Thursday, September 6, 2007

Super Mario World - Forest of Illusions 3

I have a confession to make: I have never played Super Mario World before. That isn't completely true as I played a few levels of the Game Boy Advance version and also a few levels just to test the game when I picked up a SNES a few years ago. But I have never played a significant amount of this game. Certainly not much beyond the first area. My other secret shame is that I have never beaten the original Super Mario Bros..

So I finally got a chance to put some good play into this game and I it definitely live up to expectations. The game is so well made and so well put together. It is just amazing for a launch game and contributes to the Super Nintendo having the best launch in console history. The level designs have such thought and detail put into them with placement of blocks and koopa shells to placement of hidden exits to even background elements. Beyond just great level designs and tight play control, there are a lot of details that Super Mario World does very well. The way that the overworld changes and evolves when you beat levels is something I absolutely love. The relative non-linearity and sense of exploration is great too.

That said, I think I'm going to fall into the camp that Super Mario Bros. 3 was a more innovative game. Not that it's better. They are both very well done and near-perfectly executed platformers. But the raccoon tail and different suits in 3 seem a lot more exciting to me than the Cape and Yoshis of World. I do like that the cape has subtle flying controls, but I'm just not that into Yoshi. Both games have some great level design, but so far lack of giant world and Kuribo's shoe gives 3 the nod for me.

I decided to play through the game, attempting to get all the exits, without looking at a FAQ or anything. In a few hours the other night, I had gotten to Forest of Illusions 3, reached the Star Road, and unlocked the path to the Special World. I was having trouble finding the alternate exit to Forest of Illusions 3. I then got extremely frustrated attempting to reach the alternate exit of Cheese Bridge - I guess I need to master using the cape. I guess I could also take on Gnarly, but I want to save that for later.

You also may notice the fun club label at the bottom of this post. That is because Super Mario World is this week's alternate selection at the gamespite fun club. The point of fun club is to create a shared group experience of playing a game. Each week, Jeremy Parish picks a major game and an alternate selection. There is also a monthly RPG (which this month is the beyond awesome Chrono Trigger). Check it out!

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