Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
|Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island|
North American box art
|Series||Yoshi, Super Mario|
|Release date(s)||SNES/Super Famicom
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (スーパーマリオ ヨッシーアイランド Sūpā Mario: Yosshī Airando?, "Super Mario: Yoshi's Island"), commonly referred to as Yoshi's Island, is a platform video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Super Family Computer/SNES console. Despite its North American and European title, this game serves as a prequel to all other games within the established Mario Bros. timeline. While featuring Nintendo's trademark Mario character, the game's graphics and gameplay differed from all previous Mario games in that players control various Yoshi dinosaurs rather than Mario himself, who appears as a helpless infant.
Yoshi's Island was released on August 5, 1995 in Japan, October 4, 1995 in North America and October 6, 1995 in Europe. A port was made for the Game Boy Advance as Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi Island + Mario Brothers (スーパーマリオアドバンス3 ヨッシーアイランド+マリオブラザーズ Sūpā Mario Adobansu Surī: Yosshī Airando Purasu Mario Burazāzu?) in Japan and as Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 in other countries. However the Game Boy Advance version was made available free for download to those who had purchased a Nintendo 3DS system before August 2011. A sequel for the Nintendo DS, Yoshi's Island DS, was released in 2006.
Yoshi's Island received overwhelmingly positive reviews and is widely considered one of the greatest platformers ever made. The game sold about 4,000,000 copies after release.
During the Nintendo Direct on February 13, 2014, Nintendo announced Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi’s Island would be among the first three Game Boy Advance games to be released on the Nintendo Wii U eShop in the United States. However, it was later announced that it would be released on April 24, 2014 after Advance Wars was to become one of the first three games to be released on the service.
Following a linear pattern, the goal of each level sees the player controlling a Yoshi in order to safely escort Baby Mario to the end and pass him onto another Yoshi. If Yoshi is struck by an enemy or obstacle, Baby Mario will be sprung from Yoshi's back and float around in a bubble crying while a timer counts down, requiring Yoshi to try and recover him by popping its bubble. If Yoshi does not reunite with Baby Mario before the timer reaches 0, Baby Bowser's minions will kidnap him and the player will lose a life, beginning from the start of the level or a mid-way checkpoint. The timer will automatically recover to 10 shortly after recovering Baby Mario, although players can collect little stars in order to increase the timer to a maximum of thirty. Although Yoshi can take numerous hits so long as the timer hasn't counted down, certain situations, such as landing on lava, falling down a bottomless pit, or touching spikes, will instantly cause Yoshi to lose a life regardless of how much time he has left.
Yoshi has a unique set of controls that separate the game from other titles in the Mario series. Along with jumping on most enemies, Yoshi can perform a flutter jump that allows him to reach higher areas or cross large gaps, and can also perform a ground pound which can be used to smash through crates or push down stumps. Similar to Super Mario World, Yoshi can grab enemies with his tongue and can spit them out at other enemies. By swallowing enemies he grabs with his tongue, Yoshi can produce up to six eggs which he can aim and throw at enemies or obstacles such as small clouds that can spout forth items or trigger events within the level. Eggs can be ricocheted off walls to reach areas and items Yoshi can't reach by himself. Certain coloured eggs will also produce coins or other items upon hitting their target.
In certain areas, players can collect a Starman which puts players in control of 'Super Baby Mario' for a short amount of time. In this form, Baby Mario is invincible, can run up walls and ceilings and glide with his cape. Additionally, certain areas will features boxes which allow Yoshi to temporarily transform into various vehicles such as a car, a submarine, a helicopter or a digger, which can be used to access new areas. At the end of each level, a roulette spins for a chance to enter a bonus stage to win items, the odds increasing depending on how many flowers Yoshi has collected in the level. Any items won can be accessed in the pause menu to give Yoshi bonuses such as extra stars or eggs. Depending on how many flowers, red coins and remaining health Yoshi has at the end of the level, the player can earn a score out of 100. Additional stages can be unlocked by getting perfect scores on all the main levels within a world.
While a stork carries two babies across the sea, the evil Magikoopa Kamek emerges, and attempts to steal both of the babies. Kamek manages to grab Baby Luigi, but Baby Mario falls onto an island in the middle of the sea, called Yoshi's Island, home to all Yoshis. He lands on a green Yoshi, who was apparently taking a walk. The Yoshi clan, accompanying Baby Mario, must journey through the game's six worlds to rescue Baby Luigi and free the stork from Baby Bowser and Kamek. Throughout the game, Kamek tries to stop Yoshi by dispatching his minions all across the island and by using magic spells to transform normal enemies into more powerful creatures that further impede Yoshi's progress.
When Yoshi finally reaches Bowser's Castle, Kamek demands that Yoshi gives back Baby Mario. Suddenly, Baby Bowser wakes up and attempts to ride Yoshi, but Yoshi fights Baby Bowser until the latter becomes unconscious. Kamek then uses his magic to enlarge Baby Bowser to a gigantic size, destroying most of the castle in the process. After being defeated by Yoshi, Baby Bowser is reverted to his normal size and faints. Kamek is horrified and vows to return before flying off with Baby Bowser towards the moon.
Yoshi then frees the captured stork and Baby Luigi. The stork flies the reunited twins far away to the Mushroom Kingdom where their parents live. At dawn, the couple emerges from their mushroom-shaped home to see the pair of infants on their porch.
The game uses the Super FX 2 microchip to create sprite scaling, polygon effects, and pre-32-bit computer effects called "Morphmation" (in American commercials) that are relatively advanced for a SNES game (a preliminary version of the boxart featured the Super FX 2 logo). The game's unique graphical style is said to have resulted from a conflict with Nintendo's internal evaluation committee; impressed by the recently released Donkey Kong Country, which sported pre-rendered graphics, they ordered the game's producer, Shigeru Miyamoto, to move the visuals in this direction. Miyamoto altered the graphics to look as if they had been drawn with crayons and felt-pens, making them more cartoonish, and resubmitted it to the evaluation committee, who passed the game. Some of the cutscenes do, however, show pre-rendered graphics, done in a rather different form that looks more like the gameplay graphics. Eventually, the sequel, Yoshi's Story, made full use of digitized 2D graphics of high resolution 3D models like Donkey Kong Country did.
Reception and legacy
The game was critically acclaimed. Electronic Gaming Monthly gave Yoshi's Island its award for Best Action Game of 1995. GamePro gave the game a 4.5/5 rating. GameRankings.com gives Yoshi's Island a composite review score of 96%, based on five reviews. Yoshi's Island sold about four million copies. The game placed 22nd in Official Nintendo Magazine's 100 greatest Nintendo games of all time, later 18 in the 2002 remake. Next Generation Magazine called it the "high-water mark in 2D gaming." The game has garnered a huge cult following since its release. Yoshi's Island has often appeared on lists of "greatest games of all time."
Yoshi's Island also proved to be a critical and commercial hit in its Game Boy Advance version, Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, which was released in 2002.
Several of Yoshi's moves that debuted in Super Mario World 2 appeared again in later games. These include the Egg Throw, the Flutter Kick, and the Ground Pound. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a stage heavily based on the version of Yoshi's Island portrayed in Super Mario World 2 was featured.
2013's Sonic Lost World features a Yoshi's Island- inspired DLC (referred to in-game as "Yoshi's Island Zone"), as part of the partnership of Sega and Nintendo for Sonic the Hedgehog games to appear exclusively on Nintendo consoles. It combines both the gameplay mechanics of Sonic games and that of Yoshi's Island, such as the former's speed-based gameplay, and the eggs of the latter which will grant the player 1-ups.
Sequels and spin-offs
The semi-sequel Yoshi's Story was released for the Nintendo 64 and featured similar gameplay, but is generally considered to be of a lower quality. The series has seen two spin-offs: Yoshi Touch & Go for the Nintendo DS and Yoshi's Topsy-Turvy for the Game Boy Advance. While unrelated in basic gameplay, the characters and graphical style are heavily based on those of Yoshi's Island.
Yoshi's Island DS, released on November 13, 2006 for the Nintendo DS, is the most direct sequel and incorporates many of the same gameplay aspects. Unlike Yoshi's Island, it now also features Princess Peach, Donkey Kong, Bowser, and Wario joining Mario as infants and omits the use of items and other power-ups.
Yoshi's New Island, announced on April 17, 2013 on Nintendo Direct, for the Nintendo 3DS. It is a return to the franchise, supposedly keeping the original mechanics and feel of the other two. A trailer revealing gameplay footage was shown along with the announcement. It was released on March 14, 2014.
Remakes and re-releases
The original version of the game has yet to be released for the Virtual Console service on any system due to licensing issues with the Super FX 2 chip, but Nintendo has released the Game Boy Advance version to those who are 3DS Ambassadors, and Nintendo confirmed during their February 2014 Direct announcement that this same Game Boy Advance version will be available on the standard Wii U Virtual Console.
Game Boy Advance version
The game featured no changes to its basic formula besides voice samples from Yoshi's Story were used. There were two major additions, however: six new levels called "Secret levels" could be unlocked after beating the game, and the Mario Bros. mini-game that appeared on all the Super Mario Advance series. If a player completes the game and gets 100 points on all 60 levels in the game, a secret ending will occur.
Like its two predecessors, Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 had generally positive reviews. It sold 1.6 million copies in North America and was re-released in 2006 as a Player's Choice title.
The Game Boy Advance version was included in the list of other Game Boy Advance games (and NES games) for the 3DS Ambassador Program, an initiative from Nintendo thanking the early adopters of the Nintendo 3DS after its worldwide price drop in August 2011, in response to lower than anticipated sales figures.
This version of the game has been confirmed to be re-released for the Wii U Virtual Console on April 24, 2014.
Nintendo 3DS version
At E3 2010, a tech demo titled "Classic Games" was unveiled, showing multiple Nintendo games being played on the Nintendo 3DS with enhanced 3D features. It was revealed by Reggie Fils Aime that these titles, specifically mentioning Yoshi's Island, Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros., Mega Man 2 and The Legend of Zelda will appear on the 3DS. "Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said not to think of them as remakes." Shigeru Miyamoto said that these classics might be "using new features in the games that would take advantage of the 3DS' capabilities." However the Game Boy Advance version was made available free for download in December 2011 as one of the 10 Game Boy Advance games for ambassadors who bought a Nintendo 3DS system before price cut in August 2011.
On April 17, 2013, Nintendo announced a third addition to the series to be released on the Nintendo 3DS. A video was released alongside the announcement which shows early footage of the game in production. The release date was set for March 14, 2014, and the game appears to follow the same formula as its predecessors. Notable differences include the use of pre-rendered sprites and 3D graphics, instead of 2D art scheme of the original. At E3 2013, the game was announced as Yoshi's New Island, developed by Arzest as the second sequel after Yoshi's Island DS.
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