It’s a good thing Yoshies don’t have ears

Kids. They’re okay, right?

I mean, sometimes they can be cute, charming, and/or entertaining; but sometimes they can be rambunctious, devilish, and/or draining. Oh, and loud. Very, very loud. So saying that I successfully made it through the 2D platformer Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island — y’know, the one with baby Mario — is saying a lot.

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island cover art © Nintendo (source)
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island cover art © Nintendo (source)

This isn’t to say that Yoshi’s Island was a bad game — it absolutely wasn’t. In fact, I enjoyed it even more than the first Super Mario World because you got to play as Yoshi ALL THE TIME. You got to throw eggs at everything and eat all the Shy Guys! You got jump high, roll boulders, and collect flower points and stars. What’s not to love about all that?! Unfortunately, in return for all the fun, you had to transport baby Mario through each level. Why baby Mario of all people? Because Yoshi’s Island told the story of Mario’s origins (and Luigi’s, as if anyone cared). Side note: how Mario developed feelings for Princess Peach or wanted “human” contact of any kind is beyond me, because he and his brother were delivered from storks. Anyway, at the beginning of Yoshi’s Island, the evil magikoopa Kamek intercepted two storks carrying baby Mario and baby Luigi. Kamek only managed to capture baby Luigi (Kamek was no doubt rightly pissed), while baby Mario safely fell hundred of miles to earth, because, of course. And where did he land but on Yoshi’s Island! Because Yoshies are awesome, they decided to take it upon themselves to not only rescue baby Luigi from baby Bowser (you’re sensing a “baby” theme here, right?), but also transport Mario along for the ride.

Eat or rescue? Tough call. (source)
Eat or rescue? Tough call. (source)

Yoshi’s Island had one of the odder stories in the Mario canon, but it worked, especially since it was set in the super happy fun time world of the Yoshies. Truly, the game looked amazing on the SNES. Yoshi’s Island had a “hand drawn,” almost coloring book style, with dark outlines encasing rainbow-bright shades of every color possible. Except for the enemies, everything smiled at you and happily beckoned you through each level. There were six levels (and additional levels could be unlocked by gathering perfect scores), but each level had eight stages, so it wasn’t a short game by any means. As Yoshi, you had his trademark eating and egg-producing abilities, along with his extra boost when it came to jumping. But Yoshi’s Island introduced a new (wait, was it new?) mechanic – egg throwing. Yep, your lovely little Yoshies could collect up to six eggs at a time and aim them at different power-ups/enemies/obstacles. Seriously, one the dumbest and most delightful things about Yoshi’s Island was watching all your little eggs bounce along behind you just waiting to become cannon fodder! Stupid cute that was! Ooo, it makes me so happy just thinking about it.

So maybe it would have been nice if the eggs could have been more than just cute... (source)
So maybe it would have been nice if the eggs could have been more than just cute and launchable… (source)

Which brings me to that which I made me very unhappy — baby Mario. Oh sure, he was cute at first in his wittle red hat and diaper, but first impressions weren’t everything. Yoshi’s Island compelled you to carefully traverse each level because if baby Mario got hit, he’d end up in a floating bubble, crying his eyes out until you rescued him. And I don’t mean just sniffly sobbing; I mean repetitive WAILING over and over and over until he was saved. And not only was that annoying, but when he ended up in that bubble of shame, a timer counted down from 10, which gave you limited time to save him. If the timer reached zero, Mario got kidnapped and you lost a life. Yeah, thanks Mario, you DUMB BABY. Now most of the time, rescuing Mario wasn’t that big a deal. But sometimes, I swear the damn bubble mechanics were just terrible. He’d float away off screen or “underneath” the “ground” to a point I would have never been able to reach. Yeah, thanks, you DUMB BUBBLE. Ooo, it makes me so mad just thinking about it.

Just god-DAMN-it. (source)
Argh! Just HANG ON and give me a sec to clear the way, damn-it. (source)

Yoshi’s Island is a dichotomous game, and you gotta take the good with the bad in life, right? Baby Mario as a noise maker really didn’t detract from this superbly fun game. I’d play it again in a heartbeat (pretty sure it’s in the Wii Shop, yes?), but I’d make damn sure to keep baby Mario in his place and out of any stupid bubbles.


  1. […] Yoshi – what do you get when you mash together a transportation system and a sidekick? Yoshi! His happy smile and quick tongue made him a star in Super Mario World; and that star has only gotten brighter over the years. True, he’s been less helpful in some games than others, but he’s still pretty awesome as far as Mario characters go. […]


  2. Never played this game, but getting to play as Yoshi all the time looks fun. Having to deal with stupid baby Mario, not so fun. Why can’t they just leave baby Mario with other Yoshis to watch after him, and then go on to find baby Luigi (like anyone would care if he got saved, though…)? Why bring a baby along on an adventure anyway? Everyone knows babies are obnoxious and not adventure-worthy. Games are so illogical.


  3. So, how did you like Donkey Kong and Wario crying in the DS game? I personally wanted to throw the princess off of a cliff when she started screaming as loud as she did.


    • I had to go find some video of this, just to make sure that I hadn’t actually played the DS version and then somehow forgot about it. And OMFG, I certainly have not played the DS version because I never, ever would have been able to forget any of those other wails! Wario’s cry alone made me want to punch my computer. And the princess…oh man, NO THANK YOU! Tell you what, let’s forget about the babies and have a game that just involves Yoshi eating things and throwing eggs….oh wait. That’s been done. Yoshi’s Story. And that sucked. Dammit.


  4. I played the DS version of Yoshi’s Island. I haven’t finished it, but I feel your pain about the bubble stuff. I would panic and get pissed if I couldn’t get baby Mario back in time. I really need to finish the game, but it is a lot of fun.


    • I only recently found out there was a DS version of the game, and I’m sure it’s just as great as the original. However, I cannot imagine hearing baby Mario in my ears! It’s bad enough through the TV — to have that crying travel directly into my brain would probably drive me mad(der than I already am, haha.)


  5. THROUGH?! You made it THROUGH the game!? Incredible. Over and over again people tell me the gameplay merits of that game, and I acknowledge that they must exist, but the shrieking of that baby . . . I can’t play long enough to find them.


    • Hey Laurie! I swear to anyone that if they can get past baby Mario, this is truly an awesome game! It really is fun playing as Yoshi, throwing eggs at everything. “No pain, no gain” sort of applies here…it’s worth enduring the crying for the overall experience!


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