Review by Rodi

Reviewed: 01/24/05

I swear if I hear that baby cry one more time I'm gonna go insane.

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's island is an interesting platformer, as it basically serves as a prequel to the entire Mario series. It was one of the greatest gaming experiences I've ever had. This game has you controlling Yoshi mainly instead of Mario. Mario simply rests on Yoshi's back. There are 6 worlds total, with 8 stages in each (not including secrets). Aside from the standard stomp-on-the-head technique, Yoshi uses eggs and his tongue to attack enemies. Each stage in a world has you playing as a different-colored Yoshi. As you can see, this differs a tad from your Mario norm.

Story: 8/10 (Cute, though a little childish)
Baby Mario and Baby Luigi are being carried by the Stork, when suddenly, something strikes it! Both babies fall victim to the impact and fall, one of which is kidnapped! The figure turns out to be Kamek, the evilest of the evil Magikoopas. When he discovers he's only nabbed one of the babies, he is filled with rage and orders his Toadies (minions) to go capture the other baby. Down on Yoshi's Island, Yoshi is straddling around one night when Baby Mario falls on him! Yoshi takes him to the other Yoshis. Together they discuss in Yoshi language what to do with the baby. They decide to help him look for his parents and missing brother. It's better than your typical Mario story where Toadstool gets kidnapped.

Gameplay: 10/10 (Fantastic.)
You can control Yoshi freely in two directions. Yoshi has a wide range of techniques. First off is Yoshi's long tongue. Yoshi can swallow up enemies and make them into eggs! These eggs can then be tossed at hard-to-reach objects or to defeat large enemies. Enemies can also be spit back out to counter other enemies. If Yoshi is hit by an enemy, Baby Mario is sent flying off in a bubble and starts crying like crazy. Unless you want to suffer the torment of listening to his constant whining, you must tag the bubble before the timer runs out. If it runs out, you're a goner. Then we come to the matter of the items. Coins are collected to earn extra lives, and red coins are collected to receive 100% in each stage. Getting 100% in each stage helps you unlock new things. There are also 5 flowers hidden in each level, which are also required for 100%. And if you find a starman, touch it, and you will gain control of Baby Mario. He'll be off Yoshi's back and have a cape on. You'll be invincible, fast, and able to run up walls. Yoshi will travel behind in a giant egg.

Visuals: 10/10 (Nice and crisp)
Bright, animated, and stylish. There are several thousand different Yoshi sprites in this game alone, giving the characters a wide range of emotions. All the sprites are very solid, and the background shimmers on occasions, too. Yoshi has literally thousands of poses to offer. Overall, pretty dang impressive.

Audio: 9/10 (Minus one for Baby Mario)
Listening to baby Mario cry is perhaps the most annoying thing I've ever had to endure in a video game, but the music itself is excellent. Whenever you're hit by an enemy, you're forced to listen to ''Hey! Hey! Hey!'' in a really whiny voice until you rescue him. Even worth putting the sound down for. However, this should be an extra incentive for you not to get hit. As for the actual tunes, they're cheerful and bouncy for the most part, except for the castles in which the sound gets darker and creepy.

Longevity: 9/10 (Fairly long game)
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island will take one around 20 hours to complete. That's pretty good for a platformer. Also, chances are you'll want to replay this game, since there's so much diversity.

Rent or Buy?
Well, you can't really rent this any more, but even if you could, I'd still urge you to go out and buy it. This is, in my opinion, the peak of platform gaming as it is.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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