"Timeless classics grow on trees in Nintendo Land."
It’s amazing how just about every Mario Bros. title featured on a Nintendo console are as well constructed and full of love as they are. With the exception of Super Mario Sunshine (it wasn’t a poorly made game, but it was all around the weakest Mario title out there) each and every console Super Mario Bros. title is met with critical acclaim, due to the nature of the gameplay, the charm of its characters and levels and the incentives offered to gamers to come back for more. There’s no denying that you’re in for a treat when a new Mario Bros. title is released. When the Super Nintendo launched years ago, their most successful character was there to usher the 16 bit system in with Super Mario World. The first 16 bit title from Nintendo, and they already stomped out the competition.
Each 2D Mario Bros. game manages to have some of the most spot on controls you’ll ever encounter. That’s once again the case with Super Mario World, with its stop on a dime controls, perfect air time on your jumps and ease of power uses. While Cape Mario does take a couple of attempts to really get the hang of, it becomes second nature soon after and joins the rest of the immaculate controls as some of gaming’s finest. Eating enemies with the newly introduced dino companion Yoshi, is effortless. You really cannot ask for a better layout and execution of controls in a 2D platformer title, and no one does it better than Nintendo.
Being the first title on the Super Nintendo, it would have been expected that the quality of the graphics would not stand the test of time, kind of like how the original Super Mario Bros. is a bit on the painful side to look at. That’s not the case whatsoever, as everything from the clean and fluid animations, right on down to the colorful world around you, are still quite appealing nearly twenty years later. It’s a lively look that carries over from the grass stages to the underground cave stages, and even the castle stages you’ll come across. Accompanying those well crafted visuals are some memorable new tunes, mixed together with remixed versions of some of gaming’s most iconic sound effects. While it might not be the best on the Super Nintendo, anything coming out of your speakers while playing Super Mario World is more than impressive, and remains as some of the best in the series.
The biggest draw with Super Mario World comes with the entertaining stages you’ll come across. Whimsical, charming, bright and inventive, each stage comes off as an entertaining romp through this 16 bit world of goombas, fire flowers and donut ledges. With 96 exits in total (not 96 stages), there’s plenty to find, see and do throughout the game. With the ability to backtrack to previous stages, thanks to the game taking place on one centralized world, you can revisit each of these stages so you can completely master them all. If that’s done, you can unlock a secret Star World, where the difficulty is much higher than any other point in the game, though definitely not in an unfair and unjust way.
If you’re one of the sixteen people on this planet that has yet to give Super Mario World a whirl, stop reading this review and do so. Whether you boot it up on your Super Nintendo console or download it onto your Nintendo Wii, you will experience gaming at not only its finest, but in a state that isn’t seen often enough these days: free of convoluted gimmicks, overdone quirks and unnecessary complications. If you’re tired of absent minded 3D platformers, dialog trees that won’t stop growing, or physics engines that drive you up the wall, the purity of Super Mario World will cleanse you of all frustrations.