A sequel that stands the test of time.....

User Rating: 9.4 | Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 GBA
It's tough to make a sequel that manages to stand up to the original game. But it's even tougher to make a sequel to a sequel to a sequel and have it still stand up when compared to it's predecessors. But it's even harder still to make that game stand against the test of time for more than a decade. But that's what Nintendo managed to do with Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World. Super Mario World was the launch title for the Super NES all the way back in the early 90's. It plays a lot like Super Mario Bros. 3, with a map screen and the ability to make Mario fly with the addition of new power ups. But now the game has been fleshed out a lot more. The stages in this game are a lot longer than they were in previous games. They also manage to be more detailed. Stages can branch off into different paths, many even have hidden exits that take you off into hidden levels. Also, unlike the previous game, you can play any stage you like at any time, because all the levels can now be found on one big continuous map instead of eight separate maps. Also, it's worth briefly mentioning that this game features the debut of Mario's dinosaur companion Yoshi, who basically functions as a ride for Mario. There are also a few new features that have been added for the portable release of this game. First of all, you can play as Luigi whenever you want. He basically jumps a bit higher than Mario but has a bit less control on how he moves. Also, you can save the game wherever you want, even in the middle of a stage, though you'll have to begin the stage again if you do so. And finally, there is a data screen that you can access from the map that will tell you which secret levels you have and haven't found and which stages they are in, as well as which stages you have and haven't found all of the Dragon Coins. And it's also worth noting that this game comes with the same version of Mario Bros. that comes with every Mario Advance game. The graphics in this game look wonderful. The environments, the characters, everything has a wonderfully bright look that just has to be seen in motion. The game took great advantage of the technology of the Super Nintendo, and it does the same with the Game Boy Advance. I'd almost say that the game's visuals are completely flawless. There's really nothing to complain about here unless you just don't like the style of the artwork or something. The game's sound is true to the original. The songs and the sound effects sound just as good as they used to. There are just a few minor issues. First of all, the music sounds a bit distorted compared to the original. Especially the percussive stuff, such as the bongos that start whenever Mario rides Yoshi. And also, just like every other Mario Advance, Nintendo has added voice samples for Mario and Luigi. And, just like every other Mario Advance, they really don't fit into the game. They just don't. The developers really should have just left the sound as it was in that respect. But overall, those are some really minor issues, and the game sounds great as a whole. So overall, this is another must-buy platformer for the GBA. All of the Mario Advance games are definitely worth picking up, but Super Mario World is by far the most evolved and well-developed of them all. It's a game that you definitely need to pick up, even if you've already played the original.