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Yoshi’s Island Tour, Part 19: Conclusions

At long last, we’ve reached the end! And what an ending it is! After stretching those synthetic guitars to the limit for the final boss piece, we get a quiet, emotional, LttP-esque credits song. While most Mario games simply end with a return to status quo and fireworks, this one takes advantage of its prequel […]

Yoshi’s Island Tour, Part 18: Giant Killing

Alright, it’s finally time to storm King Bowser’s Castle. The title and map screen image alone are enticing. It may seem totally obvious in retrospect, but back before “Baby Bowser” was a thing, it wasn’t immediately clear just who was waiting for us in the final castle. A final, conclusive duel with Kamek seemed quite […]

Yoshi’s Island Tour, Part 17: The Best and the Worst

Shocking Discovery Time! After playing this game since 1995, I just realized that Bumpties (the blue, penguin enemies) can steal Baby Mario! This almost never comes up, since they can’t damage you directly, and their primary threat is knocking you toward pits/instantly lethal hazards. You almost have to go out of your way to get […]

Yoshi’s Island Tour, Part 16: Really Weird Names?

Go! Go! Morphing! Making use of all five vehicle transformations in a single stage seems like an obvious idea. DKC2 did something similar with its final stage, Animal Antics, so it’s kind of surprising that the SNES version does no such thing. I guess that just shows the value of hindsight. Fortunately, being able to […]

Yoshi’s Island Tour Part 15: It’s a Secret to Everybody!

Who’s ready for some secret levels? As mentioned in one of the first posts of the tour, each world has one stage that’s unlocked by simply beating the game (these are the GBA-exclusive levels), and one stage unlocked by getting 800 points from the world’s other stages (this means getting all perfect scores in the […]

Yoshi’s Island Tour Part 14: Moving Through Caves

The Very Loooong Cave. Hoo boy. This is undoubtedly the toughest non-secret stage of the game. Purple, you’re a trooper. Once again, we’re in a cave. Although this one still has some small patches of lava, it’s made up of blue rock, and has icicles (because it’d be a shame to never see those again […]

Yoshi’s Island Tour Part 13: Home Stretch

Alright, it’s time for the game’s final world! Yoshi is mysteriously transported to…an alternate dimension? A neighboring island? It’s not exactly clear, but it does have a uniquely desolate appearance. These locations can be hard to present in a way that doesn’t seem bland. Let’s see how World Six fares. The eponymous Scary Skeleton Goonies […]

Yoshi’s Island Tour Part 12: I Want to See Him Fly, Mummy!

I hope Purple enjoyed the breather in World Four, because it’s back to the usual post-fort punch. First, let’s talk about the eponymous Goonies. They’re great, and epitomize the spirit of the game. Their head and body is somehow one unit, with barely-visible feet poking out. They steadily gain altitude, flapping their wings, then swoop […]

Yoshi’s Island Tour Part 11: Winter is Coming

While each world so far has had a consistent theme, the fifth world takes things up a notch. For one, it actually transitions from the previous world’s castle. The final stretch and the Hookbill battle was high in the air, with mountains looming nearby. Now it’s time to scale them. Even as a kid, Blizzard […]

Yoshi’s Island Tour, Part 10: Revisiting Koopas

Things have really stepped up in the first half of this world. All four stages have stressed a greater mastery of jumping. There’s also been more emphasis on accurate egg-shooting, both for collecting and combat. Oh, and a lot of Koopa shell manipulation, because using whatever tools the environment provides is also a recurring element […]

Yoshi’s Island Tour, Part 9: Balloons!

We’ve fought our way through dense jungles, fighting monkeys Spear Guys, and many large creatures that want to eat us. Now, we come to…another forest. But wait, this one’s reddish instead of greenish! Let’s just jump into the stages, shall we? Go, Go, Mario kicks off with a hill full of classic foes: Piranha Plants, […]

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