Review by Puttinsky
"Instant classic right here!"
Wow, sure haven't played this one in a while. Seems like ages. But I happen to remember playing it. Yes, one of the best gaming experiences I've had (at least in my younger days). I can remember struggling to retrieve Baby Mario from a high ledge hoping to calm his rational whining. That kind of thing sticks with you forever.
A tad different than the first Super Mario World game. This game has you controlling Yoshi mainly instead of Mario. Mario simply rests on Yoshi's back. There are 6 worlds total, with 8 stages in each (not including secrets). Aside from the standard stomp-on-the-head technique, Yoshi uses eggs and his tongue to attack enemies. Each stage in a world has you playing as a different-colored Yoshi. Many of the enemies you encounter are familiar for the most part.
Let's see if I can remember this accurately. The stork is delivering two Italian babies to their parents when suddenly, something zooms across the sky. After it zooms across a second time, the stork is stricken and one of the babies falls from the sky. The strange figure captures the stork and the remaining baby and takes them back to his castle. The figure turns out to be Kamek, the evilest of the evil Magikoopas. When he discovers he's only nabbed one of the babies, he is filled with rage and orders his Toadies (minions) to go capture the other baby. Meanwhile, Green Yoshi is walking peacefully around, when suddenly, the missing baby lands on his back! It turns out to be Baby Mario, and Yoshi takes him to the other Yoshis. Together they discuss in Yoshi language what to do with the baby. They decide to help him look for his parents and missing brother.
You can control Yoshi freely in two directions. Yoshi has a wide range of techniques. First off is Yoshi's long tongue. Yoshi can swallow up enemies and make them into eggs! These eggs can then be tossed at hard-to-reach objects or to defeat large enemies. Enemies can also be spit back out to counter other enemies. Certain familiar enemies include shy guys, piranha plants, and goombas. If Yoshi is hit by an enemy, Baby Mario is sent flying off in a bubble and starts crying like crazy. Unless you want to suffer the torment of listening to his constant whining, you must tag the bubble before the timer runs out. If it runs out, you're a goner.
Then we come to the matter of the items. Coins are typical Mushrrom Kingdom currency. Coins are collected to earn extra lives, and red coins are collected to receive 100% in each stage. Getting 100% in each stage helps you unlock new things. There are also 5 flowers hidden in each level, which are also required for 100%. At the end of each stage, you'll jump into a roulette wheel. The number of flowers on the roulette depends on how many flowers you collected during the stage. The more you have, the higher the odds of winning. If you land on a flower, you'll be taken to a bonus challenge. Bonus challenges are little minigames where you can win items or extra lives. Then again, you can also walk out with nothing. For the most part, these are luck-dependant. And if you find a starman, touch it, and you will gain control of Baby Mario. He'll be off Yoshi's back and have a cape on. You'll be invincible, fast, and able to run up walls. Yoshi will travel behind in a giant egg.
Amazing, some of the best the SNES had to offer. Probably second to the Donkey Kong Country series. Bright, animated, and stylish. There are several thousand different Yoshi sprites in this game alone, giving the characters a wide range of emotions. All the sprites are very solid, and the background shimmers on occasions, too (mainly clouds, which have sort of a ''crayon'' effect). Overall, pretty dang impressive.
This category would have gotten a perfect 10 if it weren't for Baby Mario's constant crying. Whenever you're hit by an enemy, you're forced to listen to ''Hey! Hey! Hey!'' in a really whiny voice until you rescue him. Even worth putting the sound down for. However, this should be an extra incentive for you not to get hit. As for the actual tunes, they're cheerful and bouncy for the most part, except for the castles in which the sound gets darker and creepy.
Yoshi's Island is still a masterpiece to this day. I strongly urge you to go out and find it at a used games store. Anoither idea would be to pick up Super Mario Advance 3 for the GBA, which is a direct port of this game, and something you'll have much better luck finding.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/15/04
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