Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Monday, November 14, 2011

[SNES] Super Mario World (1991)

Genre: Platform | Players: 1 or 2 taking turns | Developer: Nintendo

Super Mario World was the very 1st video game I ever played and after all these years it’s still one of the best I’ve had the pleasure of laying hands on.
So pop a mushroom, mount your dinosaur, and swing your arms from side to side ‘cause it’s time to do the Mario!

Game Play:
Start at one end of the screen and work your way to the other before time runs out all the while beating foes and avoiding obstacles.

SMW continues the evolution from the preceding Super Mario Bros. games by adding new skills that complement the already established moves as well as tweaking the already familiar mechanics.

The combination of a decent learning curve and the fact that you can, unlike in previous Mario games revisit older levels for fun and power ups make it so that you aren’t totally overwhelmed by the near impossible stuff that pops up later on. What you will be overwhelmed by is the plethora of levels to explore, with different routes that you can take to the game’s finale and several levels with more than one way to beat it you’re going to have a lot of ground to cover.

There is a 2 player mode which has player 1 as Mario & player 2 as Luigi taking turns clearing levels. You can give and take lives from each other on the over world but other than that there’s not much interaction between the 2 players in terms of co-op and you’ll have to keep track of who has the most points or what have you to add an actual competitive slant on things. Other than that it is kinda nice to have something like it in place but the ability to tag out mid level like in Donkey Kong Country, an overall score system between the two, or just a straight up both run at the same time mode would have been preferable.

Everything feels perfectly natural. Running, jumping, swimming, flying, grabbing, climbing, kicking, & spinning are all handled using the D-pad, A, B, & Y buttons and there’s hardly any learning curve. It’s perfectly intuitive to run, grab a shell, jump up on a platform, toss the shell up knocking a mushroom out of a block, jump on a goomba, catching the falling shell, jumping across a pit to another platform whilst also catching the falling mushroom, kicking the shell into a troop of koopas, & then jumping over the shell as it bounces back all in one broad movement.

I find that while 8-bit era and Playstation/N64 graphics often look far too archaic and like dead building blocks to the modern eye the 16 bit Super Nintendo & Genesis are still visually pleasing to watch for the most part. The 16 bit sprites here are simple yet have a great deal of personality to them.
This game is just pure animated fun with imaginative level and character designs that recall many western cartoons but still has plenty of distinctive Japanese aesthetics as well.  

The sound effects are as cute as they are iconic. The music is very upbeat, catchy, and complements the various environments ranging from an undersea maze to a mountain range at midnight and can incite everything between dreamy lullabies and frenetic races to the finish.

The standard Mario tale of a turtle titian taking the toadstool tart to a terrible tower teaming with traps and the titular toilet technicians trekking treacherous turf to trounce the terrapin traitor.

Buyer’s Guide:
Super Mario World has been released, ported, & remade several times and is easily had for a decent price:
  • The original cartridge in 1991. 
  • The combo Super Mario All Stars + Super Mario World that was released in 1994 as a bonus pack in for the SNES. 
  • As Super Mario Advance 2 on the game Boy Advance in 2002. I have had hands on experience with this and can say that while it’s mostly the same game there are some substantial differences that add to the game as well as make it easier like more check points, not turning tiny when getting hit, the ability to save anytime, the fact that you keep all your extra earned lives and coins when you save and turn the game off, and Luigi is not only playable in the solo game but also no longer plays like Mario and instead handles like Luigi does in Super Mario Brothers 2. 
  • It’s also on the virtual Console for the Wii, as well. 
  • It's predictably on the SNES mini.
5 giant turtle football players throwing pink baseballs out of 5.


cuckoo77 said...

Excellent, excellent job on this review.

You nailed it.

I have the fondest memories of this game too.

Dr Faustus said...

A well deserved 5 out of 5. I spent many late nights on that game.

Impudent Urinal said...

That was a big Nut. I was never totally into this one. Not even sure if I ever finished it.