My Top 100: #56 – Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

1995 – Nintendo (Super NES, Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console)


I mentioned this in the Stunt Race FX and Donkey Kong Country posts, but Nintendo was pretty stoked about the Super FX chip and Advanced Computer Modelling.  Not surprisingly, the Super FX2 chip was in the works not long afterwards, and we’d get to see it in full force with a sequel to Super Mario World…  or, at least it would be called Super Mario World 2.

I wasn’t quite sure what was so superior about the FX2 chip, though.  The graphics for Yoshi’s Island looked like they had been drawn and colored in by a child.  How was this evolutionary?  The game had an interesting concept and all, but I really wasn’t sold on it.  I wanted something like Doom, something that would push the limits of my Super NES to the max.  Thankfully, that game was actually on its way.  Sign me up!

In the end, Super NES Doom turned out to be somewhat terrible.

I’m not sure if this is an urban legend of sorts, but Nintendo had apparently tasked Shigeru Miyamoto with creating a graphically amazing Mario title.  I can’t recall if the article I read stated that they wanted a free-roaming 3D title like what we ended up getting with Super Mario 64, or if they wanted a great-looking platformer that would really test their new hardware.  Convinced that gameplay was paramount and that graphics weren’t that important, Miyamoto-san went the opposite direction, and gave Nintendo his thoughts on what a new game in the beloved franchise should look like.

They liked it.  They’d find other ways to push the hardware within the game, but thankfully, they took a chance.



*Hey look, it’s the Klobb!!*

Just as I went to start this paragraph, I realized… right now, at this very moment, 17 years ago, on Halloween, was the day I got to see this video (I write a post a day before actually posting it, by the way).  Huh.  Amazing.  I remember it well, because my mom and I were expecting to be able to rent the game itself, but it wasn’t available – the cashier was nice enough to let us bring this preview video home for free, so long as we brought it back.

I don’t know what the heck my deal was that night, or who had pissed in my Corn Flakes that morning, but I was in no mood whatsoever to watch this video with my mom.  She was probably interested in seeing what the game was all about, but I knew they it’d be all in your face with the “RADICALS AND TUBULARS AND GNARLY, DUDES!!”  I didn’t want to watch that with my mom.  I was a teenager now, dammit.  I was too cool for that.

I eventually came off my high horse and relented, and watched the video in the link above, then went trick or treating.  What the hell was my problem, anyway?  Geez.

Moving on.

The game!  Yeah, well, it’s awesome.  The video explains everything I would say about the gameplay.  You carry (the real) baby Mario around, avoid getting hit so he doesn’t cry and annoy you to death, collect power ups and stars and flowers and coins to gain access to bonus levels, and throw Yoshi eggs like you just don’t care.  It’s awesome, and there are so many surprises and kinks thrown into the gameplay that it’s definitely worth playing through more than once.


When I think of the Yoshi character, my mind always flashes back to this… man, Mario Paint was cool.

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