Colors! 3D, released today on the Nintendo eShop in the U.S., is the official successor to the original Nintendo DS homebrew application which delighted gamers, artists and dabblers alike. This time around however, users are given the ability to paint in three dimensional layers, as well being able to paint with friends among other things. Having put some time into creating my own painting or two, I’m here now to give a rundown of my impressions with the new app thus far…
What I like…
Painting in 3D layers is really cool! It’s also highly intuitive. Switching between layers is as simple as moving the circle pad left or right and continuing your work on whatever layer you choose. Copying layers and moving them around is equally painless, quick and really quite smooth. In fact, the whole interface works great. After spending ample time with it, it becomes second nature to switch between tools, menus and painting on the fly.
The original Colors! allowed for brush sensitivity. This was because the original Nintendo DS system included a touch sensitive screen. Since the 3DS doesn’t have that, the application makes up for it by including the ability to change the sensitivity digitally, using the d-pad to switch between soft and hard presses. While not as ideal, it’s nice that they included this for those who would have missed it otherwise.
There’s an extensive tutorial section that covers everything the app has to offer. Very much appreciated, especially for those might be overwhelmed at first by the number of features on hand.
The price is right. At $6.99 (+ tax), you’re getting a rock solid application that works as advertised. It also barely takes up any space (228 blocks) and will always be with you wherever you go, so long as you take your 3DS with you.
Speaking of features, you can paint with friends (locally only, no online), color pages like a coloring book in one gallery and view 2D & 3D sample paintings in another, among other things. They’re not necessarily meaty features by any means, but nice additions nonetheless.
Connecting to the online gallery and uploading your paintings is a snap. It’s very quick, easy and intuitive to use. Once your painting is ready, you’ll be sharing it with the world in no time at all. You can even comment on other people’s paintings and “like” them right on your 3DS, then download and save their work to your gallery to take with you wherever you go. Since the paintings are essentially copied to your system, they’re now yours to play around with as you please. It’s especially neat to view the 3D layers individually in order to see how other artists created their work.
Paintings can be shared simply by either uploading them to the gallery or saving them to the SD card, which of course can then be sent using Swapnote or by uploading elsewhere on the web. Paintings can even be exported as large as 1600×960 resolution!
What I don’t like…
Not really a fault of the app itself, but the Nintendo 3DS system, unlike its predecessor, doesn’t include a touch sensitive screen, thereby preventing the developers from being able to include the ability to draw with sensitivity directly on the touch screen itself. While this is somewhat made up for through the use of the d-pad, it’s still missed. Not a deal breaker by any means, however.
Would have been nice to be able to paint with friends online as well as locally.
Downloading paintings from the online gallery can take longer than expected, perhaps due to the complexity of some paintings and also the fact that every file stores every brush stroke for playback purposes. Not a big deal though.
You can’t view comments on your paintings in the online gallery on your 3DS unless those comments were originally created by someone on their 3DS. Not sure why that is. Instead, you have to load up the Internet Browser to view those comments, which is a bit tedious and time consuming, not to mention also that the site isn’t formatted for the 3DS screens.
Whether you’re a pro painter or simply an enthusiast, you’ll absolutely adore spending time painting in 3D on the go with Colors! 3D. It’s a finely tuned application at a decent price and best of all, it’s always on your 3DS with you wherever you go. No game card or homebrew applications necessary. Pretty nice for when you’re suddenly feeling inspired to paint something.
Colors! 3D is most definitely a worthy addition to the Nintendo 3DS digital download library. Highly recommended.
That does it for my impressions at the moment, but if I come up with anything else worth mentioning, I’ll update this post.