So Super Mario All-Stars + World came out in 1994. This was the Mario All-Stars game but with Super Mario World added as a 5th title. I got my SNES originally before 1995, I cannot remember the exact year, so I don’t remember if I had this or the original All-Stars as my pack in title. Either way i was thrilled to see and hold this as a teen. Being able to play the NES Mario trilogy again back in 16bit glory? Yes please! Game play just like the original? OMG a save and continue function! So you’re telling me i don’t have to play these in one shot anymore, or leave my game paused while I eat a meal or water the garden? YES! Being able to play these 3 games, AND Mario World on the same cart was a thrill! Oh and what’s this Lost Levels thing?
Lost levels was the original Super Mario Bros 2. It was deemed too hard (for good reason!) for US audiences, so when Super Mario Bros 2 was in development, Mario and the gang were imported into a lesser known Famicom title called Doki Doki Panic. Which explains why 2 is so different than the previous title along with different gameplay elements and a new enemy Wart, instead of the mad turtle Bowser. Lost Levels is HARD. Think of Lost Levels as the first Kaizo Mario.
Turning on this pak you’re welcomed by a group shot of Mario, Bowser and the others on the title screen. Probably discussing the weather or where to go for dinner. After that you can scroll through the menu to select SMB, SMB 2, SMB 3, Lost Levels, or World. Select your game play file and how you want to set the controls and you’re golden! You’re welcomed by a fully 16bit version of the game you loved growing up. gameplay of all the title is exactly what you remember. Enemies and powerups too. The same tricks you used as a kid still work! Mario World is the exact same as when it was one of the first SNES titles, but Luigi’s sprite was altered so he looks less of a palette swap of Mario. Green Mario is still the best Mario.
But those Lost Levels. You can start as Mario or Luigi, Luigi being able to jump higher thanks to taking more mushrooms then his brother. 8 worlds of possible Hell await you, with a special World 9 if you made it through without using a Warp Zone, and Bonus Worlds A through D. Lost levels has 32 worlds normally, but factor in those bonuses the amount is upped to 52.
Gameplay is the same as SMB, but there’s a number of different elements to make your life harder. A poison mushroom was added which can depower or kill you if you touch it. You have to fight the gusting wind in some levels. level warps that take you backward instead of farther, and jumps that will make you tear your hair out because they require precision timing. If you managed to finish this as a kid, you were the talk of the town on the playground or cafeteria. This is why that save function is very much welcomed.
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