Review by Jules Rules

"The game that acted like an extremely addictive drug on the SNES is ported to the god of the hand-held market."

One of mine, and many other's favorite game on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Super Mario World, acted like an extremely addictive drug which you simply couldn't get enough of. Gliding Mario through Dinosaur Land equipped with your different colored Yoshi's became a well-known technique in the market at the time. Now, Super Mario World is finally ported onto the GameBoy Advance (GBA), the 2nd game in the Mario Advance series, with Super Mario Bros. 2 being the 1st. But how well does the game produce magic? Can it actually produce the magic that the original Super Mario World did? Find out the answer to all these questions in my review of Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2.

The graphics are great in Super Mario Advance 2. All of the worlds and settings are extremely bright-colored and just a pleasure to look at while enjoying that great dose of the platform game that is Mario. They actually look a tad bit improved from the original SNES version, a more 'crisp' look to the entire game.

Obviously with the title being Super Mario World there are an awesome variety of different worlds to explore, all unique in some kind of fashion. Whether it be the bright, delicious Chocolate World or the glittery, cool feel of Star World, it's all excellent. As I said, each world is unique in some kind of way, all with occasionally different enemies and objects.

The characters and enemies all look detailed aswell. The main character, Mario, is looking quite up-to-par and it's just a great feeling when he gains a Mushroom and goes big. The same goes with his sidekick, Luigi. As you may know, at the end of worlds there are castles, all equipped with quite spooky parts and different enemies to face at the end. These levels, as well as its enemies and bosses, are all highly detailed, such as Ghosts and Bowser's ''lackeys''. Each world, as well as its features and enemies to encounter, all fit the whole theme well. Simple yet fantastic graphics, but when hasn't a Mario game been simple? Basic does the job.

One of the major downfalls of Super Mario Advance is the addition of voices for Mario, Luigi and the rest of the gang. In Super Mario Advance 2, even though it's slightly improved, the audio still seems a bit let-down. I would of probably preferred the whole voices to be dropped entirely, as it didn't affect my addiction of Super Mario World on the SNES, so I doubt it could do differently on the GBA. They are not as annoying as Super Mario Advance, though. The ''Just what I needed!'' can still be irritating at times, though, especially when you're fully concentrated on a certain level.

Oh, who hasn't enjoyed the music and tunes in Mario games? It's pretty much guaranteed that the main tune of Mario will creep into your head and you will probably sing along as the game goes on. The small speakers of the GBA do an excellent job here, and much better than the SNES version.

Each tune fits a different location well. For example, if you enter the world where Bowser's castle is located, the music will turn dark and quite spooky-fied. If you're in a bright, Yoshi-filled fun environment, calm and enjoying music will burst out. It's extremely realistic and great -- who said simplicity isn't the key? Despite the small speakers of the GBA, the music is actually better than the SNES version, and does a great job.

Where the best games shine, and obviously Mario is no different. Reading this review, you will probably not need for me to ramble on about how great the Gameplay elements in Super Mario Advance 2 are, as you will know from Super Mario World. However, I can't stop myself from rambling on and on about how great it is.

Basically everyone will enjoy Mario games, whatever your age group or likenesses are. Even a 75 year old could grab some Mario excellence. Some may think that Mario games are mainly aimed at very young kids, but that's a load of garbage. Seeing as the adults that live today were most certainly brought up by the red little plumber, there is simply no reason that they will still love Super Mario Advance 2. It's for everyone, honest.

As it's the GBA, there are four action buttons, so you can guess straight away that the controls aren't difficult to master. We're not talking about a deeply-filled console game here, with tons of buttons to get the hang of. It's basically A to jump and holding down B to go faster. The L and R buttons aren't really needed in Super Mario Advance 2. People will get used to the controls within minutes, even a 5 year old child.

Despite the simplicity, some levels in Super Mario World are actually quite difficult. It's pretty certain that children (including some adults), will get irritated and start shouting at the small hand-held. Trust me, I've seen my father (a good gamer who was brought up by Mario himself, actually) get annoyed at certain levels. That doesn't mean to say you will put down the game forever, no-no-no. You will keep playing and playing until you basically run out of lives, which is pretty difficult as in Mario games it's quite easy to gain more lives. So I don't want anyone believing that you'll complete Super Mario Advance 2 within 30 minutes to 1 hour or so, because you won't. Pure excellence is simply the way to put Super Mario World's Gameplay, and you will be as addicted as you was to the SNES version (assuming you played it, of course).

Bowser has taken over Dinosaur Land, and guess what?! It's Mario (and Luigi's) job to get it back and rid the land of evil! Come on, when hasn't a Mario game had a different story? Very rare, indeed.

Despite the pure excellent Gameplay, bright graphics and cool soundtracks, the Mario series also has the Replayability option. There is no way you will complete the game and never play it again, because you'll pretty much enjoy it more the 2nd time round. Then the 3rd, and so on and so on. Hey, this is what keeps the Mario series alive. Super Mario Advance 2 is no difference, believe me.


What are you waiting for? If you have a GBA and totally enjoyed Super Mario World on the SNES, go and pick up Super Mario Advance 2 now! You shouldn't even be reading a review to know its excellence. Putting the pretty poor voices aside, Super Mario Advance 2 is a must-have for any owner of a GameBoy Advance, whatever your likenesses. Pick it up now, or regret it for the rest of all your eternity.
Overall: 9/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/07/04

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