Top 100 SNES Review: #4 – Super Mario World (1991)

An Easy Cake Walk.

I don’t remember a single hiccup.

Super Mario World Title ScreenSydlexia’s Ranking: #4/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586

There is a VHS somewhere at my parent’s house of me playing this game for the first time. I wear an expressionless face as I have difficulty processing the vibrant colors. When the friendly dinosaur hatches, my mom is heard off camera going “It’s Yoshi!” as I silently mouth the same words in total shock.

I wore a similar expressionless face this time around, but not because of being blown away: Super Mario World is auto-pilot easy. There are some hidden levels that really challenge your skill, but the other 95% of the game barely requires participation. With 47 lives to spare, I unlocked the ending sequence wondering “why is this so easy?”

Super Mario World Story
The game tries to introduce more story, but most of it is a series of odd gags.

[STORY]

Of course you know where you have to go and who you have to save.

Super Mario World jumping
Who spent the time to string up chainsaws?

[GAMEPLAY]

In this iteration of Mario Brothers, you do the same dodge, jump, and duck like in all the others. Of course there are new wrinkles, but they feel more uninspiring than previous installments probably because the game is so easy none of them create a significant change in your approach.

Sartorial Choices, New Friends, & Blocks. 

The biggest additions to the game was a feather that granted the user a cape, a rideable dinosaur, and special blocks that aid your quest.

The problem with the cape is almost immediate. You can easily BMX launch your way through every stage never needing to actually work your way through the few booby traps laid for you. There are also a copious amount of them around, along with every other power up, so instead of being a true find they become the status-quo. EASY.

Yoshi’s first appearance adds a whole other set of skills. He’s able to stomp most creatures and can eat almost anything. There are few hidden goodies, like swallowing a fire koopa allowing him to shoot fire across the stage or heavenly wings that take you to special parts of a level. As if you weren’t already over powered, Yoshi decimates everything in sight, allows you an additional hit without death, and doesn’t disappear upon running into an enemy. SO EASY. 

The most interesting addition is the use of special blocks. Many stages have two exits, and if you find enough of the secret ones, you unlock blocks in all stages that will makes things easier. This is actually a cool feature: you will play new levels and these blocks give you extra wiggle room for difficult jumps or items before bosses. The problem is the game is already TOO EASY. 

Super Mario World
Yoshi’s dumb cousin.

Gameshow Extras.

The game also fills out its usually gameplay with filler that belongs on a daytime TV gameshow. At the end of each level is a bar that you try and pole vault into at its highest point to get more bonus points. Getting 100 points sends you to a bonus stage where you play a game of tic-tac-toe and get copious amounts of 1-ups. There are many easy to assess parts of levels where there are coins as far as the eye can see. EASY, EASY, EASY.

Super Mario World highest achievement
Everyone gets a trophy for playing in Super Mario World.

Out of Place. 

The rest of the new additions to this game just seem out of place. Sure, the raging sun from SMB3 and Birdo from SMB2 are both oddball parts of the cannon, but they just fit well within the Super Mario universe. Giant moles wearing sunglasses and football players do not.

Super Mario World Football Chuck
An early cross over with John Madden Football.

[CONCLUSION]

My least favorite of the retro Super Mario games.

Other People’s Takes: 

  • Mr. Panda’s Video Game Reviews: “Decades later, Super Mario World is still the one game that I revisit at least once a year, and that is because it has withstood the test of time.”
  • Games That I Play: This game will always be at the top of the heap in terms of quick, fun 2D platformers.”
  • Happy Katana: As you can tell from my review, this is simply an amazing game. Nay, it is a perfect game.”

Author: Casual But Smart

I review the top 100 books, movies, albums, and games of all time.

6 thoughts on “Top 100 SNES Review: #4 – Super Mario World (1991)”

    1. Use of the Star Road is perfectly acceptable! I never realized the difficulty difference between this and SMB3 . I played some Kirby game with a friend last year on switch and even though it was “fun,” any game that lets you have 40+ lives is being too loosey goosey.

      Liked by 1 person

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