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Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3

by Mike Sklens - May 21, 2002, 3:14 pm EDT
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Yoshi and that little whelper Baby Mario star in a game that is just too much fun not to play again!

One of the games previewed at the Nintendo Media Briefing before E3 was Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3. A revival of the classic sequel to the SNES game Super Mario World in which Yoshi must rescue Luigi from Baby Bowser and his broomstick-riding terrapin lackey Kamek, all the while tolerating Baby Mario's ear-piercing scream should you get hit. The original featured a new (at the time) SNES feature called "Morphmation," and it would be very interesting to see how they compact the graphic style of this technique into the GBA. Also unique to Yoshi’s Island was its plethora of crazy boss fights ( Raphael Raven comes to mind) and its excess of engaging puzzles.

Multiplayer is the same as the previous two Super Mario Advance games, which is to say Yohsi's Island: Super Mario features Mario Bros. as a second game attached to this one. As such, you should be able to link up to the previous Super Mario Advance games for some old school, POW-block smacking multiplayer action.

Last updated: 03/31/2001

Yoshi's Island was one of the hallmark titles on the Super Nintendo. It was a masterpiece. The plot was wacky. In a nutshell, you play Yoshi, actually a group of Yoshi's. Baby Mario falls from the sky (I guess the stork yawned) and you have to take him to meet up with his twin. So, the Yoshis decide to take Baby Mario across the island in a tag-team relay race style.

Although the game was billed as “Super Mario World 2," it was Yoshi’s first solo-platforming adventure, reversing the roles of hero & sidekick and giving Yoshi a world all his own to romp around in. There were several old and new enemies, along with some new friends, like Poochy, a helpful dog-like creature.

One of the things that made Yoshi's Island so great on the Super Nintendo was its graphics. The game had a very storybook feel, with several interesting textures. It really pushed the Super Nintendo too, with loads of innovative gaming moments.

One level stands out above all the others. “Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy" was its name. When you touched Fuzzy the game went crazy. The background got wavy, with waves moving up and down, and the foreground got incredibly hazy too, with waves moving left to right. Pretty trippy! The two separate movements made it quite hard to maneuver. To top that off, Yoshi started acting like he’d had one to many Jägermeisters and would actually stumble around a bit.

Another great thing about Yoshi’s Island was that it was challenging. Making it through the game with Baby Mario intact was no walk in the park! There were lots of worlds (including secret ones you had to unlock), oodles of mini-games and to experience it all, you had to be persistent. No wonder many platforming fanatics were disappointed to see the N64 sequel, Yoshi’s Story, more childish and a hell of a lot easier.

A little anecdote about Baby Mario: When Shigeru Miyamoto first designed it and had people play test it they would just let Baby Mario float away until they could grab him just before the timer ran out. He had to think of a way to get people to care about Baby Mario. So, he gave Baby Mario a high-pitched whine of a cry. He then handed it to the play-testers. As soon as they heard that cry they were flying after Baby Mario to grab him and shut him the hell up.

What should you expect from the Game Boy Advance version of this game? You should expect more of the same basically. The game will also probably feature a few upgrades. It’s possible to just repackage this fantastic game, but to make it a real seller they’ll probably have to include upgrades. One thing that I think was sorely missing from Yoshi’s Island was Yoshi Powers. In Super Mario World different color Yoshi’s had different powers. The green Yoshi was normal. His powers depended on what color shell he sucked up. The red Yoshi was the same, except that all shells made him spit fire, not just red ones. Obviously, the game can’t have you shooting fireballs every few levels when you get to use the red Yoshi, but it could easily incorporate color-based powers for the Yoshis. It’d just have to be shy guy color, and not shell color. Then Yoshi would have the option to either swallow the red shy-guy and shoot an egg or just spit him out in a fireball.

Including a multiplayer element would certainly be sweet and if Mario Advance (another Nintendo classic remade for GBA) is any indication, “Yoshi’s Island Advance" will likely take advantage of the link cable too. I don’t know exactly how it would be done but I imagine an arena style fight, like Mario Bros and Smash Bros, with eggs shooting out at each other. You could use the color shy-guy attacks also. It’s hard to imagine a four-player multiplayer element in Yoshi’s Island though if “battle mode" wasn’t utilized, there are numerous mini-games that could be modified to include competitive play via the link cable or even the Mobile GB adaptor.

Yoshi is a popular character. Kids love him, adults love him, everybody loves him. He’s so cute and adorable. Plus, Yoshi’s Island was a top-notch game. Its use of the Super Nintendo’s power made it a breakthrough game. I have full belief that if Nintendo brought this game to the GBA that it would sell just as well, if not better, than the SNES version.

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Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island Box Art

Genre Action
Developer Nintendo

Worldwide Releases

na: Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3
Release Sep 24, 2002
jpn: Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island
Release Sep 20, 2002
eu: Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3
Release Oct 11, 2002
aus: Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3
Release Oct 04, 2002
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