NuMetalManiak Reviews: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island + ROM hacks.

NuMetalManiak I said I'd review it, and I keep my word. Yes, Super Mario World 2, also known as Yoshi's Island, was the classic Yoshi game, yet it only gets mentioned once or twice whenever people think of greatest Mario games of all time. But I liked this game, quite tough at times, not to mention Yoshi's mechanics are significantly different than Mario or other platformers. Of course, Yoshi first made his most notable appearance in the first Super Mario World, but he was simply the loyal steed that Mario could use to aid on his journey. In this game, he's a full-on main character guiding the little Baby Mario. The hand-drawn and babyish look the game has adds to the charm.

Gameplay: So Yoshi's mechanics are more than the gulping thing we saw in the previous Super Mario World, and we don't get to see the same special abilities upon eating Koopa shells in that game as we did here. The game, much like many other Mario games, gives basic tutorials on Yoshi's main functions, the same kind of functions that get reused in Super Smash Bros and other games Yoshi is a star in. Egg laying and throwing, the signature hovering jump, and ground pounds all end up in those games. In this game, the Yoshi's guide Baby Mario, but upon getting hit, Baby Mario floats in a bubble wailing his lungs out while the timer counts down. Yes, Baby Mario has the trademark cry (that ended up MUCH MORE ANNOYING in the Super Mario Advance remake of the game), but it serves its purpose well enough for the player to be getting that Baby back on Yoshi's back. And of course, there's regular lives in the game, which will be lost if Baby Mario is caught or Yoshi falls into something lethal.

The levels Yoshi has to go through are quite varied, with numerous enemy types dotting the destined landscapes. There's six worlds, and the Yoshis must go through eight levels in each one with no shortcuts. Rather admirably, this is one of the few Mario-related games with no warping features at all, meaning that the player must go through a minimum of 48 stages. Though there is an extra stage if you 100% the individual ones in a stage, plus a bonus minigame that usually pops up at the end with some luck. The Advance version of the game had Secret levels, which I outlined in the review for that. There's other things in the game as well, such as morphing segments, the invincibility star that lets you control Baby Mario, and the hut minigames. 100% completion involves maxing the star counter, collecting the 20 red coins, and the 5 flowers. Very hard work, but for the main game, I decided to do just that.

There's not much plot in this game. In fact, it's all outlined in the opening of the game, so I won't go into the detail about it. Kamek ends up being a legacy villain, one of Bowser's most loyal companions, and in this game, ends up taunting Yoshi all the time in the forts and castles that serve as the fourth and eighth stages. Then he basically uses magic on the main boss of the chambers, which doesn't seem that harmful at first, but hey Kamek wants to make it a boss fight so he enlarges the creatures. Yet the thing I find noticeable is how every boss is both predictable and easy. Once you got down what you need to do, you wouldn't need any help with beating any boss in the game. The only boss that even was hard to some extent was Baby Bowser himself in the final battle, which required an awkward aim for throwing giant eggs. But these bosses were sure easier than the stages they were in sometimes.

So overall, Yoshi's Island stands the test of time to this day, spawning quite a few sequels (like the DS one, which is very easy on onset but spikes in difficulty pretty shortly) and it remains a somewhat forgotten classic. I rarely hear a lot of talk about this game to be honest.

ROM Hacks: I haven't played every ROM hack I've known of this game, but there are some out there. I'll do my best to avoid any Kaizo hacks (you ought to know what those are, if not please look them up). Overall though, I've completed two hacks, SMW2+ and SMW2+2, both by the same author, Golden Yoshi. SMW2+ has 54 levels, all of which are themed accordiingly, but no real changes. Meanwhile, SMW2+2 is a further enhancement, with new levels and even level icons. I strived for 100% in this one as opposed to SMW2+, as not only do you unlock the extra level, but a secret one as well with full 100% completion of a world. There are 50 levels, and only 5 worlds. Also there's gray Yoshi for the extra stages and a black Yoshi for the secret stages. And the special one, the Golden Yoshi (hey author lol), is the one you play as for the final stage.

Currently, I'm playing through Kamek's Revenge. No, not the extra stage of World 5, an actual ROM hack. It's incredibly rough from the get-go. Will eventually play and review that one as well as two others. But hey, Yoshi's Island. What can I say. Incredibly fun game.


Ah yes. Super Mario World 2 was a fantastic game. Good to see people remember it. - ShigeruMiyamoto