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Yoshi's Island: Super Mario World 2


yoshi's island super mario world 2 classic review snes         yoshi's island super mario world 2 classic review snes


This sequel is easily one of my favorite platformers from the old SNES selection. One of the most enjoyable Mario Bros. games, Yoshi's Island took the now repetitive platform genre and redefined it with all the good stuff: jolly graphics, a storybook plot, the ability to shoot eggs and all the cute little characters you can show off to your girlfriend.


Taking place before the first Mario Bros. game, Yoshi's Island is the story of the evil Baby Bowser, who has sent his private Wizard Koopa to intercept the Stork who is carrying baby Mario and Luigi to their beloved fat Italian stereotype parents. As the wizard approaches, he smacks the Stork out of the sky, who accidentally drops the babies on the small but plentiful Yoshi's Island, where all the adorable little Yoshis are having a picnic (or some other cute nonsense). Luckily, the Yoshis find Baby Mario, realize they must return him to the parents and set off on a platformer quest across the dangerous island, the wizard following closely behind.




This story is shown in a cutesy 3D storybook-like opening sequence, which leads into the game, taking place across 6 different locations on the island. Each location has 8 levels with two bosses, and each different color Yoshi takes to the levels, carrying Baby Mario to safety. Action takes place in a traditional Mario platformer fashion: walk, jump, and walk some more, but with a whole lot of changes.


For one, Yoshi himself rarely takes damage from the enemies. Instead, Baby Mario gets knocked 


off and floats around onscreen until you get him again, with a timer counting down time until Wizard Kooper takes Mario to Baby Bowser. It sounds complicated, but it works and makes the game a break from the regular Mario fodder. Particularly fun is the chance to control Yoshi, probably my favourite character of the whole Mario franchise. The aim of the game is not just to get from one end of the level to the other, but to also keep Baby Mario with Yoshi so he/she/it can pass him onto the next Yoshi, who will carry him to the next and so forth, all aided with little minigames in-between and the odd boss battle.


Controlling Yoshi is made easy using the same controls as Super Mario World with some refinements. Yoshi can collect and throw eggs, as well as eat baddies and make eggs out of them. (I wont even start on the "Yoshi's Gender" debate.) Yoshi also has a little "air float" maneuver, which often saves him from those annoying miscalculated drops that have plagued Mario for all of his life. Yoshi also has a variety of other moves and attacks, including levels of jumping to splat the enemy, and the ability to change into a variety of bizarre vehicles, all of which have Yoshi's face on them as well as a curious red nose, particularly strange since Yoshi himself doesn't have a red nose. (Ah, bless the Japanese weirdness.)


yoshi's island super mario world 2 classic review snes         yoshi's island super mario world 2 classic review snes


The graphics in Yoshi's Island are top-notch, aided by the power of the Super FX chip, which is used in two different senses. One is to make the levels bright and cheery like the drawings of a child, pixilated and pretty unlike any other game before. You'll be overcome with a sense of happiness and “cute” playing many of the levels in Yoshi's Island. The other use of the Super FX chip is to create beautiful 3D graphics, like the collapsing boards in the first boss levels, and the enormous growing bosses (which are all enlarged, 3D versions of regular enemies). Far superior to the graphics in Super Mario World, everything is at it's best in some of the SNES's finest graphics, both in the enemies and the environments – everything works. My favorite highlight being the last boss battle, in which Bowser is bigger than he's ever been.


Speaking of enemies and bosses, the game is full of them, ranging from age old Mario enemies like Koopa Troopers all the way up to enormous water monsters and fire creatures. Not to mention monkeys!!! They're so cute. You'll replay it again and again just for the monkeys, honest. Levels of Japanese insanity have never been more present in a game, as shown in the boss fights over Yoshi's Island, with some seriously weird combat. My favorite involves pulling the pants off a large round creature without a shirt, which wanders around looking crazy. Yoshi seems to be just as confused by this as I was, though he takes it in stride to save the day.


There's so much about this game that I love, I could go on and on about it (I probably already have). But it's just so much fun. The whole game seems to revolve around cutesy happiness - even though the music is only midi it’s jolly and cheery enough to match the entire Yoshi's Island theme to a tee. As well as all the fun, there's also a whole lot of replay value to this little title, including hidden levels, a cheat menu of mini-games, a small but entertaining two-player option, and a ton of monkeys. I might be a little biased since this is one of my all time favorite games, but I do love this so and I recommend it to all – it's worth getting your hands on a SNES for.


- Shocka

(October 5, 2002)


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