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I have been playing this on the Wii U Virtual Console and I have to say, I love it so very much. But then you get levels like Larry's Castle in the last world.
Words cannot describe my hatred for it.
Not only does it have a super long, boring snake part at the start of the level that completely ruins the pacing but you then have to go through another long section with the freaking Magikoopas that spawn ON TOP OF YOU. This level was so poorly designed I almost wanted to stop playing.
Luckily I didn't as the last level was truely something.
This was actually the first time I have finished it. It is one of the first games I can remember playing and it is truely something to finally finish it after all these years and that final fight was so very very sweet. Soundtrack is brilliant, level design for the most part is great. Lovely overworld and great variety.
I had a kind of disjointed experience with this game where I played it a bunch at friend's houses for years and even "beat" it at a friend's house (beat the end level I mean, not the whole game) so when I got my SNES at Christmas '93 I didn't even bother picking up this game until years later. Probably around '95 or '96 I finally bought it and played through the whole game start to finish.
I do like the game but I think this disjointed experience has led to me not really having the same strong memories of it that I had for a lot of the other older Mario games.
@Zero I actually have a similar experience with Super Mario World. I didn't have a SNES till around the time Donkey Kong Country came out. But a friend of my brother's had a SNES along with Super Mario World and F-Zero. He sucked at it and couldn't even get past the first castle so my brother and I would regularly go to his place and we eventually beat the game for him, unlocked the star world and some other secrets. So it was almost like I owned it but not quite.
I never owned the game till now. I didn't even download it on the original virtual console.
Playing this for the first time in a long time. My friend has an SNES, so I'm finally getting a chance to play it on its original console; first time I've ever held a Super Nintendo controller.
I really dig the game. The exploration is a ton of fun. I love how I can just totally go off on a hidden path and play secret levels for an hour without even making progress towards World 8.
It's definitely a different sort of Mario game though. As much as I would have loved for a NSMB game to have done this, it just wouldn't have worked; Super Mario World's levels are much more loosely designed, largely because of the cape. The game is almost more like a 2D Mario 64 than a sequel to SMB3 (which I admittedly haven't played in quite a while... it's possible that that game has just as much freedom in its exploration as World).
Really enjoying it; the level design still holds up twenty years later. It's kind of quaint in a way, since we know all the tricks by this point, but seeing just how clever the game must have been back in the day is really cool.
I too beat this game at a friend's house. I never had an SNES as a child and was way more into PC adventure games, but this game captured me like no video game before. We played it a ton, were constantly experimenting with things like the koopas who kick their shells back, the cape, the different Yoshis. This game is way more of a virtual playground than meets the eye, which I love.
I was a Genesis kid, so the first time I played the game for more than a few minutes was at the hospital, after getting my appendix removed. My dad wheeled in the TV and system and I played it non-stop for hours. It's been my favorite 2D Mario ever since.
That said, I would probably say that the NSMB series are the better games now, at least Wii and U. I've recently played NSMBU and Luigi U and Super Mario World, and the NSMB games don't get enough credit for how many great additions they made to the formula.
Yeah, this game sits in an odd position for me. On one hand, it's very nostalgic and I have fond memories playing it back when I first got my SNES. There was a certain amount of intrigue and mystery about the game. The graphics were of course better than any other Mario before it, and the amount of secrets got cranked to 11 compared previous entries. The music was good stuff too - the 'Forest of Illusion' track in particular just makes childhood memories rush back to me like none other.
On the other hand, I felt this game also took several steps backwards, compared to Super Mario Bros. 3. I mean, now there were only TWO power-ups in the whole game (Cape and Fireball), instead of the 5 or 6 that were in the previous game? What's that all about? No cool, "hidden" two-player mode between Mario and Luigi when they are on the same space on the map screen? You don't even have an inventory on the map screen anymore, only allowing you to keep several items available to use before you enter a level! I was upset by these 'drawbacks.' Still, very good game and I enjoyed it.
But then Yoshi's Island came out years later, billed as the sequel to the SNES launch game, and it blew me away. Sure, it was a totally different game (kinda) but it just felt fresh, new, imaginative, and best of all? It didn't feel like it was trying to be Super Mario Bros. 3 again, which is ultimately what Super Mario World felt like it was trying (and failing, IMO) to do.
So yeah. It's in an odd spot. Good game, had lots of fun with it, but it sits well under the shadow of both the game that came before it, and the one after it. For me, anyway. Not sure where it sits for me in a ranking of all the Mario games.
On the other hand, I felt this game also took several steps backwards, compared to Super Mario Bros. 3. I mean, now there were only TWO power-ups in the whole game (Cape and Fireball), instead of the 5 or 6 that were in the previous game? What's that all about? No cool, "hidden" two-player mode between Mario and Luigi when they are on the same space on the map screen? You don't even have an inventory on the map screen anymore, only allowing you to keep several items available to use before you enter a level! I was upset by these 'drawbacks.'
Sure, but how much do those things really matter?
Were all those extra powerups really a big deal? The P-Wing was neat, but essentially a one-level Super Guide. The Tanooki Suit was just a raccoon tail with a cute but mostly pointless extra ability. Frog Mario was funny but total crap out of water (and arguably worse than Fire Mario underwater, too). The only suit I ever missed from SMB3 was the Hammer Suit, but that thing was so rare that most people never even knew about it. As far as I'm concerned, the addition of the Yoshis more than makes up for dropping all those superfluous suits. (This is also one thing the New games get right: the powerups are numerous AND totally rad).
The map-screen inventory was a loss (I'd say a minor one) but I still think the new in-play powerup storage slot was a genius move that makes up for it. Getting hit now automatically reverts you to regular old small Mario, and you have to grab the powerup that you had stored before it drops, usually in an area dangerous enough for you to get hit again. It's a great risk-reward mechanic.
The Mario Bros-style versus mode was fun, I'll give you that. I'm glad Nintendo has made simultaneous co-op a priority in Mario games recently.
There are a ton of little things that put World on top for me, but the kicker that puts it ahead of SMB3 is the addition of Secret Exits and all the great things intertwined with them. Wacky shortcuts back and forth through a World Map that had a sense of place and character. Nonlinear, puzzle-style ghost houses full of secrets. The meta-puzzle of the Forest of Illusion. The super special Star Road! Suddenly there was more incentive to explore than extra lives and fleeting powerups.
I do think SMB3 does a slightly better job of varying up its level designs and themes throughout, but that's really all it has on World for me.
One of the greatest games of all time, IMO. I used to play this all the time with my Dad in co-op, I got to be Luigi. One of my earliest gaming memories is being in the Vanilla Dome, in the one level that you have to travel upwards on. I was taking too long, my Dad took over, promptly killed my character, and then beat it as Mario. I threw a fit. But then I got good enough to beat the whole game by myself. One of the few games we had for the SNES (A Link to the Past, DKC trilogy, Super Mario RPG are about the only ones I remember for certain).
I like Super Mario World, but there is something about the physics in the jumping that makes me want to pull my hair out. And it seems like you have to be really exact when you jump on enemies. If you're just a little off, you take damage. And the Star World levels had me yelling at my TV the first time I played it through. Great game though. I want it for download on my 3DS badly.
Coincidentally, I also first tried the game at a friend's place. Kinda funny how many of us had that experience. I didn't play it much though since we were all a lot more interested in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It wasn't until many years later that I had the game and could give it a proper play.
I think part of the "hate" towards this game occurred in one of those Survivor Polls, where the simplistic Super Mario World (while good) was up against some legendary SNES games. Yeah, its good as all heck, but its not something like Chrono Trigger.
I voted for it over Super Mario Bros. 3 in the March Madness deal, but had it somewhat buried in the others.
The level I remember playing when I was younger was the one where you're riding a bone thing across the Lava and BLAAAARG keeps popping up, also in the Vanilla Dome. Weird. I must've had a whale of a time with that one. I was over at a friend of my parents, playing alone in the dark and switching between that and Street Fighter II.
I eventually got my own SNES with birthday money from K-Mart later that year (or the next year, if it was Christmas time..).
EDIT: No, seriously, has there really been any backlash against World? It just beat Ye Holy SMB3 in the March Madness bracket.
I think it's a great game and any lack of respect I display for World in comparison to SMB3 could be chalked up to the fact I didn't get an SNES until like 2005. I do think it's a very well designed game. But I'm not as in love with the look and feel of World as some of the earlier games. And despite all the love it gets, I don't like the dorky yellow cape at all. And there are a few beefs I have with the level design.
But make no mistake, Super Mario World isn't a controversial game. Anyone who tells you it's not a great game is either an iconoclast or they have no taste.
With all the hubbub lately about Super Mario Maker, have you guys thought back to any old stages in Super Mario World that really gave you the heeby jeebies? I commented on someone's course the other day (may've been one of our own!) that I was having flashbacks of Butter Bridge. I remember the first time I figured out the secret exit in that one, I was SUPER-STOKED. Do you guys have any other similar stories?
How do you like those special stages (Tubular, etc.)? I wonder if any of those can be recreated. Did they give us access to Chargin' Chuck at all?
No Chargin' Chuck and Tubular is right out since there's no P-Balloon or Lava Lotus either. But there are a good number of cool things you can do in SMM, and I think the SMW style is my favorite of all of them. Even if it doesn't have its super-tight physics anymore...
I want to have a "ground" level where the water level goes up and down, like the Frog Suit Big Bertha levels from Super Mario 3, or those ones where you get to kick the Cheep-Cheeps when they're floundering around on the ground. *holding breath!*
Also, I want the Frog Suit. If its in, I haven't seen it yet.. I've still only got the beginner toolset. THUMBS UP!!.....