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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Action
Players: 2 (players alternating)
Release Date: Aug 01, 1991
Writtne by: Faerieprincessco

Super Mario World is a title that brings a warm feeling of nostalgia to many gamers. Available as a Super Nintendo launch title, Super Mario World helped set standards to what a platformer title should be all about. This game featured 16-bit Mario and also the introduction to his dinosaur pal Yoshi. With these great elements and the power of the Super Nintendo, Super Mario World instantly became a hit and one of the best games of all time.

Super Mario World was a very important game for Mario. During the time of Super Mario World's release was when Mario and Sega's famous Sonic platformers were going head-to-head competition wise. In order for Mario to take the lead in being the better platformer, Super Mario World had to make a huge impact. As expected, this is exactly what Super Mario World did. Thanks to the mind of Shigeru Miyamoto, Super Mario World became a legendary title that gamers still know and love today.

The start screen.

What made Super Mario World so legendary was just how the game consisted of pure fun. It took big strides from previous Mario titles, but stayed true to the Mario formula offering the side-scrolling fun Mario fans are used to. Also, Super Mario World was the first Mario game to have the capability to save the player’s progress. Players no longer had to beat the game in one sitting or leave their Nintendo system on for long periods of time.

In Super Mario Bros. 3, Mario and Luigi spent their whole adventure saving the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario and Luigi were successful in defeating the Koopas, as well as their leader, Bowser. After such a long and troublesome adventure, Mario and Luigi decide that they need a vacation! Mario and Luigi then head out to a beautiful place together, known as Dinosaur Land, to sit back and relax.

However, while Mario and Luigi are taking a nap in their vacation area, Princess Toadstool disappears. Mario and Luigi realized this as they awoke and began to search for Princess Toadstool immediately, but had no success. Finally... after many hours, as Mario and Luigi are creeping through the forest they find something! They had high hopes, but Mario and Luigi were left disappointed. What they actually found was just a huge green egg.

As the egg hatched, Mario and Luigi were surprised to see a young baby dinosaur pop out! This dinosaur, known as Yoshi, immediately began to tell Mario and Luigi of a disaster that happened to all of his friends. It seems that a group of monstrous turtles have sealed all of Yoshi's friends in eggs similar to his!

This was an immediate sign to Mario and Luigi that Bowser and his minions have returned. Mario and Luigi then set their new adventure in Dinosaur Land to help free all of Yoshi's friends and to save Princess Toadstool! However, before they took off... Yoshi asked Mario and Luigi to stop for a minute. Yoshi handed Mario a gold cape, something that Mario and Luigi can definitely put to good use.

Unfortunately, if players never read the manual then this is the only story they will see.

The story of Super Mario World is pretty detailed assuming that players read the game manual. Otherwise, the only story that the players will know of is the short dialogue that displays as players begin to play Super Mario World. All this dialogue states is that Princess Toadstool is missing and that Bowser is up to his old tricks again. It's now up to Mario, with the help of Yoshi, to travel through Dinosaur Land to find Princess Toadstool, put an end to Bowser's evil and also save Yoshi’s friends!

The formula that has made Super Mario Bros. titles famous on the Nintendo Entertainment System is evident within Super Mario World. The basis for such a title is to rescue the kidnapped Princess Toadstool, which always takes a backseat when it comes to gameplay elements. This is because games featuring this Italian plumber aren't really about the storyline. It's all about the gameplay. Teaming up with Yoshi, Mario will set out on an adventure of a lifetime to collect coins, stomp on enemies and gather items that make him the "man of the hour." All of these elements put together with the creativity of Nintendo is what makes the core gameplay and experience stand out to gamers.

One of the first things players will notice about Super Mario World is the use of the map. Following the same type of idea presented in Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World's map allows Mario to travel on a path from one level to the next. A line connects all of the levels, making it clear what paths Mario can take. If the paths happen to be in the water, then it will be represented by a dotted line, so players know where they have to swim to get to the next level. Obviously, the map allows players to view the current area he or she is exploring. This is the default view, but there are also other views that players can use if they wish. By the press of a button, players can scroll around all areas of Dinosaur Land even if they haven't gotten to that area with Mario yet. This helps players in seeing where they might be heading to next, or how one secret passageway leads to another.

The map of the first area players will experience in Super Mario World.

Super Mario World introduces a new concept in which there's a possibility that the current level can have more than one exit. Usually in sidescrollers, players just simply run through the level, complete certain tasks and once they reach the goal they are done. While that will give you the minimum effort to complete Super Mario World, the level designs in Super Mario World have a little bit more to offer. On the map, there are two types of levels. There are levels that are represented by a gold dot and then there are levels that are represented by a red dot. The levels that are shown by a gold dot aren't complicated. Simply find the regular goal and you'll be done. There is only one exit in these kinds of levels. However, if a level is shown as a red dot that means that the level has two exits! In this type of level, players will at least need to find the "regular" goal and that is the most obvious exit. The secret exit isn't always as easy to find. Finding secret exits will require players to find a key that may be hidden very well in the level. Once the key is found and taken to a nearby keyhole, which can also be hidden, the keyhole expands and thus creates the secret exit for Mario to escape.

Mario's special abilities are back, some old and some new. The classic Mushroom item makes the plumber big, a Fire Flower gives him the ability to throw fireballs and the Cape item lets the hero fly into the air for a brief period of time. In order to use the cape successfully, Mario needs a running start. In fact, the Cape is very similar to how the famous Leaf item from Super Mario Bros. 3 worked. As for something completely new, Mario can also collect something called a Power Balloon. When using this item, Mario will get super fat and then float in the air. This will allow players to reach high areas or even close to the bottom of the screen where no ground resides. Mario will also pick up items such as extra life mushrooms or stars that make him invincible to keep things long-living and exciting. Also, Mario is able to hold two items at once. At the top of the screen there is a blue box outline. This box can hold one power-up to be saved for use later. When Mario gets hit, or by pressing the Select button on the controller, the item stored in this box will then fall down on the screen. Simply touch the item as it falls to use that item!

There's the key and the keyhole right next to each other. Too good to be true!

The biggest addition to the gameplay area of Super Mario World was Mario's long-tongued buddy, Yoshi. Yoshi can be found in a lot of the levels inside blocks. If Mario hits a block that Yoshi is in, an egg will hatch and Yoshi is born! Mario can ride on Yoshi and the two together make an excellent team. Yoshi will use his feet to jump on enemies to knock them out instantly. Yoshi will also use his tongue to swallow bad guys or even fruits that appear on bushes in the background. If Yoshi eats enough fruits, he will lay eggs that consist of goodies such as mushrooms or clouds that give out coins! As Yoshi eats Koopas, he can spit them out. Depending on what kind of Koopa he ate, Yoshi will be able to spit fire, just a regular turtle shell or even sprout wings and fly for a brief period of time.

Throughout Super Mario World, players will come across the standard level environments such as grassy lands, mountaintops, forests, icy grounds, caves, and even underwater levels. Mario can also interact with these environments a lot more than he could previously. An example of this is being able to cling onto fences and climb around to get across lava and other gaps. Players will also find "midway gates" in most of the levels seen in Super Mario World. The midway gate is a saving point so that in case if Mario dies this is the point he will continue in the level, instead of having to start the entire level over. Another good feature of these midway gates is if you are passing through this gate as small Mario, then you will become Super Mario.

Mario is saving a mushroom for later!

Aside from these traditional levels, there will also be castles and Boo Houses that Mario must explore. The Boo House can be that of somewhat of a middle point of the current area. They contain mini-bosses such as Big Boos, but most of the time they are filled with illusions and puzzles. Boo House might contain "fake" doors, which may lead players to think they are reaching the exit when in fact they are actually going in circles to the beginning of the level. It will take stepping on "Pow" blocks to reveal hidden doors and paths to find the real exit in the Boo Houses. On the other hand, castles are straightforward. Make it to the end of a castle to fight the boss of the current area. Each boss is one of Bowser's Kids, known as the Koopa Kids. To defeat these bosses takes various tactics, such as knocking a Koopa Kid into the lava or stomping on its head three times.

As players come across more and more levels, they will eventually come across blocks that appear to be nothing but colored dotted lines. To get these dotted lines into actual blocks Mario can hit, you'll need to find a switch palace. There are four switch palaces that can be found -- one for each color. For example, to get the blue dotted lines to become blocks you'll need to find the blue switch palace. To find switch palaces requires some effort, apart from the yellow switch palace that is practically given to you. Usually, players will need to find the secret exit in a certain level to reveal a switch palace. The switch palace itself isn't a level you complete. It's a variation of a bonus room that allows players to gain an extra life or collect a bunch of coins. Once the switch palace is completed, Mario jumps on the switch and the dotted lines will turn into "!" solid blocks all throughout Dinosaur Land. The "!" block will then serve a purpose such as giving Mario a cape or mushroom and cover up gaps to give Mario a safer path to walk on.

The yellow switch palace has been activated!

Each level, with the exception of castles, ends with a giant gate with a piece of tape moving vertically. Once you enter the gate, that level is completed. While exiting, if Mario breaks the tape then he will earn bonus stars! The higher the tape is the more bonus stars he gets. These bonus stars are carried on across levels and when Mario has a total of 100 bonus stars, you get to play a Bonus game. The Bonus Game consists of a box of transparent blocks constantly changing pictures (of items) while each box rotates in a square pattern. Hitting the block from underneath causes a picture to stop changing and the block then becomes still. When all the blocks have been hit, getting a row (in any direction) of the same picture earns Mario an extra life mushroom.

Even though at times it feels like the game is too easy, Super Mario World will give players endless fun. Although, if players attempt to find everything Super Mario World has to offer, the game's difficulty does increase. Players can find secret areas that will load Mario with goodies or even find the Star World to get different colored Yoshies! Along with Yoshi's debut, it's the depth of the gameplay that really makes Super Mario World an outstanding game.

With Super Mario World being a launch title, this game certainly wasn't afraid to show what power the Super Nintendo had to offer. Super Mario World is boasted with bright colors that creates a fun and vibrant atmosphere. Also, the backgrounds are bold and detailed allowing each area of the game to have its own look and feel. Even though each individual area has its own background, it still stayed true to the Mario style making players aware it is indeed a Mario game.

Super Mario World does an admirable job of making full use of the Super Nintendo's sprite resizing and rotating abilities. When Mario gets a mushroom and resizes, he grows smoothly and doesn’t show any pixilation whatsoever. Also, when Mario gets the Power Balloon he will expand, which also demonstrates the ability to resize sprites almost flawlessly. Another thing to notice when Mario is using the Power Balloon is his face expression. Even Mario’s face is detailed as he squints his eyes and closes his mouth, as if he is trying to hold his breath for a long period of time.

Hopefully, Mario won't laugh anytime soon. He might be in trouble if does!

While Super Mario World doesn't feature any voice acting, the dialogue the game provides is nicely done. Throughout Super Mario World, players will find information blocks, which once hit from underneath, will display a helpful hint or two. Also, every time Mario defeats a castle, it is then blown up and presented with a dialogue informing the player that the specific castle has been defeated and it's time to move on to the next area. Not only is the text very easy to read, but the characters who are supposed to be saying that text have detailed face expressions!

The graphics of Super Mario World are some of the best seen on the Super Nintendo and can even be considered very similar to the graphics seen on Gameboy Advance! With Super Mario World's spriting capabilities and extended color palette, when it comes to detailed graphics, Super Mario World delivers.

To put it simply, the sound featured in Super Mario World is fantastic. It's not surprising if players going around for a couple of days humming the tunes found in this game. These tunes are memorable and sound like they are made with real instruments. The music is crystal clear and full of catchy chimes.

Even though the music itself has a nice beat, what the shining point of the sound heard in Super Mario World is how well it relates to the environment. For example, when Mario is in a cave, the music heard consists of dripping noises and creepy echoes. Players can also hear violin type music that fades in and out when visiting a Boo House or a castle. Grassy levels will be presented with an up-beat sound as forest areas have a slower-paced music created by flutes. Regardless of how good the music in Super Mario World is, there is one tune that fans of Super Mario World will remember more of. There is the music that plays when Mario is mounted on Yoshi! As Mario rides on Yoshi's back, there will be a drum-like beat in the background, as if someone is pounding on some bongos.

Now, it's off to Donut Land! Mmm... donuts!

As for sound effects, Super Mario World presents those well too. If Mario gets hit while running on Yoshi, Yoshi will let out a small yelp and run away from Mario. As Yoshi eats fruits and enemies, he will make a small gulp sound. Collecting coins sounds like high-pitched jingles and completing a level lets out a cheerful melody. While the Super Mario World soundtrack sounds great, it's how the music fits so well with the game that makes it that much more amazing.

As mentioned very briefly, Super Mario World has an area called Star World. Star World is reached by finding secret exits throughout the many levels of Super Mario World. Star World allows players to acquire different colored Yoshies, each having a different ability. Some Yoshies will be able to sprout wings and fly, others will be able to stomp on the ground killing any enemies instantly and others will even be able to spit out fire! Once Star World is completed, which can only be done if in each level the secret exit is found, a new area opens up for Mario to explore. This area is called Special Zone and can be considered some of the hardest platformer levels ever designed! By mentioning the word "Tubular", a lot of people will most likely agree. However, completing this Special Zone is somewhat rewarding and players will refuse to let these level get the best of them!

Star World is a part of completing Super Mario World 100%. Although, Super Mario World doesn't track progress by a percentage. The "score" of Super Mario World is based on how many exits you have found throughout the game. As you select a file to play, next to the save file is the number of exits you have found. Super Mario World has a total of 96 exits, so to find all of these exits can take a lot of time! It's not until you see that “96” next to your file until you'll be completely satisfied with completing Super Mario World.

This looks like a fun battle!

It's only natural to expect that Super Mario World has some multiplayer to it. Super Mario World features multiplayer with 2-players alternating turns. Very similar to how multiplayer works in the Super Mario Bros. series on the Nintendo Entertainment System, two players can play take turns while one person is Mario and the other is Luigi. The players' turn is up once they have either died or completed a level. Also, the nice thing about Super Mario World's multiplayer is the fact of how you exchange lives between the two players. If player two is running low on some lives, player 1 has the opportunity to give some of his or her lives to player 2 to keep them in the game.

Besides Star World and multiplayer, Super Mario World is just a good game on its own that will have players replaying it for fun from time to time.

Even looking back at the game today, it's hard to find any faults with the game. The level designs were creative and you're always left wanting more of this game. Super Mario World fails to become boring, regardless of how many times it has been played.

Super Mario World has also been ported to the Gameboy Advance, which is known as Super Mario Advance 2. So for those who missed out on the Super Nintendo adventure, there's a more modern way to experience this game. Of course with the Revolution coming in a year or so, it's most likely that Super Mario World will be available for download.

From fun gameplay, great graphics and entertaining sound, Super Mario World has it all. Even though it might not have been as legendary as Super Mario 64, it is still considered to be one of the best Mario platformers of all time. With the Nintendo 64 being released after the Super Nintendo, it seems that Super Mario World was the peak of the 2D platforming genre. Super Mario World proved to fans that 2D sidescrollers is where Mario feels most at home.


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