Review by fduboo
"This is what happens when bad games happen to good mascots."
Super Mario World could have been classic. Instead, Nintendo decided to repackage most of Super Mario Bros. 3 with great new graphics in order to have a mascot game ready when the Super Nintendo debuted. If you are looking for a great leap forward in the Mario series on the SNES, try SMW2: Yoshi's Island.
Super Mario World again concerns Mario, who must save the Princess from the clutches of Bowser. The plucky plumber must battle through many colorful worlds, each ruled by...BOWSER'S KIDS? Didn't he dispose of these clowns on the NES? Anyway, there are many secrets to discover and multiple ways to solve many of the boards in this traditional side-scrolling platform game.
For their time, the graphics were quite good. Other first-generation SNES titles like Super Ghouls N' Ghosts were nicer, however. Nevertheless, Mario looks a lot better in 16-bit form, and the system certainly showed its superiority in color choices over the NES. Each stage is colorfully and whimsically represented, and the enemies, most of which are carryovers from previous games, are well-animated and drawn too. This game looks just like a fantasical child's dreamland, and it plays to the game's child-oriented themes. Areas like Soda Lake and the Butter Bridges are airy, colorful, and inviting to the eye. The clouds are nice and puffy, and the backgrounds look lush and detailed when necessary.
The music in this game is strong. They are much more orchestral than Mario's NES efforts, and the water levels with their accompanying blurbs and splashes are a delight. The sound effects have been faithfully updated, and there is even a secret calypso version of the original SMB music that evokes tremendous nostalgia.
The control can get a little slippery. When Mario flies with his, ahem, cape, oftentimes the control isn't as solid as when he flew with the racoon's tail in SMB 3. Granted, there are tons more things to do with the SNES' awesome control pad, but flying gets tedious when you are trying to soar through a level you have already beaten and swimming can sometimes be a pain. When you inadvertantly swish into a missle, you will see what I mean.
It's almost the SAME as SMB3! Mario can fly? Yeah, he can do a FEW more things now, but he could do that in 3. He can shoot fireballs? Yawn. He can swim? Hmmm...wait, we have something new. Mario can ride a dinsoaur named Yoshi, allowing him to swallow up enemies and spit them back out. These Yoshis can often gain special abilities that can help Mario uncover secret areas in the game. (Incidentally, he lets you also take another hit, running away when contact with an enemy occurs.) Other than Yoshi (which is a good idea, by the way), there is little to really blow your socks off. It is a direct update of the themes developed in the first three NES games. Given that these three games established a pattern of fundamentally changing gameplay, this is a big mark on the game. Sure, some levels have two different ending points and there are about 100 levels to explore, but again this doesn't radically depart from SMB3. You just progress to the castles of the Koopa Kids, lather, rinse, repeat, and then you defeat Koopa. It comes off as an older cousin rather than a whole new family line for the SNES. There are a few tweaks to the series here, but it is overall disappointing.
(N/A)...There IS a story, but I'm not going to count it since it is almost negligible and the Koopa Kids idea just makes me too nostalgic for past games of the series.
This is a bright mark, since there are enough secrets to keep you playing. However, it is obvious that this game was created just so people would have a Mario game to play when they bought the system.
Average (6/10)...Super Mario World is just an NES game with punched up graphics. In fact, I won't even give it that. It's more of a Mario three and a half. Pass this one up and reach for SMW2 instead.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 02/14/00, Updated 02/14/00
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