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Super Mario World


by Skyler Miller

Princess Toadstool is in trouble yet again, and it's up to Mario and Luigi to save her from the clutches of the evil Bowser. Only this time, they have a little help from a friendly dinosaur named Yoshi, whose long tongue is a deadly weapon.

Along with a cape that allows Mario to fly, Yoshi is the main new attraction of Super Mario World, the fourth installment in the Super Mario series. The gameplay is the standard run-and-jump introduced way back in Super Mario Bros., but here it has been refined to an almost heavenly state. Mario runs, flies and swims with an unequaled grace. The controls are easily mastered, and with a bit of practice Mario soon becomes an extension of your being.

The best aspect of Super Mario World, and what makes it the most entertaining, is the challenge of trying to complete the game fully. Most of the levels can be finished in two or more possible ways, and the fun lies in searching for the hidden exits. While defeating Bowser can be accomplished quite easily, discovering all of the secrets of Super Mario World is a formidable task.

The graphics are clean, colorful and detailed, with limited but effective uses of Mode 7 scaling and rotation. The sound is equally as good, with nice touches like echo effects when Mario is underground.

When the Super NES was first announced, fans and critics alike wondered if the new system would be able to continue the success of the wildly popular NES. With the 16-bit Genesis selling very well, some speculated that the Super NES might turn out to be just another Atari 7800 (or 5200 for that matter).

Then it was announced that Super Mario World would be the pack-in cartridge for the system. A smart move for Nintendo, since the previous Mario release, Super Mario Bros. 3, was the best selling video game ever. It also didn't hurt that Super Mario World turned out to be an excellent game in its own right.

While it's not quite as groundbreaking as Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World is more fun than any of its predecessors. And that's what really matters. That, and the fact that it helped to introduce the Super NES, which went on to sell over 20 million units in the U.S.

Graphics graphics rating

Well-drawn characters, backgrounds and enemies.

Sound sound rating

Upbeat songs that don't get on your nerves, even after hours of play.

Enjoyment enjoyment rating

Easy to learn but enough challenge to keep you engrossed.

Replay Value replay rating

This is where Super Mario World really shines. There are tons of secrets to discover.

Documentation documentation rating

Good instruction manual and in-game help.