Review by Nivla

"A three dimensional game in a two dimensional world"

So far, it's been Mario, Mario, got some Luigi, then more Mario. But who's the real hero behind the scenes? The coolest of the bunch? That's right. It's my favorite video game character of all time. Yoshi!! Yoshi finally appears in his very own game. And titled Super Mario World 2:Yoshi's Island, it is one of my favorite platformers of all time. It should also be noted that Yoshi's Island is a prequel, that takes place on Yoshi's Island (duh), when mario and Luigi are still in dipers (their exact age at this time is unknown. They're in dipers, that should be good enough for you). This absolutley blows the other Mario games right out of the water.

To explain the story, you will have to travel back in time. Back to the time when even mean ol' Bowser is just a baby. This is the story (from the instruction manual). This story happened a long long time ago...This is a story about a baby and Yoshi...A stork hurries across the dusky pre-dawn sky. In his bill, he supports a pair of twins. Who are to be delivered to their parents as soon as possible. Suddenly, something appears between the clouds and races towards the stork with blinding speed! ''SSCCRREEEEECH!!!'', it screams, ''the babies are mine!'' Snatching only one baby, the creature vanishes into the darkness from whence it came. Oh no! The second baby falls undetected towards the open sea. The kidnapper is Kamek, an evil Magikoopa from the Koopa Kingdom. Having divined last night that twin babies born this morning will bring disaster to the Koopa family, he arranged for an early morning ambush. Returning to his castle, Kamek realizes that he missed the other babies. He orders his toadies. ''Go forth and find the other baby!! Don't let his parents get him back! Ever!!'' Meanwhile, the second baby does not fall into the sea after lands safely on Yoshi's back! And right after him drops a map!! This paradise is Yoshi's Island. And on this island lives lots of different Yoshies. These Yoshies are naturally laid back and relaxed. But this is a calamity and everyone is in a state of panic. As the Yoshies frantically yell over each other, the baby insistently points at something. Yes! The baby can sense the other baby's location. All the Yoshies quickly agree to help carry the baby to its destination by using a relay system not unlike the old pony express. The green Yoshi draws first honors.

The gameplay is very similar to all other Mario games. Yoshi can run and jump. He can dodge enemies by ducking. However, he has a lot more moves. He can eat enemies, and make eggs out of them. In fact, eggs are one of Yoshi's primary weapons. Also, he can eat watermelons and spit out the seeds, spit fire or ice. There are also more objects to make this adventure a lot more fun. Indicated blocks will deflect eggs in a certain direction when the egg comes in contact with the block. There are also ''clasic'' Mario stuff in this game. Things like coins. But new are ''red coins'', which are hidden among the regular coins. These red coins are vital to a perfect game. To obtain a perfect game, you must get all the necessary things from all of the 54 levels (6 if the levels are secret levels which you can only get to by obtaining a perfect in every level of one world). The things needed to get a perfect on a level are 5 flowers (some are obvious, some are very cleverly hidden), 20 red coins, and 30 stars. Besides contributing to the perfect game, flowers and stars have other purposes. At the end of a level (excpet levels 4 and 8 of every world, which are boss levels), a roulette starts spinning, if the roulette stops on a flower, the player then procedes to a bonus round where he/she can earn rewards like bonus items are extra lives. You can get a maximum of five flowers on the roulette. The number of flowers on the roulette are the number of flowers you collect. So hence, the flowers are definatley worth hunting down. Think of the stars as a life bar. Everytime Mario gets knocked of Yoshi's back, Yoshi doesn't die. He merely gets stunned. But when Mario does gets knocked off, the number of stars starts counting down. If the counter reaches zero, Mario will get captured and the player will lose a life. If the counter sinks below 10, and Yoshi is able to make the rescue, the counter will slowly fill back up to ten. So as you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Yoshi's Island.

The controlls were very well done (that shouldn't be any surprise. This is where Mario games rocks!). There is no button mashing required. All of the necessary buttons are very easy to get to, and you do not need to be extremely well cordinated to play this game. There are also two types of controll for egg throwing (which makes the game much more user friendly). There's one where you hold down the A button to aim and release the throw. And there's one for press once for aim, and press it again for throw. There is a very gentle learning curve in the game. The scaling difficulty is very mild. In fact, most of the skills are explained as the game goes on (skills such as making eggs, throwing eggs, the ''pound the ground'' technique are all explained the first time those skills are needed). However, the overall challenge is quite low. Most players will complete this game in a short while. Getting a perfect game does require much more skill, but it's definatley not hard.

The graphics in this game are so well done I could cry. In my opinion, these graphics are comparable to those seen in Legend of Mana (yes, a PlayStation game, but with the exception of FMVs because the obviously cannot be handled on the SNES). Yoshi's Island features ''story book graphics''. The graphics look like something from a story book. This is a very nice touch to the cartoonish theme of the game. All of the graphics run very smoothly, without a hint of glitch or lag. The backgrounds are definatley something to brag about. It definatley sets the defination for the phrase ''a three dimensional game in a two dimensional world''. The audio is very well done, but has a couple of flaws. The tunes are all very catchy, and nice. They are common side scroller songs. Short and sweet. However, some of the sound effects are blured, and cannot be heard very well. But the overall audio is very well done.

The fun factor is very high. Just like in all Mario games, however, I think this one is funner then the rest because of the ligh-hearted story book theme. Also, the bonus rounds are very fun to play. The replay value is extremely high, which is unusal for side scrollers. It is so freakisly high because of the perfect game you're after. You won't want to stop until you have it. And it can be a long quest that takes weeks, even months to complete!

In conclusion, this is a great game. I'm sure if games were people, and the genres are the different countries, Yoshi's Island would be their prime minister (or president for all you Americans reading this). This game is a must have, a must buy.

Fun Factor:8
Replay Value:9

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 08/01/00, Updated 08/01/00

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