Super Mario is one of the hottest topics right now, especially with Super Mario Odyssey having recently released. With everyone’s attention on Odyssey I decided to step back a little and play Super Mario World on my 3DS.
Now the reason I went back to this game was not just to get me ready for Super Mario Odyssey, but because it holds a very special place in my heart. Let me take you back to Christmas 2002, when I was only five years old. I’d just unwrapped a present, and I was greeted with a box with the words “Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2” along with a shiny new black Game Boy Advance. The moment I put the cartridge in for the first time was a moment that I look back on fondly, because it wasn’t just the first time I turned on the GBA, but the first time I would touch gaming, something that still rides with me now. I remember not being able to get past the Forest of Illusion for a couple of years, a rather confusing world where paths go back around on each other and you have to discover a secret exit in one of the levels in order to complete this world. I’m currently up to there right now.
Even after over 25 years since the game first released, it still holds up nicely
Even after over 25 years since the game first released, it still holds up pretty nicely, and it’s safe to say that this is one of the greatest Mario games made. Each level also has something different to it, whether it’s introducing a new obstacle or reusing old obstacles in different ways, so the gameplay does not get boring. Notably, this was the game that introduced the world to Mario’s loyal dinosaur sidekick, Yoshi. The first time you mount him and the game soundtrack adds bongo drums, you know you’re in for something good as he can eat enemies for coins, as well as let you cross dangerous terrain that would otherwise result in a dead plumber. Despite being an early ‘90s game, even the final battle still maintains that scary atmosphere with the lightning flashes and thunder rumbling.
One of the best things, and certainly a reason why the game is still relevant today, is that the game also rewards exploration. Instead of push-scrolling you towards a goal, Super Mario World requires you to scour every nook and cranny of levels in order to discover secrets. Even now, the feeling of reuniting a key with its keyhole to unlock new levels feels very satisfying, giving different ways to progress across the world map. No two playthroughs of Super Mario World are the same, and I discover different ways to play it whenever I dust off the cart and make a new save file.
Overall, Super Mario World is a really awesome game that has this nostalgic charm to it, and I strongly recommend you play it if you haven’t done so already. Trust me - you’ll enjoy it!