Archive | November 2018

Super Mario World – SNES Classic

Please note: I originally had this column published in my local newspaper, The Centralian Advocate, on the 18th of September 2018. 

Link to published column: Advocate Column – Super Mario World SNES Classic 180918

Super Mario World for the Super Nintendo (SNES) released on the 21st of November 1990 in Western Countries. Also you’re not confused, this is not an old copy of the Advocate – this is (relatively) modern news to talk about! The SNES Classic released on 30 September 2017 with Super Mario World fully playable, among a bunch of other all-time SNES Classics – this is largely why Super Mario World is back in the spotlight.

smw.gameplay.forrestI just hope you can forgive my image capture methods – there’s no ‘Share’ function on the SNES Classic like the PS4 🙂 

Super Mario World is a side-scrolling, 2D platformer (genre) and it still holds up as a great experience in 2018. Players need to overcome levels by moving from left to right through obstacle-laden stages full of different challenges. The gameplay mechanics still feel incredibly good, jumping is just right, the longer you hold the ‘A’ button the higher Mario goes, allowing for some precision platforming.
Players hold down the ‘B’ button to sprint or use power-ups, which gives the game a burst of speed – sprinting through levels is quick and the obstacles come at Mario very fast. It’s really satisfying to master the use of the speed button, it gives players the ability to set the pace of the game and it feels great to use speed to gain momentum and clear a group of enemies. Map View – Forest of Illusion 

To defeat enemy’s players must jump on their head or use an ability, like shooting fireballs that bounce across the path. The combat – I don’t know if anyone can call it that – is essentially platforming as well, sometimes players will need to bounce across multiple enemy heads to continue, which can be quite challenging as you might imagine. In some scenarios, the only way to cross a gap is jumping on enemies heads.

SMW.gameplay.secret.key.2There are a many secrets in Super Mario World, encouraging replay-ability which was very innovative at the time. 

Super Mario World has 7 ‘Worlds’ which essentially are chapters in the game – and each World has 4 – 8 levels to complete. Each World provides a different aesthetic, which is visually pleasing. The diversity of visuals and colours is fantastic, from sandy island shores to dark and shimmering caves; it’s beautifully presented through the SNES’s 32bit graphics. It really is amazing how vibrant the game is – Super Mario World was made over 25 years ago and still has a vast array of colours and textures.

Late game spoilers – for a 28 year old game. Bowser is the final boss….

Not only are there many levels – 96 altogether – there are many hidden levels as well. Super Mario World provides more content in a clever way using the secret these levels, not all secrets are available until you have certain items, giving players reasons to explore further and replay levels. A secret path could be hidden in a green pipe that you didn’t know was accessible or behind a door that is locked by a key players need to open – you’ll find yourself pressing down whenever you find pipes, it’s quite funny really. The power-ups also provide opportunities to seek alternative paths, the Cape Power-Up allows Mario to glide and the Squirrel Tail Power-Up can attack enemies and obstacles. And the Power-Ups are a lot of fun – when you gain enough speed with some you can potentially fly across most of the level watching you enemies wiz by below.

SNES Classic Console comparisonA little look at the SNES Classic for comparison, next to the Dual Shock 4. 

Super Mario World has been immensely popular ever since it released in the 90’s, it sold 20.61 Million copies worldwide, which is the highest selling SNES game ever. Not many people remember this either – Super Mario World was a launch title for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, some argue it’s the best launch title ever alongside it’s cousin Super Mario 64. It truly is a special game.