As Nintendo starts to prep the NX and announces Super Mario Run for iPhone, it seems like the Wii U is going out to pasture. But there’s at least one more Mario title coming before Nintendo replaces the tablet-console combo. This particular title had a grand showing at PAX West when I got to play through a Paper Mario: Color Splash boss fight. And before you ask, yes, there was a breakdancing pig.
If the above GIF left you confused, here’s what you need to know. Paper Mario: Color Splash is the latest entry in the RPG/adventure series starring a flat, silent version of Nintendo’s mascot. Paper Mario titles have been some of Nintendo’s funniest for 15 years now, and Paper Mario: Color Splash intends to keep that streak alive with clever dialogue and wacky attacks. At PAX West, Nintendo brought along a Paper Mario: Color Splash boss fight from later in the game that showed how it works with the game’s new play style.
The Bone Collector
The level began just outside a rustic coliseum where iconic Mario enemies like Goombas and Koopas are battling it out. To collect the much needed Paint Star, you’re going to have to beat the top baddie in the building. But first, you need to search the whole building to find a special item to even have a chance at beating the boss. Yes, the divisive boss fight mechanic of needing a specific attack to win is back from Paper Mario: Sticker Star.
Hunting for items in a dilapidated coliseum means a lot of random battles and even some platforming. Just as with the last games, Paper Mario: Color Splash does a fine job of translating Mario's sidescrolling mechanics into a role-playing adventure. As for the combat, it has similarities to the action from Sticker Star, where each attack is a consumable item. But now all your attacks are playing cards and they feel much more bountiful.
It's All in the Cards
You're more prepared to spend a good attack in a fight because you feel more secure that you'll find a new one in the next question block you see. And you're also more ready to use the stylish super attacks like that Piggy Bank, or Sticker Star's returning fan attack which blows enemies away. By the time I finally found the giant bone item I needed to start the boss fight, I'd gotten in a number of battles without feeling like I wasted every good attack I had.
Once I made it up to the main event, the Paper Mario: Color Splash boss fight would be against one of Bowser's eight annoying kids, Iggy Koopa. He appeared on a Ben Hur style chariot, bragging that it was unbreakable. And it would be if I didn't now have the giant bone attack that quickly steamrolled Iggy, making fast work of the Koopaling as the demo ended.
Paper Mario: Color Splash is just the kind of vibrant game you expect from the series, and if this really is the last Wii U-exclusive game Nintendo creates, it looks like it's at least a good one. Paper Mario: Color Splash hits the Wii U Nov. 11.