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Mario Artist: Polygon Studio Reviewed by Ferry Groenendijk on . Rating: 57%
Mario Artist: Polygon Studio
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Mario Artist: Polygon Studio Mario Artist: Polygon Studio Mario Artist: Polygon Studio Mario Artist: Polygon Studio
  • Review Score:

  • C+
This software promised an era of new creative possibilities for gamers of all ages who wanted to add their own full 3D objects such as cars, tanks, people, or airplanes to other Nintendo 64DD software. What it delivered was far from that ... though not because of the game's programming. As it turned, out no games were ever released that would use Polygon Studios abilities, and trust me the options are there.

Like the other games, you have the ability to import pictures from Paint Studio, such as your own 2D creations or your face, for usage on Polygon Studio models. As well the ability to export your home-made 3D object online via Multimedia Maker, to get your very own 3D model printed out in colour on paper and send to your home, so you could then cut and paste it together and see your creation come to life for real! A remarkable Randnet DD service for sure. And the attempt at Mario Paint interactivity is commendable, but hardly something to write home about. "A missed opportunity" are words that spring to mind.

So what about the in-game controls, sounds and options then? The controls couldn't be easier, thus making the creation of your polygon models a piece of cake. Split the squares, forge the next in half, stretch, turn & bend, then take a look around the polygon object with the camera controls to see if it's to your liking. If it's finished you're off to your next step, and that's colouring your model. As mentioned before, you can add pictures from Paint Studio to make it to your liking. After a while you're modelling like a pro, so we should call this filling in what it is: texturing your polygon model. The sounds are bleeps and blips, and the music is simple as any background music should be, not catchy or overly present.

This is no Maya suite or 3D Studio Max, the graphics are simple and efficient, plus the software does what it's meant to do, making 3D modelling accessible for everyone, while being quite advanced at the same time. The side- and dropdown-menus are smooth and not in the way of the creative process, or your model's view for that matter. The N64 mouse will make your movements easy; you'll never want to use the controller again for apps like this. But soon you'll grow tired of making models out of polygons, so after you've saved your creation(s), what's left to do?

Well there are two "games" to be played! You'll notice I'm using the term games loosely, as not to bring your hopes up for something fun. But if by wacky/weird you mean fun, then it's fun. First are a half dozen pre-made 2D racing, jumping, shooting & maze-like classical games, in which you can insert a created model on wheels. Trust me, it looks and plays simple yet awkwardly weird depending on what you created. Besides the games are short, so you'll be looking at the second game option rather shortly afterwards.

Now then, here is where after the initial polygon creation process, the software gets interesting again. You're given a game maker option! By means of a pre-designed world, which supposedly you can influence, you're free to do with the level whatever you like. But primarily this is meant to have inserted your previously saved polygon models into. But I'll be honest and say I couldn't see heads from tails in this option, because of the menus that were overloaded with Japanese combinations (there's an over 70 pages long manual explaining everything). So I've probably missed a lot of possibilities in this game maker mode. Playing the default level for a while in a car that you can race around in (which resembles a by Nintendo cancelled lady-bird colored buggy racing game).

You can also make it go bouncy-bouncy with the press of a button, with the intent of going through hoops to score points, but trying to evade shocks. And hitting power walls that make the car bounce off them and then burst or fly (if you're in the air) through the level for no apparent reason, it gets tiresome, I imagine the player is supposed to add to the experience with their own changes in vehicle, objects and landscape. But after playing this level for a while with a friend taking turns, we were more surprised by it's 'back to basic' graphics and strange level design, rather than feeling the need to change or improve anything in-game, so we were quick to turn the power off.

In short I'd say this is worth a look if you already have the other Mario Artist Studios titles. I mean, the whole is larger than the sum of its parts and in that vain it's meant to be a set after all. But with all this package has to offer as an editor and no one to use it properly, it is a shame, but makes the software feel not so much useless as it does empty of purpose. I think I didn't even play around with it longer than an hour, so I'd have to hint at buying this as a collector's item. I can tell you it's a strange perception when you're playing around with software little more than 10,000 own.
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