GBA Review: Super Mario World: SMA2
Review by: TW (tw@sm128c.com)

Game Info

 System: Game Boy Advance
 ESRB: Everyone
 Genre: Platform
 # of Players: 1-4
 Size: 32 Megabits
 Developer: Nintendo
 Publisher: Nintendo

 Game Save: Yes
 Multi-Pak Link: Yes
 Single-Pak Link: Yes

 Release Date:
 US: Feb 11, 2002
 EU: Apr 9, 2002

Screenshots:

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Final Score:
9.0/10

Reviewed on: July 31, 2003

Super Mario Advance 2 is the second in the series of the Mario Advance ports to the GBA. This time around we see the return of the Super Nintendo Launch game, Super Mario World updated in 32-bit glory on the GBA. Also dragging along behind is Miyamoto’s 1983 brainchild, Mario Bros., here again for the umpteenth time. It would appear this time that Mario Bros. was more of an extra, as while Super Mario Advance’s box heralded “Super Mario Bros.2 and Mario Bros.”, this one is mentioned on the box in small print at the bottom.

In a similar move to Super Mario Advance 1, what we have here is a resolution-scaled down version of Super Mario World with many minor changes to make it more playable on a portable format. I never played the original on the SNES properly, so I cannot really compare; but many of the features changed for the better include the ability to play as Luigi (and people say he’s left out?) with some new abilities such as the ‘floaty jump’ from Super Mario Advance 1 making a comeback, and changes when he’s riding on Yoshi. This will give a new experience to players who had the SNES edition (and thus only played as Mario). It is also made slightly easier in the fact that when you are cape or fire Mario, if you get hit, you simply return to ‘Super Mario’ and not revert to the normal Mario.

I won’t go into a huge list of changes here, but it seems most of them are for the better, such as saving anywhere and the ability to keep your Yoshi after you save. We also have the return of everyone’s favourite voice actor, Mr. Charles Martinet providing his happy Mario and Luigi with phrases such as “LUCKY!” and “HERE WE GO!” to keep you entertained on those lonely dark nights in with your GBA:SP. Luckily the voices have been toned down since Super Mario Advance and the return of Yoshi’s voice is quite a nice move, taken from Yoshi’s Story – and as well as this a nice new intro movie using the sprites has been created.

When we move onto Mario Bros. we get the same situation as we had on Super Mario Advance, except they changed the “1” in 2001 to a “2” – hard work there. A nice move is that you can link this cartridge for the Mario Bros. Battle/Classic Multiplayer mode to Super Mario Advance 1, 3 or 4 to prevent loading times when you wish to play this. But other than that it’s the same boring formula:

Hit POW block or jump baddie from below
Kick baddie to kill.
Repeat Twice to win Level
Repeat n times.

Super Mario Advance had a few extras such as the Yoshi Challenge and the “A” tokens; but this time there are no extras at all bar the Mario Bros. minigame & multiplayer modes. The Super Mario World multiplayer mode has been stripped out, as was done with Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2 in the previous ports, which is a large disappointment. However, the problem was with Super Mario Advance that the game of Super Mario Bros.2 itself was not up to scratch and the improvements didn’t help it. However Super Mario World is a great game in itself and it can provide many hours of play, and even more for someone like myself who was new to it all.

In all, a large improvement on the previous Super Mario Advance, mainly due to the fact this time they decided to port a decent game. But still no new Mario game on GBA? However, the new game Mario & Luigi may soon fill that space thats been open since June 11, 2001...

-- TW (tw@sm128c.com)

Bottom Line: With one of the greatest Mario games and 96 exits to clear, this is one solid package nicely converted. Extras are very thin on the ground, but they aren’t essential in this case. If Super Mario Sunshine is getting boring, pick this up!