|Platform Reviewed||Super Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Genre||Arcade Action Platform Game|
|Number of Players||1|
|Difficulty||Moderate to Hard (special bonus levels are especially hard)|
|Skills Required||Hand-Eye Coordination, Some Puzzle Solving, Joypad Technique and Finesse|
|Interface Devices||Nintendo Joypad|
|Game Design and Playability||The Best Mario So Far, Incredible.|
|Type Of Fun||Running, leaping, shooting, stomping, romping good time.|
|Quality||The Very Best Currently Achievable. Special effects galore.|
|The Best||Complex technique and challenge, unique 'crayon' artstyle, fun, fun, fun.|
|The Worst||Some fools may not appreciate the unique art. pity. Could have more tunes. No 2-player mode, alas.|
|How much would I be willing to pay for this||65 bucks|
The latest in the classic Mario Brothers platform game series, Yoshi's Island acts as a prequel to the entire Mario saga. Taking place in Mario and Luigi's earliest childhood, the game reflects this in both sound and graphics. Gameplay is exceptional, but not too difficult. The average player will be able to beat the game, but only the most skilled will gain access to the special bonus worlds and games. Possibly Shigeru Miyamoto's greatest achievement since inventing Mario in the first place.
The stork carrying two twin boys is intercepted by a flying Koopa sorcerer. The Koopa nabs one of the twins, while the other falls to the sea below. The tumbling tot is none other than baby Mario Mario, who conveniently lands on the back of a Yoshi on Yoshi Island. The entire Yoshi species decides to help the poor waifs, and reunite Mario with his brother Luigi Mario (yes, they actually have official last names, a fact few know) and then take them to their parents-to-be.
Possibly the best Mario title made, certainly the equal of Super Mario 3 -if not superior to that title, Yoshi's Island is very close to the perfection of the platform genre. Every level, every world, offers a new and unique challenge, the graphics are amazing, the sound expert. Special note should be made of the art style in this game, in keeping with the idea of this being about the infant Mario, the entire game appears as if drawn in crayon! The effect is stunning, and in areas, breathtaking.
Special effects abound in this masterpiece. Using the power of an FX chip in the cart, objects stretch, ooze, bend and squirm, even while filling most of the screen! Transparencies, unusual tinting, amazing transformations and subtle 'just-for-pretty' effects abound.
Real joypad technique and finesse will grant special reward in this game. Finishing every level in a world with a perfect score earns special bonus lands and games. While just about anyone could finish Yoshi's Island, only a game master will reveal the last of it's many special secrets. To anyone who enjoys Mario style entertainment, this is a must have. This is the sort of game that, when one is absolutely sure that all of the basic tricks and effects have been seen, that nothing new is likely to show up from here on, WHAM! something unexpectedly wondrous and jaw-dropping occurs. Surprise after surprise, from simple joy to absolute "How did they DO that?!?" astonishment, Yoshi's Island is one large dose of concentrated platform fun.
Not to be missed.
Jennifer Diane Reitz is a Game Designer and Computer Artist, and one of the founders of Happy Puppy. She is the creator of numerous games and software products, including Boppin' , Shark Chums, Elsewhere, and many others. She has worked for such companies as Activision, Sculptured Software, Epyx, SRI, and Electronic Arts, and founded Accursed Toys. She has been active in the computer gaming industry since it's earliest days. She considers games to be works of artistic merit and achievement, and views computer entertainment as the most important media of our era.