When Paper Mario: Color Splash was first announced, it was met by some mixed reception from fans. This was largely due to the removal of significant RPG elements in favor of more puzzle-solving, something Paper Mario: Sticker Star also took some heat for. Nintendo obviously is well aware of the fan outcry, and recently endeavored to explain why it's changing up the series in this way.
Risa Tabata – Color Splash's Producer – recently talked with USGamer about the upcoming release, and one of the questions was related to how Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario would be differentiated. Tabata made the argument that the Paper Mario series has always been about puzzles, and that the development team is choosing now to focus on them more heavily. Here's what Tabata had to say:
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.
So, it seems that puzzles will be emphasized with Paper Mario going forward, while standard RPG gameplay will be Mario & Luigi's domain. For the full interview, check it out here.
What do you think? Do you agree with this decision? Share your thoughts in the comments below.