Paper Mario is one of the more interesting titles in the Nintendo lineup. On one hand, it has the simplest visuals of basically all the Nintendo games, as its literally paper. However, especially in the early games, it’s battle system was deep, and thus gamers loved it. Because of that, it kept getting sequels. However, after the much beloved Thousand Year Door, Paper Mario slowly began shying away from the RPG aesthetic.
At E3, IGN got to do a behind the scenes demo with the newest Paper Mario: Color Splash, and slowly realized it was playing a lot like the most recent, and most reviled, Paper Mario game, Sticker Star. Out of curiosity, they asked assistant producer Risa Tabata about why Paper Mario was shying away from the RPG elements:
“Really making this game started with the idea of wanting to use cards,” she explained of the decision to develop Color Splash. “Since you’ve got this parallel Mario & Luigi RPG series, we definitely wanted to make a distinction between the two series and have them go in different directions.
Since we already have this established RPG series, rather than just making another RPG series as well, we wanted to do something different and provide a different experience to players,” Tabata said. “I think what was good about the original Paper Mario games wasn’t just the RPG elements but the puzzle solving and the humor, so as we’ve gone forward we’ve put more of our effort into the puzzle-solving aspects and really emphasizing the humor in the games.”