Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

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US cover.

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island is a platform action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the SNES on 1995-08-05. Although sold in the USA as the sequel to Super Mario World, the game is rather the first in the Yoshi's Island series. The game uses the Super FX2 chip for more impressive graphics than what a stock SNES could handle. It was ported to the Game Boy Advance as Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 and later remade as Yoshi's New Island on the Nintendo 3DS.

In the game, Mario and Luigi are babies being delivered to their parents by a stork, but Kamek, sensing how much destruction they'll cause to the Koopas, wants them for himself. He's able to capture baby Luigi, but baby Mario falls down to Yoshi's Island, and Yoshi and his friends agree to follow the stork's map and carry baby Mario to his parents all the while keeping him safe from Kamek's minions. In this game, you primarily control Yoshi instead of Mario or Luigi.

Personal

Although most of my friends owned a SNES, and all of them loved the original Super Mario World, nobody I knew owned this game, so I never played it when it was still popular. It was only after SNES emulation matured that I was able to try it out, and I quickly found it to be very underwhelming. While I enjoyed the new character design of Yoshi, I found the game play to be tedious, even very early in. However, I really loved Tetris Attack, and the various characters seen in that game always made me want to give Yoshi's Island another chance just to see what it was all about. So, many years later, I finally played the game through entirely. I beat it on 2022-04-25, by completing all the main levels, but I didn't try for any of the special levels.

I don't own this game.

Review

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4 5 7 7 6

Best Version: SNES

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • Yoshi has a lot of new controls that really adds to the game play. Floaty jumps, ground pound, throwing his tongue upward, etc.
  • The various new characters, and the expansion of existing characters, really adds a lot of life to the setting. The variety of new Shy Guys are wonderful.
  • The artistic painted backgrounds give the game a very creative look.
  • Once again, Koji Kondo created a very enjoyable soundtrack.
  • The game makes good use of the Super FX2 chip. The 3D rendering stands out simply because you know the SNES shouldn't be able to do it, but it still fits into the game organically. The sprite rotating and scaling, although it looks a little fuzzy around the edges, adds a lot to the game.
  • There is a lot of variety in the boss battles. Unlike most Mario games, each boss fight requires you to discover a new trick to the boss and exploit it.
  • The metamorphoses, although not very thematic, add some nice variety to the game play.
  • The visual and auditory effects when Yoshi trips balls on a fuzzy is pretty cool.

Bad

  • For an action platformer, the game is too slowly paced.
    • Having to slowly load up on eggs, then stop, aim, and throw them so frequently really makes the game crawl.
    • Although you can run through many levels pretty quickly, heavy emphasis is put on collecting out-of-the-way objects, sinking eggs into tulips, uncovering hidden clouds, making tricky jumps, etc., all of which slow the game down even more.
    • Each time you expand a platform, stairway, grow a vine, etc. the game pauses and you have to wait for the object to build itself.
    • Any time you die, you have to go through all of the same slow stuff again.
  • Several of the collectibles are positioned in very frustrating ways. Stars explode in all directions over pits making them difficult to catch, shy guys fly away with red coins leaving you only a brief moment to get them, some items require precision jumps where a mistake kills you, etc. And, if you want to unlock the hidden levels, you have to get all of them in a single attempt! I found this game design to be especially tedious, and, not very far into the game, I gave up on idea of collecting them at all.
  • Yoshi's control is a bit lacking compared to other Mario games of the time. He can't run or fly, he doesn't have a variety of jumps, etc. He can ground pound, but this incurs injury from a lot of enemies. I found the watermelons to get in the way more than help, and, while the metamorphoses give interesting abilities with unique controls, they're fixed to certain areas in certain levels. This lack of abilities make the harder levels that much more difficult. I found the skiing section to be especially aggravating.
  • Baby Mario's crying is really annoying.
  • Although I love the creativity of the art style, the low resolution of the SNES makes the painted backgrounds look far less impressive than they should.
  • Most of the bonus games are entirely random, and, therefore, not fun.
  • It's a quibble, but the Japanese title, "Super Mario: Yoshi's Island," should have been kept in the USA since, other than having Yoshi and a few shared monsters, the game doesn't really have anything to do with Super Mario World.

Ugly

  • Somebody at Nintendo must have thought to themselves, "You know what everyone loves? Escort missions! What if we made an entire game that was just one long escort mission?"
  • While there isn't really anything awful about the game, for the vast majority of the time I was playing it, I was not enjoying myself, and many times I was quite frustrated. Before I was even halfway through I was eager for the game to be over, and that eagerness only grew the further I got. This is one of those rare games that looks great, sounds great, uses impressive tech, but can't seem to manage to be fun.

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Videos

Longplay - USA.
Longplay - Japan.

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Japanese スーパーマリオ ヨッシーアイランド Supa Mario Yosshi Airando Super Mario: Yoshi's Island
Korean 슈퍼 마리오 월드 2: 요시 아이랜드 Syupeo Malio Woldeu 2: Yosi Ailaendeu Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

Links

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