I remember the first time I saw Super Mario World – I was at school and the students were putting on a sale to raise money for some school initiative. One grade 6 kid had brought in his Super Nintendo and was charging a dollar for 5 minutes of play. I forked over the money (I was in grade 1 at the time) and was blown away by how awesome the game was. It was another years before I got my own SNES, but the impression was everlasting and convinced me that I needed to upgrade from the NES.
The game has a similar story to most classic Mario games – Princess Peach has been kidnapped and it is up to Mario and Luigi to once again find and defeat Bowser and rescue her! There aren’t any twists or turns in this narrative, but thats okay – we don’t and never have played traditional Mario games for their stories!
In terms of gameplay, this is an archetypal platforming game. You take control of Mario and/or Luigi and run and jump your way through levels of various complexities! There are tons of enemies to encounter and smoosh – and Mario and Luigi can jump on them excellent results! As usual, Mario and Luigi get different types of powers in this game to help them out including Fire Power, and a feather that helps Mario fly! The biggest addition to this game however is the addition of Yoshi – Mario’s little green Dino buddy! Yoshi can eat just about anything and occasionally will eat coloured shells that give him different powers like fire power and flying! The controls in this game as super tight and a joy to play. When you die – and you will (especially in the secret stages) – it will be because you screwed up!
As it states in the box, there are a total of 94 stages in the game. These levels range from simple straightforward levels to frantic jumping nightmares (in a good way), to haunted houses and underwater stages! The variety that the stages bring is welcome and refreshing! Whats more, many of the stages have secret exits which force players to really explore levels to their fullest! Findings these exists will open up even more levels! Once you reach optional Star World and unlock the special stages, the game really ups the difficulty and will push even the veteran gamers!
Each world has numerous levels, often a bonus level to unlock colours blocks, and one or two castles. These castles are usually more challenging than the other levels and end with a boss of some type. Bowser’s kids from the Mario 3 return, and this time their battle patterns are much more complicated and interesting (even if they are still quite easy). The last boss was a huge challenge for me when I was a kid, but is still very manageable.
In terms of graphics, the game still looks amazing for a 16 bit game and has held up extremely well. Both the sprites and worlds all looks bright and interesting! Mario and Luigi also have excellent animation! The sheer variety of stages ranging from caverns, to underwater levels, to cloud levels, to forest levels, to regular flat levels, to dungeons and even a shipwreck! All look great and have a distinct style! The music is also classic with many tunes still as catchy as they were 25 years ago. The sound effects are great (especially the twirl attack)!
In summary, this is a classic Mario title that is still just as awesome and fun as it was 25 years ago. The graphics and music have aged extremely well! If you have a SNES or GBA, be sure to pick this gem up and give it a try with your friends! You will not be disappointed. Overall, I give this game a 9/10 and a top pick designation!
Final Score: 9/10