7) Thoughts on Color Splash
I should preface this by saying that at this time I have still never played Sticker Star.
The term I'm looking for I think is... "holier-than-thou." This is how I'm feeling about the big stink being made on Youtube about how nobody wants Color Splash and everybody loved the first two games. No, I'm not describing all the complainers as holier-than-thou: I'm admitting that I feel that way compared to them, i.e., I feel like I have more of a right to complain than anyone else, and I present the entirety of this website as my substantial body of evidence.
I don't like feeling this way. For those who haven't caught the self-deprecating jokes in my narration throughout the site here, my main thing is basically using self-deprecation to distance myself as much as possible from bragging/arrogance/elitism/holier-than-thou-ness/etc.; I absolutely despise everything of the kind and myself for indulging in it even if I feel slightly justified in this one particular case.
If you're lost, it goes like this: the original Paper Mario for the N64, then Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door for the Gamecube, then Super Paper Mario for the Wii, then Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the 3DS, and now most recently Paper Mario: Color Splash. The first two games in the series are my two favorite video games of all time and their turn-based battle system is the basis for the Arpeggio system described on this site. The third game, Super, was a sort of spin-off based on a kind of mini-game section in Thousand-Year Door, and it had no turn-based battle system, it was more of a regular Mario platformer, but that was all well and good because we assumed that the next game afterward would return to the old battle system. It, Sticker Star, did not, and I boycotted it. And now we have Color Splash which a lot of people are calling "Sticker Star 2."
So the holier-than-thou stuff mostly comes from the fact that from a small number of the earliest pre-release screenshots of Sticker Star, I had already deduced that it would not be using the same battle system (it was turn-based, but that's about the only similarity), and at the time I was brushed off for pointing this out. Vindication, in this case, is bitter, not bittersweet. The fact that it's taken until an effective Sticker Star 2 for everyone else to consider that maybe this issue requires attention is the only thing allowing me to extract a modicum of grim, self-deprecating humor from the situation. Hence, holier-than-thou.
Much of what can be said about the problem is still echoing around Youtube on an infinite loop, so I won't repeat too much of it here. What I should probably point out is that many of the videos say something to the effect of "I can't put my finger on what it is about the first two games that's so good," and in creating Arpeggio I had attempted to do just that: in my opinion, it's the battle system, specifically its small numbers. There are other good aspects, but they're the ones that everyone else can identify: story and character and action commands and all that. I will also say that most people profess to prefer Thousand-Year Door over the first game, and though it took me a long time to decide between the two, I ultimately (if marginally) prefer the original for its atmosphere, and so atmosphere is another aspect that, from what I can tell without playing them, the newest games lack, or at least have changed. If you're baffled by my choice, understand that I admit that the second game has better characterization and such, but the thing about the first is that it is basically the original Super Mario Bros. expanded into a sort of epic fairy tale, feeling at once real, alive, and inhabited with all the NPC dialogue and stuff yet also simplistic in the manner of fairy tales, with the basic Bowser villain plot and everything.
Don't have much of a conclusion here. There's a video game that I've been trying to make for a lot of years that won't be compatible with newer versions of Windows and so I want to somehow get other people to remake it for me, long story, but the point is it was a sort of Metroidvania thing and I'm thinking I should instead make it an RPG that is basically a ripoff of Paper Mario to the same extent that Arpeggio is, since it's unlikely we'll get another proper Paper Mario game and therefore there might be some interest. I gather that there are Paper Mario fangames in the works. But... yeah. What more can I say?
I guess if there is one thing, it would have to be that even with this issue hitting so close to home with me, I can't feel anything bad against Miyamoto. If you don't know, he is allegedly directly responsible for Sticker Star not going back to the original battle system, and therefore for all of the hate. But you have to remember that he's also responsible for everything that came before, and without that there would have been nothing to ruin in the first place.