it’s been a long time since i’ve “completed” a warioware title, and the reason is that warioware D.I.Y. for DS was next in line and i’m not really into games that focus on creativity since i’m not very artistic, and when i’m playing a game i’d rather just be playing a game than creating. anyway, before i get into warioware D.I.Y., it’s pretty much impossible not to talk about that game without mentioning its well-known predecessor mario paint on SNES. i’d never played mario paint, so i gave it a quick spin. one thing mario paint was famous for was introducing the SNES mouse and basically has three modes: a cute and cartoony version of photoshop in which you can create still images and animations; a cute and cartoony composer mode in which you can create music with a maximum of three notes at a time; and a bonus mini-game called “gnat attack” (aka “coffee break” or “fly swatter”) in which you navigate the mouse around to swat at flies and other enemies. i enjoyed my time with mario paint and it’s cute and colorful, but a big drawback to the game (and a deal-breaker by modern standards) is that you can only save one image and otherwise there’s now way to save your results other than record it to a video recorder via your TV, or utilize modern means, such as an emulator’s save states.
as for warioware D.I.Y., i dove into playing through the mini-games first, and these are the typical warioware fare. the game focuses on touchscreen controls and in that sense is very much like warioware: touched, although the games feel somewhat average in general, although that could just be that the formula has worn thin. before long i was exploring what the rest of the game has to offer, which includes 4-panel comics to read that unlock daily, many of which are quite entertaining (albeit fairly surreal), and a listening center. on the creative side the game includes a comic strip maker and a music maker (with a max of 4 simultaneous notes + 1 rhythm track instead of mario paint‘s 3).
the game offers multiple ways to ease you into the main event, microgame creation: one way is the “jobs” section, where you can take on tasks to replace artwork from microgames (taken from the original warioware title, i believe). the photoshop-like art creator, which is pretty much the same in all the modes, is similar to mario paint‘s, and is equally cute and colorful and similarly surprisingly deep. the game also provides three in-depth tutorials to take you through increasingly complex ways of creating objects and programming simple interactions in order to create your game. after working through some of the microgame creation it becomes clearer why the pre-made microgames feel more basic than usual, because you can actually import any of them and modify them as you like to create your own version. this is a great way to get into the creation without having to start from scratch, and also a great way to learn how the game programming works since you can see how other microgames were set up. the game also includes stamps that you can use in lieu of having to create your own artwork, which is also helpful for people without much in the way of artistic skills.
when the game was originally released, the wi-fi connection features were a big part of the interactivity, with new microgames made available on a regular basis (some by famous real-world game developers themselves) and contests were held to make a microgame that matched a given theme. it’s too bad those features were available for such a short time, since the game came out at the tail end of the DS’s cycle (just a year before the 3DS was released). the game also features interactivity with the wiiware title warioware D.I.Y. showcase, where you can transfer your creations (or any of the other microgames) from your DS to the wii to play with the wiimote (another reason why the microgames were more simplistic, since they had to be compatible with the wiimote’s point-and-click capabilities). i haven’t sat down and played through that yet, but prob. will in the near future.
all in all mario paint, although regarded as a classic, seems fairly superseded by warioware D.I.Y.. the latter provides many more capabilities as well as plenty of options to save your games, although still no ability to export to anything outside of your DS or wii. although i enjoyed my time with the game, i’m not really the intended target since i’m not really into being creative within my gaming time, but otherwise this is an easy recommendation to people who are looking for that kind of experience.
paint and compose with these mario paint and warioware D.I.Y. links:
– article on mario paint on wikipedia
– SNES a day’s entry on mario paint, including footage of all the different actions you can take on the title screen, the different “erase all” tools, and the three songs built into the composer mode
– a theme from sonic recreated in warioware D.I.Y.
– review at nintendolife.com
– list on unlockables at gamefaqs, and a list of medal requirements
– how to get mario paint theme music to play in D.I.Y.
– list of all the games that were downloadable with descriptions, at mariowiki.com
– the game was ranked #13 in IGN’s top DS games, published in 2010