Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars
Super Mario World, the bundled title for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, promised to be a worthy chapter in the Super Mario flagship franchise that began with the groundbreaking Super Mario Brothers platform adventure on the original 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System console. The stakes were high; the NES already had the distinction of almost single-handedly resurrecting the video game industry from the grave, and Nintendo now had edgy new competition from Sega as the 16-bit generation prepared to roll out in its entirety.
With new elements complementing an established canon, was Super Mario World poised and prepared to deliver on its goal to revamp and revolutionize the plucky plumber’s universe, or would its departures from the originals alienate previously loyal Nintendo fans?
While Super Mario World is the successor to Super Mario Brothers 3, it is not simply a build-on-the-original sequel. For instance, gone is the raccoon suite in favor of a flight-enabling magic yellow cape. Although the “world map” overview is intact, it is now much more vast and all tied together, rather than requiring magic whistles or brute-force completion to traverse between theme-segmeneted continents. Rather than tuck away a few hidden minigame bonus stages, Super Mario World holds entire secret levels to be unlocked.
But it is indeed the all-new additions to the Super Mario formula that enrich the World entry, and none more so than Yoshi, the green dinosaur steed that eats every enemy in sight and grants our hero Mario one more measure of security. The spin jump and finish bar are nice touches, as well as original enemies and environments, but Yoshi proves to be such a superstar that he would go on to establish a legacy of his own.
Even for a launch title, the looks of Super Mario World would age well within its generation. As to be expected, Mario World maintains the established Mario Brothers tradition of colorful level design, imaginative elements, and the strength of the familiar Mushroom Kingdom universe behind it. Perhaps it is difficult to be critical of Mario’s appearances, but every pixel works in tandem to present exactly the experience intended.
Although the musical themes may not be as revolutionary as those introduced on the original SMB for NES, Super Mario World fits right into the Nintendo flagship franchise landscape. The best part is the sound effects, which provide a collective flavor that is difficult to convey in a review, but so rich and distinctive that the concerto of noises from Yoshi, spin jumping, cape twirls, football linebacker enemies, and other items remains fondly recognizable.
Creativity & Innovation
Although this little video game review of Super Mario World has already mentioned its most noteworthy bits of newness, one notable aspect of this cartridge is the fact that despite its pressure to complement the existing Super Mario brand, it did so in sublime fashion, expertly paying respect to beloved components while introducing its own innovative bits.
For paying proper homage to a storied past while paving the path for Mario’s future, for giving Nintendo ample ammunition in the raging console wars, for showcasing the Yoshi character and Bowser’s new crazy smiley-face helicopter vehicle thing, and for saving the princess once again, Super Mario World delivers the fun to the tune of five stars out of five.