Review by Dave_Gahan_Jnr

"Innovative, graphically sublime, the sequel to one of the best games ever delivers"

There is (or was, depending on your current view on the games scene) a certain aura that surrounds Super Mario; that every ‘proper' game he stars in (taking away the ‘Party' series and so forth) will be an instant classic. On the whole this is a true statement, and it is certainly no different for the sequel to the sublime Super Mario World. To give you a brief outline on the story, a stork is carrying baby Mario and Luigi to their parents, when disaster strikes. The evil Kamek and his minions intercept the stork in a plot to kidnap Mario and his brother. Mario falls from the sky, and land on an exotic island, aptly called ‘Yoshi's Island'. His brother Luigi however is captured by Kamek and held prisoner. Many different coloured Yoshi's discover baby Mario deep in the jungle and rescue him, all unanimously deciding to get Mario and Luigi back to their parents. ‘This is a blooming kiddies game!' I hear you cry, but no! Scratch beneath the surface and you discover gameplay of epic proportions, and difficulty to boot. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the sequel to one of the best games of all time, and lives up to expectations, and more.

Graphics – 9/10

One word: beautiful. This game really does push the SNES to dizzying heights, with a fantastic ‘hand-drawn' crayon effect evident throughout. The graphics far outshine the original Super Mario World's graphics, and even stand up against first generation PlayStation and Sega Saturn games. This, along with the Donkey Kong Country series and Chrono Trigger truly display the Super Nintendo's graphical prowess.

Gameplay 9.5/10

If gameplay were meat, Yoshi's Island would be a nice, big juicy steak. This is where the game really shines. The whole layout takes a few levels to fully get to grips with, but once you do you'll be grinning from ear to ear. Yoshi can momentarily ‘hover', throw eggs, ground stomp, gobble up enemies, transform…….the list is endless. With so much to do, you would think it is difficult to control, yet it is the complete opposite. The button layout ensures simple, yet effective control. Also, when you get hit you don't just lose power, or die, as with most other platformers. This is a completely new and welcome structure, where when you get hit, baby Mario falls off and a countdown timer begins. When this reaches zero, Kameks minions come and whisk baby Mario away, subsequently meaning you lose a life. A very novel idea indeed. I cannot praise the gameplay enough, which I believe to be superior to any other 2D Mario game. It's that good.

Story 7/10

A refreshing change from the usual ‘Princess Peach gets kidnapped by Bowser' etcetera. I covered the story at the beginning so I won't tread the same ground. A good story, considering this is a 2D platformer, where most stories are simply tedious.

Sound 8/10

Pretty standard stuff to be honest, with some nice hummable tunes in there. It sticks to the colourful theme throughout. Most of the tunes are, to be fair, are forgettable, bar the fort, castle and underground cave music, which are nice pieces. My one true gripe with the music and sounds if baby Mario's irritating cry, but apart from that, solid throughout.

Lastability 9/10

Lasts a good while if you just storm through the game in the ‘standard' way, so to speak – with six worlds and 8 levels each, this is a relatively lengthy game. But this is non-linear, which means secrets in abundance. You collect stars (which deduct if you get hit and baby Mario comes off your back) flowers, and red coins. To get the bonus levels in each world you must get a perfect score of 100 in each level (30 stars, 20 red coins and 5 flowers) which is very difficult – in some of the boss levels trying not to get hit and losing stars is a real challenge, but not so much that it's nigh-on impossible. Lasts a good 20 hours.

Buy/Rent?

Buy, buy, BUY!! Well, you can't rent SNES games anymore, but even if you could I would still say buy. A classic of it's time.

Overall 9/10

This is one of the must-haves of anyone's collection, and if you haven't got a SNES, I ask, nay, demand that you go out and get one, along with a copy of this all-time classic.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/25/05


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