It is quite clear from the results that Mario Paint is aimed at young children - the simple, bright presentation and limited facilities only help to confirm this. Mario Paint tries to be as user-friendly as possible, with no pull-down menus or anything similar. Deluxe Paint AGA has many options - actually, there are more than you may think because many options are divided into 1 or 2 sub-menus allowing for many combinations. To be honest, Nintendo could have included a bit more in Mario Paint because the limited tools are, er, limited. There's no magnify option, so minimal detail guaranteed. Expect results to look blocky and messy.
The tin-lunk of a robot only allows one battery back-up, which is pointless; DPaint AGA can obviously store art and animation onto any amount of disks. (Although as this is a computer program, that was to be expected anyway.)
Another point about Mario Paint is that there are only 16 colours available and you can't change them - this is strange considering the Super Nintendo sports 32,768 colours, of which 256 can be displayed on-screen at once. DP AGA allows many colours in a high resolution (which is even higher with Overscan).
There is a sound option on Mario Paint, but this is very pointless, as art packages should be just that (art packages, of course). The sound composer is daft, too - you select mushrooms and Marios and other similar things. Like, what happened to crotchets and quavers anyway?
Both packages have an 'undo' option thankfully, with
DPaint's displayed as a normal icon and Mario Paint's displayed as a silly dog - doh! (For the third time.)
Three different mouse speeds can be selected on both programs, with different animals (like a rabbit and cheetah) representing the speeds on Mario Paint, and the standard option representing DPaint's mouse speed (you can see what I'm getting at, can't you?).
Animation is pointless on Mario Paint - the maximum amount of frames available are nine (but only with a small-sized character) - the best you'll be able to do is make a stick-man jump up and down (or something); DPaint allows loads of frames for you to create your own cartoon, or whatever. You can make your animation even larger by adding more memory to your machine.
It seems then, that Deluxe Paint AGA is simply better at everything and anything than Mario Paint, and indeed it is (apart from the stupid aforementioned sound utility; although, on DP AGA, you can multi-task and have the professional music package OctaMED 5 anyway). Oh sorry, on Mario Paint, there's the fly swat game, isn't there? Oh, I forgot about that, and perhaps I should continue to forget about it - it's naff. Oh no! tragic error! How stupid of me to forget about the many different ways to clear the screen that's available in Mario Paint - cor, what a brilliant addition - if only Deluxe Paint AGA had it too (cue half-hearted violin music).
With Mario Paint, you do get a 'free' Mario mouse; but if you're after it, you'd be advised to wait for it to be available separately.
Basically then, MP is for the inexperienced user who wants to be hampered with nice presentation (but little else), whilst Deluxe Paint is for the professional user and anyone with a proper interest in art.
Deluxe Paint IV AGA:
The best art package anywhere, fully taking advantage of the superior capabilities. It's choc-full of features and you'll have fun experimenting with them; you can print, save and everything. It's arguably the best non-True-Colour Amiga art-package, and probably the best art-package ever full-stop.
From Electronic Arts, priced at £99.99, or available cheaper for owners of previous Deluxe Paint programs. Also available from mail-order and many software retailers.
Nintendo launch an art package, just so kids can tell their parents: "See, the Super Nintendo isn't just a games machine - it'll help me with my education - just look at Mario Paint " and persuade them to buy a Super Nintendo (when really they want it for games, of course).
Fun at first, but soon becomes too limiting. Expect appalling results at best.
From Nintendo, priced at £60, Mario Paint is available from all good (or should that be bad?) software retailers and includes the 'free' Mario mouse.
I hate Lotus - not the game or car, you understand, but the company who make the cars. And why? I'll tell you why... They hate seeing their cars smashed up on the road - even on computer! Alright, alright, let's be fair - Lotus have every right to disapprove of seeing their cars smashed, burnt and broken to pieces, even though this is a game.
Unfortunately, this means that the third Lotus in the series follows in the footsteps of the previous two, which means no action sequences à la Chase HQ. The programmers - Magnetic Fields - couldn't really change much of the formula that was held in the original two because of this, resulting in a game which feels very similar to that of the 2 forerunners.
There are some extras. There are four new courses to race in for example. The additional courses include:
Future: The future course includes a couple of extra neat-ish features. Lasers shoot across from one end of the road to the other (bizarre!), and there's even a Turbo zone, which means the update goes jerky... Er, I mean you go faster - that's the one.
New Course Rating: 6/10
Mountainous: He-elp! The screen update goes haywire on this course. Sometimes the scroll can go so jerky, you look/feel as
though you're going backwards, or slowing
down - or both! Easily the most boring track too, there's very little variety. (The only roadside objects you can see are badly drawn rocks on the right, and a barrier on the left - these even slow the game down!) Perspective is completely lost, and half of the time you can't see where you're going.
New Course Rating: 2/10
Roadworks: As you'd expect, most of the road is littered with signs and barriers. There's even a 'Go Slow!' sign. Ignore it - the game trundles along slow enough as it is.
New Course Rating: 5/10
Wind: It's like a bloomin' hurricane (well, ish). I knew the weather-man was wrong - "Nice hot, sunny day" he said, smirking yesterday, and wouldn't you know it - he was wrong. Er... yes; anyway, the wind blows obstacles 'n' stuff onto the road. As if this wasn't bad enough, the
wind forces you to bank off to the right. Tricky.
New Course Rating: 6/10
Of course, you get all the standard courses, too (rain and fog etc.), so there's a fair amount of courses for you to travel through.
There are quite a few extras, too, but seeing as I'm in a bad mood today, you can listen to my griping first. My major moan is the speed (or rather the lack of it) in the game itself. The two predecessors ran along at a fair rate (25 frames per second on average), so I was expecting Lotus 3 to run along just as fast (if not faster) but - oh! - how wrong I was. The update is now just playable at best, and unspeakably juddery at worst (often dipping below 15 f.p.s.). The standard levels are reasonably slow, but wait until you drive along the mountain-side. Oh, it's magnificent. Brilliant contoured landscapes are the order of the day, and you can almost smell the fresh air around you...