What do you call a cart that contains some of the greatest games of all time? Super Mario Allstars was gaming perfection, all wrapped up in a tiny gray cart. Anyone who bought a Super Nintendo owned this excellent piece of craftsmanship. It contained the best Mario games ever made, bar Super Mario 64, and some may say that it holds some of the greatest games the SNES ever saw. This was Mario’s prime, his top hour, before he sold out to the 3rd dimension, hit the jump to find out more.
Super Mario Allstars was released all the way back in 1993, and 16 years later the game still holds a place in many a gamers heart. Anyone who sold their NES for a SNES rejoiced that they could play all their favourites without having to change the cartridge. Allstars contained the following Mario games: Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros 2 and Super Mario bros 3. However in 1994 Nintendo saw the error of their ways, and released Super Mario Allstars + Super Mario World. How could they leave out one of the best? Bad Nintendo.
Now you may be thinking; “What’s the big deal? It’s just some old games,”, wrong! Not only were the games bundled together, but the graphics were completely overhauled. While the NES versions seemed to only hold around 10 different colours, the bundle pack changed everything. The games looked fantastic, they were colourful and vibrant, Mario as you had never seen him before. If the difference wasn’t what it was, we wouldn’t of been half as impressed. However a lot of the games on there were enhanced and improved gameplay wise, not just visually.
Super Mario Bros/Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels
Super Mario Bros made Mario a household name, sorta, but nonetheless it was an amazing achievement. A great game featuring a great character and everyone knows it or has played it. The Lost Levels on the other hand were a little less known, mainly for the reason that the game didn’t see a release out of Japan until Super Mario Allstars. Nintendo of America deemed the game to be “too difficult” for the US gamers to handle, so it stayed in Japan. Who even knows why it never came to Europe. The Lost Levels is the real Super Mario Bros 2, but we got a different game as this was Japan exclusive, thus it became “The Lost Levels”.
The changes in these two games are far too numerous to list all of them, so I’ll list a few of the big ones:
- When Super Mario breaks through bricks, his jump continues for a moment and he passes partially through the space the bricks were occupying. In the original when Super Mario broke bricks he met immediate resistance and bounced off just as he would when encountering solid and question mark blocks.
- Luigi now has his very own sprite set, and is taller than Mario like he normally is.
- The Minus world glitch for Super Mario Bros was removed from the game when it made its transition to All-Stars, as was the small Fire Mario glitch.
- Level introductions now include a preview of the level that allows you to see where the level will take place (outside, underground, etc.) and which enemies will be encountered.
- Players no longer need to hold A while pressing Start to continue, because they can now continue from a saved game.
Super Mario Bros 2
Seeing as Japan got the REAL Super Mario Bros 2, they had to feed the rest of us something to divert our attention from this. They fed us Super Mario Bros 2, this Mario title is secretly a rehash of a very old game called Doki Doki Panic. The games are almost identical, except with the sprites swapped, how sleazy. Despite being the “Black Sheep” of the Mario series, alot of the games features have recurred in future Mario games, such as the beautiful Birdo.
Super Mario Bros 2 had the most enhancements in the game pack:
- Level introductions now feature a colourized and animated level representation.
- Upon using a warp, a colourful screen with Birdo will appear telling the player “Warp World x” instead of just a blank black screen with “Warp World x” like in the original NES version.
- The slot machine bonus game has been enhanced, including enlarged slots and icons, and a new “7″ icon.
- In the NES version, the player can only get up to five extra lives; however, in the Super SNES version, with the addition of the “7″ icon, the player can now get up to ten extra lives.
- In the NES version, the player can only continue twice per game. However, on the SNES version, the player can continue the game any number of times, because he or she can continue from a saved game.
- In the NES version, the player can select a character at the beginning of each level, but must play as the character for the length of the level. In the SNES version, the player can select a character at the beginning of each level and may change the character upon losing a life.
Super Mario Bros 3
Super Mario Bros 3 is arguably the greatest Mario game ever conceived, simply because of the influence it has had on other Mario games. It introduced the overworld map, which has been used in numerous Mario games since, Bowser’s red hair was first added to the character’s design in the game and has since become a part of his standard appearance. It was also so popular because it brought forth new gameplay elements, new powerups like the different suits that enhanced your abilities were an instant success.
Although Super Mario Bros 3 didn’t receive the amount of gameplay adjustments the other games on the cart did, it’s visual overhaul was by far the most impressive. Here’s some of the things they changed in the game:
- The scoreboard at the bottom of the screen is now full-colour and the action scenes, spade panels, and other world map elements have been animated.
- The kings’ original animal forms were replaced with monsters from other various Mario games such as Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario World; for instance, the king in World 7 is now transformed into a Yoshi instead of a Piranha Plant, as he was in the NES version, which pre-dates the time Shigefumi Hino created Yoshi.
- After beating the game the player is not given the 28 P-Wings, as in the NES version.
- In some copies of All-Stars, the Select button causes Mario to cycle through the various transformations.
- Once again, Luigi has his very own sprite set and is taller than Mario like normal.
Super Mario World
With Super Mario World only being included in the re-release of the compilation, a lot of gamers may have missed out on playing it, though it was sold separately. The Super Mario Allstars + Super Mario World was sold in the U.S and UK but was never released in Japan for undisclosed reasons.
There was some technical stuff that made the graphics in Super Mario World slightly worse than the other games in terms of depth. Luigi’s sprite is also changed to be entirely different to that of Mario’s. The game is often compared to the original Super Mario Bros, in the sense that both games established the standard for all subsequent side-scrollers released on each system. Super Mario World was one of the first games to reward the player for “getting 100%” [finding all the secret exits in the levels, many of which lead to even more secret stages], this has been used in other games since.
Super Mario Allstars is one of the greatest game compilations out there, unfortunately at the moment only the original versions of the games are available on the Wii’s Virtual Console, so if you want the enhanced remakes you’ve gotta go to eBay. Allstars was very successful and well-received when it was released and eventually became a “Player’s Choice Million Seller”.
If you have a Super Nintendo and you don’t own this game, I suggest banging your head against a table/desk/wall until you knock some sense into yourself. There are lists floating around on the Internet of the best SNES games of all time, and this game will always be on it? Why? Because it’s PERFECT.
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