Review by Aganar
"Still the best 2d Platformer ever!"
Super Mario World was the first game released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. No doubt it would become popular. It was a Mario game for Christ's sake! With it's new jump to the 16 bit era Nintendo fans across the globe were sure that this would be excellent. We were right.
The graphics blew away anything to come before it. The NES games looked like Pong compared to this new game. Mario 3, sorry, you've been surpassed! Even the mighty Genesis paled in comparison to it's awesomeness. The sprites were about as big as Super Mario 3. However, they were now much more detailed. Clothing looked better, face looked more detailed, and character animations were alot better. The backgrounds were completely amazing. Because of the Super Nintendo's hardware, it was capable of a new kind of special effect, known as Mode 7. With Mode 7, the game was enabled 3 background layers, not counting the sprites themselves. With the Mode 7, the background really seemed like it was moving, rather than other games where it was just scrolling wallpaper. Also with Mode 7, it allowed sprites to become bigger, without losing resolution. This let there be Bowser's huge floating balloon which seemed to jump out at you and looked really pretty. Also it allowed for bigger groups of enemies to be there such as the triceratops heads. With all of these plus great special effects, it was one of the prettiest games at the time.
Take the smooth and great control of the Mario games and add several new buttons and you have the control of Super Mario World. You still predominately jump on the enemies to get rid of them, but now you can also do a spinning jump which usually just vaporizes them, enter different areas of the level like castles or secrets, run then jump to do a higher jump, or move the camera slightly to one side with the shoulder buttons. Not to mention if you get a feather now you can access several new options such as dive bombing or floating while in the air. It's almost the perfect control for any 2d platformer.
The gameplay far surpasses any of the Mario games to come before it (save Mario 3 which is close). Not just because you now have a world map you can travel around giving the game a non-linear gamepath. Not just because you now have tons of extras and new items. Not just because the graphics are amazing, the sound is great, and there are even secret worlds to visit. No, all that plus something...Yoshi. Now, despite all its new things one could say that it lost the great stuff of Mario 3. But there is certainly 1 thing it has over Mario 3. It's got a playable dinosaur character, which is not only extremely helpful but a buddy you grow attached to. I feel embarrassed to say it but when I was little I cried when I lost the Yoshi I had for 6 levels. He's just that cool. Finally, probably one of the first games to ever do it, you have an animal you can correspond, use, and ride on in a game. My hat goes off to you, Shigeru Miyamoto; this has got to be one of your best ideas ever.
Besides Yoshi there are still other things, which are worth mentioning. As I said before, instead of like in Mario 3 where you have different Worlds to visit, you have one huge world map. You travel around the map beating castles and areas with your buddy Yoshi freeing his friends and coming closer and closer to bower. The world is divided up into sections called lands. Each land has 1 castle and usually 1 secret castle. Most of your favorite Mario characters and monsters are back, although some of the strange levels from 3 are gone, partially because the games were being made back to back. However, you'll still get the same feeling you got as a child playing the games every time you pop in the cartridge. Even if you have gone to a totally original and new area you've never seen before, you still have the same ''Mario'' feel that you've had with the others. Now once again I'll get into why Yoshi is awesome.
Yoshi has a wide variety of uses. He can eat fruits using his tongue, which will raise your score. He can also eat shells, mushrooms, and yes, even enemies! If you run into an unwanted koopa, *GULP* he's outta your way. You can even use him to spit out the shells to shoot at other enemies. Not to mention you can fly, run, and swim with him, who provides suitable protection, and if you give him a special shell he can grow wings and fly by himself! If that wasn't enough you can even breed your own types! In special worlds you can make a yellow, blue, green, or red Yoshi! So, if nothing else, it'll allow you to take one free hit without dying.
Anyway, even if you ignore Yoshi the game still has new things, which you'll love. The old items are there but now have new uses, such as the spinning fireball. You also now learn new tactics to fight enemies and new strategies. Sure the game isn't terribly hard but you'll find you can catch on to it in a snap. In a day's worth of time you'll feel like you've owned it forever!
Sound quality is far better than the NES beeps. Now they sound much more realistic, and cartoony for that matter. Music-wise, it's another jump. You have great music, which totally fits the atmosphere, and catchy tunes which you'll find yourself humming. Unlike some other games, which have level tunes that make you wanna hang yourself, I've never found myself ever turning the volume down or wishing that the song would change. Koji Kondo did a great job.
Replay Value: 10/10
Talk about extras, there are hidden lands you can access! You can unlock a special star world which not only serves as a cool extra world to explore, you can also use it was a warp station to different zones! With that you could warp to the end of the game in only two hours! Star Road also serves as a warp to another secret world with extremely hard levels and a breeding ground for Yoshis. That's right, different colored Yoshis are accessible (didn't you read the gameplay part?). Along with that there are tons of secret levels and alternate paths around the lands. This allows a non-linear feel to the game and allows you to play through the game many times. You can even change the entire world if you unlock everything! If you beat the secret world after star road the time changes to fall and all the monsters will have a new look! That's alot of replay value.
This is the kind of game that you remember when you're old and balding. Even now 11 years after it's released it's still on my top 10 favorite games of all time. Not only will the casual gamer love it but also this is the game for hardcore gamers. Despite some of the innovations Mario 3 had that Super Mario World has lost, this still beats it out. By a small margin, but it is still better. I implore you to play it if you have missed out on the experience. Trust me, you won't be disappointed, no matter what your expectations are.
Can't think of one
To Buy or Not To Buy:
What are you an idiot? The thing is probably $2. Go out and buy it now!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/28/02, Updated 06/28/02
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