When I was young… well, younger than I am now, a friend came over with a most peculiar looking item called a Game Boy Advance. I had seen them featured on CBBC Newsround (yes, I was one of those children) and was of course familiar with their predecessor the Game Boy Colour, which as far as I was concerned played Pokemon Yellow and nothing else. Anyway, my friend had a copy of what I’ve now realised was probably Super Mario Advance 2, and we played through the first few levels until getting stumped by an egg shooting… thing. Delighted and addicted, I got my own Game Boy Advance soon after, and picked up what I thought was the only Mario game that existed and so had to be the same as my friend’s (hey, I was a kid and in my house we mostly read books and listened to Classic FM, none of this 8 bit crap) but what was instead, it turned out, the game that would become my favourite Mario incarnation ever: Super Mario World.
For me, Super Mario World became the definitive Mario game. The music, the level design; I know the first two worlds like the back of my hand. Around the Vanilla Dome it all goes a bit hazy because I was stuck there forever as a child, and to be honest I’m still stuck now as I procured a copy for my SNES and am bamboozled continually by the end world castle, but I do recall I actually finished the game somehow so clearly I wasn’t actually born with my thumbs on backwards as the evidence may suggest.
Sadly the original Game Boy Advance version is now lost (as if memory serves it actually belonged to my little sister and I, er, obtained it through persuasive negotiation until she suddenly became taller than me) and the downloaded Wii version is now also lost due to the whole theft thing, so when I picked up my SNES I decided a copy of Super Mario World was an absolute must-have. There are so many things I love about this game that I do believe it requires bullet points to avoid becoming a wall of text.
Okay, I should probably put my mad fangasming aside and make this a balanced reflection by mentioning something bad about the game. Um. It never makes me breakfast. There, that’ll do it.