Please don't let Paper Mario: Color Splash be like Sticker Star
Paper Mario: Color Splash, the next installment in the Paper Mario series, is coming out October 7, 2016. And there's a lot of talk right now about whether Color Splash is going to suck or not. The series' previous games, Super Paper Mario and Sticker Star, were not received well by players -- with Sticker Star being the least favored game in the Paper Mario series.
So let's look at why Sticker Star was a bad game, and what mistakes Color Splash can avoid in the hopes of being a much better game.
Why Sticker Star was awful:
Horrible Battle System
The battle system for Sticker Star is a RPG sort of system that allows leveling up. The problem with this lies in the fact that it doesn't really serve any sort of purpose. You fight by collecting stars, so skill or level isn't really much of a factor. And the stars you need to kill bosses aren't actually found on any of the enemies that you can battle, either. So there is literally no point in leveling up or fighting those enemies.
Most of the game is based on adventuring and its horrible gameplay/combat system. There is not a good story -- or any sort of story, really. There's nothing fleshed out, nothing that makes the player want to know what is next.
One of the worst parts about this game was that when you fight the boss for a level, you need a specific star to defeat it. But that star is not easily found, and you must search for it everywhere. It could even be at the very beginning of the level. This gets annoying going all the way through a game.
To put it simply, Sticker Star got all its essential RPG elements wrong. But does that mean Color Splash is doomed to the same fate? Watching the trailer (which you can view above), the objective of the game is to save the colorful Prism Island from being drained of its colors. This at least has some promise.
But what does the upcoming Color Splash need to do so that it doesn't go down in history as the third bad Paper Mario game in a row?
Better Battle System
If Color Splash chopses to use an RPG battle system that allows you to level up, then it needs to have bosses that requires you to be a certain level to defeat them. If Color Splash uses a similar idea of using stars (or some other type of object) to defeat the boss, those stars need to be found on the smaller enemies, or dropped closer to the boss in the level. If the smaller enemies don't drop anything valuable for progress, they need to have some other reason for being there -- or they shouldn't be there at all.
Just have a storyline, instead of all gameplay. Even if everything else sucks about the game, at least some people will play it just for the story -- which will make it at least better than Sticker Star.
Not be Annoying
If you need something to progress in the game, don't hide it at the beginning of a level or in an unnecessarily random place. It's understandable if the developer wants to make the game more difficult. But if someone has to go all the way back to the beginning of the level just to pick up one item that you can't face the boss without, have a reason for it that makes sense.
The good news is, it at least looks like Color Splash has something going for it. The graphics in the trailer look like they're of good quality, which is better than nothing. Let's just hope that the game learns from the Sticker Star flop. If Nintendo solves at least a few of the issues, Color Splash could end up being one of the best games in the series instead of becoming Sticker Star 2.