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Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World

Reviewed by: Allen SmitheeMedia: Cartridge
Released by: NintendoStatus: out of print
Platform: Super NESNumber of games: 5
Year released: 1994Players: 1-2 (alternating)

Games included:
Super Mario Bros.Super Mario Bros.: The Lost LevelsSuper Mario Bros. 2Super Mario Bros. 3Super Mario World

Mario is a classic, and thus it is hard to place into a defined good or bad category. The thing is though, these are just games and while they really started the formula for platform games, games are games no matter when they're made. All of the titles have redone graphics, as to keep them up to date with other SNES titles, although apparently when compare to the original Super Mario All-Stars there is less paralax scrolling in the backgrounds.
Five great games in one package. What more could you possibly want?
Super Mario Bros. (1985): "The best platformer of all time." No offense but if this is the best platformer of all time, they really suck especially when compared to other genres. This game is not timeless, and that's okay as not many are. The problem with the game though is that since it kickstarted a genre it is really bare bones, and proves a glaring problem that covers the whole package. It is all the same. We have been playing this game for over twenty years and if it weren't for the two titles that really hold this cart up to par it would be a huge letdown. The big issue is not that it doesn't play well or it looks bad, it's just that the only thing this game has to offer is pure nostalgia.
Super Mario Bros.: You've gotten this far and aren't Super Fiery Mario? What gives?

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (1986): This game was released only in Japan a year after the first and wasn't available in the west until Super Mario All-Stars. It has the same disabilities as the original accept it is hampered by extreme difficulty. The point with the first was that the series didn't even try to advance, but this entry is worse than many fan made hacks.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels: It may look like the original, but this is a whole different ballgame...

Super Mario Bros. 2 (1988): This game is the oddball of the bunch. It started life as a Famicom Disk System game, Yume Koujou Doki Doki Panic, and was given a Mario facelift when released for the NES. Released three years after the first, it must have taken the west side of the world by surprise. And not in the good way. The game is completely different from everything else in the package, and while it is one of the best games in the package it didn't sit too well with the rest of the series. The game has enough depth and a good enough gameplay gimmick that it feels more like an acceptable modern game than a nostalgic bash for when you're in the '80s mood. Later rereleased in Japan as Super Mario USA for the Famicom, which replaced SMB2 on the Japanese version of SMAS.
Super Mario Bros. 2: Princess Toadstool's (yeah, yeah, she's called Peach now) floating ability does come in handy.

Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990): If you took the mold set by the first, and added some of the creativity (even if it was just a repaint!) of the second and kicked your successor's ass you would get this game. Playing it is like riding a newly greased bike, in the sense that while you are not completely familiar with how it's going to play playing it only feels better. With it's new features, new level design theory, and many secrets this game is what is going to keep you coming back for more. Personally I enjoy the second game much more, but I enjoy a more alternative gameplay method. This game is what a sequel to SMB should be.
Super Mario Bros. 3: Compared to the original NES version, this looks so vibrant and colorful.

Super Mario World (1991): This game was originally going to be on the NES and it shows. Many of the puzzles are certainly afterthoughts and even though you have the ability to spin it hasn't change much. Plus the branching paths together with the wonky world design keep the game from feeling very focused. The interesting thing about the version on the compilation is that Mario and Luigi have different sprites now. When you take that addition along with the four other games in the package it makes the game feel much more complete. Like the features in the game though, this game was but an afterthought to the original Super Mario All-Stars.
Super Mario World: Yoshi was a welcome addition to the Super Mario cast.

Worth the purchase: If you can find this game cheap go for it. I've had mine for ages and can't really say how much it goes for, but considering that everyone with a SNES already has Super Mario World the standard edition is just as good.

Diversity: The largest problem with the package. Only one of them drastically changes the gameplay and the other standout title does nothing but be really (and I mean really) good at what it does.

Playability: Definitely. It wasn't the idea around the gameplay that made Mario what it is today, it was the delivery.

Hidden gems: N/A

Screenshots courtesy of The Video Game Museum and Nintendo Database.