Nintendo slacked off with the release of MARIO ADVANCE. Instead of having Miyamoto-san come up with a brand new game, the company merely packaged a single and multiplayer version of the original MARIO BROS. and tossed in the oddball Mario game, SUPER MARIO BROS. 2. While I voiced at that time that I was hopeful for a true sequel in MARIO ADVANCE 2, I didn't get it, but Nintendo has put together the next closest thing.
That MARIO BROS. part of the game is exactly the same. You can even link up MARIO ADVANCE 2 with the original. I'm not sure why this was done, it doesn't bring anything new to the game. But where MARIO ADVANCE 2 earns a purchase status is by including arguably the best side-scrolling Mario game of all-time, SUPER MARIO WORLD.
SUPER MARIO WORLD was the game that made the Super Nintendo. Introducing Yoshi, Mario's Cape and secret paths, there were nearly 100 levels to complete and several with hidden exits. SUPER MARIO BROS. 3 did some of the same things, but MARIO WORLD perfects it, and puts together an incredibly fun package.
The game remains largely unchanged. Everything is where it originally was and all of the gameplay that made the game the first time remains intact. The biggest difference is that Luigi is now a playable character. He controls exactly like in SUPER MARIO BROS. 2, not as responsive but a higher jumper and longer glider. It's too bad that the Princess is kidnapped, otherwise she could have been included too (the inclusion of Toad would be pointless as his strength was pulling things from the ground, and there's nothing in the ground in SUPER MARIO WORLD).
MARIO WORLD was great and continues to be great because of its massive levels, addictive gameplay and mainly because it is fun. As I said in my "first impressions" article, the game has been with me everywhere. Any time I need to wait for something, I flip the Game Boy on and finish off a couple more levels. I'm always trying to inch closer to that 100% complete mark that seemed so unattainable when I was playing through it the first time.
If one thing is certain, it shows that a good game will always be that. SUPER MARIO WORLD capitalizes by being portable and, more importantly, fun.
The game looks exactly like its Super Nintendo counterpart with the levels and color scheme being faithfully reproduced on the Game Boy Advance screen. As I played through the game there was no slowdown and everything looked crisp and just right.
The audio is the same as well, except for the additions of a couple of voice clips of Luigi and Mario talking as they pick up power-ups. Everything else remains true the original style and feel of SUPER MARIO WORLD.
MARIO ADVANCE 2 is not to be missed by any gamer of any age. It's a chance to replay one of the greatest games for the Super Nintendo anywhere you want. You can't go wrong.
Platform: Game Boy Advance
ESBR Rating: Everyone
Suggested Retail Price: $39.99
Fun Factor: A+
Reviewer's Wild Card: A+