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Mario Paint: What Did Critics Think in 1993?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on April 14, 2014   |   Episode 29 (Show Archive)  

   

Mario Paint (Super NES)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every week as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

After the lackluster launch of the Super Scope in 1992, Nintendo was eager to try out another intriguing accessory -- a standard computer mouse. While not exactly a conventional game, Mario Paint still offered 16-bit players a lot of fun things to create. Like the title suggests, gamers of all ages can use the mouse to draw works of art, compose funky music and even make an animated movie. But what did critics think of this unorthodox tool? We check in with Electronic Gaming Monthly, N-Force, Super NES Buyers Guide, Super Play and more for the answer!

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

Mario Paint
[ Company: Nintendo | Console: Super NES ]

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #39
9 out of 10

"While this cart is not what you would call a video game, I found it to be a blast! The creative possibilities are endless. Making your own animation and music combos is by far the most fun. Tons of humorous animations are featured within the different studios. The only disappointment is you can only save one thing at a time." -Martin

N-FORCE #5
82% out of 100%

"Everybody seems to be jumping on the Mario bandwagon (or even cart for that matter) and although this creation may be guilty of that, it's still excellent value for money. The mouse works smoothly and the program has loads of features. You can draw some good pictures and have lots of fun but it's not a fully-featured drawing program. There are a few drawbacks but basically this package is just what it's meant to be -- loads of fun." -Flunky

SUPER NES BUYER'S GUIDE (Feb. 1993)
8 out of 10

"Nintendo has another winner on their hands. Mario Paint is so easy to use that anyone can become creative! Making your own cartoon is fun, and when you add music and sounds, it becomes a real treat! The only drawback is that you can save only one creation at a time, but I guess that's what VCRs are for. Have fun!" -Guy

NINTENDO POWER #39
4 out of 5

"While Mario Paint might seem like a real special interest program, it's so well made that I think that anyone who has even a remote interest in creating drawings, animation or music will really like it." -George

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #39
8 out of 10

"Nintendo has always strived to introduce accessorites and enhancements to their systems and this time it's a mouse peripheral and pad. This device simulates the feel of an artistic tool and allows anyone the ability to design their own masterpieces. Coupled with an animation and sound studio, this cart is a solid hit!" -Ed

SUPER NES BUYER'S GUIDE (Feb. 1993)
8 out of 10

"This cart is a refreshing change of pace from the standard video games. With your imagination as your only boundary, you can create tons of music and animation combinations. This cart isn't just for kids; the music and animation techniques can get advanced. I only wish there was more than one save position." -Sam Rye

NINTENDO MAGAZINE SYSTEM #3
65% out of 100%

"What would the wacky artist who cut off his ear after painting some sunflowers make of Mario Paint? Would he, perchance, herald it as the greatest ever advance towards the marriage of technology and fine art? Or would he just turn it off and band Super Aleste into his Super NES for a quick blast? [Mario Paint is] a fun and enjoyable paint package that comes with an excellent mouse. The problem is that its novelty wears off fairly quickly and it's very expensive."

SUPER PLAY #6
55% out of 100%

"Mario Paint's fun for a bit, and will probably appeal to youngsters. But it seems that Nintendo poured all their efforts into packing it with gimmicks while neglecting the basics, and I quickly got bored of it. By all means buy Mario Paint for the mouse, which will come in handy later, but don't expect to have much fun with Mario Paint itself." -Jez Bridgeman
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 74% - For the most part, critics tended to have a good time with Mario Paint. All four critics working at Electronic Gaming Monthly noted that it's barely a game, while everybody else seemed to complain about the lack of multiple save functionality. That sounds like a big deal, but it didn't seem to impact scores much.

While most critics praised Mario Paint, there were two holdouts. Strangely, the two outliers are both from the United Kingdom. Nintendo Magazine System wondered if Vincent Van Gogh would have liked Mario Paint, or preferred Super Aleste. My guess is that he wouldn't have cared for either. Super Play went even lower, giving the game a staggering 55%. Along with tepid reviews from Electronic Gaming Monthly and Super NES Buyer's Guide, these UK-based critics successfully brought the average down to 74%.

SUPER MARIO ARCHIVE: Want to see how this Super Mario game stacks up against the rest? Below you will find every Mario game currently in the Review Crew archive. Read the original reviews and see if you agree with the old school critics.

Super Mario World
What Did Critics Say Back in 1992?
Nintendo Super NES 92%
Super Mario Kart
What Did Critics Say Back in 1993?
Nintendo Super NES 89%
Super Mario All-Stars
What Did Critics Say Back in 1993?
Nintendo Super NES 88%
Super Mario Land
What Did Critics Say Back in 1989?
Nintendo Game Boy 82%
Mario Paint
What Did Critics Say Back in 1993?
Nintendo Super NES 74%
Dr. Mario
What Did Critics Say Back in 1990?
Nintendo Game Boy 66%

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