Review by AllfatherKapit

"New packaging, same product......but is that a problem?"

For years, Super Mario World was my favorite game.....I kept going back to it again and again, getting the 96 goals and beating the crap out of the Koopa Krew since I was only six years old. It was an integral part of my childhood, the only thing that keeps me from cracking up over the traumas. And now, SMW is back, in portable form.

Like Super Mario Advance, the GBA version of Super Mario World has several noticable touch-ups, but is effectively the same game behind the new coat of polish. The polishing does affect the gameplay a bit, but the same feel is there. Not that it's a bad thing.....Super Mario World had excellent play mechanics. Just don't expect a totally new game.

For those who are just skimming and wish to ignore the monumental effort I've put in for you ingrates, the main changes are......

- The ability to play Mario's maligned brother Luigi, who is effectively Luigi from Super Mario Advance altered for SMW's expanded field of activities; Luigi is a bit slower and shakier than Mario, but can jump much further. Playing Luigi is very fun, as his fluttery, twitchy jumps take him a long distance, but he doesn't totally alter the game.
- A checklist which tallies all the levels beaten, goals found, and Yoshi coins collected
- The ability to '' unlock '' the multicolored Yoshis, which makes gaining them a lot easier and makes the game overall more fun
- Several video and audio touch-ups, including voice-overs for Mario's annoying, high-pitched voice
- Expansions of the fortresses and castles, to accomodate the added Yoshi Coins

Is any of this revolutionary? No. If you've already played Super Mario World ( and what gaming veteran hasn't? ), this game should be no surprise. As an SMW veteran myself, I beat this game in a day....even finding the new Yoshi Coins was no problem. But the game is still good, clean fun, and it plays very well on the small screen....the GBA controls work perfectly, even if it's a 4-button adaptation to a game which used a 6-button controller. It should give even the most jaded Mario Maniac some good times, kicking back and tuning out from reality in Dinosaur Land.

And for those of you who never played Super Mario World, do so or risk living an unfulfilling existence. The game is great.......during its release, it had the vast levels and the fast-paced gameplay which made Super Mario Bros. 3 so fun, but to greater extents. SMW gave Mario a vast field of activities, and all the tricks the little Italian guy could pull when using a Cape or riding a Yoshi provided hours of fun. And the levels were always vast areas, with lots of interesting challenges that tested your hand-eye coordination to its limits, and enough varied enemies to fill a disturbing, hallucinogenic zoo. It also was the first Mario game to test the mind as well as the reflextes....finding the different goals often required interesting series of puzzles, and though those puzzles hurt the game's replay value in the long-term, in the short term they were very satisfying.

If you haven't played Super Mario World, do so's here, and even though it's still based on a Super Nintendo game, its fun factor matches any PS2 or GameCube Disc. If you have? Well, it's still worth a look.

Overall, this is a solid 9.0.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/13/02, Updated 02/13/02

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