Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Artist Tool

NEC Home Electronics / Hudson Soft

Artist Tool comes with an enormous tome of an instruction manual that may fool you into thinking that the card offers a substantive drawing program to enjoy. In truth, AT is extremely limited and not at all fun to use. Old Windows Paint presents many more options and is much more user friendly. If, for some bizarre reason, you need a 16-bit "game" of this nature, well, Mario Paint easily destroys this waste of a chip.

Still, AT can have appeal as a collectible, as it's somewhat rare and obviously unique (within the PCE library). And with additional equipment (the oh-so-common-and-useful Illust Booster, Photo Reader, and Print Booster), those who do acquire it can print out whatever pictures they create with it. Unfortunately, there's little reason to believe anyone will like the program enough to do more than doodle with it for a few minutes.

Not a pretty way to start things off. You can tell right from the get-go that Artist Tool is simple and dull.

If you think a little music will liven things up, think again. All of the audio here is awful.

Adjust your palette as you see fit before beginning your work. This is as far as the game goes with customization options.

At least you can bring up your "coordinates" at any time, so there's no need to worry about getting lost.

There are three main drawing "techniques" at your disposal. You can show off your natural talent by sketching freehand...

...or you can paint precise straight lines...

...or you can make circles. You can even combine all three methods to create one incredible masterpiece, but I was far too bored at this point to spend twenty more seconds on another stupid picture.

But I did like my line sketch so much that I used one of Artist Tool's "special features" (magnification!) to examine my handiwork more closely.

By the way, see if you can figure out which Turbo game the three images are subtly referring to. Make sure to stare at each sketch for hours on end until you have the answer sussed.

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