Review by Ofisil

"Who needs Mario?"

Super Mario World 2 is a Platform game developed by Nintendo. It came around in 1995, when as far as I remember, SNES was a very old system that many didn't care about. However, I consider this the absolute epitome of Platform games of its era… and not only. SMW2 is not your average Super Mario title. Featuring new and innovative gameplay mechanics and audiovisual perfection it soon became one of the best Platform games of all time showing us that if a group of talented developers decide to kick booty, they WILL kick booty no matter the game system…

Gameplay: 9/10
Replay Value: 7.5/10

Instead of Mario, in this game you control Yoshi and your mission is to carry baby Mario to the end of each stage, (this game is the prequel of the entire Mario series so far), and inevitably to his kidnapped brother Luigi in the last castle of the game. Yoshi is far more versatile than Mario due to his larger arsenal of moves. You will still run & jump around punching blocks and stomping on enemies but you can also use your long tongue to swallow enemies and throw them out again, you can do a stronger stomping move, float for 1-2 seconds but more importantly you can lay eggs, (!!!). For those who have not passed out from the shock of a male character laying eggs let me tell you that this is one of the finest things in this game. When you press down to swallow an enemy you create an egg that follows you around and can be thrown again. Throwing eggs is innovative, easy to get the hang of and extremely fun and helpful. Apart from killing enemies you can also use the eggs to reach items that otherwise were impossible to. What makes things more interesting is the fact that when Yoshi gets hurt you don't lose a life, instead baby Mario flies away in a bubble that you must catch before a timer reaches zero because if you don't you'll loose, so in order to increase the timer's time you have to find some small stars in the level.

The level design of the game is wonderful with each stage presenting you with a different set of challenges each time making all levels unique instead of the typical repetitive levels of most stages. You will play many mini-games, find various kinds of items that you can use during the game and finally fight some excellent Boss fights. Completing levels is one thing… finding all special items is another and in fact that is the main reason I loved the game besides its wonderful new gameplay mechanics. In each stage you have to find 5 flowers, 20 red coins and reach the end of the level with the highest amount of “timer” stars. Searching around the levels, (and doing all kinds of experimentations), can be quite fun and challenging and by fully completing all levels of a world you unlock additional levels that are far more challenging to beat. But then comes the biggest flaw of the game… its lack of challenge. You see while everything is great and all nothing will give you much trouble making you feel that the game was mostly indented for younger and inexperienced gamers. Bosses are easy, completing levels are even easier and while the 100% completion of a level is a bit more challenging don't expect to have a hard time doing so. Nevertheless if you can get past this sole problem you will surely enjoy this game.

Graphics: 10/10
Design: 10/10

The graphics of SMW2 are both technically and aesthetically perfect and most of all, unique! Sure it also looks like another Super Mario game but with a twist. You see everything looks as if a kid, (a talented one), has picked up his pastel pencils or something and designed the whole thing. I know that some people may find it a bit too childish but… it's a Mario game what exactly did you expect? Everything looks absolutely fabulous and very detailed with numerous well designed sprites from the perfectly animated Yoshi, (you've got to see it to believe it), and small critters like shy guys, goombas and koopas to the larger boss sprites that almost look… alive, due to their fluid animation. Besides that we have very good backgrounds and with a nice variety too. Finally the developers gave everything they've got in terms of special effects making the game even more good-looking with dynamically animated water, weather effects like snowfall, mist, etc.

Sound: 9/10
Music: 7/10

In my humble opinion, SMW2 along with a few more games, (like Super Metroid), have the BEST sound quality of the 16-bit era and the best SFX of the Super Mario Franchise, at least so far. We have a wonderful variety of sound effects with everything being crystal clear and not-irritating at all, apart from the loud cry of baby Mario which although extremely irritating, (he's a baby after all), is of top-notch quality as if it is a sound from a Playstation or something. Now the music, while ok and all is, like all new Mario games, uninteresting and can be compared with the classic and catchy tunes of the early Super Mario Bros titles.

-A very versatile character with more moves than most characters of the genre
-Excellent controls
-Unique level design and boss fights
-Trying to complete a level 100% is both fun and challenging
-Great and original graphics. High SFX quality

-Very, very easy
-Music could be better

Also Play:
Crash Bandicoot 1-3 (Playstation)
Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
Sonic The Hedgehog 1-3 (Mega Drive)
Spyro The Dragon (Playstation)
Super Mario Bros 2-3 (NES)
Super Mario World (SNES)

Overall: 8.7/10

Super Mario World is a near perfect game. It was obviously developed by an extremely “mature” and experienced team, with a high attention to detail in all aspects of the game. Besides the only flaw of the game, which is its low challenge level, in SMW2 you will find great controls, innovative gameplay mechanics and great level design with a high replay value. Buy if you haven't already!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/22/10

Game Release: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (US, 10/04/95)

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