YMMV Paper Mario Discussion

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MasterHero
Topic
04:07:18 PM Apr 25th 2018
Is the series really in a Dork Age? A Dork Age is one where:

1. The games are financial flops.

2. Any changes imposed by those games are quickly reversed, and then largely ignored by continuity.

Do any games qualify for either of these?
mrbits
04:33:23 PM Apr 25th 2018
1. From what I understand Sticker Star was a financial success, but Color Splash was a flop.

2. Don't know how to answer that until a new Paper Mario comes out. But a good deal of the issues people had with Sticker Star sound like they continued into Color Splash.
MasterHero
07:38:21 AM Apr 26th 2018
According to Wikipedia, both games got positive receptions among gamers. Maybe the opinions there take the Silent Majority into account.
mrbits
08:00:40 AM Apr 26th 2018
Sticker Star absolutely did not get positive reception among gamers. It currently has a user score of 5.7 on metacritic, which is incredibly low for a Nintendo game, even lower than the similarly panned Metroid: Other M (6.6). And on virtually every internet community it a subject of ridicule, and with most defenses of the game rarely going any further than "It's fine and not that bad." It's reception was so poor, that the official reveal trailer for Color Splash has more dislikes than likes, almost solely because it resemblance to Sticker Star.

Color Splash was much better, but still has mixed reception at best (7.2 user score on metacritic, which is still in the yellow), and retains many of the criticisms that Sticker Star had.
MasterHero
09:07:36 AM Apr 26th 2018
That still doesn't qualify for Dork Age. Disagreements between critics and casual gamers happen all the time, but a game (or series of games) only qualifies for Dork Age for its negative reputation and sales make the series unfeasible for Nintendo. As you can see, that hasn't happened yet. "It's fine and not that bad" is a legitimate opinion, while reactions from reveal trailers are knee-jerk reactions that are subject to change once the full game comes out.
mrbits
03:51:24 PM Apr 26th 2018
edited by mrbits
I've reread the Dork Age page multiple times and I don't see anything about a game/series being unfeasible for the creator as a trope requirement.

A Dork Age, from what I understand, is a "Period in a franchise (check) where there was a change in the series' formula/direction (check), that resulted in a visible drop in quality (Sticker Star and Color Splash have the lowest review scores in the series among BOTH Critics and Users, check), and popularity."

The Popularity part is impossible to definitively evaluate because of the tremendous differences in the install bases and release dates across all of the different consoles. Sticker Star sold more than the first two games, but it was on a console that sold over twice as much as the N64 and the Gamecube. Color Splash is the lowest selling game in the series, but released on the struggling Wii U.

"it's fine and not that bad" is a legitimate opinion, but even among those opinions, most of those people still consider Sticker Star the weakest game in the series.
MasterHero
05:11:59 PM Apr 26th 2018
Just because Sticker Star is the weakest game in the series, doesn't make it an ungodly abomination that tainted the series, and by extension, a Dork Age. You said yourself that Sticker Star sold more than the two games (meaning that it was a success from a financial standpoint), while Color Splash fixed some of the issues in Sticker Star (bringing back some critics).
mrbits
07:19:58 PM Apr 26th 2018
edited by mrbits
Being the two weakest games in the series is enough to qualify as a Dork Age in regards to quality. Even if Color Splash fixed things and has fans, it's still regularly regarded as the second weakest game in the series.

I already said that popularity is impossible to clearly evaluate because we're comparing the sales of a game on the incredibly successful 3DS to the decently successful N64 and Gamecube. Furthermore, there's also virtual console releases for the first Paper Mario which just make things even more difficult to judge.

And popularity is more than just sales (despite what I said earlier). Sticker Star may have sold well, but it has virtually no active fandom like the first three games still do. Color Splash is similarly inactive, practically just being a game that people played and forgot about.
MasterHero
09:07:06 PM Apr 26th 2018
Even if that's something that people play and forget about, it is not Dork Age. Sticker Star and Color Splash can be considered forgettable and mediocre at worst, but like I said before, they are not bad to the point where the series took a hit in reputation. Mediocre does not equal Dork Age.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/remarks.php?trope=YMMV.PaperMario