Review: Super Mario World

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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 game.

This game 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 game. 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!

 

Yoshi acts as a companion to Mario. Mario can mount him and ride around. This can occasionally allow Mario reach areas that are normally out of reach. Also, Yoshi has the ability it grab enemies with his tongue and hold him in his mouth. When ready, players can have Yoshi spit the enemies back out as a projectile.

Another thing that makes this game unique when compared to the previous Mario titles, is that there is a whole slew of optional levels. These hidden levels are available for players to enjoy, but they are not required to finish the game. These “special” levels provide the biggest challenge the game has to offer. Your reward for beating them? Some of the monsters appear as alternate models. Yay… Still, you can’t help but want to clear them all. After this game, optional challenges like these 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 all of the the multiple exits (to those stages that featured them), and even conquered the ultimate challenge: collecting 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.

Version Reviewed: SNES

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

Multiplayer: Local.

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-ups and of course, Yoshi.

Soundtrack: A very catchy and nostalgic soundtrack. The tunes in this game are timeless.

Fun: As far as a fun game that you can play over and over, this is the Mario title I turn to. There’s hours of entertainment 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.

Downloadable Content:  N/A

Mature Content: N/A

Value:  This game is available on the Wii U Virtual Console for around $8.00. Well worth the price.

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

Available today on:  Virtual Console, eShop, SNES Classic, Switch Online  –  (List updated as of Fall 2020)

Best Modern Experience: SNES Classic/Switch Online –  (As of Fall 2020)

 

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