Super Mario World

Super Mario World Title Screen

Released in 1991 by Nintendo Super Mario World was a pack in game for the SNES. It’s the fourth game in the Super Mario Brothers series and one of the best Mario games ever.

The gameplay is similar to the other Super Mario games (most closely to Super Mario Bros 3 for the NES) which is a good thing. You have the same type of world map as in Super Mario Bros 3 where you can play as just Mario or with a friend as Luigi.

Super Mario World has a total of 96 levels. There are seven different worlds with a Koopa boss in a castle to be defeated. The seven worlds are Yoshi’s Island, Donut Plains, Vanilla Dome, Sky Land, Forest of Illusion, Chocolate Island and the Valley of Bowser. The Koopa bosses you will be facing are in order Iggy Koopa, Martin Koopa Jr., Lenny Koopa, Ludvig Von Koopa, Roy Koopa, Wendy Koopa and Larry Koopa. There’s also a bonus world called Star Road that is unlockable by taking hidden exits in certain levels using keys.

The last boss in the game was of course the evil Bowser. He’s kidnapped Princess Toadstool again and it’s Mario and Luigi’s quest to save her. Now the story wasn’t exactly original but nobody cared about that because the gameplay, graphics, sound, and control were top notch for it’s time.

Super Mario World is an important classic game. It was the first time in the world gamers got introduced to a cute green dinosaur named Yoshi. Yoshi was super popular and has been a character Nintendo has used in many games since Super Mario World. Super Mario World appeals to gamers of all ages. It’s not a long game but it’s a very enjoyable one to play.

Super Mario World was also used by Nintendo to show that the SNES was superior to the Sega Genesis. Sega got the head start into the 16bit gaming console wars and Super Mario World was Nintendo’s weapon to battle Sonic the Hedgehog. Super Mario World was used to show off what Nintendo’s new hardware was capable of doing.

Final Fantasy 2

Final Fantasy 2 SNES Box Front

Final Fantasy 2 was released in 1991 by Square for the Super Nintendo. It was one of the best RPG’s on a system (the Super Nintendo) that would later be known and remembered for quality RPG’s.

Developer Square turned a lot of gamers into RPG fans after playing this game. FF2 introduced numerous playable characters and an enormous story filled with twists and turns.

The story has twelve playable characters in all. The main hero of the story is Cecil, the Dark Knight of Baron. The story revolves around Cecil, his good friend Kain and his girlfriend Rosa. In all there is thirty to forty hours of story. The main antagonist is Golbez and it’s your quest to destroy him.

This game is actually the fourth in the series but it was only the second game that gamers got in the United States. The general consensus with game publishers at the time was that role playing games weren’t very popular with western audiences. Couple that with the fact that translating Japanese RPGs to English was a long and expensive process which was enough to scare many publishers away for such a task. It was just too much risk with what was perceived as little reward.

Even if you’re not an RPG fan this game is worth a try. The graphics aren’t anything to write home about but that’s not to say that they aren’t bad. Graphics aren’t usually that important with most RPG’s as the emphasis is normally a deep rich story and an character progression. The music is top notch. The theme song to this game is truly epic. Each character has their own theme music that helps immerse the player in the game and connect with each personality.

This game will always be one of my top 3 RPG’s of all time. It’s collectable but not priced out of the budget of the average retro gamer.

Super Mario Kart

Super Mario Kart Box for Super Nintendo SNES
Super Mario Kart Box for Super Nintendo SNES
Super Mario Kart Box for Super Nintendo SNES

Super Mario Kart was released by Nintendo in 1992. It was the first of a long series of quality racing games.

Super Mario Kart’s use of the Super Nintendo’s Mode 7 technology looked revolutionary. The gameplay was and still is fast paced, challenging and a lot of fun!

The game allowed you to play as several different Nintendo themed characters including:
Mario, Luigi, Princess, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Toad and Koopa Troopa. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses which balances out the playing field. No character was “better” than another which kept things even and fair.

The game consisted of 4 different modes: Grand Prix, Time Trial, VS, and Battle Mode

Grand Prix:
There are 3 different racing classes to choose from 50cc, 100cc or 150cc. The higher the cc the faster the karts and the better your opponents are. You have only the 50cc class open by default but by winning races you can unlock first the 100cc and then the 150cc.

Time Trial:
Just you against the clock. You try to beat your best lap times. You can record and play a ghost to see how you did on your best lap.

VS Mode:
You race with a friend in split screen action. Compete against the computer with your friend.

Battle Mode:
You play against your friend on one of 4 tracks. The goal is to hit your opponent 3 times to win. It’s a lot of fun and one of the modes you have to try!

This game aged well and is still fun to play today. No retro gamer’s Super Nintendo collection should be considered completed without this excellent title. The kart racing formula has been copied over the years but it can never be duplicated.

Super Mario Kart is inexpensive and well within the reach of any retro gamer.