- Developer: Nintendo
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Release Date: 05/09/2019
- Price: $19.99 / £17.99 (Price represents an annual subscription to the Nintendo Switch Online service, which allows access)
- Reviewed on Nintendo Switch via the SNES Online app
Introducing: Super Mario World – Nintendo Switch review
Building upon the success of the NES, Nintendo’s first foray into the console market – the SNES – took the leap from 8-Bit to 16-Bit and elevated Nintendo to the upper echelons of home console excellence. Almost 30 years on from its original release, it arrives on everybody’s favourite console, the Nintendo Switch, via the online service. But how does it hold up? Most importantly perhaps, is it playable in this decadent age we live in?
First and foremost, SMW holds onto all of the euphoric allure that established it as the champion of home entertainment near on three decades ago.
The story will literally blow your mind. Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach and flown her to his castle. Real talk, nobody plays Mario for the story, they play to reach the pinnacle of platforming perfection. SMW achieves just that. The controls are tight and responsive, and the introduction of the now series staple spin jump, allows Mario to perform jump combos with consummate ease, as well as bounce off of different enemy’s heads – such as the perilous piranha plant. The level design is everything you would expect of Miyamoto-San, his stellar work on Super Mario Bros. 3 elevated exponentially, in no small part due to the extra grunt afforded to him by the hardware.
The aforementioned 16-Bit visuals are brimming with personality. A vibrant palette splatters throughout the game’s diverse and lush environments ranging from all of your typical Mario game worlds to some truly eclectic locales. How would you like to visit Chocolate island? Watch out for the Dinosaurs that populate this delectable destination.
Talking of Dinosaurs, that most lovable of scamp, Yoshi makes his Super Mario debut as our portly plumber’s humble steed. His love of eating shows no bounds and there are fruits littered throughout the land that are just ripe for the plucking. He can also eat keys, which is handy. With his trademark flutter jump being present from the characters inception, expect to utilise your prehistoric pal to gain access to secret areas and to traverse perilous pits.
Alongside the pixel perfect presentation is a musical score for the ages. Koji Kondo once again delivers a mixture of melodic mastery that further elevates the gameplay as well as transporting the player into this enrapturing, fantastical game world. These are the kind of tunes that decades later, resonate as much, if not more than before. Furthermore, the extra grunt allowed by the SNES’s superior power really does add a real timbre to the soundtrack. In fact, Super Mario World might possess the most memorable score of any Mario title.
Nintendo demonstrated it’s prowess by building an overworld so intricately interconnected that even in this golden age of gaming, it’s hard to look past Super Mario World when detailing game world level design. Via the Star Road, a series of secret levels known as Star World can be reached. Sometimes in games, its refreshing to take a change of scenery and get off the beaten track, the Star Roads certainly offer that, with game-changing shortcuts scattered throughout. In fact, it is entirely possible to reach Bowser and complete the game in a matter of minutes, given of course you know how. As for the Star World levels, they’re some of the most out-there levels in Mario history, especially the super secret levels, known as the Special Zone.
Super Mario World is littered with secrets, and given the nature of the over world, it’s no surprise that the game has one more treat in store, even after you emerge victorious from the trials and tribulations of the Special Zone. Should you find all 96 exits, the entirety of the over world suffers a dramatic shift in hue, with the season seemingly shifting from Spring to Autumn. The enemies also get a little makeover too, which is both vexing and hilarious.
Nothing has quite delivered a 2D platforming experience that compares since, and in all honesty, I don’t think anything will ever quite hit it’s lofty heights. A timeless example of boundless creativity, charisma and cutting edge technology, that even 30 years later, shines as brightly as the gates to it’s secret world. In conclusion, Super Mario World still provides a vibrant, eclectic and illimitable world, alongside its flawless controls and architectural build quality. Quite simply put, it slaps – even in 2020.
Super Mario World is Nintendo at their inimitable best. Everything about the game; from the Magnus opum score, to the unrivalled level design and ruminative over world, conglomerate in harmonious matrimony to provide an experience that withstands the test of time. Unfortunately, the emulation on the Nintendo Switch isn’t quite as perfect.