Available on: SNES
Developer(s): Intelligent Systems, Nintendo
When I was a kid, there was some sort of war going on between any home computer owners and those who exclusively had a Nintendo or Sega system. Sure, there are still those people, even among my friends, who would never trade their PC's for a PS3 or Xbox when it comes to gaming. Back then, though, it wasn't all about the gaming - consoles were exclusively for playing games. Computers were also for playing games, but they were good for lots of other things, too, like working in general, or using fancy paint tools to create digital images. The Deluxe Paint series for the Amiga systems was very popular at that time, and no matter how you looked down at Commodore Amiga or look down on it now, Deluxe Paint was one of the most advanced paint tools of its time. In the summer of 1992, Nintendo decided to test what it would be like to use a similar tool on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and published a combo of a mouse exclusively designed for the system, several paint and animation tools, as well as a music sequencer. A weird idea like this needed a mascot to get kids interested - in '92, who was THE pawn to use when you wanted to sell a Nintendo game?
It's a-me, Picasso!
I'm pretty sure a guy who is nowadays my best friend had this "game" when we were kids, he was always such a Mario fan - he still is. Also, I vaguely remember him talking about Mario Paint, but he never really liked its content, just the fact that it had Mario in it. Well, I looked upon Mario Paint the exact same way. The SNES was for playing games, not painting crappy pictures or making some dumb jingles with the music sequencer. A game was something that had a beginning and an end. Even Tetris had a beginning and an end... sort of. Still, I had some sort of secret infatuation with Mario Paint - it had Mario in it, so it must've been worth something. Years later, here I am - giggling. Like a little girl. Embarrassing, I know. Some people would say that so is even bothering with Mario Paint at the age of 26, 19 years after the combo's release. Oh, piss off - Mario Paint is completely harmless fun, and in the right hands, it can be used to do things that make you almost forget that it's so old.
|I was originally planning to paint the evil cock |
monster from Uranus, but I wanted to keep
this blog online, so I quickly whipped up this...
this... I don't know what this is supposed to be.
The general graphics are of course a bit dated and whatever you can come up with using the freehand tools lacks definition, but the sprites are carried straight over from Super Mario World, and they look excellent as always. Also, just the simple inclusion of complete freehand tools in an experimental game, the only one of its kind at the time, is worth applause in itself. Kazumi Totaka's soundtrack is good, but in this kind of game, you don't need more than two minutes to realize you're better off without background music. Luckily it can be turned off.
|Fucked this one up, but you probably get what |
I was going for.
From what I've gathered, people love the music sequencer in Mario Paint, and I can perfectly understand why; it is still a very advanced polyphonic sequencer, way ahead of its time. I have watched tens of YouTube videos in awe as I've realized what some really talented people can create by using this basically very simple, not to mention cute, musical tool. Just for a very predictable example, you can whip up an excellent version of "Bloody Tears" from Castlevania, with comfortably minimal effort. What happens in Mario Paint, stays in Mario Paint, though. There's just no way to export any of your work, anywhere, which makes the whole combo feel useless. It might be just that, but there's no denying that it's fun.
|You know "Paranoid"?|
Because of its confusing array of options, Mario Paint is hard to master when it comes to any "serious" use, but then again, who takes it seriously except nostalgics that are simply rocking the music sequencer even today, and creating some wicked animations with the very little ground they're given? Mario Paint was an earthshaker in 16-bit technology. It might have annoying limits, which have grown by heaps since its release, and it never really had a real target group, but it is one legendary package.
Graphics : 8.0
Sound : 7.0
Playability : 7.8
Challenge : -
Overall : 7.8
Nintendo Power ranks Mario Paint #162 on their list of the Top 200 Nintendo Games of All Time.
Kazumi Totaka's signature, known in the video game community as "Totaka's Song" made its debut in a Japanese Game Boy game named X, which was released about two months prior to Mario Paint. Mario Paint was the first internationally released game to feature the song; this has prompted some people to refer to it as the "Mario Paint Song". To date, the signature has been found in at least 15 games that Totaka has worked on as a composer.