"More like Super Yoshi World"

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island was one of the first video games I ever played. It's a classic to me and I even bought the port of it on the Game Boy Advance. Unfortunately, the game itself is just a notch above mediocre. It does not come close to other Mario classics such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World or Super Mario 64. However, this doesn't prevent it from being a fairly solid game overall. The game is set in the past so this predates all other Mario games timeline-wise. Mario is a baby and is dropped by a stork onto an island called Yoshi's Island. All the Yoshi's get together and decide to return Mario to his parents but Bowser, who is also a baby, has other plans. You need to travel the lands, defeat Bowser and rescue your brother Luigi who yes, is also a baby.

Unlike other Mario games, you control Yoshi instead of Mario. Baby Mario is riding on Yoshi's back. I should also mention that there are several different Yoshis as indicated by their color and each level has their own personal Yoshi that you play ass. They're all the same so it doesn't really make a difference. Yoshi has several different moves he can do. He can stick out his tongue and swallow enemies to make eggs. He can shoot the eggs. I thought this was pretty cool and proves to be an important feature in this game. Yoshi can also hover and he can also pound things, two things Yoshi has become known for in large part thanks to Smash Brothers. How damage is taken in this game is a little unique but honestly I found it stupid. You see, you can collect tiny stars throughout the game to increase your “health meter” to up to 30. Having an indicator of 30 is like having 30 seconds. You see, when you get hit, Mario gets knocked off your back, transforms inside of a bubble and floats around all the while crying and making one of the most annoying, irritating noises in all of video games. If the meter goes down to 0, flying red midget beavers will come and take Mario away and you die as a result. Once you recover Mario, the meter will only slowly increase back to 10. It won't go any higher than 10 without you collecting stars on your own. I just found this whole aspect to be pointless, uninspiring and annoying. Was it really necessary to make Mario annoying as hell like that? No, it wasn't.

Throughout each level there are 5 flowers you can collect and 20 red coins you can collect. And like I said, there is up to 30 health you can have. When you reach the goal, these get converted into points. Each Red Coin is worth 1 point, Each health is worth 1 point and each flower is worth 10 points. This adds up to a possible 100 points at the end of each level. Scoring these perfects scores will allow you to unlock some secret levels in each world so it does have its benefits. One feature that was pretty cool was that you actually could have a stock of items such as Fire Breath and Ice Breath that you could use at any time to make Yoshi have those powers. This wasn't important by any means but it certainly didn't hurt the game. Yoshi also has several things he can transform into. He can transform into a car with springs, he can transform into a submarine and shoot missiles, he can transform into a helicopter and fly around, he can transform into a train and ride train tracks on the wall and he can transform into a digger thing and explore caverns and dig up ground. These are just brief transformations of course and speaking of transformations, Mario can also transform by hitting a star. This will make him “Super Mario” for a while. It makes Mario do something.

Graphically, the game is unimpressive. It was a little too silly and colorful for my liking. I preferred Super Mario World's scenery and graphics by a long shot. This isn't to say the game is terrible in the visual aspect, it just simply isn't anything to write home about. The soundtrack is at best decent at well. I'll admit I really liked the boss theme but that's about it really. Nothing else was memorable to me. The difficulty is pretty much non-existent with the exception of the secret levels you can unlock. Those proved to be a bit on the challenging side. The replay value is of course very high like pretty much any
Mario game.

Storyline: 7/10
Game Play: 8/10
Soundtrack: 6/10
Graphics: 7/10
Difficulty/Replay: 8/10

Overall: 36/50 = 72% = C

Super Mario World 2 is a decent game overall but not a top-tier game by any means. It's worth playing but it is far from legendary. On the bright side there are a lot of levels to do through and a lot of levels to unlock. There is a bit of repetition especially towards the end but that actually happens to quite a bit of platformers. It would have been cool to somehow see baby Peach though….

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 08/14/06

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