Retro Review – Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island!

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island is a 2D platformer originally released by Nintendo in 1995 for the SNES. It’s an excellent adventure that has even been ported across to other consoles due to its award-winning playability and popularity. Yoshi’s Island’s is a lengthy game that’s packed with lovingly crafted platforming fun. Gamers will find a rich, challenging and rewarding experience here.

While the storyline is pretty basic, Yoshi’s Island excels where it counts – gameplay. The Yoshi’s are tasked with carrying baby Mario through a bunch of treacherous levels to in the hope to find and reunite him with his brother. Every level is fun, different, and there are plenty of secrets to find all over the Island. There are plenty of different enemies for Yoshi to tackle along the way and not all of them can be defeated in the same way – forcing the player to think up new strategies for particular situations. Boss battles are particularly awesome, they are well planned and the fights are always fun and inventive. Some maps include special stages where Yoshi can transform into a number of different vehicles which is a cool way to switch up the gameplay and avoid monotony. Even today it’s incredibly rare to see a 2D game with such variety and challenge as found in Yoshi’s Island.

On the surface, the artwork of Yoshi’s Island utilises a graphical style that almost mimics child-like drawings and paintings. It makes the game appear soft, friendly and inviting. But do not be fooled! This game is tricky. You will succumb to pressure, will fall off the ledges, and you will have to re-think your approach more than once. As expected of such a reputable series Yoshi’s Island is also full of fun, catchy music that compliments the artwork nicely. The art and sound is quite unique, the only criticism I can give in this area is the god-awful sound of baby Mario’s wailing if Yoshi gets bumped by an enemy – but on the other hand – this also works as a clever mechanic because it forces players to be extra careful. Scrambling back to retrieve baby Mario can be intense if the timer is running low so watch out!

Overall, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island is a pretty magical experience that should not be missed by fans of 2D, 3D platformers or adventure games. It’s extremely well polished and a now exists as an archetypical game in its genre. It’s no wonder Nintendo are still releasing a bunch of top quality 2D platformers on their most recent home consoles. The genre is mature now, yet the reason these games still get made is because they are so enjoyable and accessible. The place to start is always at the beginning though, so make sure to check out Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. You will not be disappointed.

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