Remembering…Super Mario World

Super Mario World

There’s always one game in a series that seems to stand out from the rest of the pack for whatever reason, as your favorite title in that series. For Zelda, it’s A Link to the Past, for Metroid, it’s Super Metroid, and for Mario, it has to be Super Mario World. Sure everyone is going to have their own favorites for their own reasons, but this is one game that ushered in a brand new generation, and helped shape the future of games. When it was released alongside the Super Nintendo back on August 23rd, 1991 videogames changed, simple as that. Let’s take a look back at one of my favorite videogames of all time, which just so happens to be on the Wii U Virtual Console, for all those who have never experienced this gem before, or would like to re-experience it again.

First let’s talk about the build up to launch. People tend to forget this, but Super Mario Bros. 3 was released in North America on February 12th, 1990, a year and half before the SNES’ launch. Sure I adored that game, and still say it’s one of the very best NES releases of all time, but the fact is I didn’t have very much time with it before Nintendo Power started hyping the SNES. The Super Famicom was released in November 1990, and so you can imagine how many articles the magazine started publishing about the forthcoming console. Once we started to see all these beautiful images of this next-gen system I just couldn’t believe what was right around the corner. Super Mario Bros. 3 would end up being one of my last “super hyped” NES games before I switched over to SNES mode. Needless to say, when my brother and I opened up this box, our gaming lives changed forever.


From the incredible design of the system, to the wonderful controller, we were so hyped even before we plunked the game into the system. Once we did though, well things changed. We were never the same after witnessing the first few seconds of this intro.

This was leaps and bounds nicer than anything we had ever seen on the NES, or Genesis. See for us, Super Mario World represented much more than an evolution of the Super Mario series, but rather a new basis on which all other games would be measured. The minute we stepped foot in Dinosaur Island we realized the series had changed forever. Sure SMB3 had introduced a map, but it was extremely basic in design. You had some freedom in terms of where you wanted to go and whatnot, but with World, it truly felt as though our actions were making a difference in the world itself. The map would shift and change depending on exactly what we did in the preceding levels. Mario seemed to smoother and his action felt better than ever. This was because he was much more animated, but at the time all I know is the game felt better than anything I had played before. There were so many amazing moments with this game, like who could forget what happened after completing the Ghost Ship?

These moments were truly awe-inspiring and have remained with me since the system launched. Then there was Yoshi. How cool was it to ride a dinosaur? There was the cape, the tons of secret levels where you had to use keys to unlock them, there was the colored block switches you had to find, and so much more. This game literally shocked me when I was younger. While Super Mario Bros. 3 may have taken the series and the NES to new heights, Super Mario World took a brand new console and showed the world it was a force to be reckoned with.

The final boss fight with Bowser also remains one of the most memorable ever. There’s just something so cool about the way Peach throws out a mushroom and yells “help” during the fight. I remember being like “you’re going down Bowser.” These were fantastic moments. The core gameplay was also excellent, whereby Mario could grab enemies and launch them upwards, something that’s sorely lacking from the modern games. I want to be able to launch things into the air again damn it!

Looking back today I’m still amazed at how many wonderful games graced the SNES. To think that it all started with Super Mario World, and continued on from there. This was a special time for gamers, and I doubt very much we shall ever experience these feelings again. Everything felt so fresh and original, even though most of the games were simply evolutions of what came before. Whatever the case may be, the Super Nintendo, and Super Mario World will live on forever because they changed the very landscape of gaming.

If you have never had the chance to experience Super Mario World before, do yourself a favor and pick it up right away. If you haven’t played it in years, you owe it to yourself to give it another spin because classics like this are called classics for a reason.

5 thoughts on “Remembering…Super Mario World”

  1. Ah, so many memories. I was introduced to the SNES and my local game store simultaneously. Back in the early 90s, videogames was still an early and booming buisness here, severely plagued by piracy. I didn’t know it back then, but it was very hard to buy original games here in our country. Luckily, my NES was a present given to me by my parents when they were in the US.

    We were doing grocery shopping the other day when I suddenly stumbled upon my local game store, which I have been dealing with to this very day. The first game I had noticed was Mega Man X playing in the store’s TV, subsequently introducing me to the SNES itself. This store was the only one for a decade which imported US games and sold original copies, going so far as to mimic Nintendo’s seal of quality logo for advertising. After countless amounts of nagging, my parents bought it, and I was surprised that it had SMW in the box.

    Needless to say, my brother and I were entranced. Countless nights of co-op and awesome times indeed. I later bought the guide to find all the little secrets. Those were the days…when games occupied me for months rather than weeks or days. The only flaw and downgrade that I always found in World was the lack of the item menu and multiple items that SMB3 had. The quick item box was a poor replacement in my opinion.

    The Wii U VC version is great! Last I played the game was the GBA version, which is one I really want to have on the big screen due to its advanced features, but this one will do. :)

  2. I do miss the ability to throw items in the air. I still instinctly try that with every Mario game I play even if you can only do that in World. I had as much fun with World when I bought it a few weeks ago on the wii u as I do with a brand new game. I played it for a few days till I got everything. The added miiverse communities really add so much replayability to a classic game like this.

  3. Awesome story there Ahmed. I’m glad that store you deal with is still around. I love supporting local game stores. Sadly all the ones around here are gone, and with the Wii U I’ve decided to go fully digital unless there are significantly better sales for the disc version.

    As for SMW, I honestly didn’t even notice the item bar was gone because I never really used it much in SMB3. There were certainly less powers, but I found the various Yoshis made up for that.

    Now pertaining to the air shot ability, I have no clue why Nintendo didn’t add that into any of the “New Super Mario Bros.” games. Seems a little silly considering how awesome and useful that move was.

  4. I’ve also notice that the handheld new super mario bros allow you to carry one spare item, while the console ones don’t. Another reason why the console versions are harder. Also, even in world, no matter what power you have, get hit once and you revert to regular mario. When did that change. In new super mario bros. perhaps?

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