The first game I bought for my Super Famicon was my all time favourite SNES game, so for me it was a no brainer, Super Mario World. Now I will be the first to tell you this game is wrapped in a sugary coat of nostalgia and sometimes that sweet wrapping can give you rose tinted glasses. You know what I mean, you remember it being the best thing ever, but years have passed, technology has marched on, Mario has thrown out a gazillion games, he has even changed dimensions (2D to 3D, sounded cooler than it was). I was most relieved to find that when I played this game again there was nothing rose tinted about it, this is a game that stands the test of time.
Maybe it is playing it on an old analogue TV, the actual console it was made for and using the actual controllers, but the authenticity of the whole experience just made things feel so much more ‘right’. I don’t know how best to explain this concept but when I had my Nintendo Wii i purchased this gem and there was just something about using my GameCube controller, connected to my Wii that just didn’t sit right.
On this old school TV set the graphics are simple, colourful and (like the Wind Waker) don’t really age badly. It was a pleasure to look at. The vibrancy of Mario’s world made for an engaging, varied and beautiful world. The only time this isn’t the case is when you win a boss fight and watch as the boss expands into a pixelated, enlarged character model, but it’s nowhere near enough to break the magic.
The thing that is very noticeable about new Mario games, is how easy they are. It seems to be made to be accessible to everyone, and that apparently means dropping the difficulty level. With Super Mario 3d land on the 3ds there was almost two versions of the game and two endings. You could complete the game 1 time through and it was considerably easy (it was still fun however), and then this unlocked almost the alternative version of the game which was quite a challenge to say the least.
I guess what I am getting at is that the gameplay in Super Mario World for me is that of a very well designed game. Mario by default is an accessible game, in it’s most simplistic form it is getting from point A to B without dying. It is easy to understand, it is easy to control, it is easy to pick up and play with zero video game experience. That is accessibility. This game gets pretty challenging and when you jump at that end goal you really feel like you have earned it (and by golly you have). The ‘casual’ gamer can play Mario easily, even improve their ability at video games by progressing through the game, whilst the more ‘hardcore’ gamer will have endless fun re-running through levels, finding secrets galore. And this game is chock-a-block with secrets.
Super Mario World is a game that truly does weather the stormy hands of time, it plays and looks fantastic to this day. I always regarded Super Mario World to be one of the best Mario games ever made, and I believe that playing it now, not as a kid, in my own opinion it is the best 2d Mario game in history. So if you can grab yourself a copy and relive this classic.