Review by Dogg

"Bowser has once again kidnapped your babies!"

When the Game Boy Advance was released in stores in June 2001 Nintendo started the new handheld with a launch title based on the old Mario titles. Now 2 classic Mario games were packaged onto one cart and that cart was then called Super Mario Advance. However, no big named Mario titles were featured in that cart, but now Nintendo is hoping to change that with Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2. This cart features if not one of the best Mario titles of all time: Super Mario World. The cart also contains an upgrade if you may call it to Mario Bros., which in my opinion was never really a good title. However, the fact remains- Super Mario World is the main game in this cart and is just as fun as it was back when it launched on the Super Nintendo well over 10 years ago.

Super Mario World is the 4th game in the Super Mario Bros. Series (while all the other titles were available for the NES and were simply called Super Mario Bros.). The game like many Mario titles has a simple, yet intuitive story. Bowser and his clan have kidnapped Princess Peach (or Toadstool if you like), while the Princess was having some fun with Mario and Luigi back in Dinosaur Island. Bowser has also done away and has stolen all of the eggs from a group of dinosaurs called Yoshi. Now Mario or Luigi must pass through all of Bowser’s levels and through all of his henchmen to recover Princess Peach (or Toadstool) and must also return all of the dinosaur eggs to their responsive owner.

Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 shows just how good the conversion between GBA and SNES games can be. Super Mario in every way acts, looks, and plays like its Super Nintendo counterpart. It’s nice to see that this type of side-scrolling game play is still very lively in games today, even if the original game was released well over 10 years ago. Super Mario World features well over 100 levels and this by itself is an incredible feat. Just the thought of pure gold areas with that old Mario feel is just so damn good. The level design in this game is superb and well done and the levels are themselves both intuitive and innovative. Levels are also well created making you perform all of Mario’s abilities in a simple, but well thought out way. Some of the abilities are the Super Mushroom, which gives Mario the growth spurt of his life. Some other abilities are the flying feather that gives Mario a cape that lets him soar through the air and the Fire Flower, which makes Mario shoot small fireballs at his enemies. Levels don’t stray too far from the classic Mario formula- mainly jump, run, swim, dodge, wait, and then go through a castle. But it’s what the game designers do in these areas that makes the game so clever and so fun to play. In every level there is both a checkpoint and an end mark. Once you hit the checkpoint you will be granted access to that part of the area once you die and the end mark appears at the end of every level. Here you must hit the mark so you can get some points which can give you some coins and perhaps an extra life.

The biggest addition in Super Mario World is the use of Yoshi the dinosaur during the time you are playing. Once you hatch its egg you can go on Yoshi and then you will have permanent access to this dinosaur. Yoshi can stomp on enemies or he can just simply take out his tongue and suck the enemies up. Once Yoshi gets hit he will take cover and start running away, in order to ride him again you must go on top of him again. Another new addition to the game play comes with the use of Luigi in the game play. Now when people are in the world map they can choose either Mario or Luigi to go through a level. While Mario is in every ways better than Luigi, Luigi is still pretty useful. The Luigi character in this game is actually a complete copy from the one featured in Super Mario Advance and Luigi’s only advantage over Mario is that he can jump really high.

Like the first Super Mario Advance, Super Mario Advance 2 has link cable play. And just like the first Advance, SMW: SMA2 both have the classic game Mario Bros. With this you can understand that the multiplayer features are in every way identical to that of the first edition and while Nintendo did seem to get creative by adding 4 player play to this cart, it still isn’t anything new. And because of this reason Super Mario Advance 2 falls. Many who have also recently played Super Mario World will also not notice anything new worth recommending and this hurts the game a lot.

The graphics in Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. Are both well done and look very similar to their original counterparts. Each of them equally balances the game’s cartoony look and makes into a theme worth reconsidering. The intro is well done, but the game hasn’t changed much in graphics when compared with the SNES original. Good, but with the power of the Game Boy Advance it could have been better. The music in this game is also a complete cut from the soundtrack featured in the Super Nintendo original. However, at times the music does seem to tint and stop for a while, but this barely happens and doesn’t affect the game play at all. The small parts of voice acting featured in this game however, are a bit annoying and it can all get pretty repetitive at times.

Overall Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 is still indeed a great port of one of the greatest games ever made. While the Mario Bros. Game that comes with the game isn’t that good and while multiplayer is still a cop-out, Super Mario Advance 2 surely makes up for it with the 100 levels of pure Mario game play featured in the Super Mario World part of the game. While there is not much of anything new, Super Mario Advance 2 is indeed a spastic tribute to Nintendo’s favorite plumber and it also shows you that things change, but great things last and will never go away.

Pros-
+ Super Mario World is still one of the greatest games of all time
+ Features over 100 levels of pure Mario Game Play
+ New Additions like the use of Luigi can actually lead to some differences in game play
+ Great Graphics
+ Smooth Soundtrack

Cons-
- Nothing Fresh
- Mario Bros. Isn’t really that good
- Multiplayer features nothing new
- Voice Acting gets boring and repetitive after a while
8+

Dogg


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/15/02, Updated 09/03/02


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