uDraw is the latest peripheral that’s hit the gaming world – firstly for the Wii and now for Xbox360 and PS3. It comes bundled with Artist Studio – a full on sandbox studio kit. So with a few games dripping onto the market – does the uDraw work?
In a word – No.
The first design problem is the fact it uses 3 AA batteries. In the age where we’re used to chargeable controllers this is sad to see. Secondly the stylus pen that is attached, is attached by a very short rope – a bit like a bank pen that doesn’t quite give you enough room to go freely across your cheque book. It gets caught on the edges and generally gets in the way.
However all these could be overlooked if the actual tablet worked. It appears to be very hit and miss. The stylus needs to be absolutely vertical for it to register and I found I had to be pressing down quite hard on the screen itself. Within about three minutes I thought I was actually going to break the thing in half because of the sheer pressure I needed to use to get the pen to register. From there I read that you could use your fingers. Suddenly things seemed a lot smoother and I recommend people going straight for the finger option.
This then led to one further problem which then turned what was starting to become quite an interesting experience into a nightmare. Basically, Artist Studio did not seem to notice when I removed my finger from the canvas. This then causes lots of annoying problems of then getting the drawings to stop drawing after spending so long trying to get the thing to register you! Admittedly you can undo the last ten actions by pressing select but it suddenly gets infuriating when for the fifth time a giant red line is spray painted across your work of art.
Of the Artist Studio itself, there’s a range of features and effects – most of which work really well and it has a lot of effects stolen from adobe. There is potential for some great art but it takes a lot of dedication. There are a few tutorials and challenges thrown in for good measure too. The only down side is that by using your fingers and not the “is it working?!” stylus, the menu system is too small to navigate easily and it takes a long time to get spacial awareness around the tablet to vaguely select the right thing.
~When it works, it’s actually quite a revelation and a unique console experience
~Fingers make great art tools
~The stylus doesn’t work and I wouldn’t trust it to not damage the screen
~Uses AA batteries
~Fiddly menu systems
~Frustrating touch sensitivity bugs make things feel laborious
~Lead me to think the whole game would work so much better with a Move controller instead
Out of all the add-on controllers and spins off’s I’ve bought – this is the worst. Not because it’s a bad idea – it’s a great one. It just plain and simply doesn’t work half the time and that leads to utter frustration. If this application came out with the Move controller (like a much beefier Beat Sketcher) then I’d be raving. It’s the tablet itself that ruins it and therefore will ruin any game it graces until its core issues are resolved.