Review by Zylo the wolf

"It's Mario, what did you expect?"

What the first Super Mario Bros did for the Nes and the gaming industry is impossible to tell exactly how important it was. Who knows, without Super Mario, maybe we still would have been playing games which where split in different screens. If you look at how many copies the Nes Super Mario Bros game sold, then you realize why the Super Mario games for the Super Nintendo had to be something really special. It had to be just so much more than just a sequel to a very good game.

Since Nintendo started to lose some ground to Sega, a new Super Mario game had to be bundled with the Super Nintendo when the system got released. Seems like everything works out just fine because today, about 16 years after the release of the Super Nintendo, Super Mario World have sold 17 million copies. The only games which have sold more is Super Mario Bros 3, Tetris and of course Super Mario Bros. If that doesn't show how successful the Super Mario series is, I don't know what does.

Something that you see just when you start the game is that unlike the previous Super Mario games (except Super Mario Bros 2) this game doesn't take place in the kingdom that we all love, the Mushroom Kingdom. Instead this game takes in 7 different worlds: Yoshi's Island, Donut Plains, Vanilla Dome, Twin Bridges Area , Cookie Mountain, Forest of Illusion, Chocolate Island, and the Valley of Bowser. The worlds looks, as you might already have guessed, very different from the classic platform game worlds. For example there's no real world with a water theme, and then another world with a fire theme. However there are some themes in each world, which isn't that hard to figure out now that I've mention each world's name.

Since the Mario games shouldn't have any big story, there really isn't much story in this game either. Mario, Luigi and Princess Toadstool are on a vacation in Dinosaur Land. As you might have guessed, the stupid Princess manages to once again to get kidnapped by Bowser (I wonder if the Mario brothers actually don't want her to get kidnapped, since they don't seem to look after her. I guess they just want a reason to start a new adventure.) The two Italian plumbers also finds out that all the Yoshi's have been turned into eggs and the Mario brothers can make these eggs hatch and then ride on Yoshi.

If you have no idea how you play a Mario game then maybe it's about time that you learn how to play one of them. You take the role as either Mario or Luigi depending on which player you are. They have the same skills in this game and the only difference between them is that Luigi has green clothes while Mario has red clothes. On each stage, you have to reach the goal which usually are at the end of each stage in order to clear it. There are a lot of enemies standing in your way which can be killed if you either jump on them or throw something at them. This something is usually a shell that you can either find on the stage or pick one up after you have jumped once on the enemies who has shells. Which way you kill the enemies is up to you. When you reach the goal you unlock a new path to the next stage.

In Super Mario Bros 3, each land had one over-world map where you could walk to the stage you wanted to play and there were a few places where you could take different paths in order to get to another stage. There was also one castle on each map where the Koopa kid was hiding. Nintendo decided to not change this concept that much, except that instead of having several different maps there's just one over-world map of the whole game in Super Mario World. But if you want to reach another world, then you still have to find the world's Koopa Kid (which is still hiding in a castle) and beat him (or her) in order to reach the next world. You can also take different paths in this game and there are also many optional stages in this game that you don't have to beat if you can take another path.

Mario and Luigi's abilities haven't changed much since Super Mario Bros 3. The big difference is that they can now do a spin move, where they jump and spin in the air, which allows them to crush a special kind of blocks. They can still run if you hold the Y button, and jump if you press the B button. If you jump under certain blocks, a power up item will pop up. If Mario or Luigi touches this item, then they will get new abilities. The classic power up item is the Mushroom.

This makes the Super Mario Brothers bigger and allows them to take one more hit before they die. Another power up item that's still in this game is the fire flowers, which allows Mario and Luigi to shoot small fire balls at the enemies. The new power up item in this game is the cape, which allows our heroes to fly just like Super Man (I guess Nintendo didn't think it was logic enough that a Raccoon tail could be used to fly). You can also use the cape as a whip to kill the evil enemies. If any of the enemies attack you after you have picked up any of these power up item, you will turn into a small character and can only take one hit to be killed again. Finally there's the Starman, which makes the player invincible for a while. But beware, since it's still possible to die by falling into a pit. Oh and there's also green mushrooms, which gives you an extra life when you pick it up.

A popular character who makes his first appearance in this game is the green dinosaur is Yoshi, actually there are many different yoshis in this game with different abilities and colours, but the most familiar one is the green yoshis. They pop up as eggs and then hatches and turns into dinosaurs, which Mario and Luigi can ride on. If you bump into an enemy while riding on Yoshi, the plumber will jump away from Yoshi but don't lose any of this power ups. After you have jump off Yoshi, it's still possible to jump on him again to ride him again. This means that you can take as many hits as you like as long as you stay on Yoshi. But this dinosaur has another great ability. He can use his tongue to swallow many different enemies, some can only be defeated in this way.

As you might have guessed this game can take a lot of time to finish, so Nintendo where kind enough to add a save feature in this game so the player didn't have to restart every time he or she wanted to do something else than playing this game. There are three different save files in this game. You can save every time you either find a secret switch, clears a ghost house stage (which is the best option if you want to save) or if you have defeated on of the Koopa Kids.

Since this game is very similar to Super Mario Bros 3 it's almost impossible to not compare them. And to be honest, even if Super Mario World has the advantages to be on a 16 bit system, the game just doesn't come up in the same level as Super Mario Bros 3. The control is just one thing that has gotten a little worse, especially when you are flying with the cape. Another thing that bothers me a little is that Nintendo still haven't done anything about Luigi's sprite, when they still want us to believe that Luigi is taller and thiner than his bigger brother. Also I personally don't think that the level design is half as genius as in Super Mario Bros 3.

I'm not saying that Super Mario World is bad game, since it's absolutely not. But to be honest there are better platform games on the Sega Mega Drive and Super Nintendo. I see as Super Mario Bros 3 as a classic which really evolved the series, while Super Mario World was more of a fast way to quick get a game that would make the Super Nintendo sell. But I know that there are many, even if they didn't grew up with a Super Nintendo, who thinks that Super Mario World is one of the absolute best games which have ever been released. Personally I just think it's a really, really good game.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/01/07


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