Goomba Stomp’s Hall of Fame is reserved for only those Nintendo titles that can be called absolute classics. Chosen by the crew of the NXpress Nintendo Podcast, these bite-sized capsule reviews reflect what we’ve discussed on the podcast over the past six months. Look for more entries every 25 episodes we record.
A perfect introduction to the 16-bit powers of the Super Nintendo, SMW is an explosion of color and ideas that comes together so flawlessly, at least, one editor here believes it to be the greatest Mario game of all time. This was the last of the great Mario side-scrollers (sorry New Super Mario Bros. series), and to this day remains one of the purest, most fun platformers available on any classic or modern console. Super Mario World also gave us a new mascot in Yoshi, who would go on to star in the “sequel”, established the weird idea that Bowser has a family (all of whom you murder, thus wiping out the bloodline), and created a living, breathing world map, with regions seamlessly transitioning from one to the next, each named after some sort of delicious edible. This is also the first real instance of the humor that the series (and Nintendo) would begin to employ more and more. Try not to smile at Mario’s scorched face after a dynamite mishap.
But really where Super Mario World shines is in the gameplay. Never mind why a feather for some reason gives Mario a cape, and try not to think about all the Yoshis sacrificed on the way to 100% completion. From the moment you take off in flight, discovering the right rhythm on the d-pad that will allow you to coast, to hopping on the little green (or blue, red, yellow) dino’s back, slurping up and spitting out everything you come across, Super Mario World plays like a dream, offering multiple paths, hidden keyholes, and Star Warps on the way to defeating Bowser and his goon children (except Ludwig von Koopa, clearly a misunderstood genius). With a variety of gorgeous worlds and air-tight controls, Super Mario World is platforming perfection.