Review by Hyacinth2600
"My favorite game of all time."
Yoshi's Island is my most favorite game of all time. When I first got it, back in 1995, it grabbed me like no other. With it's color crayon graphics, innovative gameplay, and the way the stages are set up, this is, in my opinion, the best 2-d platformer ever. I may be going a little overboard, but believe me, you'll have lots of fun with Yoshi's Island for the SNES.
A stork carrying two newborns (Mario & Luigi) was making a delivery trip. But Kamek, Bowser's henchmen, wanted the babies so he flew by and attacked the stork. While he grabbed one of the newborns, the other went crashing down from the sky and landed on top of Yoshi while he was taking a walk. And who was the baby? Mario! so now Yoshi and baby Mario have to go threw Yoshi's Island to find his lost brother.
These are the best graphics I've seen on the SNES and on any other 2-d platformer. The backgrounds look like they've been hand drawn and colored with color crayons and pastels. You'll immediately love how the stages look and the coloring they've been given, it's absolutely beautiful and gives off a terrific atmosphere. Yoshi looks better than ever and so do his enemies. All the characters are nicely detailed and have great animation. There are few areas that are three dimensional, but the areas that are done this way, are excellent. The final scene, is the best in the game, Bowser in three dimensions, it can be kind of scary in a fun way. The background scenes are more complicated and colorful than Super Mario World.
The gameplay is superb. 2-d platforming at its best. Yoshi's Island has such unique level designs that you'll want to replay the levels again and again. The levels are nothing more than brilliant. Yoshi has his own special lick attack, with which he can swallow enemies and turn them into eggs, which he can then throw, this is the main part of the gameplay, which is really fun. Yoshi can also swallow fruits and shoot out a certain attack, which depends on what fruit is in his mouth. If he eats a green watermelon, then he'll shoot seeds, a froze watermelon, he'll shoot ice, a fire watermelon, he'll shoot fire. All that is crucial to gameplay. Yoshi's jump is also more efficient than Mario or Luigi's in the other games, because he has the ability to hover for a short period of time. Yoshi can also ground pound his enemies, which this was the first game to introduce this. Yoshi's Island uses a point system instead of a timer, like in past Mario games, and so you are allowed as much time as you want as long as baby Mario stays on your back. This makes exploration easier, and less stressful than in other Mario games. On the other hand, you have to get the full 100 points in each level of the world to gain the bonus level. Some levels, this seems all but impossible to get the 100 points. To get 100 points, you have to collect all the happy flowers, red coins, and tiny stars. If you get hit by an enemy, instead of dieing, baby Mario will get knocked off your back and start crying in a little bubble with a timer going down. If the timer reaches zero then it's game over. To get him back you just have to touch him and he'll jump on your back again. There are some levels where you control baby Mario by touching a little gold star, as he runs about wearing a yellow cape and killing everything in sight. Yoshi,being in a giant egg, just follows Mario where ever he goes. This is fun and refreshing, and the best part is that Mario is invincible when he's at this state. This isn't in all the levels, just in a few. Yoshi can also transform into certain vehicles in the game. He could transform into a helicopter, a car, a train, and a submarine. You need to go threw with this to pass the level, which is no big deal and is a lot of fun. But, just like Mario's escapade with his trademark cape, transforming into vehicles are only in certain levels. There are keys you can find in the stages to open doors to play mini games. These games are really fun and some require some thinking and quick reflexes. Win the mini game and you get a prize. Yoshi has the ability to store power-ups that can be called upon almost anywhere. So, if you needed an extra 10 seconds on your timer to finish the level with everything complete, you can activate a "+10 star" power-up,if you've earned one. A magnifying glass power-up will also come in handy to reveal all the red coins in the level. These power-ups are earned in Yoshi's Island's mini-games.
The music fits the game extremely well, every little tune is in the right place and at the right time. The music is very catchy and memorable. The sound effects are great, as well. from Yoshi's ground pound all the way to how he eats an enemy. The only complaint is Mario's cry, it can get annoying sometimes and will distract you in difficult levels. I've got to say that the music really bring the levels and background to life.
Yoshi's Island might as well be the best platformer on the SNES. It beats Super Mario World by a long shot, with its beautiful music, lush graphics, clever level design, and innovative gameplay. Some will be turned off by the cutesy stuff, but they should still give it a try because it will still be fun, no matter what. Yoshi's Island is my most favorite game of all time and I think it's the best platformer out there. And im not the only one who thinks that, too. Check the other reviews and you'll see what I mean. If you own a SNES then give it a try, or, if you want to play on the go, it's also available on the Gameboy Advance with almost everything unchanged. This game is a true classic.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/26/06
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