Mario Paints Music

It seems that this is old news generally, but I found Mario Paint Composer on the Internet yesterday. It was actually due to a YouTube video (why the hell I ended up looking at a Rick Astley song I still don’t know).

Of course, there is not one but two composer programs emulating the features of Mario Paint. The other is Mario Sequencer, which was originally written in Japanese. Luckily the website hosts an English version.

I’ve found that sequencer seems to have better timing, but Composer has a slightly nicer interface.

I was musing on being able to use this in schools as a basic synthesizer for primary kids. It has everything they need, such as tempo and different sounds. Most importantly, the sounds are fun and absurd.

I’m currently working on my Mario Paint version of ‘Faithealer’…

Wii Wii

I bought Claire and me a Nintendo Wii last month. I’ve found the console extremely enjoyable. I’ve had the standard fare of games such as Wii Sports and Wii Play. I managed to add a couple of games to the collection, too.

What I find greatly appealing about the Wii is that there is no doubt that it is targetting casual gamers.  I haven’t owned a games console since I had a SNES in my teens.

I think that it is a fair assessment to say that if I was a hardcore gamer who wanted to perfect every single game, I’d have opted for an XBox, or the mortgage-busting PS3. I think it’s fair to say that the PS3 priced itself out of the game any. The XBox wouls have probably been my choice of console.

Retro-gaming is Fun

One of the nice features of the Wii is the access of the Virtual Console store. Just for a bit of fun, I downloaded Sonic 2 and completed that over the period of a few half-hour sessions. I had forgetten how easy the game is.

Then I treated myself to Mario 64 this Easter. What a joyful surprise playing this game was. I’ve only just completed it with the 70 stars, but I feel compelled to crack on and go for all 120 stars. Mario moves well, and the whole motion is slick. “I feel like I missed out 10 years ago,” I told Steve while evangelically raving about a game he played on the N64 all that time ago.

Gamecube Bongos

One of the other neat things about the Wii is that it is 100% Gamecube compatible. We splurged on eBay by buying a Gamecube with 4 Bongos, Donkey Konga 1 & 2, a couple of controllers and a few other games.

Obviously, the Gamecube is immaterial to me, but over Christmas a colleague of Claire’s brought a pair of bongos and Donkey Konga around to our house. We had a great time, and I knew that I’d like to have a bit more of that!

I took the bongos up to Yorkshire and we played 4-way Donkey Konga and had a great time. It’s a cool party-piece. Probably more so than any Wii party games.

Cool Controller Stuff

One thing that really has got me excited (although I haven’t tried any of these things) is the extra stuff that you can do with a WiiMote. Johnny Chung Lee’s website has a number of projects that use the WiiMote for 3D headtracking (which is incredible), Minority Report-style finger controls and a makeshift interactive whiteboard. If you have a Wii (or even if you don’t) you should take a look.

So Where to?

I’ve been enjoying playing the thing. It will be interesting to see if I still play it in a year’s time. I’ve read on various gaming forums that people see it more as a fad than a real console. I’ve been more engaged by the drop-in/drop-out idea of playing games, so I think this fits quite nicely with me.