Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
Thanks to a stork’s lousy delivery service, baby Luigi gets kidnapped by Kamek, while baby Mario falls down from the sky and lands on top of Yoshi who was just chilling with his friends on Yoshi Island. After the sudden surprise and wondering what to do, they decide to return the mystery baby back to it’s rightful owner. And along the way, we get to enjoy Yoshi’s adventure as Yoshi and his friends go on a journey to rejoin the lost twins!
Yoshi’s Island is a side-scrolling action game that is unique to the series in which this time around you are in charge of keeping baby Mario safe from Kamek’s evil plans. As you go through the fun-filled levels, there are a myriad of collectables to get. There are five flowers in each area that are 10 points each. They also give you a better chance to access a bonus level at the goal. Hidden in each stage are 20 red coins that are tricky to get and each one gives you a point. Completing each level will show you a score. To get a perfect score of 100, you’ll need all 5 flowers, 20 red coins, and the max 30 stars on your life counter. Getting a 100 on all 8 stages for an area will open an extra level. These levels are for players craving for a challenge. They will test your platforming skills and make you become a jumping master! You can also get a 100 in the extra level but sadly, it doesn’t unlock anything.
There are a total of six worlds with eight stages that Yoshi will traverse to on his way to Bowser’s Hideout. Some levels have you skiing snowy mountain slopes, entering haunted castles, going through underground caves, tropical oceans and muddy jungles just to name a few. When you stumble upon the jungle levels, watch out for those sneaky monkeys. They’ll spit watermelon seeds at you and cause all kinds of havoc. Never trust monkeys!
Yoshi can transform into a helicopter (that can fly), a mole tank (can dig though dirt), a submarine (for underwater levels), car (just to avoid objects) and a train (on railroad tracks). You touch a corresponding bubble that holds the transformation and have a limited time to stay in one. In some levels, you will encounter a starman power-up for Baby Mario. He will hop off Yoshi and become invincible for a short period of time. He can also run up on some walls during this power-up. A friendly dog named Poochy will help you in a few stages. He will run in the direction you’re facing and take out enemies along the way. He can also walk over spikes and cross fields of lava.
If you get hit by an enemy, Yoshi will be stunned and Baby Mario will float around in a bubble. There is a counter that appears in the upper right hand of the screen. If it falls to zero, one of Kamek’s henchmen will swoop in and take Baby Mario away. You start with 10 stars and the maximum you can carry is 30. Collecting stars during a level will increase the amount of time you have to rescue baby Mario. If you go below 10 it will slowly recover until it reaches 10 again. However, falling into pits, touching lava, spikes, or other hazards will result in an instant death unfortunately.
The controls for Yoshi’s Island work great on the Super Nintendo pad. The D-Pad moves Yoshi in the direction you choose and during his transformations. The “B” button allows you to jump and holding it down will let you hover for a bit just by running in the air. How is that possible? I’m going to try it myself! The “Y” Button is used to lash out Yoshi’s tongue. With this move you can pick up items, coins, stars, and various other neat items. You mainly will be turning enemies into eggs by pressing down on the D-Pad after eating an enemy. You can also throw out the enemy by pressing the “Y” button again.
The “A” button will let you throw eggs. First, an aiming cursor will appear when you push the button. It will move back and forth in a sort of clockwise motion until you push “A” again to fire the egg in the targets direction. Pressing down will cancel this target. Pressing up will cause the target to stay above Yoshi’s head. You can also lock the position of the target by pressing the L or R button.
I had a blast with this game as a kid. The first time I played it, I was amazed right away at the colorful and happy visuals bursting out of the CRT TV screen. It was something refreshing after playing as Mario so many times before. Yoshi deserves to share the spotlight too! Who else can eat up enemies and turn them into egg projectiles? Nintendo really pulled off another classic with this one.
Pros: Addictive egg-launching gameplay, coloring book style graphics, music, challenge, mini-games, and replay value.