Review by Ali_X_Rexus
"Plumbing at its 2-d finest"
There's--as far as I know--no other video game character with a bigger repertoire and love of the masses than the Italian plumber of Nintendo fame: Nintendo is Mario and Mario is Nintendo; you can argue that Nintendo is so much more, and indeed it is, but what got Nintendo to where it's at today was this pipe wanderer and his wacky land--turtles that are out to get you, mushrooms that alter your size, and a plethora of levels filled to the gills with platforming goodness. Mario succeeded both in linear and full dimensions, and when it came to his glorious 2-d iterations, I'd say few reached the greatness of this, Super Mario World.
At every system's launch, Nintendo has to prep a lethal game that lures the masses in with great amounts of new and fun--and this is just what Super Mario World delivers. Launching with the SNES, this game provided the console's first big-gun title from the get-go--Mario starred it and the game had great mass appeal, promising richer graphics and more fun than ever. The game was set to be a lengthy one too, with most levels filled with secrets at every corner, so no matter how much you play, there's always something new: a 1UP to be uncovered, a keyhole to be unlocked, and a climbable vine for Mario to set his grasps onto.
Why was Mario so famous? No one can pin-point an exact reason, but I'd say there's a sum, and if I'm not wrong, a good chunk adding to that sum is probably how deep and how shallow the game can lean to your liking--you can go about any level in a number of ways, dispatching it time and time again in a wholly different way, a longer way, a more fun way, a more challenging way... I remember how I was able to finish the first Mario Bros. in mere minutes through shortcuts, and how I could stretch that to hours having even more fun; the game is easy to get into and hard to get out of due to a nature situated in addictive gameplay-- the most fun you could have running, jumping, and dodging your way through a series of platforms to an end point; it might sound boring, but when you get you unshell your first turtle then use its shell to kill it, you realize how addicted you're going to be.
Naturally, a platformer's main point, a Mario game's main point, is its levels, and Super Mario World has them by the droves, both in quality and quantity. There are 9 worlds in all, and once you have Mario running, you won't give him any rest before you've played each and every one of them. As obvious would state, worlds have themes, and themes range from snow to sand, which struck me a bit: the game doesn't have a snow level. "NO SNOW LEVEL! OMG NO" I want to point out that at the time this game launched, platformers didn't quite build their repertoire of staple themed levels yet. However, what the game lacks in snow, it makes up for with ghost houses, forests, chocolate lands, and sturdy fortresses, all waiting to be tackled by a plumber--and to be fair--an array of powerups, and plumber's best friend: YOSHI.
Everyone loves Yoshi. He is to Mario as what dog is to human race: he's just as lovable, friendly, and helpful. This game features Yoshi aplenty: he's needed to find plenty of secrets and make your life that bit less hard in Dinosaur Land. Now, plenty of people think Yoshi as a trademark green dinosaur that makes things all the more friendly... but they're wrong--Yoshi isn't just green, he's also blue, red, and yellow, and when these fruity bunch slurp a turtle and melt it in their huge cheek interns, they gain certain abilities, of main notice being blue Yoshi's flight ability: this dino will net you quite the best of secrets, one of note from memory being this satisfactory piece: you reach the end goal, but somehow something tells you Nintendo built something amazing, something that's more than just a goal. You float with your Yoshi under the goal, and then jump off it behind the finish line. "OMG I can't believe I'm here," you'll mutter as you gleefully stare the screen with admiration. You've found a secret, a harder bit of sights to witness that will have you gleefully patting yourself on the back in joy.
Levels are fun, Yoshis make them more fun, secrets make them super fun, but the game is a sour sweet: nicely soured by the cute stubborn enemies scattered throughout the lands, as well as a plethora of obstacles out there to give Mario a more challenging time cleaning people's pipes. Let's take the Goomba under the microscope: a mushroom like brown entity with eyes and small feet that moves in a straight line at Mario; jump over it, and it keeps on moving away from red cap, jump on it, and you experience one of the game's most beautiful moments--you can never quite capture the feeling of Mario squishing a Goomba, but I can tell you that it feels good, and it will keep its feel-good pace all the way through the thousandth Goomba squish. The enemies are a variety, and from the banzai bill to the chargin' chuck, there will be nary a moment for you to take in the beautiful 2-d landscapes into delicate examination.
Out there to aid Mario on his quest are the all-important powerups--the famous mushroom, the invincibility-inducing starman, and among many others, a Cape that can help Mario jet sore the skies after a little run warm-up: this ability will prove amazingly beneficial, giving a new strategical edge to almost any situation, from getting to secret areas to more easily dispatching of enemies. You'll also be able to hold an EXTRA ITEM, which should make a cozy cape storage for an all-fly stage run (as mentioned, you can finish levels in plethora of ways, clearly emphasized with stages that have two exits). P-blocks are in this game too, blocks marked with a P that change coins to stone and vice versa; this gives some stages a puzzle edge that will make your brain circuitry work a bit outside quick reflexes and love of discovery.
As with any Nintendo title, you'll be expecting nothing less than a 9 in the graphics and audio departments, and this is what you're going to get: tens in graphics that pull you in and audio that engulfs you in a bubble of enchanted. Mario's tunes and riffs have become pretty iconic, so nothing needs to be said here other than that it's a Mario title with Mario graphics and audio. The colorful lands are a Mario trademark as well, instantly transferring the player to a more attractive land for a comfy stay--a stay that will take a while, as Nintendo has set 96 goals to be accomplished before you can consider yourself a Super Mario World master, goals that will have you finish each and every level and unlocking the deepest of secrets. It will take you a while, and what's beautiful about it is that when it's finished, it'll take you a while longer.
I could go on and on about Super Mario World, but the content lies in the norm of title--a Mario title is bound to be great, and when it's a launch one, it's destined to be great. Amazing land, beautiful characters, and challenging and fun gameplay make this title a must for every gaming, platforming, and fun-searching fan the world over: you won't regret a moment.
+ COLORED YOSHIS
+ Levels are fun, challenging, and varied
+ Amazing secrets to be unravelled
+ Lengthy platformer with great replay value
+ Eye-candy graphics
+ Iconic music
- No snow level?
Visuals - 10
Eye-candy graphics will please your eyes as you jump from platform to platform.
Audio - 10
Iconic music will please your ears every time.
Gameplay - 10
-Fun Factor - A
-Controls - A
-Difficulty - Normal
It's just FUN
Lifespan - 10
It'll take a while to uncover all the secrets, but you will uncover them. And once you do, you will be willing to do it all over again.
Overall - 10
Super Mario World. Nuff said.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/29/08
Game Release: Super Mario World (US, 08/13/91)
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