Feature – The Third Dimension of Mario Paint

Of all the great Mario games released during the Super Nintendo era, I actually spent the most time playing Mario Paint – not Super Mario World, Super Mario RPG, or Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island.

Mario Paint was basically a Mario-/Nintendo-themed version of Microsoft Paint, and even came bundled with a SNES-compatible mouse. The basic drawing app was pretty simple, and considering that the tools were so primitive (at least by today’s standards), you could create some pretty sweet-looking pictures. There were different colors and textures, pens and spray brushes – everything you would expect from MS Paint if it were designed by Nintendo. I enjoyed using the various “stamps” that were based on all kinds of objects, animals, Nintendo characters, and more – but I particularly liked creating my own “Special Stamps” with the basic sprite-editing tool, and then placing those into my pictures.

There were also some side distractions contained in this SNES title; my favorite was the fly-swatting mini game, which could be played by clicking an icon depicting a coffee mug within the game’s menu. This mini-game was great for testing your reflexes and also the sensitivity of your SNES mouse; you basically had to click the gnats, flies, and other pests to swat them off of the screen before you were bitten. You also had to avoid everything on the screen, or the hand holding the fly-swatter would take damage. There were multiple stages, each ending with a tough boss fight against a massive fly (see the image below).

I would be foolish to forget the music editor. It was based around simple MIDI sounds (each indicated by a different icon), and despite its basic design, there are actually plenty of dedicated individuals who have re-created popular songs and music from various video games using the Mario Paint music editing tools. The results are actually pretty impressive – you can search YouTube for countless Mario Paint versions of nearly any song you can think of.

Bringing it to the 3DS:

With Colors! 3D holding out as one of the top-rated downloads on the Nintendo eShop, I can’t get over the idea that the Big N should consider bringing back Mario Paint with a 3DS release. Thinking about many of the features and functions of the handheld, it’s absolutely perfect for the creation tools and even the fly-swatting mini-game. Here are some ideas explained in further detail:

  • Obviously, the 3DS stylus and touch screen replace the mouse peripheral from the SNES; this would probably allow you to have more precision and therefore create pictures with a higher level of detail.
  • Mario Paint on the 3DS should feature the same layered 3D images as Colors! 3D; in fact, you should be able to insert as many new layers as you desire. The tools could be similar to Colors or even Photoshop; there is no reason to think the 3DS couldn’t provide a fully-featured application similar to what is available on PCs.
  • The “Special Stamps” could come back in the same form, perhaps with more pixels to create larger and more detailed sprites. It would also be pretty cool to have the option of inserting various Mario/Nintendo characters into your pictures as 3D models.
  • With the SD card memory storage and Internet capabilities, a 3DS version of Mario Paint should allow you to save images, music editor files, special stamps, and flyswatter high scores to your removable storage, or upload them directly to major social networking sites/a dedicated page that is connected to major social networking sites.Having the option of creating and sharing your 3D images – even just the 2D versions of the 3D pictures – would be a really cool feature, and it seems like a no-brainer.
  • The original Mario Paint had some “coloring book” pages that basically let you fill in a few different pictures. I think Mario Paint for the 3DS could bring back this concept using the panels featured in the StreetPass Plaza’s Puzzle Swap game. Perhaps players could fill in the color for any of the panels that they have completed?
  • I would be crushed to see any new Mario Paint that didn’t include some form of the classic mini-games: I want both a music editor and the ridiculous fly-swatting game, with the latter featuring 3D effects and perhaps even gyroscope controls. These distractions were some of my favorite parts of Mario Paint on the SNES, and trying to swat those damn gnats and bees off of the screen would be reason enough for me to purchase a 3DS version.
  • Speaking of purchasing anything, Mario Paint for the 3DS would need to be set at the right price point to maximize its value…with Colors! 3D being available on the Nintendo eShop, it would take something pretty special to justify Mario Paint being released as a full retail game at $40. I think the game would be perfect for $10-20; the very most I would pay is $30, and I would want a boxed retail copy.
The Chances:

To be honest, I am not sure what the chances of Mario Paint 3DS really are…I know that I am not the first person who has thought about a follow-up to the SNES version, but with all the features and capabilities of the platform, the 3DS seems like the perfect home for a new, modern version of Mario Paint. As I said before, I would be absolutely thrilled to pick up the stylus and swat some of those stupid flies away in a 3D version of that crazy fly-swatter game.

What do you think? Would you ever want to see a Mario Paint game on the 3DS? Leave some feedback below and share your thoughts!

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