• Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island


  • Platformer


  • Nintendo


  • Nintendo

Release Date:

  • October 4, 1995 (US)

On Wikipedia:


  • Super NES

Extra Note:

  • Nobody calls it "Super Mario World 2" anymore.

Having spun off the information on Yoshi's Island DS a while back it's time to revisit the original Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island after letting it idle for several years, and decided to base it off the 2015 review with some new touches.

The game looks great, but it does use an upgraded version of the Super FX chip.

Many, many, years ago, there was a time when Nintendo's new Mario games actually featured truly new mechanics and functions, and it didn't feel like they were dredging old stuff out of their past like they do now. Sonic was brand-new (the hedgehog, not the drive-in with the best ice) and was actually seen as a threat to Mario's sales. In August 1991, the Super Nintendo was released in America, and with it, came Super Mario World, also known as Super Mario Bros. 4: Super Mario World in Japan. It was a great game, even if it's very clearly "8-bit esque". The star of the show was of course, Yoshi, who Mario could hop on. Yoshi could eat enemies with his tongue, and depending on color and/or shells eaten, could stomp to kill enemies, breath fire, or fly. Yoshi was thus inducted into the Mario canon and a few years later was given a game of his very own, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Yoshi's Island was a game that used the Super FX chip (the second iteration of the SFX) with beautiful artwork, an egg-throwing mechanic, and much more. It wasn't the traditional Mario hop-and-bop adventure, but it was a game well-received and innovative.

Unfortunately, most of Yoshi's outings since then have some of Nintendo's worst games. I first played Yoshi's Island through the Game Boy Advance port, Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 circa 2006. For a port, it wasn't bad (compared to the issues of Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2, at least), and I have to admit that it actually made sense to use the voices from Yoshi's Story, an N64 game that was the first time Yoshi let people down (even for the time, letters in the old issues of Nintendo Power I have complained about how short and easy it was). On the other hand, one of the reasons I hated the Game Boy Advance port of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was because of the voice samples. Overall, it's a wash and if you compare the GBA version picture I used to have on here, the color palette is clearly washed out.

The infamous "Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy" level.

Yoshi's Island is a very different game than Super Mario World but not in the type of different Super Mario Brothers 2 was, it really did feel like a Nintendo classic, and the plot follows how Baby Mario (long before he became hated on Mario Kart: Double Dash!! falls into an island of Yoshi (Yoshi plural, that is) after Kamek captures Baby Luigi (he was aiming for both). There's no Princess Peach, but there is a faceoff with Baby Bowser at the end. Besides the egg-throwing mechanic, if you get hit, you have anywhere from 10 seconds to around 30 to get back the crying Mario before you lose the level (spikes and bottomless pits, are of course instant deaths as well). Either way, it's an interesting mechanic rather than just the "hit and die" result.

Another thing I like is the level select music gets bigger and more triumphant with every world you beat, which is fun. Plus, some rather intriguing stuff has been leaked since the original review was written. The game actually appears to have been based on a game called Super Donkey (probably also a prototype to Donkey Kong Country in some ways too). There's a whole slew of unused content and prototypes including a different Baby Mario design ("Animations of Baby Mario, with a baby bonnet and... a mustache. Moving on.") or a different character who wasn't even Mario at all...and of course, I can't go without mentioning the nauseating commercial when it came stateside.

The Game Boy Advance version has six extra levels that unlock after beating level 6-8 (the last level). It would be nice if these were patched in (they don't introduce new mechanics) by ROM patchers but I can't find any. A pity.