My Game of the Year 1991: Super Mario World (SNES)

Developed: Nintendo EAD
Published: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer
Platform: SNES(reviewed), GBA, Wii Virtual Console

Super Mario World. The first game I ever played. This was one of the games of the year that I knew right off the bat(yes, I already have the full list.) As I said in my first post on this blog, I played this game steadily for years, even with many other games available to me. Even after beating it numerous times, and discovering its many secrets, it never got boring to me. For me, it has a lasting fun factor and charm that has been rarely matched to this day and it's a game that I still go back to occasionally.

The first thing you're sure to notice are the game's bright, cartoony graphics. The level environments and backgrounds are colorful and detailed giving a sense of life and purpose to everything and making the game feel inviting right from the start. Character sprites are so charmingly designed and animated that you'll just fall in love with every enemy you see before you stomp them. I especially love some of the enemy damage animations like the way the dragons on the first level flatten like an accordion the first time you stomp on them and then continue to run around. The football players are hilarious too when you jump on them and they shake their head around disoriented. The characters of Super Mario World is just dripping with personality and charm like that.

The game's music has an interesting quality to it. Many of the songs are variations on the same tune, giving the game's levels a uniform feel while still being quite varied in design. One fun detail is that when you ride on Mario's dinosaur companion, Yoshi, an extra drum track is added to the music. Just another fun little touch. Super Mario World's music was composed by series veteran Koji Kondo who brought his A game as usual. The sound effects are just as memorable to me with some that I'll remember forever. The clunk of the turtle shells, Yoshi's squeal when he takes damage, the pop sound that an enemy makes when you stomp them with a spin jump; it's all so iconic to me.
Man, these guy's used to creep me out...I wasn't a very brave child...
In my opinion, the gameplay is about as perfect as a game can get. Mario is known for his jumping ability and his jumps control with a precision that I wish every game character had. Once you familiarize yourself with each stage, it's possible to blast through most of them in no time, leading to some pretty cool moments where you find yourself bouncing off of enemy after enemy without touching the ground for a good amount of time. Yeah, I think they knew what they were doing with enemy placement in this one. Most levels you won't wanna blast though the first time though as almost all of them contain secrets, be it an area with extra coins or even a secret exit that leads to a different level than if you took the normal stage exit. Level designs are also well varied with you starting on a tropical island, moving to the main continent, then a dank cave area, a magical forest with a hidden exit, a land made out of freakin' chocolate, and finally Bowser's lair itself.
See? I'm not making it up.
Words cannot express how much I adore this game. Maybe I'm a little biased, it being my first game and all but even from an objective standpoint I can't really find anything bad to say about it. The graphics may not be as good as some later SNES games but you have to keep in mind that it was the first game for the system and it still manages to look better than many games on it. It feels a little weird but I honestly don't have much else to say. I guess when a game is this close to perfect you don't have to say much. The game is available on the Wii's Virtual Console so do yourself a favor and play it if you haven't. It's worth every penny of the $8 or so that they're asking for it and more in replay value.
Uh, yeah, that's not creepy or anything...

I think I'll mix things up and jump around from year to year so next up is the awesome year of 2008. I swear I have a good reason. For me at least...
First up, #5 in my top 5 games of 2008!
An over the top, self aware third person action game from one of the strangest minds in the industry.

I'll leave you with Super Mario World's wonderful ending theme, courtesy of YouTube user GilvaSunner:

No comments:

Post a Comment