Review by The Devils Son

"Quite a sturdy game on its own, but the SNES version makes it look like a kid’s toy."

Nintendo is finally doing something smart. They are re-releasing some of the best games that they had come out with on the SNES and NES on the GBA. Now you can enjoy it all over again, through the wonders of the 32-bit portable they have come out with known as the GameBoy Advance. This review will be focusing on one such game, Super Mario Advance: Super Mario World.

Graphics 10/10: This is some great work with 2D graphics. Everything is bright, as you would expect from Nintendo games, and Mario or Luigi are clear as can be. All the baddies look different, and they all have some kind of charm to them, through all the evil they are projecting. All the stages have a different look, from dark cavernous areas, to bright hilly areas, and everything in between. Nothing is too dark to not be able to be seen on a regular GBA, as shown by some games that have shown up on the market recently, and on a GBASP with the light on at night, everything just looks so much better. The animations are wonderful too, no stuttering or slowdown. Hell, the graphics are better than the original version that came out for the SNES.

Sound 7/10: This game has all the charm of the original, with the happy upbeat music that you have come to expect from the Mario game series. Of course, Nintendo had to throw something new in, and this something new comes in the form of voice samples, which are heard whenever Mario dies, beats a level, etc. I don’t know about you, but I find it highly annoying hearing “Mamma Mia” through a crackly GameBoy speaker every time Mario meets his doom. Also, the music, as it is upbeat and high pitched, can come off as slightly annoying due to the fact that the GameBoy sound hardware has never been that good through ANY of the systems, and the speaker in the unit is worse than those $1 headphones you can buy at a drug store, which makes me suggest going to the drug store, buying those headphones and putting them on, and plugging them into the Gameboy’s headphone port. It will make the sound quite a bit better. There’s also no “sound dropout”, as I like to call it, which occurs when there are too many sounds at once, making parts of the background music disappear. Overall good for a GBA title, but still quite hard to handle without headphones.

GamePlay 7/10: It’s quite sad that I can’t give this area 10/10, because I really wanted to, but some of the things that they did to the game from the transition to SNES to GBA really put a dent in my enjoyment. One such thing is how they went and changed the life meter so you can have a total of 999 lives instead of 99. As you may or may not know, it is rather easy to get extra lives in Super Mario World, and you could quite often max out your life meter by beating one stage repeatedly, if it had the right things in it. Now, with this 999 limit, if you have enough patience to fill it, you will be untouchable. They also seemed to make the game overall easier, my guess is so that it appeals to a broader audience *cough*children*cough*. Other than that, it’s your basic platformer, run through the levels, knock off the bad guys, get to the end and jump through the tape to finish the level. You can also collect all kinds of powerups in these levels, allowing you to be able to fly, using a cape, shoot fireballs out of your hands, or just make Mario bigger, so that he can actually take damage without dying. You can also get a Yoshi in some levels, which allows you to ride on his back, swallow up enemies, and spit them out at other enemies. A neat addition, but the problem with this is that when you have a Yoshi, any other Yoshi eggs you open become 1-Ups, which, once again, makes it easier to get through the game, but the original did this too, so I can’t blame just this game for it. Sometimes you have to go through castle levels, which require you to be light and quick on your fingers, or face death. Also, they have Ghost Houses, which are slight puzzles, and you need to figure out what to do inside of them to get through them. Along with the basics, Nintendo also added a couple things to the game. One of which is the ability to play as Luigi. With Luigi being slightly different than Mario, I can’t say that this is a bad edition, but once again it makes things slightly easier in some cases, and if you want that or not is more of a personal matter. You can play through the game as just Mario, though, so it isn’t that big of a deal. It’s fun if you have never played it before, but if you have played through the SNES version, you aren’t likely to feel as challenged.

Story N/A: Ahh, the game’s story. A part that can make or break a game. This game really doesn’t have much of a change from Nintendo’s previous ventures, it’s your basic “You’re a fat Italian plumber and you have to save the princess” game, and, of course, you have to go through all kinds of castles before you can save the princess. This really isn’t a story I can say too much about either way, because in this game, it’s the gameplay that really shines.

Replay 10/10: The replay value of this game is great. When you go through the levels, you will notice Yoshi coins. These are optional to pick up, but supply a nice quest when you are done with the game. Go back and collect the Yoshi coins, and you will get to collect ANOTHER set of coins. There’s really no worries about not being able to pop this game in and have a little fun wherever you go.

Rent/Buy: If you haven’t played this game before, it’s a definite buy, but if you have played it on the SNES before, you may wish to rent it first to see if the changes annoy you too much to justify a purchase.

Overall 8/10: An overall sturdy game, but I simply cannot forgive some of the changes they made to the tried and true formula of the game in the SNES version.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/22/03


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