Art Alive (Genesis) review
"On almost every gaming platform under the sun, there are a variety of titles that do not really fall under the category of a game. Art Alive is one of these titles. Art Alive is a painting program that allows you to create and draw your own masterpieces. It really is like the Sega version of Microsoft Paint. There's only one problem. For a drawing program, it's not even that good. "
On almost every gaming platform under the sun, there are a variety of titles that do not really fall under the category of a game. Art Alive is one of these titles. Art Alive is a painting program that allows you to create and draw your own masterpieces. It really is like the Sega version of Microsoft Paint. There's only one problem. For a drawing program, it's not even that good.
As you'd expect from any paint application, you're shown a white background and you can use a varied selection of tools to fill the canvas with colour. You can draw circles, fill them in with bright shades and patterns, and even import sprites of famous Sega characters onto the sheet. One of my favourite points of the game is that these characters actually move. So if you really want to, you can use all the tools to recreate Green Hill Zone from 'Sonic the Hedgehog' and place a running Sonic on the ground, making it look like the blue hedgehog is actually where he belongs.
Despite all the tools and options available, they can't all be used successfully due to the lackluster control system. Any drawing program really needs to have a completely versatile mouse or cursor, and the Genesis's directional pad cannot provide the needed freedom. This is a real blow as many pictures can be ruined by an accidental stroke of the brush too far. Apart from the useless D-pad, every other aspect of control is perfect. It's hardly complicated at all, and even a small child could get to grips with the system in no time at all.
So you've just spent half an hour creating your masterpiece and you'd like to show it to your friends. What do you do? Absolutely nothing as there isn't a save feature. Unless you want to leave your console switched on for ever, there isn't an easy way to look back on all the paintings you've done. After you realise that everything you've done is gone for good, you may lose the motivation to play any longer, and this affects the replayability of the application. In fact, after you get over the initial joy of getting to toy with your favourite characters, you'll realise that this is just another painting program, and there are better ones out there at little or no cost at all.
Art Alive really does make use of the Genesis's ability to show realistic visuals for it's time. The colours used within the game aren't too bright, and this boosts the attractiveness of the program up a notch. While everything looks clean and fresh, you'll no doubt turn off the sound on your television as you work. No artist should deserve to listen to terrible sound effects as they create art. Luckily, playing with the sound off doesn't really take anything away from the experience, and similarly, they do little to enhance it.
The lowdown? Art Alive is just another paint program and is nothing more, nothing less. It's thoroughly average, and while there are some nice touches, like the Sega characters, there are some horrible downsides, like the inability to save your work. If you have small children in the house, or enjoy exercising your creativity, then this is for you. Otherwise, you would probably be better off giving this a miss, ans it will do nothing but disappoint.
Community review by bodo_parkour (July 08, 2007)
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