So, actually, I had a change of heart about the SMB3 differences, as to whether or not SNES and GBA could be ranked together. After all, even the numerous small differences can make for annoying version gaps in the rankings, if the competition gets pretty solid down the line. Even if we can't see this sub-site getting incredibly popular, I think it's safer if our ranking system won't break down in the event of tight competition.
Also, after looking at The Mushroom Kingdom's impressive list of SMB3 differences, it makes one wonder whether we missed a bunch of subtle SNES/GBA changes in Super Mario World. Many of the SMB3 changes that we missed were changes to adapt the levels to the smaller GBA screen. SMW would probably face similar difficulties going from SNES to GBA.
There are lists of SMW changes out there, but none that I know of are nearly as thorough as TMK's SMB3 changes list. So I personally played the two versions of SMW alternatingly to look for differences.
Here's a document with a decent list of level differences in the first 3 worlds of SMW. I also listed some general differences in there, as well as some points copied from The Original L5's Changes FAQ at GameFAQs. There's probably a bit of redundancy between my points and the FAQ's points, but anyway:http://www.vortiginous.com/yoshifan/SMW_differences_v1.rtf
So far, Stefan and I think the SMW differences are probably similar in magnitude to the SMB3 differences. Unfortunately, that may mean Mario World's SNES and GBA versions shouldn't be in the same charts after all (and they currently are). Still, now's as good a time as ever to think about what we should really do about these version differences.
As it stands, it looks like we have three options for each of SMB3 and SMW:
- Rank SNES and GBA in the same charts
- Rank SNES and GBA separately
- Rank only SNES and not GBA
The third option's rationale is that the versions are too different to be ranked together, but a bunch of slightly different sets of rankings isn't very appealing - it would be a shame to see skilled players competing on separate versions, with times that may or may not be comparable. Thus, we might consider "forcing" everyone to play on one version or the other. This is actually possible because the SNES versions are accessible to nearly everyone - with the help of, well, emulators.