Super Mario World (SNES) review
"As gamers, we all have a certain game that stands out among the others that we've played. There have been dozens of games that I've played through, but in only one of those I can remember how to beat every level. If I couldn't play this game for ten years, once my punishment was up, I'd still be able to pick up the controller and enjoy it, even if it isn't challenging anymore. That game is Super Mario World. A lot of people begin these reviews with a nostalgic story of their fond memories..."
As gamers, we all have a certain game that stands out among the others that we've played. There have been dozens of games that I've played through, but in only one of those I can remember how to beat every level. If I couldn't play this game for ten years, once my punishment was up, I'd still be able to pick up the controller and enjoy it, even if it isn't challenging anymore. That game is Super Mario World. A lot of people begin these reviews with a nostalgic story of their fond memories playing Super Mario World for the SNES. Mines sitting at my grandmother’s house on the cold front porch where the SNES was hooked up, playing the game for hours on end. Even when all of my friends got prettier games and moved onto 3D, I still played Super Mario World almost daily after school. As a matter of fact, besides Capcom's Aladdin, it was the only game that I ever owned for the Super Nintendo and I played it for years.
Games that can stand that long of a time span are truly few and far between. Games like Super Mario World, Metal Gear Solid, Chrono Trigger, and a few others can end up impacting you in ways that you can't imagine.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt though, Super Mario World was the very last real Mario game ever released. Yes, you're all going to say that Nintendo has since released dozens of Mario games, such as Mario Party, Paper Mario, Mario Sunshine, Mario 64, and to an extent Super Smash Bros., but really, that's not Mario.
Mario is a 2D hero. That's where Mario 'shines'. Call me a fear of change, but I won't buy a non-2D Mario game (one is supposed to be in the works for the new quirky ''DS'' system). One of their biggest sellers right now is their Super Mario Advance series, re-releases of older, 2D Mario games. And why is that you ask? Gameplay. That's what Super Mario World is all about, plain and simple. You play as the Italian Plumber Mario, a devilish little chap whose lady Princess Peach has once again been kidnapped by that dastardly Bowser and taken to his underground lair. Now, of course Mario can't just go walking up to his door, knock on it, and say ''hey, can I have my woman back?'' Nope, he's going to have to struggle and persevere, and make some friends, in order to save his beloved.
Bowser has sent his minions all over the land, in hopes of slowing Mario down so Bowser can work his magic on the delightful Princess. With his dry wit, he's sure to get some action eventually, so Mario must hurry through each stage of the game before the timer expires. Along the way, hundreds of foes will try to stop him, often kamikazing themselves into the plumber in a futile attempt to end his progress. Fortunately, Mario has a few tricks up his sleeves. No, it's not Brass Knuckles like a member of the Italian Mafia - he's armed with mushrooms, flowers, feathers, and stars. That may sound like a combination found at a Pride Parade, but in actuality it's a lethal combination only matched by Taco Bell and exlax.
Mario can use all of these things to his benefit, and now he can even stock up an extra for emergencies. With the Mushroom, Mario grows tall, towering over his foes at a height of over 3 feet. Armed with the flower-power, Mario hurls fireballs like baseballs with no concern for the risk of holding fire so close to his body. Only with the feather though is Mario truly free, as he can use it to fly above his enemies, or spin in a circle to take them out. With the star, Mario is invulnerable to their attacks.
Of all the perils Mario faces on his epic journey to get 'er done, his biggest danger is the world itself. Bowser has set up challenging areas filled with moving platforms, vast chasms, icy floors, and underwater seas. Our hero must navigate these platforms with grace or risk death, and thankfully he's got an arsenal of moves that the US military must have funded because they're so advanced. For starters, when he's armed with the feather, Mario can float down and land like an airplane. Without the feather, Mario can spin jump through certain platforms to find hidden treasures and get to safety. Of course, he can also do a standard jump, and run just below the speed of light.
Along the way, Mario may need some assistance. Thankfully, he’s got a friend on the Island who is also fighting Bowser. Yoshi, dinosaur inhabitant of Yoshi Island is kind enough to let Mario ride on his back to get through the many challenges he faces. Yoshi’s eggs have been captured by Bowser’s children, so it’s up to Mario to go in and save them for Yoshi in return. Bowser’s children all live in dark forbidding castles and Mario must navigate the labyrinth of tunnels and halls to reach the challenge at the end. Harkening back to the days of yore, Mario must knock most of them into a pit of lava; a throwback to the days of his youth.
Once Mario has saved the Princess, his time on the island is not over. Mario decides to stay and wander the land like a nomad, visiting his old connquests and reliving past battles. He even may discover a special world that completely opens his eyes and changes all around him. Even the Yoshi’s that he saved are around to help him when he needs it. Amazingly, Mario looks good throughout it all. Even as he moves through the bright outdoor levels and the dark, drab castles of the land, Mario himself remains cool and calm, jumping through the air with style. As the sun rises and sets in the background, and towering trees extend into the heavens, Mario’s trademark red hat stays firmly in place. The music that accompanies Mario’s grand journey is a perfect blend of tunes for the adventure. The lighthearted blend is up to par with even the most memorable tracks from the original. Mario’s personal noises are all in place too, capping off a perfect game.
Simply put, Super Mario World is one of the best games in all of history. The last real Mario game was the best, and future generations that grow up on crappy 3D platformers like Mario 64 will miss out if they don’t play Super Mario World. What is the world coming to when 2D platformers die? It’s a sad, sad day, but at least 2D platformers went out with a bang.
Community review by asherdeus (December 17, 2003)
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