Welcome back everyone, I’m back from my summer break and I’m ready to do more reviews. On my summer break, I’ve been able to get a whole bunch of games in July and August, so check them to see what I got. I also managed to get a HDTV so look out for more modern game reviews. Now the first review was going to be another Mario review, and a full-blown one too. But I think it makes sense to take a look at something else first that inspired that game. But first, some filler.
As an autistic person, creativity is my bread and butter, ideas will pop out of my head either out of nowhere or inspired by what I see or watch or play, nearly anything. Problem is, I never do anything with them…well, I’ve done a plot summary of something I thought of but I haven’t finished it as of yet. So I was interested in the art I saw on Tumblr…then I saw everything else and became a Vietnam survivor. Anyway, that art inspired me to purchase a graphics tablet. Small, the cheapest at Maplins, but good enough for now. Which is what inspired the new blog post with drawings and all sorts of art I made. Knowing that I probably won’t be able to do the Mona Lisa of art pieces, I decided to just make simple cartoons for now, but I’ll learn so long I continue to draw and not always play games and write reviews, those take time you know.
So for someone using Photoshop, why not go and use a piece of Nintendo software that would usually be on a PC but is on a console? And yes, back then, that was quite revolutionary. Mario Paint, developed by Nintendo R&D1 and Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. It was released in 1992 worldwide. But you’re probably asking, how am I going to play an art software on a console, considering that the controller isn’t that accurate?
Introducing The Super NES Mouse, known in Japan as The Super Famicom Mouse (スーパーファミコンマウス Sūpā Famikon Mausu), released in 1992, it was a peripheral for the Super Nintendo and the Super Famicom if you were living in Japan. It’s basically a PC mouse for consoles and from what I researched, I was quite surprised of the support of this peripheral. Most are from Japan, but there are games supported that do make sense like Revolution X, Cameltry, Cannon Fodder, Doom, Jurassic Park, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Eye of the Beholder and some Super Famicom games like Dai-3-ji Super Robot Taisen, Snoopy Concert, Asameshimae Nyanko and many, many more. But I’m taking a look at the first game I’ll review using the SNES Mouse.
So this is an art tool with many features. The basic includes a blank canvas for you to draw on. You got the bare necessities from basic colours for what the SNES can do, though there are many different textures to add your details to your art pieces. You have three different sized brushes, filler tool to fill pieces or the entire canvas, copy/paste to do just that, undo the dog; thank goodness for undo the dog. And then there’s the eraser, and never has there been a tool that makes erasing art fun, with many graphical sights, my favourite one is the video rewind eraser, just because I’m quite impressed the SNES could even do that, even for 1992, but then again, Donkey Kong Country was released on the SNES.
I absolutely love the stamp creator, this is where you can do pixel art. Sure, it’s basic but this is pretty cool, and it feels like it’s for me since I really love pixel art. I wish there was more space but hey-ho, it’s supposed to be stamps and nothing more.
You can also do some animations, either make some simple pieces or…well, I guess this whole tool, especially the animation process, is what may have inspired many people to take up animation. You see, if you wanted to make a proper and much longer and intricate animation, you would need to draw your assets, play the animation, record it on video and find a way of editing it. And I’ve seen a couple of animations, not the best since this is the bare necessities of what you could do, but it’s a nice tool to have…in 1992, since it’s something that’s kind of outdated by now since we have flash to do animations but it’s basic and fun, but I guess trying to do something with the tools you have was very intricate for the time. But if it wasn’t for this tool, we wouldn’t have got Homestar Runner as the first episode made was made on Mario Paint and the dedication it took to make that is very impressive.
There’s also a colouring book, though you only get few pictures to colour on, so I chose Mario & Yoshi. Whilst many people would put some silly colours on it, I wonder if I have OCD because I tried to put the correct colours for this picture…OH NO, THE GREENS FOR THE GRASS AND HILLS AND MUSHROOMS ARE ON THE OPPOSITE WAY AAAAAAHHHH!!!
The tool is well-known for it’s one mini-game, Gnat Attack (click on the coffee mug, symbolising a coffee break…but no Kit-Kat?), where you use the mouse to swat flies of many varieties, before battling a boss. It’s quite fun and…well, this is an example of a game that would work very well on mobile devices; but then again, I think there are games like this. There are three levels and after the third level, you go back to level one. But if you reach level 255, there is a kill screen that could possibly break the game, so be careful.
AAAAAAHHHH! I GOT YOU!
But probably the best feature of the game and one that I think still holds up, is the music generator. You get some weird notes, some from the Mario series and some made up out of the blue. The many people that have used this is huge, people taking nearly every song and recreate it in the style of Mario Paint. It’s so popular that someone made a piece of software dedicated to that one feature, known as Mario Paint Composer and there are hundreds to thousands of songs uploaded to YouTube and they’re really good. In fact, I made my own song and uploaded it on YouTube, it may not be perfect but it shows how much fun I had.
The controls are pretty much how a mouse in the 90’s should function. Back in the days, computer mouses had a balltrack on the bottom, that same design goes for the SNES Mouse, but now we have optical mouses. Trying to do art that way is really inaccurate, mostly because I’ve used a graphics tablet, but even then, drawing with a mouse anyway is just…you can’t make a great piece of art using a mouse.
I’m quite impressed with the music, there’s a lot of memorable and fun tunes, it’s nice to listen to whilst drawing. But then there are pieces that are very jarring, like the Stamp Maker theme, it’s so weird yet it’s one of my favourite pieces of this game. Funny enough, there were three composers who made music for the game and one of them was Hirokazu Tanaka, who would later compose for Earthbound, so that makes sense.
Overall, Mario Paint is a very unique tool for the time, and for consoles, it would have been fun. Nowadays, a lot of things are quite outdated and there are other tools out there that do much better with more features. This is merely a novelty piece by today’s standards and the only features that have held up are the stamp maker and the music generator, so long as you have the imagination for it, especially for something released in 1992.
The game was re-released in 1997, now called BS Mario Paint: Yuu Shou Naizou Ban, released via Satellaview, a broadcast service for the Super Famicom exclusively for Japan, though this version uses the SNES controller instead of the mouse for some reason. Mario Paint: Artist Studio was released in 1999 for the Japanese-exclusive Nintendo 64DD. And that’s about it. So see you next week for the big one!
You can get it on the Super Nintendo.