"The Story of Super Mario World" is a joyous look back at the development of one of the most beloved games of all time Super Mario World. It was a landmark game, not just because it was fun to play, but it also came with the new Super Nintendo game console, tailored to show off all its features. It redefined and refreshed a classic game (Super Mario) and changed how you played it.
While you could still aim to get the highest score, players could now choose to explore Mario's new world, which was riddled with secret levels, hidden paths and shortcuts to reach Bowser. Mario also had a new look, new friends (Yoshi!), new moves and powerups. It gave players a new level of freedom, which is why, despite its development in the 16-bit era, it still has many young and old fans today.
But you can't discuss the story of Super Mario World without talking about the SNES or the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. In the late 80s, a console war was brewing between Nintendo, Sega and NEC. Nintendo had been the market leader with its 8-bit Famicom console when the competition announced they would soon be coming out with 16-bit consoles.
Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo president, then made the surprise announcement that a 16-bit Super Famicom was developing about a month before Sega released its new MegaDrive.
This Super Famicom (which became the SNES) would be more powerful and have more memory and colors and a customized Sony sound chip. It would also have new and exciting games, particularly Super Mario Brothers 4, aka Super Mario World.
What followed was a two-year development period for the game. Nintendo's crack team of game developers, led by Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto had just completed the still unreleased "Super Mario Brothers 3". They were exhausted and felt that #3 was the definitive Mario game. There was no time to rest, and the whole team was soon hustling to work on #4, with directions to make it bigger, better, and customized for the still-under-construction SNES.
The team had to learn the new hardware quickly to launch the game in time, which was no easy feat. Early studies show that it had too many similarities to #3. They did, however, enjoy the freedom and creativity the new console gave them since it was a more powerful gadget with more colors and such available.
The SNES was released in 1990. The game developers' hard work and determination paid off, resulting in what became the best and most fun to play Super Mario game (potentially) ever. It also drove SNES sales because what better way to use a new console than to play an old, dependable favorite game, heavily upgraded with lots of new and exciting features? It became the best-selling console of its time and kept Nintendo competitive in a new era - and century - of video games.
Directed by: Norman Caruso