Given its long-lasting reign as the king of consoles, Nintendo is one of the most imitated companies in the gaming world. It is, therefore, no surprise that Microsoft has decided to jump on the bandwagon and include free games with every licensed Windows PC system. Unfortunately, most of the included games deserve nothing more than a mere mention: Solitaire and FreeCell are highly derivative of each other, Minesweeper is repetitive and overly complicated, and 3D Space Pinball is unimaginative and tasking on the fingers; however, one game really stands out from the rest of the pack: Microsoft Paint. With the popularity of Windows, it comes as no surprise that so many have been sucked into the freely included, creative design game that is MS Paint.
MS Paint is no ordinary game. With its non-linear plot, or more accurately, lack of any plot to hold the player down at all, the game is perhaps the most limitless game ever designed. Anything is possible, from action to adventure and high fantasy, and Microsoft could well have gone bankrupt with the amount of work that went into MS Paint had it not enjoyed such success. Both gamers and non-gamers agree, the simplistic, yet elegant, MS Paint, is a must have for all Microsoft Windows users.
Starting the creativity revolution in 1985 and still delivering each day, MS Paint had its humble beginnings as an application called Paintbrush for Windows that was released with Windows 1.0 in November of 1985. It supported a whopping two file formats: BMP and MSP. Its purpose was to open, save, and manipulate picture files. Since the dual-file days of MS Paintbrush, it has exploded into a multifaceted achievement in programming design. The edition of MS Paint released with Windows 95 set the standard layout and every version since has only improved upon this already sublime application.
The most recent version of MS Paint can handle a multitude of file formats and colors. Editing can be done in incredible 24-bit depth with over 15 different tools. The preset color palette includes 48 colors and has 12 custom slots for user-made colors. There is no ceiling to the creativity possible through MS Paint, with its nearly infinite shapes and colors. All wrapped up with 24-bit depth, MS Paint is a burrito no gamer or non-gamer could resist. Sorry, Taco Bell.
The graphics of MS Paint are quite unlike anything else on the market today. When Okami was released for the PlayStation 2, game reviewers everywhere hailed it as art and claimed that video games could be construed as an art form. MS Paint takes this statement to a whole new level: it is pure art. While many programs have trouble running under Widows Vista, we are happy to report that not only is MS Paint fully compatible and stable, but it also takes advantage of the latest and greatest Direct X 10 graphics cards, filling nearly every pixel of a player?s monitor with vibrant color. The program?s sound is non-existent, although gamers will undoubtedly find themselves squealing with joy and delight as they play, creating their own soundtrack of incredibly happy proportions. Though they may find more luck jamming to a CD or MP3 using another great Microsoft program, Windows Media Player.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and while MS Paint takes the gold as one of the greatest achievements of all time, when we looked at its content... needless to say we were appalled. We have never seen a game score five bars in all five of our content Bar Rating areas, but MS Paint is, indeed, the most repulsive thing we have ever had to review.
MS Paint has one of the most mature plots we have ever seen, which explains why the ESRB has refused to rate it. Though typically calm, MS Paint will occasionally present very graphic images of stick-figure torture and death. Magical spells run rampant and unchecked causing problems that not even the eraser tool or undo button can fix. Even with the marquee tool present to quickly edit out the vulgar parts, one can never escape every horrific image MS Paint can produce. In fact, an entire scene was dedicated to the sale of liquor and illegal narcotics while playing out in a live gambling environment. Take our advice; keep the kids away from MS Paint. After reviewing it as thoroughly as we have, we are certain we will never open the program again.
In the days where art and games normally do not collide and the average gamer is hopelessly buried by needlessly complex, feature-bloated program suites, such as Adobe's Photoshop, MS Paint stands head and shoulders above the rest, offering its own simple elegance and polished interface as a haven of sanity amidst the maelstrom of chaos. With pixel-perfect controls, a myriad of features, and advanced, algorithmically driven functions, there is literally nothing that this wonder cannot accomplish. In addition to its incredible simplicity, MS Paint comes seamlessly integrated into the superb Windows environment, making it a trivial task to activate. Though we cannot condone Microsoft for including such appalling content in MC Paint, it is real art. With such quality and polished play packed in, it is amazing that Microsoft would give Microsoft Paint away when it has so much potential and replayability.
» By Plain Games, Plain Games. Published 4/1/2008 2:04:19 AM.