"What?" you're probably thinking to yourself, "this game's been out for ages!" Indeed it has, but as everyone's rushing out now to buy the SF2 or StarWing pack, Mario 4 has been slightly overlooked. This is why you see just a single page 'recommendation' (if you like) on the game. Or some other next to useless excuse about nothing. (? - Reader)
Anyway, after reading this month's news pages, you'll have noticed a release called The Mario Collection which contains a top quartet of Mario games. The best of the bunch is undoubtedly number 3 - the game of which this is based on.
The idea of SMW involves Mario (and his sidekick - Luigi - if you want a 2-player) travelling throughout different levels to reach Bowser, and of course - defeat him.
Although Nintendo claim the game has 96 levels, there are only 75-odd. 'There are 96 exits' is being more specific. All the exits are displayed on a map, which includes places like 'Valley of Bowser' and 'Chocolate Island' - nice touch, that.
Mario is extremely versatile, and can do all the usual actions, as well as carrying Koopers, flying in the sky, or swimming without needing any air (crumbs!).
The controls on the joypad are well positioned, though you may still find it tricky to control the cape. (After a bit of practise, you should have no such problems, however.)
Upon slotting in the cart, you're presented with a small demonstration. Press the Start button and you're into the game. Well, almost. You see, you can choose from three battery back-ups, which, as you already know, will enable you to save your position later on in the game.
This makes the game quite easy to complete - indeed I finished the thing after a couple of days. Having said that, it's finding all the exits that provides the challenge. (Although, contradicting myself AGAIN, I found all of them the following day.) Even when I found all the levels though, I still went back days after trying to find all the little secret rooms - the game is very enjoyable to say the least. And when I said I completed it in two days, I meant a solid two days - I couldn't get away from it. (Ooh. See, I told you so - game's ARE addictive. Let's have them banned etc.. Wibble. - All the 'professors' in the world.)
The graphics are nothing special at all. They look flat, there's only one layer of parallax, most of the sprites are tiny, and, on the whole, the animation looks as though it's a regular member of 'The school of 2-frame animation'.
The sound is mediocre, too. Although some of the effects are fine, the music's tinny and repetitive compared to Sonic, and the same soundtracks are repeated throughout, only with different instruments.
So what makes Mario 4 (alias Super Mario World) so special? It's the gameplay, of course, silly. It's stacks of fun, the controls are spot-on, the game generally runs smoothly, and there's always that urge to see all 96 exits. (By the way, if you're having any particular problems in the game, feel free to drop me a line.)
I can't help feeling that the game would be a lot more enjoyable than it already is, if the music was better, the graphics were improved, and there were more layers of parallax; but I defy you to find a game that will keep you hooked as much as this.
Yes, it's quite true - we're already planning a second issue of C.A.C.G., and we want YOU to help us make it. Well, not literally, but sort of. Look, here's what we want you to do; follow the instructions and everything will be quite clear...
1: Grab a pen
2: Sit yourself down
3: Fill in the form directly below
4: Cut around the dotted line (and yes, I know it's going to be awkward, seeing as the thing stretches right across the page; but look, I don't have to fill in the thing, and seeing as I'm me, I don't care)
4.5: You can even photocopy it if you like
5: Pop it in an envelope
6: Write on the envelope:
C.A.C.G. Roast Chicken-flavoured Questionnaire, C.A.C.G., 3 New Street, Chase Terrace, Walsall, West Midlands WS7 8BT
7: Affix a stamp (yep, no FREEPOST - are we tight or what?) and seal the envelope
8: Post it
Now remember that if you don't fill in this questionnaire, it'll be sitting here for the rest of eternity. And it'll be bored. And you'll feel guilty. So fill it in, then.