Mario at his finest

User Rating: 10 | Super Mario World: Super Mario Bros. 4 SNES
The Super Mario franchise has a long and wonderful history of great games and innovating ideas. When the SNES was announced the most hotly anticipated title was Super Mario World, the newest game in the franchise with the most powerful console at the time. Expectations ran high but the game was a commercial and critical success, but does it warrant a purchase on the old Virtual Console??? Perhaps.

If you have the Super Nintendo or GameBoy Advance version of this game than downloading it to your Wii is pointless, there are no new features or added benefits to the game. In fact the only difference you will notice is that it looks even better and more vibrant than in the past thanks to the better quality televisions in homes around the country. If you don't already own a copy of this game than stop reading this review, go to your Wii, buy 1000 Wii Points, and purchase the game.

Following the usual script of Mario battling a variety of bad-guys on his way to the inevitable showdown with Bowser, Super Mario World succeeds on the merit of it gameplay and not the originality of the story. The levles are longer, with more enemies, and more variety than in any of the previous games. The basic structure has you navigated an overworld map between different levels. There are many hidden exits that lead to new paths with more challenges and surprise. Aside from the traditional levels, there are also the addition of the Ghost Houses that can be pretty challenging. The lands end with a castle and a showdown with one of Bowser's children. The number of power-ups has been decreased to just the mushroom, invincibility star, fire flower, and magic cape that helps you fly. To replace the wealth of crazy suits from Super Mario Bros. 3, the good folks at Nintendo introduced the ability to ride on the back of a dinosaur named Yoshi. While on dino-back you have even more moves at your disposal, and there are even hidden Yoshi's with hidden powers.

Graphically the game looks better than ever and doesn't show its age nearly as bad as other title from the same time. The game is colorful, with cheerful and varied level designs, and the same crazy Nintendo baddies we have all come to know and love.

The sound coming out of your speakers is also top-notch, representing some of the best music of the glorious 16-Bit period. The voice clips of Mario can be a little tedious as usual though.

Playing the game on the Wii requires the use of either a Classic Controller or a Gamecube controller. The Classic Controller is recommended because it was built for the purpose. Using the Gamecube controller can be frustrating because, well its a Gamecube controller with all its odd button placements and weird C-stick. The game controls wonderfully with the Classic Controller, even in the levels that are covered with ice Mario responds perfectly.

In the end it comes down to whether you have a version of the game already. If not the easy decision is to pick up Super Mario World, it is easily one of the best titles of all-time. The gameplay will keep you hooked well beyond the time it takes to find and beat all 96 levels.