|Title: Yoshi's Island: Super Mario World 2
Rom Player: SNES9x
Synopsis: Nintendo sure knows how to make teenagers and young adults look downright embarrassing. Try being 21 years old and having your girlfriend catch you playing this thing willingly.
Yoshi's Island, while technically a sequel, is actually a PREQUEL. In this game, Baby Bowser has kidnapped the Stork while en route to deliver the twin baby bundles of joy who will grow up to be the Mario Brothers to their expectant parents. As Yoshi and his multicolored brethren, your job is to rescue the baby Luigi and the stork from Baby Bowser, all while making sure you don't lose Baby Mario.
Gameplay revolves around making sure you get through the levels in each of six worlds without losing the baby Mario. You gather stars, flowers and other various objects in this game to bump up your scores, and if you manage to get 100% of all items in the world, you open up two bonus levels, which are truly a challenge to finish 100%.
Graphics in this game are above and beyond what you would expect. While looking simple, like a children's drawing, the effect it has on the look of this game is simply breathtaking. Now if I'd have known Nintendo was going to make this game, I would've saved all my Kindergarten fingerpaintings and sold them to the Big N for a hefty share of the profits. But the beauty of it lies in its simplicity, and the effect is wonderfully pulled off.
Music is your standard SNES fare, which translates into mood music (ie if you're in a flowery field, the music is upbeat, if you're in a cave, the music gets dreary)It fits the game to a T for what it's worth, and gets its intended effect across. However, the score is going to plummet dramatically when you factor in the FUCKING AGGRAVATING WAY Mario shrieks if he's knocked off of Yoshi's back. Nintendo should've given us earplugs with this game for this one part alone.
Overall, this is a wonderful game, you will be amazed how absorbing it is, but like I said, just make sure you're not playing it if you're trying to put on a bad-ass image. Somehow, a badass loses all credibility playing a cutesy game with Crayola graphics and cutesy music. Oh well, you can always try a computer dating service.
Originality is this game's strongest point. While finding 100% of the items you are to collect in each level was still a fresh idea in YI's heyday, it was one of the first games to implement it. Also, it's nice when you more or less cannot die unless Mario is separated from Yoshi for too long. It gave you a new objective, it wasn't simply "avoid the traps or you will die", it was "at least I know I can get through a trap, but I must get Mario back as quickly as possible", although the incessant whining the infant plumber tosses out at you almost makes you want to say "OK, FUCK THIS! YOU CAN HAVE HIM, BOWSER!"
Best Cheats: On the World Map Level screen, input the button combination X Y B B A and you should be able to unlock all the minigames Yoshi's Island has to offer.
Game Play: 9
Overall Rating: 8
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