Review: Super Mario World


With the release of the Super Nintendo came the delivery of another entry in the Mario series; the fabled Super Mario World. Considered by many to the ultimate Super Mario experience, this game took everything that was great about the previous titles and combined into a 16-bit powerhouse of a title.

The games features the classic platforming elements expected from a Mario title combined with the overworld map system seen in Super Mario Bros. 3. In fact, those familiar with SMB3 will feel right at home with this title. But for everything that seems familiar, there’s also plenty of new additions in this adventure. One of more notable features of this game is the introduction of Mario’s dinosaur sidekick, Yoshi!


Another thing that makes this game unique when compared to the previous Mario titles, is that there is a whole slew of optional levels that are available to enjoy, but not required to finish the game. These “special” levels are actually the hardest the game has to offer. Your reward for beating them? Some of the monsters appear as alternate models. Woo. Still, you can’t help but want to clear them all. These optional challenges have since become a staple in the Mario series.

I first encountered this game at the house of one of my Japanese friends. Of course, on his Super Famicom, it was titled Super Mario Bros. 4, but regardless of the title, we spent an entire weekend playing the game. We took care to uncover the secret levels, find the multiple exits to those stages that featured them, and even conquered the ultimate challenge: collect all of the Yoshi coins on each level. We felt like true Mario elite, let me tell you.


A few years ago, a slightly redone version of the game was released for the Game Boy Advance. But aside from some minimal cosmetic changes and some silly voice acting, there’s really nothing of note in this version. More recently, the game has been released for the Wii U virtual console and features Miiverse integration. I find it fascinating to read and watch the young people today playing the game for the first time, posting questions and answers on Miiverse. It’s a bit heartwarming to know that even after all this time, the game still holds up with new audiences.


Difficulty: Medium  –  This is a middle of the road Mario title. Most the main levels are easily passable after a few tries. It’s the optional levels that can really be a bit nervewracking.

Story: Again, it’s Mario. Blah blah blah Bowser. Blah blah blah Princess. Help Help. We’ve seen it all before. But, that’s part of the charm isn’t it?

Originality: The transition to a 16-bit environment really did a lot for the series. Despite featuring very familiar game play, the title is kept fresh with the introduction of new power-up and of course, Yoshi.

Soundtrack: A very catchy and nostalgic soundtrack, but really not that inspiring in my opinion. I can’t really find anything to complain about, but there’s not really any thing about the game sounds that stand out either.

Fun: As far as a fun game that you can play over and over, this is the Mario title I turn to. Hours of fun for the entire family here. This is the “family game night” title to start with.

Graphics: For a launch title, this game surprisingly featured the best of what the Super Nintendo has to offer. Beautiful, crisp cartoonish graphics. A work of art.

Playcontrol: Spot-on play control on the original system, but it does take a little getting used to depending on what controller you’re using. Wii Players would do good to play on either a Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro. Wii U players, can play using the Wii U game pad, but to me, it feels a bit awkward. I recommend getting a Wii U Gamepad Pro.

Overall score (1-100): 100 –  Another classic first party title from Nintendo. This is one of those games that you should have in your library no matter what. Great visual, fun pay, and imaginative levels make for a perfect title.

Original System: SNES

Currently available on: Wii Shop, Wii U eShop

Other Reviews In This Series:

SMB   –   SMB Lost Levels  –  SMB 2  –  SMB 3  –  SM World – SM World 2–  SM Land  –  SM Land 2  – SM Land 3 –  Mario 64 – Mario Sunshine – New SMB – Galaxy – Galaxy 2 – New SMB Wii – Mario 3D Land – New SMB 2 – New SMB U – SMB 3D World – Super Mario Odyssey

Paper Mario – Thousand Year Door – Super Paper Mario – Sticker Star – Color Splash

Wario Land 2 – Wario Land 3 – Wario Land 4 – Wario World – Master of Disguise – Wario Land Shake It

Luigi’s Mansion    –    Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon –    Luigi’s Mansion 3

Super Princess Peach   –   Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker