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Friday, September 30, 2016

How Similar Are Splatoon and Paper Mario: Color Splash?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...Uh... not on any serious level.

I remember writing sometime early on in KoopaTV's history that the site will have a larger purpose than merely being a vehicle to communicate Nintendo's marketing schemes. Well, guess we've shamelessly changed attitudes since then. Though, in my defence, you guys request this sort of thing, with a request coming in for me to give my analysis on this tweet from the Nintendo of America Twitter:

My task is to go over the points that Nintendo makes in the following infographic, which I personally believe to be a piece of self-aware humour, but I'll take it seriously for this article:

Splatoon Paper Mario Color Splash comparison infographic Nintendo
Five reasons!

To summarise the graphic, here are the five similarities:

  1. Both games are super colourful!
  2. Both games will make you laugh out loud!
  3. Both games use colour to bring their worlds to life!
  4. Both games cast memorable characters!
  5. Both games are on Wii U.
First of all, #1 is redundant with #3. It follows that if colour is used to bring a world to life, the game will be colourful.

Most lively games have a vibrant colour palette. Games like brown-and-grey Call of Duty aren't lively, but are rather death-infested. Yes, it's similar that the prominent game mechanic is colourful. However...

In Paper Mario: Color Splash, colour is used to fill in areas where there is a lack of colour. The precise colour used hasn't been shown to particularly matter, but there's an issue of the Big Paint Stars' disappearances, and the disappearance of colour from Prism Island. Without this colour, life on the island is pretty non-existent. Meanwhile, in Splatoon, there isn't an absence of colour. What is missing in people's lives is a power source: The Zapfish, and the Great Zapfish. However, the world is still very lively.

That's quite the difference. The Inklings could be shooting out colourless ink for all it matters. Colour isn't an actual integral part of the gameplay. It's just there so you can tell the difference between enemy territory and yours. You don't have to fill the place with colour, unless your obsessive-compulsive mind mandates it.

Do both games make me laugh out loud? I don't remember if I've ever actually laughed out loud at Splatoon, and I consider what I've seen already in Paper Mario: Color Splash to be more funny than the entirety of Splatoon. This is less of a question of similarity and more of a half-broken promise.

...Nevermind, I think I have laughed out loud in Splatoon, relating to gameplay-related Turf War situations. Meanwhile, the laughter in Paper Mario: Color Splash comes from the dialogue. It might also come from some of the Thing animations. We'll see. Either way, there's different sources of laughter here, as opposed to a similar one.

So, about those memorable characters. It's true, I'll remember Callie and Marie. However, I'm in Paper Mario: Color Splash. I'll remember me a lot more consistently than any Splatoon character. I guess that's not really fair, considering that makes Paper Mario: Color Splash unbeatable and incomparable, but it's not a competition. As long as both games have memorable characters, it's a similarity.

...Both games are on the Wii U. There is no doubt about that. They might not forever be exclusive to the Wii U, though, with the way Wii U games are going.

So, there are a few similarities between Paper Mario: Color Splash and Splatoon, but only some of Nintendo's withstand scrutiny. The surviving ones are as tenuous as me saying that Splatoon players would love Capture the Confederate Flag. (...And I believe they would.)

If you liked Splatoon then you'll love Paper Mario Color Splash infographic parody Capture the Confederate Flag
I don't have the time or the resources to make a full infographic, so use your imagination.
  1. Both games have memorable characters.
    (Capture the Confederate Flag won the Best New Character of 2015 KoopaTV award, over Splatoon!)
  2. Both games have a really long final boss fight with multiple phases.
  3. Both games feature grabbing a valuable object from enemy territory, and placing it somewhere else.
  4. Both games feature optional collectibles that modify your damage output and speed.
  5. Both games have fantastic dialogue.
One thing about Capture the Confederate Flag that is different than Splatoon? Capture the Confederate Flag is completely free to play, and you can do so right here, on KoopaTV.

Ludwig considers the ability to be able to promote one of KoopaTV's own games by the end of this article to be a skill. Regardless of how weak the relationship between Splatoon and Paper Mario: Color Splash is, Ludwig knows he adores the former and is confident he will have positive thoughts on the latter. Better wait for the review, which has also been requested. Speaking of requests, this article exists because of a request from a reader like you! You, too, can submit requests to KoopaTV by commenting here.

Ludwig began the article introducing Play Nintendo to the world the same way he began this article, but never hyperlinked where he made that statement on KoopaTV's intentions. 
Ludwig has found out where he said it, saying, “I normally wouldn't do an article about specific Nintendo social media actions.”
The fact that Splatoon does have colour is interesting when comparing the EPA's mining disaster and what happened in Splatoon's backstory.


  1. Capture the Confederate Flag is more similar to Splatoon that I thought it was. I can't say if the second point is true or not since I never reached the final boss, but I can vouch that every other point stands.

    1. Capture the Confederate Flag's final boss is half the game's content, if not more!

      (Where's that strategy guide I promised...?)

  2. Didn't realize that requesting this would go against what you are trying not to do. At least you solved that problem with advertising Capture the Confederate Flag.

    Also the majority of squids in real life are considered to have monochrome vision. They all have only rods in their eyes which is for night vision and therefore monochrome vision. So far only firefly squids were found to have cones as well which is what gives eyes the ability to see colour. There is consideration that squids may sense colour by touch instead similar to how the suckers on their tentacles are how they taste.

    1. It's alriiiiiiiight.

      So if squids can't actually see the different ink...
      "It's just there so you can tell the difference between enemy territory and yours."
      How's that work? Or can monochrome vision mean that they can see something is more grey than something else?

    2. I'm sure the squids in Splatoon already evolved enough to see in colour with their eyes alone. Or they use the mechanics that is being theorized that real life cephalopods use(warning: SCIENCE):

      I read about the theory in Splatoon about Inklings seeing in monochrome from the Splatoon reddit and quoting the Squid Sister text asking how Judd is able to determine who is the winner and then assuming it is super powers. There is another quote asking if Judd calls in sick would they have to be the ones judging who is the winner and it looks like they are not confident in their ability to do so. Cats could see in colour but it is not as sharp as human vision.

    3. Oh. Evolution. Right, that solves everything.

      Let's see me trying to read that science article...
      I didn't understand all of it, but I did get the "turning a bug into a feature" quote. So squids, indirectly, can detect variations in colour (and therefore can tell the difference in ink territory) through a computationally inefficient method.

      The Squid Sisters may be not confident of their ability to judge the winner not because of colour, but perhaps because of the math required.


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