If you missed it last month, no worries, Game of the Month is back. This time I was able to talk to Gamespresso’s Harrison Smith about one iconic classic.

So Harrison, what would you say is your favorite game?
Oh man. It’s hard to say, because I have so many games that deserve that title. I’m going to give it to Super Mario World, though.

That’s definitely as good a choice as any. There are so many Super Mario platformers out there, from the original Super Mario Bros. to the gravity defying Super Mario Galaxy. What sets Super Mario World apart from the others?

I think it’s a multitude of things. I could say it was the colorful visuals, or its peppy soundtrack. What truly sets it apart is how, after so many years, it still brings me back to that old SNES of mine. It’s one of the few games, even in the Super Mario series, that I can never tire of.

I agree. The visuals, soundtrack, and its replay value are all masterful. This game also brought about a lot of firsts to the Mario Universe. Yoshi, spin jumps, clown copter, just to name a few. Which of these are or any other do you think made the most impact on Super Mario?

Hm. Well, it gave us Yoshi! That’s a character who, since he was introduced, has been an integral part of the Mario series. I think the game’s replay value has also played a big part. Nintendo knows that a great Mario game is nothing if you don’t have players wanting to pick up that controller again and again; through Super Mario World and others like it, they have a formula that works!

Our introduction to the great Yoshi

Our introduction to the great Yoshi

Nintendo does have a hand in creating some of the finest platformers of all time, most of them being a Mario game. With the rise of indie game on Xbox Arcade, PlayStation Network, and of course the Nintendo Shop, how do you think Super Mario world and other 2D games like it have continued to influence that creation of indie games today?

I believe that Super Mario World (and the franchise as a whole) serves as a reminder and a goal to strive for. In a market that inundated with games of all types, I think many have lost sight into the true point of what a video game is supposed to be: fun. Of course, fun is a loaded word because everyone has different tastes.People will remember the fun they’ve had, though. As a developer, that should be one of the key points in a game and that why so many of them look towards the Super Mario series as that standard.

Well said Harrison. Super Mario World is definitely fun above all else. Speaking of which, how fun are those “special” levels?
Frustratingly fun, haha. You’re not a true gamer until you’ve tested your mettle in Star World!

Bold words, but I believe them to be true. How do you think Super Mario World ranks in difficulty? Do you think it’s too easy, or just the right amount of challenge?

I’d say it’s just the right amount. That’s one of the great things about Super Mario World; the difficulty increases alongside your skill. Anyone, from young to old, can pick up that controller and figure out how to spin jump or duck under a giant Bullet Bill. The more they play, the better they get and thus the harder the game becomes. Adaptive difficulty has become a sort of rarity. Many games let you choose a difficulty level and simply keep it on that static level for the entire experience. I think it diminishes the feeling of accomplishment you get when you overcome the toughest bosses and such.


A true test of skills

Super Mario World certainly has it’s share of tough bosses from Iggy to Bowser. A lot of great moments there. So to wrap up, what would you say is the best moment you ever had playing Super Mario World?

Cliché as it may sound, it’s probably every time I start the game anew. Super Mario World is a game that always gets me to smile and that means a lot to me; it’s why I will keep coming back!

Each new adventure bring on a new smile. That’s wonderful. Thank you so much Harrison for talking to me about your favorite game, Super Mario World.
Thanks for having me!

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