Review by ZFS
"Yoshi's first starring role didn't let us down."
The setting is on an island near the Mushroom Kingdom where the Yoshis live and thrive on the berries and numerous fruits on the isle. Yoshi was walking along one day when a baby fell from the sky and onto Yoshi's back. Yoshi startled by this looks behind him only to find a baby aboard him! An instant later a map falls on his head and he reads it. Yoshi has now taken control of the hero spot in the game that started his long awaited career of being a great asset to Mario and friends in Yoshi's Island! This game is truly what it means to be a platformer. Not only is this game fun, addictive, and sometimes difficult it provides hours and hours of gameplay and even after the game is beaten there is so much more to do it's just simply amazing! The story setting before any Super Mario Bros. game is Yoshi's Island. The game truly lives up to the name platformer in every aspect. Yoshi must jump, soar, and use eggs to bash the enemies on his island and get Baby Mario back to where he belongs. And so begins the great game of Yoshi's Island!!
This is the most important aspect of any game out there. Gameplay. This game has the most extensive gameplay I've ever seen in a 2-D side scroller. The system setup for Yoshi's is truly amazing. While in other Mario side scrollers your goal was to stop on enemies and get to the goal without collecting that much stuff. But Yoshi's Island takes that all to a new level when Yoshi has to collect Flowers, Red Coins, Star Points, etc. to try to get a perfect score! The main point isn't just to get the goal anymore but to get to collect everything in the level and still get to the goal. With this new added twist to the gameplay it greatly improves on Super Mario World's basic get from point A to point B. While this is the main point of the game to get from point A to point B there are many tasks intertwined between that. For example while roaming through a level instead of just rushing through it with nothing really to collect, Yoshi's Island features the addition of collecting many items to improve your score on the level. This in itself is a gigantic upgrade from Super Mario World. And if you don't get the perfect score you can always comeback to the level to redo what you missed adding on to the replay. Now another great improvement and something new is the ability for Yoshi to throw eggs at the enemies. Miyamoto really put some thought into this giving Yoshi the ability to do that allows him to reach areas unreachable to just normal jumps. The new added on feature really gives you more solid gameplay and makes it alot more fun than just jumping around hitting enemies while now you can easily use many different functions. Also the new addition of 2 bosses per world really adds onto the new extensive gameplay of the game. Instead of just one large boss there are 2 bosses for every world adding onto the difficulty and the gameplay.
The graphics, yes the graphics for Yoshi's Island are very well done! Yoshi's sprite is very detailed for a simple SNES game and the pixels that most people see in an old game like this for the SNES are almost non-existant. While the graphics aren't something like that of the Gamecube or anything they are very very well done for the SNES. The background for the levels are very well done and set the stage for the level itself showing what kind of level it is based on. And the great addition of sometimes moving backgrounds really shows how much effort was really put into a game like this. The detail put into some of the enemies is like nothing I've seen for the SNES. Some guys have detail on there faces that make it really look extradorinary while alot of 2D games really are just graphics that the system can run, Yoshi's Island really pushes the limit what the SNES can do, yet still allowing the game to run smoothly and not lag or go slow in certain parts. While the game really pushes the limits of the SNES it still doesn't stop anything from working properly and that is something to commented on. Miyamoto has done it yet again and proved that he can put graphics and gameplay into one good game.
What is a game without some great sounds and music? This game is no different than any other Mario game. The sound and music are both high quality. Many of the songs in this are great and new! While many of the songs are very easy and catchy it won't distract you from playing the game at all. While some music in games can be very annoying and make you actually mess up during the game because the music hits a bad note or is just plain bad Yoshi's Island doesn't do that. The music is at times hyped up and cheery to get you in the mood for the level which is awesome or it is low and quiet making you sorta take it easy here and then. It is really something to see the music tell you what kind of stage to really look forward too. Even the intro music to the level is just plain awesome! There is not a track in Yoshi's Island that I can complain about, the music is great and gets you hyped up on a majority of the levels and sometimes even helps you with timing your jumps on certains platforms!! So there is nothing to complain about in the music category of the game. The sound is something else too, I mean the sounds of Yoshi grunting from a jump or the sound of one of the eggs popping or even stepping on an enemy is a nice feature. The sound is great and no sounds will ever annoy or make you not want to do that again. When collecting a Red coin even makes you sometimes imitate it when you've been playing long enough. And then many of the sounds are just plain great to hear, so there is nothing that can be complained about in the music or sound.
Difficulty what many people worry about in a game. Well this game has its share of difficulty believe me. While this game can be easy at the beginning toward it gets harder as the levels progress. The bosses and levels themselves get harder and harder each time you pass one of the worlds. While alot of the game is easy to medium difficulty there are levels where the difficulty becomes hard and that is when you've really gotta concentrate on getting past certain points in the game. But while the game isn't insanely hard it does have its hard points and easy points so that all balances out to make a good game and that is something I like to see in a game. A nice balance of easy and hard to make it fun and exciting while not getting aggravating. =)
The SNES controller is really put to the test in this game. All of the buttons have some kind of use in the game. Even the select button. Now to talk about the control of the actual game is something else. Controlling Yoshi is very comfortable and easy. While many of the platformers it may seem tight to control the main character, Yoshi is a breeze to control. His jumps are very easy to use and he can be controlled easily while he is airborne. Using the eggs is also easy and simple to control so their really isn't that much of a difference there. The basic control for the game is loose and feels great. There really isn't anything to complain about in the control area. Nothing to bad to where you'll mess up due to bad control and it's very easy to get the hang of so it doesn't take long to get used to it all. With all of this in mind you can tell Yoshi's Island isn't a bad game at all.
The replay value on this game is high! Even for a platformer like this with no multi-player it sill has Replay Value and lots of it! While it's more than just get from point A to point B. There is so much more to do in the levels, there is red coins, star points, flowers, etc. to collect in every level so if you miss it the first time you can always comeback and redo it! Yoshi's Island really has some great replay value because you can try and try again for that perfect score if you missed it the first time. For example if you got a 64 on the first time through you can comeback and try for a perfect 100! This really adds onto the replay value and you'll never get bored with this game if you think it'll just be going back and forth to do that. There is so much to do and the levels themselves are fun to just play again that you won't be disappointed with this game, not one bit!
Overall this game is very good. It has great graphics, gameplay, control, and replayability. This game is highly recommended wether you have an updated system or not. This game really shows what a true 2-D side scrolling platformer. It is very good and there really isn't a flaw from it at all, alot of thought was put into this game as you can see and it deserves the perfect score it got!
Final Score: 9.4
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/31/02, Updated 06/20/04
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