Review by StephenYap3
"Why did I give this a 10?"
Super Mario World is also the very first game I've played in my life, yet so far it was a blast, even though back then it was very hard for me to master. I used to enjoy jumping around and stomping on enemies for fun, yet whenever I get hit by the enemy instead I let out a sigh. Super Mario World was perhaps one of the best games ever made for the SNES, until when I got other games like Super Mario All Stars, Yoshi's Island, and whatever else I began to gradually dislike Super Mario World since I've grown bored of it. Nonetheless, it's still one of the best games Nintendo made. For some reason, I'd still give this game a 10 out of 10 (nearly), even though I don't enjoy it as much now these days.
Although Mario games are originally devoid of plot, each Mario games' plots are usually written in their instruction booklets, but I'll just give you a run down on Super Mario World's plot: Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach planned to take a vacation away from the Mushroom Kingdom, on an unknown land called Dinosaur Land. They arrive on Yoshi's Island, the first world in the game, to start their vacation there and shortly afterwards, something mysterious happened. Princess Peach suddenly disappeared when the Mario Bros' backs were turned, yet that could mean that Bowser is behind this scheme. So in due time, the bros prep up for their new adventure from the Mushroom Kingdom, and on the way they meet up with Yoshi, who confirms that he's been trapped in his egg by Bowser, plus he's captured the 7 Yoshi Eggs which are held by each of the Koopa King's Koopalings from Super Mario Bros 3. Yoshi joins the Mario Bros and together, they embark on a quest to rescue the 7 Yoshi Eggs and Princess Peach.
Perhaps one of the best things of Super Mario World is the fact that Mario is far more flexible than he was in the SMB trilogy. For instance, Mario can spin jump to stomp on most enemies, even the hazardous ones, and can bounce off the stomp-proof enemies without dying. This can prove to be a little lifesaver at times, where it is crucial to use the move to cheat death or many other reasons. And while he could pick up and throw Koopa shells since Super Mario Bros 3, Mario can set them down or even throw them above him in this game. There's also the ability to get a jump boost on ladders to scale ladders faster.
Other than Mario being more flexible, the game play in SMW is practically similar to most other games: Get to the end of the level or defeat a boss. Mario games were known to be simple in the common objective of a game, yet littered with obstacles for the player to get past. Many obstacles in a game can be taken down or avoided, and sometimes it may be fun or boring. Mario games were known to be fun and luckily, SMW is one of them. Anyways, new features in SMW include an Item Box to store a Mushroom, Flower, or Feather for Mario to summon at anytime by pressing Select or if Mario should ever take a hit and still survive. One of the flaws with SMW, however is that Mario will always revert back to his smaller state, just like how he did in the original Super Mario Bros. It would make the game challenging, though it would've been nice if Mario would always revert to his previous state than to his smaller state.
SMW also introduces a new feature of riding Yoshi for additional attacks. Yoshi can eat enemies for an easy coin, spit enemies, and his stomps are as powerful as Mario's spin jump. Should an enemy touch Yoshi? Yoshi will kick Mario off his back and will run away like a blind fat chicken, and pays no attention to any pits or anything that splatters Mario on contact, thus losing Yoshi. There are plenty of Yoshi eggs in the game and are unlimited in supply, so Yoshi is always alive even after death. Yoshi is also required for discovering secrets and getting a 100% completion in the game, though it's very likely that you'll be abusing him too much throughout the game. Nonetheless, Yoshi is a pretty good concept.
Coins galore in SMW and still a highlight in the series overall, with 100 coins becoming an extra life. That may not be new, but throwing a fire ball at a weak enemy with the Fire Flower power up turns targets into coins for Mario to collect. Coins in SMW are as plentiful as they were in SMB1 and 3, whereas SMB2 had none for a different game play mechanic. Some coins may be placed in rows while others are hidden in blocks for Mario to hit to unveil the surprise. Keep collecting coins as SMW is very heavy on coin-snagging.
There are also five Dragon Coins to collect per certain levels, with each Dragon Coin worth score and 1 coin, and collecting all five rewards the player an extra life. I personally found this concept to be quite intriguing, yet just not intriguing enough. Only most levels in SMW have these Dragon Coins, so what I'm saying is that it would've been nice if the Dragon Coins were in all levels in the game. This could add some fun to exploration, right? I would agree. At least the Dragon Coins in certain levels is better than one level having Dragon Coins.
The addition of the Bonus Stars Points, earned at the end of each level, is pretty neat. Depending on how high you cut the tape at the level end, the Star Points you get will be determined. If you manage to collect 100 of them, like how you would with coins, you are taken to a bonus stage, where you must match the items for extra lives. That's it. There's nothing else to look out for in the bonus room. It's just you getting more lives.
As for SMW's music and sounds...well, the sounds are top shape, but the music can get annoying at times. One of the music tracks I really enjoyed was the Castle music, where it was eerie and epic at the same time. As for the music track I hated was the music that played on the Yoshi's Island 1 (No, not THE Yoshi's Island game) level, where it just kept using instruments that made me mute my television until when I've beaten the level. The music in SMW is mostly good, but a couple others need some fixing.
And while the levels in SMW may be fun or challenging, the boss fights with the Koopalings are far different that how they were in SMB3. Each of them has variable tactics to make the fights intriguing, yet more challenging. You'll be pushing them off the platforms or stomping them to defeat them. The boss fight with the Koopa King himself is not like how you fought him in SMB1 and SMB3, though if you know how to beat him, you can save the princess.
Lastly, SMW also contains a 2-Player Mode, where Player 1 is Mario and Player 2 is Luigi. Neither of them is different to each other and the 2-Player Mode plays like Super Mario Bros 3, without the Item Inventory or playing against each other in random mini games. The only difference in SMW is that players can exchange lives and if a player runs out of lives, the other player can revive him/her by giving the dead one of his/her lives. I wish the 2-Player Mode would've been better.
Despite the game's flaws, Super Mario World still deserves a score of 10 for being one of Nintendo's masterpieces. It's a real pity that Nintendo stopped making games like this, but cut them some slack since they're trying their best to make the world go around. If Super Mario World is not enough for your gaming needs, there's always The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Kirby Super Star, Yoshi's Island, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario All Stars, and a few other masterpieces for the SNES. On a side note, Super Mario World is also a playable demo on the Super Smash Bros Brawl Wii game. The demo is quite great, but the game that holds it disappointed me.
Score: 9.5 out of 10
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 02/28/11
Game Release: Super Mario World (US, 08/13/91)
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