The storyline of the game, like most Super Mario games, is very basic. Bowser, the King of the Koopa, once again kidnaps Peach, Princess Toadstool of the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario, and optionally his brother Luigi, have to travel through eight worlds in order to reach Koopa's Castle. As he had previously done in Super Mario Bros. 3, the Koopalings guard the castles at the end of the first seven worlds, while Bowser himself guards the last.
The power-ups common to all Super Mario titles are here, including the super mushroom that causes Mario or Luigi to grow in height, the fire flower that gives the ability to throw fireballs, and the starman, which grants invincibility for a short time. There is now a box at the top of the graphical user interface which allows for the holding of a powerup, which can be used when shrunk into small Mario or Luigi or at any time by pressing select.
The costumes from Super Mario Bros. 3 are unfortunately dropped, so the Mario bros. won't be able to get a frog, raccoon, or tanooki costume. The good news is the flying raccoon and tanooki suits are replaced with a cape, which can be worn by getting a feather. This cape allows the Mario brothers. to fly throughout a level, which could not be accomplished in the previous game without using a P-wing. By running at full speed, jumping, and then tapping the back button at the right time to collect wind in the cape to cause an updraft, the cape can float the plumbers in the air until flying into an object or enemy.
The graphics all have been improved from previous games, taking advantage of the 16-bit hardware. The sprites of the Mario brothers and the enemies are all more detailed, and the backgrounds now have more detail than they ever had before. The music has also improved, as the tracks have more instruments than before. The final fight with Bowser, looks and sounds great, as the booming soundtrack is matched with a fight that uses the sprite scaling abilities of the Super NES to their full potential.
Super Mario World is one of the best two-dimensional Super Mario platform games of all time. The sound qualities of the Super NES create an experience that still sounds great today. The graphics are much improved over its predecessors as well, creating an overall experience that remains a joy to play to this day.
5 out of 5
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