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Review Crew
Super Mario World: What Did Critics Say in 1991?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on May 23, 2014   |   Episode 46 (Show Archive)  


Super Mario World (Super NES)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every week as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

It's Super Mario Week at Review Crew, which means that we'll spend the next three episodes looking at old school games starring Nintendo's favorite Italian plumber. Today we're taking a look at Super Mario World, the pack-in for the Super NES. Were critics blown away by Super Mario's first foray into 16-bits, or did they complain that the plumber is just treading water? We turn to Nintendo Power, CVG, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Super Play and other classic magazines to find the answer.

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

Super Mario World
[ Company: Nintendo | Console: Super NES ]

98% out of 100%

"The man with the meanest dungarees in town is back for some more multi-directionally scrolling shenanigans as he attempts to save the Mushroom Worlds from the twisted Koopa. Boasting cool graphics, super sounds and AMAZING gameplay, Super Mario Brothers IV is probably the best video game in the world."

96% out of 100%

"I thought there was no way that Mario III on the NES could be topped for sheer playability, but then along comes Mario IV, and blows it away! Super Mario World is a brilliant example of what the Super Famicom is capable of. The gameplay is just so addictive, you'd better be prepared to stay stuck to your screens until you've completed it! Overall, a totally fanastic game - what more can I say?" -Rob Swan

94% out of 100%

"Next to Sonic it all looks rather basic, with few colours and a chunky primitive style to the repetitive graphics. Look through the manual, however, and you'll begin to realise what a versatile game this is -- only Nintendo seems to be able to match 'pick-up and play' accessibility with an incredible array of deeper mechanics that players discover as they go along. Although true Mario-lovers tend to prefer the third game on the NES, this is a real landmark in console game history. Buy it now!" -Jason Brookes

9 out of 10

"Super Mario 4 is the biggest and most fun to play game ever! Each level has something totally new! You would think after 3 sequels that the big 'N' would suffer from idea burnout. Almost perfect, but then again, no game is perfect. I'll take 96 levels of Mario over 20 of Sonic any day!" -Martin

NINTENDO POWER (October 1991)
4.5 out of 5

"You've never been anywhere like Super Mario World! It's the setting for the latest, greatest adventures of the Koopa-crushing champ, Mario, and it's all new for the Super NES! Jump into the action as Mario takes on a sidekick, learns a ton of new tricks and searches for the princess in the land of the dinosaurs!"

9 out of 10

"While Super Mario World may not be the ideal cart to show off all the fancy things the Super NES can do, it is a solid continuation of the Mario series. Even more secrets, and hidden games, special moves and great game play can be found, with the addition of 16-bit looks. A winner!" -Steve
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 92% - Surprise!! Super Mario World was as beloved back in 1991 as it is now. It's impossible to find a bad review for Mario's first 16-bit game. Although universally loved by all, that didn't stop some critics from being disappointed in the lack of innovation. Steve noted that it doesn't feel like a very good showpiece for the Super NES power. Perhaps he's right, but that didn't do much to sway the other critics. As Nintendo Magazine System said, "Super Mario Brothers IV is probably the best video game in the world."

SONIC VS. MARIO: Even though Electronic Gaming Monthly named Sonic the Hedgehog the best game of 1991, most other magazines seemed to side with Super Mario World. As you can see from the score above, Nintendo's 16-bit launch game averaged an impressive 92%. Sonic the Hedgehog also scored well, but only averaged 90%. Do you agree that Super Mario World is better than Sonic the Hedgehog?

SUPER MARIO ARCHIVE: Want to see how this Super Mario game stacks up against the rest? Below you will find every Mario game currently in the Review Crew archive. Read the original reviews and see if you agree with the old school critics.

Super Mario World
What Did Critics Say Back in 1992?
Nintendo Super NES 92%
Super Mario Kart
What Did Critics Say Back in 1993?
Nintendo Super NES 89%
Super Mario All-Stars
What Did Critics Say Back in 1993?
Nintendo Super NES 88%
Super Mario Land
What Did Critics Say Back in 1989?
Nintendo Game Boy 82%
Mario Paint
What Did Critics Say Back in 1993?
Nintendo Super NES 74%
Dr. Mario
What Did Critics Say Back in 1990?
Nintendo Game Boy 66%

ON MONDAY'S EPISODE: It's the start of a brand new week with three brand new games. Well, they're not exactly brand new, but we haven't yet tackled them on Review Crew. Tune in on Monday for a look at Rolling Thunder II for the Sega Genesis. Does this sequel stack up to the original? Find out on Monday's episode of Review Crew. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!



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