Mario and Luigi. I won’t say that opinion counts for much as I’ve only partially played two of the Mario and Luigis (as I couldn’t get used to the gameplay and found it pretty frustrating), but having played Mario RPG next to Paper Mario 64 and TTYD, the combat feels closer to those to me.

          1. ||It’s the combat aspect that’s one of the main problems today…||

          2. I could have sworn they once saw Paper Mario as the Super Mario RPG successor, too, since during the development it was seen as the spiritual successor. Or is Nintendo now rewriting history to suit their butchering of Paper Mario?

              1. Well it’s a horrible successor as Mario & Luigi games are nowhere near as good as the first two Paper Mario games. Maybe I should just buy the first two on virtual console & be damn happy I can at least play those gems that will probably never again get an awesome sequel. I guess it should be clear at this point that Paper Mario is probably no longer being made to target people like me that loved the franchise’s roots as an RPG. :/

                  1. Paper Mario was started as an RPG franchise inspired by Super Mario RPG so I don’t see how it’s very wrong to play them for those. If you are referring to the spin offs of Super Paper Mario, Sticker Star, & Color Splash (which is exactly what the latter two are since they don’t even follow the same path as the first two Paper Mario games), you have a case for saying it’s wrong to play those games for the RPG elements. But to say that for the franchise as a whole sounds like bullshit to me. That’s like making a Metroid spinoff without the shooter aspect of the previous entries & saying if you are playing Metroid for the shooter elements, you are doing something very wrong. But least you stated it as your opinion so I won’t exactly hate you or blast you for it. That & we get along just fine on here & we agree a majority of the time. So I’ll gladly agree to disagree & leave it at that if going further is just going to cause drama between us. That & I fight with enough people on here as it is. xD

                    1. I’m saying that playing almost any game in this day amd age for its turn-based JRPG combat is an incredibly poor justification, mainly because it’s a gameplay style rooted on the limitations of the hardware.

                      The strong points of JRPGs have always been character development, event-based narratives and world-building. Nowadays, other genres have those same characteristics while also having execution-based, agency-driven gameplay, something a ton of JRPG games lack. It’s just an extremely redundant genre, and one that’s very easy to screw up entirely if you mess up the difficulty curve.

                      Notice that I’m only speaking about JRPGs here while excluding other subgenres like TRPGs/SRPGs, ARPG, dungeon crawlers and the like. Those have other things going for them.

                      And yes, it’s exactly the same as playing Prime as a shooter, Fallout as a shooter, Zelda as an RPG, Fire Emblem as a visual novel or Guitar Hero as a simulation game. The main focus is the main focus, the rest is complementary.

                    2. I wish some certain others were more like you. You so much as express a negative opinion, they want to freak out as if you just stated a fact & call the opinion whining or some other bullshit. They know who they are. lol

                  2. “But to say that for the franchise as a whole sounds like bullshit to me.” That’s not meant to be as hostile as the word bullshit would make it seem. So sorry if it comes off that way. :/

    2. A separate side note since I’ve noticed my last post getting a bit of attention and there’s hate toward Color Splash largely I’ve seen in response in this thread…

      I haven’t at any point indicated that I don’t like where Color Splash is going. In fact, as far as I’ve seen things, I like what it’s doing. It seems like they’re going the Sticker Star route to me (I have not played SS though), but actually doing everything -right- with the ideas they had this time.

      The major criticisms I have to give, based on what we’ve been given so far, is the lack of individuality. The fact that there are lots of toads and general characters that look exactly alike (or the individuality is between that and actual discernible characters). In the older games, every single character was a separate individual with their own name and character to them, which is the charm this game is lacking.

      My criticism lies there, -not- in the changed gameplay style (which is far more turn-based RPG-styled than Super Paper Mario, which people -adored- as I recall and can still see if I choose to look up). The fact that the game is being trashed because it’s not RPG-like unlike it’s predecessors is a pure bullshit argument following the logic of how much SPM was loved, in spite of it’s totally different gameplay style. So honestly ya’ll can just grow up.

      1. There’s a big difference between SPM and Sticker Star, though. They both stray away from the series’ roots, but in very different ways.

        With Super Paper Mario, it was an all-out platformer. Sure, you had some RPG elements such as leveling up and “party members,” but the combat was vastly different. Instead of being turn-based, it was in real-time. So while it lost some of the strategy brought to the table by the previous games, it brought a new element of skill and general platformer-y stuff to the combat, such as attacking and dodging in real-time. With Super Paper Mario, the RPG elements were replaced with those of a more traditional Mario platformer, and that added a good amount of substance for what it was.

        Sticker Star (and Color Splash), however, didn’t go that far. It was still turn-based, but a lot of the elements that make turn-based combat engaging were removed. The limited pool of stickers that could be used for attacks made it so that battling was a bigger detriment in and of itself. Additionally, there was barely any reward for defeating common mooks, so it was often desirable to avoid combat altogether. By removing incentive and depth to the battles, Sticker Star feels like it wants to be an RPG like its big brothers TTYD and 64, but also shoots itself in the foot.

        Sticker Star and Super Paper Mario are similar in that they stripped away a lot of the series’ traditional RPG elements. However, Super Paper Mario handles it much better by actually filling that gap with something, whereas Sticker Star accomplishes nothing more than being a washed-down, barebones version of the traditional turn-based gameplay.

        Will Color Splash follow this same trend? …We’ll have to see. Things are a bit bleak from what we’ve seen thus far, but maybe the paint mechanic will lend some strategy to the battles – and even an incentive to fight if enemies drop it upon being defeated. Here’s hoping!

  4. Too bad Mario and Luigi will never exist on home consoles….. >=\
    So I’ll miss my fix …

    Though paper Mario cs doesn’t look bad as pmss so I’ll be ok.

  5. Well, I’m glad that at least they’re making a decent explanation this time around. Yes, while the Paper Mario series offered a unique take on the RPG genre, their most prominent aspect was the overworld, the puzzle solving and the memorable characters. The battles themselves were pretty easy. My only huge problem is that they need to solve many of the problems that made sticker star such a pointless experience. Yeah, there’s exp points now, but they need to bring some elements back from previous games. How about getting stronger permanent cards after defeating bosses? Much like the star spirits or the crystal stars. How about bringing back clothing to different creatures?

          1. He won’t get away with that shit ever again!

            You can also help me out by saving the images unless they get deleted!

            ;)

  6. You can give 10000000 reasons why you made the (stupid) choice to make it not an RPG. People aren’t going to like it. just as ferrari fans won’t like it when ferrari al of a sudden starts to produce planes.

    “whats wrong with planes? they are also fast.”

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  8. what a BS excuse, if anything thats a reason to make the RPG elements more dynamic and involved. not some weird gimmick that has not relevance in the new games.
    “you can change your 3D perspective” oh thats cool but what about the RPG part?
    “now we added stickers and real world objects” those things sound stupid, what about the RPG part?
    “hold up now you get stickers, cards, real world objects, and paint” the fuck!!! what about the RPG part?

    ……OH, yea we did away with that because of no reason at all…….3D!!!

    what?

  9. Personally, I think the game looks fantastic. I’ve never been into the paper Mario games. But I do love the Mario & Luigi superstar saga game. Not sure how they compare, but some of it seems the same.

    If everything keeps looking good visual wise, I’m way down to play this.

    1. Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi were spawned by the people originally brought in to create Super Mario RPG 2.
      Mario & Luigi has stayed mostly consistent though, with new games only adding more stuff over the original SuperStar Saga formula (Paper Jam being the exception, but mostly due to it being rushed and having to put up with the Sticker Star/New Super Mario inanity), Paper Mario is all over the place with games constantly changing the whole experience for no good reason.
      I don’t see Paper Mario and The Thousand Year Door as the holy grail of RPG most people around here seem to, so I don’t decry the mere existence of Super Paper Mario, Sticker Star and Color Splash; but it’s easy to see why people are sick of the inconsistency, especially those who like the first two games the best.

  10. This is a diversionary tactic! Thats not the real reason they are shying away from the RPG nature of the old Paper Mario games. Mario and Luigi doesnt sell. And its kind of boring. No one asked for it, no one is asking for sequels… And I think internally they know that now after the last one. Not to mention M&L has been exclusively for handhelds. My theory is that with Square Enix buddying up with Nintendo again, we may see a return to the collaboration that started it all. Mario had never done any role playing until the SNES classic, Super Mario RPG, a collab with Square, and in this commentor’s opinion, Nintendo hasnt done it as well since. The Paper Mario series has for the most part been clever, funny, and still fun to play, but as far as the combat mechanics that make up the meat and potatos of those games, SMRPG did it better than any of the paper mario titles. I really want to see a Mario RPG sequel, a follow up to the original story, with Smithy, Geno, Mallow, etc. That game did such a good job of incorporating new characters into the Mario Universe, and since they are the IP of square enix, we’ll never see them again unless they collaborate again. What do you guys think? Is FF and Dragonquest a sign that we could see another Square/Nintendo collaboration? Would you like a Super Mario RPG 2?

  11. ||The First Order of Nintendo only accepts purity, not these abominations…||

    ||This is why our new scientists will replace these drained old misfits…||

    ||A few of our weapons are already in your hands…||

  12. Fuck you. You are basically telling us Paper Mario is going to be shit from now on this is fucking bullshit.

    1. ||If the hypocrites with resources stopped buying the very things they hate, such as this and the FF virus, High Command would get the message completely…||

      ||Just like the imbeciles who hates and calls the Xbox One for Xbone and still buys them…||

  13. Paper Mario’s storybook setting easily set up the RPG elements and storytelling, plus IMO that 3D setting they mentioned made everything outside of the battles so much more fun. It was somewhat defined by how well it all went together. Taking out the RPG elements leaves it feeling hollow and M&L always just felt like a slightly-less-fun-but-good-for-a-handheld-counterpart series. The other offspring of SMRPG. I would’ve been just fine with PM staying the console Mario RPG series and M&L being the handheld one but its whatever. If they wanna change things fine, but they just have to understand the fans who supported the series for what it was may not appreciate what it’s becoming.

    Also, interesting that we can’t have 2 Mario RPGs and so PM becomes action-adventure but we have like at least 3 different types of Mario Action series already lol. And the 3D one already includes plenty of puzzle solving as well. So here’s to the 4th. 😂 (And here’s hoping the 3D one goes back to being more open like 64 & Sunshine as opposed to something more on-rails like Galaxy, since we have 3D Land/World for that now)

  14. Or they can just give us Paper Mario 3, complete with party members, and stop being a-holes. We waited long enough.

    The don’t give fans what they want (Color Splash, Amiibo Festival, and Federatin Force), but they’ll go to town on dedicated fan games. No one but the lowest common denominator (children and casual gamers) is going to accept your shit, Nintendo.

    And BTW, Poochie pups? It’s going to take more the cutesy gimmicks based on a minor spin-off characters to get people to buy the same game twice.

    To the most extreme, a modding community can change the entire game of Paper Mario Color Splash and turn it into Paper Mario 3 (exactly like Paper Mario 64 and The Thousand-Year Door).

  15. There’s nothing more depressing and annoying than when a winning recipe gets changed, and is never changed back. Does Nintendo not know that people LOVED the RPG elements of the first two Paper Mario Games? Do they even know about how many people were disappointed with Sticker Star? Do they even know that people were hoping that the traditional RPG elements is what gamers were hoping would return? Do they even pay ATTENTION to us gamers?

    I hope Nintendo doesn’t think that just because the Mario & Luigi series is RPG’s, that we don’t need the Paper Mario series to be RPG’s anymore. Because some of us doesn’t like playing handhelds.

  16. “The old Paper Mario games, they were obviously RPGs and had a lot of good elements, but they weren’t just about the RPG elements. They were full of solving puzzles, solving mysteries, the color factor, the visual style. For the Paper Mario series, we’re focusing more on those elements — the puzzle-solving.”

    What in the world makes them think these are all mutually exclusive? Paper Mario was a lot of fun for me, and all these aspects from the RPG elements to the visual style brought something fun to the table.

    The fact that somehow the RPG elements are obsolete here shows their narrow-minded thinking.

  17. Well. I hope most of you can empathize with we Metroid fans when we had out “winning formula” and artstyle, and essence of Metroid changed. I feel for you folks. Starting to realize Nintendo doesn’t give a shit about you or what you think or what you want.

    1. Considering I’m a fan of Metroid & the first two Paper Mario games, I have the worst of both worlds. :/

  18. “The old Paper Mario games, they were obviously RPGs and had a lot of good elements, but they weren’t just about the RPG elements. They were full of solving puzzles, solving mysteries, the color factor, the visual style. For the Paper Mario series, we’re focusing more on those elements — the puzzle-solving.” This is the epitome of how fucking stupid this guy is. Most RPGs are about leveling up, partners, puzzle solving, solving mysteries, the visual style, etc. These things make up a great RPG!

    Tabata, you are just making up excuses similar to Sakurai’s with Smash 4 for why he did some things. Guess what? I’m not buying your bullshit either!

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