Review by Allidoisreview
Such A Weird Game...
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island is a classic that should be experienced by every retro gamer (and, well, it probably already has - oh well) or really any gamer just looking for a solid and unique 2D platforming experience.
Story - 7/10
Well, it's a Mario title, so that automatically implies little to no effort in the story. In this case, though, they at least strayed from the regular formula and decided to do something a bit different. Basically, you play as 8 different Yoshis (8 levels per area, different color Yoshi for each level) carrying Baby Mario through the world attempting to protect him from the evil Magikoopa, Kamek. Honestly, the ending to the game didn't make much sense to me, but I didn't pay any attention to the intro (which is sad as I've probably played this game 100 times and still haven't watched it) so I can't say for sure whether or not it is logical. I give it a 7 because it's unique, and Mario games never have quality stories, so I don't want to unfairly critique this one when no one is playing Mario games for their story in the first place.
Graphics - 10/10
Well, this is probably the highlight of the game. The graphics are phenomenal. Everything is very colorful and vibrant, the environments are unique and detailed, I can't justify with text how beautiful this game looks - you have to see for yourself. I will say that the designers were definitely on some heavy drugs when they made this, but it worked out in a major way.
Sound - 9/10
The music is great as are the sound effects. The only thing that may get on your nerves is the sound of baby Mario crying when you get hit. He doesn't just cry - he really lets it all out. However, because of how annoying and loud it is, it not only notifies you immediately that you were hit if you didn't know, but also motivates you to hustle in getting him back. I don't have an issue with it at all, but some might. Overall, great sounds.
Gameplay - 9/10
This is where I normally go into an overview of the game before listing the positives and negatives. However, I don't have any real complaints with the game, so I'm just going to summarize and discuss the gameplay.
As mentioned above, you play as Yoshi with baby Mario riding on your back, and you are trying to get to the end of each level. There are 6 worlds, each consisting of 8 levels. Of these 8 levels, 2 are castles with boss fights. Therefore, there are 12 boss fights and 36 levels in the game (48 total).
There are, of course, enemies in these levels that are trying to attack you. If you are hit, baby Mario will float off of Yoshi in a bubble of some sort, and you need to jump into him or hit him with an egg (more on these later) to get him back. There is a timer that ticks down while he is away from Yoshi, and if it hits 0, some critters will fly down and carry Mario away. This is the equivalent of losing a life, so you have to start the level over (there are checkpoints, however). The timer that ticks down starts at 10, but it can be enhanced all the way to 30 by collecting stars found throughout each level.
Yoshi can also attack enemies by jumping on them, swallowing them, or shooting eggs at them. In order to obtain eggs, Yoshi must first swallow enemies. You get one egg per enemy up to a maximum of 6, and they trail behind you as you move so you can quickly see how many you have. Eggs will be your main method of attacking/hitting objects. When you choose to use an egg, a directional arrow will pop up and slowly move up and down (in a circular motion - not straight up and down) in the direction that you are facing, and you can then choose exactly where you want to aim your shot. The eggs can also ricochet, which is a tactic that will be used quite a bit in this game.
There are also mini games that can be played after each level or in the middle of some levels, which give you an opportunity to get more lives or cool power-ups such as watermelons that Yoshi can eat and then shoot the seeds at enemies.
The game itself is quite easy, and a decent gamer could play through the entire game without losing a life. HOWEVER, this is assuming that you do not attempt to complete each level. Each level has 20 red coins and 5 flowers located in it, as well as the potential to have 30 stars. You receive a final score at the end of each level based on how many of each of these you have. If you happen to get a complete score on each level in a world (including the castles), you will unlock a bonus level that is actually pretty difficult. I believe upon beating this additional level, you then unlock the ability to play a certain mini game infinitely (this is just as I recall. I didn't try to do this in my recent play through). Completing each level in itself is actually extremely difficult, though, so even veteran gamers need not be concerned that this game will not provide a challenge.
The game itself is just hilarious. The creatures that you encounter and the things that you can do are bound to make you laugh. I laughed during almost every level. It's hard to explain and much easier to just experience first hand.
Summary - 35/40 - 9/10
This is an excellent title that should be played by any fan of the Mario series, platforming games, or just flat out weird titles. It is a true gem that I feel is overshadowed by its equally great older brother, Super Mario World. Both games are great, and if you liked Super Mario World, you'll definitely like this one. However, the actual game play elements are quite different, so you certainly won't feel like you're just playing Super Mario World again. This is a legitimate sequel and a must-play title.
Thanks for reading.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (US, 10/04/95)
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