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Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

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Reviewed by David Ruocco Yoshi's Island: Super Mario World 2 is everything a great game should be. It is fun, innovative and charming. The game was designed to take advantage of the Super FX chip which allows the scaling and rotating of objects. But behind the innovation, the same tried and true gameplay of previous Mario outings remains as strong as ever - collect the coins, bounce on enemy heads and reach the end of each increasingly difficult level. In Yoshi's Island, you control Yoshi rather than Mario (baby Mario rides on top). Yoshi's abilities make the game bags of fun. Using his tongue, Yoshi can grab an enemy character, swallow them and lay an egg which he can use to fire at enemies or collect bonuses. Yoshi can also hover in the air by madly flapping his arms, dive to the ground to break objects, use watermelon pips as a machine gun, and turn himself into a flamethrower by eating a fiery monster. Other innovative features allow Yoshi to be transformed into a submarine, helicopter and car to access new areas. All the new features extend the game greatly, allowing for more complex levels and a lot more variety. The Super FX elements are great too, allowing falling drawbridges, see-saws, spinning platforms and a battle on the moon. There's even a cool psychedelic effect if Yoshi eats a magic mushroom on one of the forest levels. Like all previous Mario outings, the game is very simple to get into while offering a significant long-term challenge. The difficulty level increases perfectly as you go along, and there's plenty of hidden treats for those that persevere. Yoshi's Island is a superbly crafted game. It's innovative while still keeping all the elements of a classic platform game. A must buy for Super NES owners.

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