Super Mario World: Still Super After All These Years?

The date is August 23, 1991 and North America is about to experience something completely new. Following the success of the Super Mario Bros. trilogy on the NES, Nintendo have created a new incarnation of the series for their brand new Super Nintendo console. Packed in with the console is a copy of Super Mario World, now a well established, and still much loved classic for the console. So much so that Nintendo re-released the game in a special All Stars + Super Mario World for the SNES, and subsequently almost every handheld console Nintendo has created since. How does Super Mario World hold up almost thirty years later? Tremendously well, to be honest.

Unlike my lack of chances to play Super Mario Kart I did play Super Mario World at Super Nintendo kiosks in stores. It was when the N64 kiosks were getting all the attention, but I did play Super Mario World, and I have played it quite often since. I own the game in a few variations, but I’ve been using my All Stars + Super Mario World cartridge most recently to fulfill my Super Mario World needs. Due to a mishap while trying to use my Super 8 all my progress was erased. Luckily it wasn’t the battery, so I chose to start all over and see how well this game still holds up.

Thanks to the power of the Super Nintendo this game has great graphics that still look great today. That, combined with more vibrant colors, helps Super Mario World shine from the second you press the start button. The game starts out very simple and allows you to learn the controls at a very nice pace while packing in a lot of fun along the journey. From starting off, all the way to learning why some level markers are red, there are plenty of fun surprised to find. Let’s not forget all the power ups, especially the new cape feature that helps you fly through some of the easier levels.

Speaking of levels, Super Mario World is packed with levels. Not only are there the basic levels you need to finish to get from start to Bowser’s castle, but you’ll also find some levels offer secret exits. Secret exits can open a shortcut on the world map, or open up an entirely new set of challenges. Star Road and Special World are hidden bonus levels within the world that within themselves hold additional levels to play. While most levels are short, some can be very easy and others can be a bit challenging. Nintendo seems to have added just the right balance between challenge and reward, as even the most challenging levels, I’ve found, kept me wanting to come back and try a little harder each time, rather than rage quit.

Super Mario World was the introduction of Yoshi as well. A variety of Yoshis can be found in different colored throughout the world, each being able to perform a different skill. In many cases you will find Yoshi to be either helpful or a hindrance. Yoshi gives you the ability to consume most enemies, but also provides an additional buffer between life and death, which comes in handy sometimes.

There is no question why Super Mario World is a much loved classic for the console. Even though some levels can be challenging it never took me very long to sit down, work out the best way to succeed and make it happen. The game still looks good today, and the controls are spot on. Nintendo really did a great job with this game. Super Mario Bros. 3 will always be my favorite of the Super Mario series, but Super Mario World is a very close second. Whatever console you choose to play Super Mario World on the fact is still the same, Nintendo absolutely got it right with this one. Now how does the sequel Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island hold up? Well that’s another story!

Posted August 9th, 2021

About the author

Samuel Floyd first fell into video gaming with the Atari the mid-90s! Always late into the system wars, Samuel enjoys that as he acquires them when they're cheap and the hot titles of yesteryear are bountiful. Samuel loves RPGs, his favorite being Crystalis for the NES.


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