Paper Mario: Color Splash has generated a lot of negativity towards it by long time Paper Mario fans, due to its departure from its RPG roots and comparative lack of focus on story and characters.
Fans hoping for the series to return to the glory days will be saddened to hear that the Paper Mario series will continue its path on being a “action-adventure” franchise.
This comes from Nintendo producer Risa Tabata who, in an interview with Kotaku, explains the shift in direction for the series.
From the interview:
This game is an action-adventure. I’m sure you’re aware that, at Nintendo, we also have another series called the Mario & Luigi RPG series and so since we already have that established Mario & Luigi RPG series, in order to differentiate these two series that we have running concurrently, we’ve tried to focus more on the non-RPG elements for the Paper Mario games. In terms of what we focus on for the Paper Mario series, we focus on puzzle-solving [and] humor.
Paper Mario: Color Splash will be released on the Wii U worldwide on October 7th, 2016.