Lately I’ve been playing through Yoshi’s Island for the first time. I’ve been playing on my phone with a Gamesir X2 controller and I’m having a great time with it. The game has been a joy to play, bringing a certain charm and lightheartedness that seamlessly blends with its relaxing atmosphere. Its an incredibly imaginative game–both in terms of it’s beautiful graphics and its unique gameplay. The game oozes quality–as a Nintendo classic that’s a given but all the same the polish and attention to detail really shine here.
Yoshi’s Island hit the gaming scene back in 1995. It received critical acclaim upon its release and sold over four million copies. The game’s cartridge contained the Super FX2 microchip which enabled advanced graphics and special effects. This time Mario is a baby. You won’t be saving Princess Peach but rather Mario’s baby brother Luigi. In this game Mario is pretty much an inanimate McGuffin, allowing Yoshi to really shine.
This game is truly a gem. Of course it’s not exactly a hidden gem, it’s a very well known game. But mostly when I hear about this game these days it’s in reference to how difficult it is to emulate. It serves as an excellent test for overall SNES emulation capability. For any device that can handle Yoshi’s Island without stuttering, it’s safe to say that the rest of the SNES catalog would likely run smoothly too.
The decision to name this title Super Mario World 2 makes perfect sense from a marketing standpoint, riding the wave of the original Super Mario World’s massive success. However, it’s hard to escape the feeling that this moniker does Yoshi’s Island a disservice. While it may lure in fans of the first game expecting more of the same, the reality is that Yoshi’s Island offers a completely different gaming experience that might not meet those specific expectations. Gone is the fast paced, precision-based gameplay of the original Super Mario World. In its place, Yoshi plods along at a more leisurely pace, allowing players to take in the game’s vibrant and imaginative world. The gameplay is less about demanding precise platforming (though there’s some of that) and more about solving puzzles using the game’s creative mechanics in clever ways.
The game is much more forgiving than many of its contemporaries from the same era. Instead of employing the one-hit-death mechanics so prevalent at the time, Yoshi’s Island gives players a lot of leeway. When hit, you drop Mario, but rather than facing instant game over, you’re given a countdown to rescue him. It’s usually easy enough of to avoid a game over. For this reason, some more hardcore gamers might overlook Yoshi’s Island, seeking greater challenges. Personally I usually want a relaxing experience when gaming, so I really appreciate the chill vibe this game is going for
So, what about baby Mario’s incessant crying? This is a very common complaint I hear about this game. “Yoshi’s Island is great but that crying sound will make your ears bleed!” Honestly I hear this so often that up until now this concern has stopped me from playing the game. It’s often touted as the game’s fatal flaw. And now that’s I’ve played the game…okay…yeah, it can be a bit grating. However, it’s important to note that this only occurs when you get hit and Mario floats away. The frequency of this event is largely dependent on your level of performance. With careful maneuvers, it’s unlikely to occur too often. And even when it does, saving Mario is typically a quick action of just throwing a shell to bring him back down. Personally, I don’t find the crying to be particularly frequent or especially annoying–certainly not the deal breaker I was worried it could be.
Yoshi’s Island is a 2d classic that still holds up after all these years. It’s absolutely dripping with imagination and creativity. This is some of the most impressive gameplay and stunning artwork to ever grace the Super Nintendo. It’s a testament to Nintendo’s knack for developing titles that not only push the technical boundaries of their platforms but also deliver rich, fulfilling experiences for players. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or new to the world of retro gaming, Yoshi’s Island is a title you simply must play. It’s gotta be one of the best 2d games ever made. It is indeed a pleasant and unforgettable journey through the charming world of Yoshi and baby Mario. Go play it now!