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Platform

Gameboy Advance

 

Genre

Platformer

 

Publisher

Nintendo

 

Developer

Nintendo

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q2 2002

 

 

- Despite being a port of old-school game, graphics put many other GBAtitleís visuals to shame
- Control scheme makes smooth transition to handheld realm
- Inclusion of Mario Bros. makes this a two-games-in-one terrific value

 

 

- If you played the original and memorized every secret contained in the game when it first came out thereís not new much here but nostalgia value

 

 

Review: Super Mario Advance (Gameboy Advance)

Review: Mario Kart Super Circuit (Gameboy Advance)

Review: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

 

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Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2

Score: 10 / 10

 

super-mario-advance-2-1.jpg (40302 bytes)          super-mario-advance-2-2.jpg (55727 bytes)

 

Looking back at the 16-bit era of videogaming especially on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), there are more than a few titles that are considered some of the best ever made, even by todayís standards. If you asked gamers who owned a SNES to name a top ten game list, titles like Donkey Kong Country, Chrono Trigger, F-Zero, Super Mario Kart, Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Super Metroid would all be scattered among the choices. But thereís one title that would most certainly wind up appearing on each and every list: Super Mario World. Starring Nintendoís flagship character, it became the system-selling

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title that every hardware manufacturer dreams of. Now 11 years and a few system generations later, 16-bit Mario gaming perfection returns in stellar fashion with the release of Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 (SMA2) for the GBA.

SMA2 is an almost-direct port of that classic SNES title, containing a few new wrinkles. The original marked the first appearance of what is now another one of

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Nintendoís instantly recognizable mainstay characters, the green dinosaur Yoshi. While a little skimpy, the storyline fits right in with the Mario universe of games and its residents. It goes a little something like this: Mario sets off to Dinosaur Landwith brother Luigi and Marioís girlfriend, Nintendoís own royalty herself, Princess Peach for a little R & R. But of course the rest and relaxation part of the equation gets quickly thrown out the window as the Princess is kidnapped by the Mario Brothersí archenemy Bowser, the king of the Koopas. Mario and Luigi with help from their new comrade Yoshi set out to rescue the princess-in-peril.

Where SMA2 gets its charm is from the addictive side-scrolling platform action over the gameís 90-odd intricately varied and creatively designed levels. Mario titles have always been given that extra something special by Nintendo in all facets of the respective titleís makeup. They protect their world-famous plumber and his family and friends from appearing in anything but an A+ title, and that is certainly the case here. The graphics retain the same 16-bit beautiful and somehow elaborately simplistic appearance as the SNES version, and despite being basically over a decade old, can place many other GBA titleís visuals to red-faced shame.

Controlling the brothers Mario throughout your adventuring is made easy by the gameís tight control scheme. It helps that the game is based on a 16-bit era title, where there wasnít the controller complexity involved of mapping gameplay to the fewer controller buttons existent back then compared to todayís generation of systemís button configurations. Even though only two buttons and two triggers are at your disposal on a GameBoy Advance system, there is no problem getting your controlled character to do what you want him to when you want him to in your side-scrolling escapades.

 

super-mario-advance-2-3.jpg (56315 bytes)          super-mario-advance-2-4.jpg (54481 bytes)

 

Differing from its SNES doppelganger, in SMA2 you can now use Luigi. And just for good measure, he is given distinct abilities from his shorter, rotund brother. Being thinner and taller, Luigi has some mean vertical hops in him. Who said plumbers canít jump? You get the choice before each new board is started as to what brother you want to use on that particular level. It throws a little more strategy into the gaming mix than was present in the SNES version. There are some areas that you can benefit from having a higher jumping ability, but usually Mario does the trick just fine on most levels in SMA2.

One other great feature is when you need to save your game. Instead of using passwords that could force you to replay levels from the beginning, the game has an instant save feature that lets you save from literally anywhere in the game. Itís a nice little convenient feature that not as many GBA games have these days.
If the port of Super Mario World wasnít great enough, thereís also a version of the old classic original Mario Brothers arcade game, Mario Bros. This was great two-player arcade battling back in the day, and is just as fun here when you consider now you can have up to four players duking it out at once with a game-link connection. But of course the real gem is SMA2. Mario Bros. is just gravy on the potatoes.

Is this game really THAT good to garner a 10 out of 10 rating? Just on pure nostalgia value, no ifs, ands or Koopa butts about it. Thereís nothing to complain about concerning this title. Itís pure old-school gaming fun at its finest. GBA owners, this game needs to be in your stockpile. If you havenít already, go out and buy it now! Itís an instantly classic redefinition of an already classic title from the Golden Age of gaming.

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(May 1, 2002)

 

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