I Never Did Like Yoshi's Island

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I Never Did Like Yoshi's Island

Let's all sit down, get comfortable, and be frank and honest about our retro opinions among friends. I never liked Yoshi's Island, not even in its first incarnation.

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I'll be blunt about this, Yahtzee.

I have gay friends.

I have Muslim friends. And Christian friends.

I even have friends who are actively disinterested in Doctor Who.

But not liking Yoshi's Island? That is it. That is where I draw the limit. I'm no longer watching your videos.

Okay so I'll still watch them but I'll scowl as I'm doing it

I personally rather enjoyed it, but yeah, I can dig why some of the aspects would grate.

This part is especially interesting to me, as I hadn't really stopped to consider it:

Also, in Super Mario World, secret paths lead to alternative exits from the level, that lead to new routes in the world map. Which is a highly tangible outcome, and one that rewards the player with more gameplay; to my mind the best kind of reward in a video game. In contrast, finding all the secrets in a Yoshi's Island level meant that you had found all the secrets, and little else. Yes, in Woolly World you can unlock an extra map in each world if you find every single flower in every other level, but that's a much taller order than finding one secret in one level.

That's actually an excellent point. The return to super-linear level progression as opposed to World's world map really did neuter what the secrets meant.
Beating that ghost house and finding the Secret Place that gave you mushrooms, flowers, feathers, lives and yoshis? An AMAZING payoff for finding the secret exit for the ghost house.

The secrets in Island though were just a virtual pat on the back and nothing else. Probably explains why I never bothered go really hunt for them.

Actually, I never played this one. In my household we always skipped a console generation. We got the original NES, but skipped the SNES and went straight to the N64. Then we skipped the Gamecube and . . . actually we switched to the PS2 at that point. But then I went and almost skipped the PS3, only getting one right before the PS4 came out.

Perhaps the difference between people who liked and disliked Yoshi's island boils down to what tolerance they have for parasitic protein mounds of destruction little bundles of joy.

Having never played it, I cannot say. It sounds like it could have been an attempt to condition us to accept and even "like" babies, effectively greasing us up to create more hard working numbers to add to the capitalist behemoth. And yes I am a communist!

I agree with more in this little essay than I thought I would, but I have something to get off my chest. Saying you didn't give a shit about the 100% completion, but taking time out to complain about it seems a little disingenuous. Before the needless defending starts: I know, it's a joke and it's fun to analyze opinions. This is just a trend I've noticed with our fast-talking friend over the years.

Sorry Yahtzee but this is all nonsense. Yoshi's Island is an amazing game.

See, Yoshi's Island introduced (to the core Mario series at least) the notion that there could be tiers of success. There was none of that in Super Mario World. You could end a level as tiny Mario, you could end it with two power-ups, a third in reserve, and a Yoshi standing proud and erect between your legs, but the game called that the same thing either way. A tick was a tick. That level was done, move on. Often the level wouldn't actually be done because there were secret paths and keyholes we could have taken, but the game would have the decency not to hang that over us, making the accurate assumption that a lot of us couldn't give a shit.

Yeah, no. This is exactly the same thing. Either you care about getting everything or you don't. If you care about getting everything, you want to get all the secret paths so the level doesn't glow red on the world map anymore and you see all the levels. In Yoshi's Island, if you care about getting everything, you get a perfect in each level so you can unlock the bonus stage.

Yoshi's Island was much more about challenge, a challenge of how much you want to put into it is how much you get out of it, which is why all the secret levels that get unlocked are the hard as nails ones. The game knows the people who want the challenge are the people who want to get everything, and not the people who blow through the levels not caring that they missed a flower.

There's plenty of little sublevels in the game whose only purpose is a short challenge course to get some of the red coins or flowers. These serve no purpose towards beating the level, they're ONLY there to challenge the people who want to get everything. This kind of design is not bad - it really WAS ahead of its time.

You could also deduce the presence of a secret in Super Mario World, if an area has a suspicious lack of a ceiling that might imply a hidden route up, or if you saw a keyhole missing a key.

If it weren't for Nintendo Power, would people REALLY have figured out that in Mario 3 if you duck for 5 seconds on white blocks that you fall behind the foreground layer? I mean, sure, someone would have eventually, but let's not pretend previous Mario games were so well designed in the secrets department. I think my favorite one in Super Mario World is the one where you have to go UNDER an end of level gate either by a crazy dive bomb with the cape or a suicide Yoshi. Good luck figuring that one out naturally!

Kinda far-fetched to relate level completition tiers to invisible walls and restricted linear paths. Mechanically, the first is totally optional; and the others are forced (no way around them).

PS: Thank God for Lenin

Pitchforks! Get your pitchforks here! Cheap and sturdy! Buy two, get a free torch!

MCerberus:
Pitchforks! Get your pitchforks here! Cheap and sturdy! Buy two, get a free torch!

I'll take twelve!

Anywho, I don't understand at all the criticism of the 100% flowers-and-coins collectathon. I don't know what else they can do, other than make it purely optional; it's there for people who enjoy that, like me. It's not "emphasis" to merely include an option that some people like. That's bollocks.

CaitSeith:
Kinda far-fetched to relate level completition tiers to invisible walls and restricted linear paths. Mechanically, the first is totally optional; and the others are forced (no way around them).

PS: Thank God for Lenin

His point is that Super Mario World rewarded exploring the level by unlocking more levels, branching the path and adding more fulfilling gameplay. In Yoshi's Island, it's just another tick on the checklist.

I get so sick of this kind of hipster pretentious overthinking. You had me at the Mario World secrets example only to lose me by comparing this kind of design to the AAA scene and communism. Yes Yoshi's Island has a grade system but besides opening an extra level, it doesn't require you to have the best grade in each level to finish the actual game and "story". It's optional. What the AAA scene does is FORCE you to get a 100 score to move on with the story. Yoshi's Island? That's just there for those hardcore enough to want to do it and the reward is often just another level. And a meaningless one often at that.

crazya02:

CaitSeith:
Kinda far-fetched to relate level completition tiers to invisible walls and restricted linear paths. Mechanically, the first is totally optional; and the others are forced (no way around them).

PS: Thank God for Lenin

His point is that Super Mario World rewarded exploring the level by unlocking more levels, branching the path and adding more fulfilling gameplay. In Yoshi's Island, it's just another tick on the checklist.

An optional tick. Much different than mechanically limit the player's freedom of movement with no other option.

I've never played Yoshi's Island, but I can see why certain people would love or hate that game... With that said, I always liked when rewards are the optional way of playing the game in general... "You don't have to get 100% to get the 'full story' in the game, but we will get you 'riches of plenty' if you're up for it", the video game proclaims as you decide if that's something you want to do anyway...

crazya02:

CaitSeith:
Kinda far-fetched to relate level completition tiers to invisible walls and restricted linear paths. Mechanically, the first is totally optional; and the others are forced (no way around them).

PS: Thank God for Lenin

His point is that Super Mario World rewarded exploring the level by unlocking more levels, branching the path and adding more fulfilling gameplay. In Yoshi's Island, it's just another tick on the checklist.

Except it's not. Getting 100% on all levels in a world unlocked an INCREDIBLE hard bonus level as well one of the "Level Finished" Minigames to play at any time (resulting in infinite lives and items if you got the Memory Game and played it a lot - but it also required you to 100% the 5th World, so that wasn't an easy task).
You could 100% those bonus levels as well and granted, that's just for bragging rights and didn't get anything in the end - and I suspect they simply kept it because every other level had it and removing it would be more effort than just changing a 0 to a 1 for 20 coins (as the flowers are still required anyway).

So, the whole 100%-complain here is wrong on the basis of Yathzee, for a rare change, not doing his research properly.

Queen Michael:
I'll be blunt about this, Yahtzee.

I have gay friends.

I have Muslim friends. And Christian friends.

I even have friends who are actively disinterested in Doctor Who.

But not liking Yoshi's Island? That is it. That is where I draw the limit. I'm no longer watching your videos.

Okay so I'll still watch them but I'll scowl as I'm doing it

Honestly, while Yahtzee is a generally a little bitch when it comes to Nintendo stuff, I have to agree with him here. I'm a massive Mario fan and I never liked Yoshi's Island. It was one of the few Mario games I only played way after the fact, and while I can appreciate the technological achievement for the SNES and the introduction of certain things I was only first exposed to in later Mario games, YI itself did little for me. The Baby Mario mechanic was incredibly obnoxious and outside of that, I just found the game boring. Did it look great? Did we get red coins, certain motifs, and various characters from it? Yeah, but that's about the only praise I'll give it. It's in the same boat as NSMB1: it gets credit for being a forebearer, but I don't think it stands very high on its own.

The thing about Yoshi's Island is that it might have been a collect-a-thon, but it was a well-designed collect-a-thon. There was an occasional secret hidden in an extremely stupid way (the one in the first world where you have to bump against a largely-nondescript section of ceiling springs readily to mind), but generally you found things where you expected them. But more important are the pause-menu powerups that would let you bump up to full health, refill your egg supply, or reveal all the red coins; they were just uncommon enough that you would want to save them only for when things got tricky. (Actually, you can just barely distinguish the red coins without that one powerup, but it's not particularly easy.)

The contrast is Yoshi's Island DS, and that is a study in poor game design - the developers looked at the original and did an elegant job of excising much of what made it fun and delightful, peppering it with overly-frustrating and unrewarding designs. Needless to say there are no powerups to provide that generous margin of error.

I haven't tried the 3DS version yet, but word is that one's botched pretty badly as well.

Thanatos2k:
Sorry Yahtzee but this is all nonsense. Yoshi's Island is an amazing game.

See, Yoshi's Island introduced (to the core Mario series at least) the notion that there could be tiers of success. There was none of that in Super Mario World. You could end a level as tiny Mario, you could end it with two power-ups, a third in reserve, and a Yoshi standing proud and erect between your legs, but the game called that the same thing either way. A tick was a tick. That level was done, move on. Often the level wouldn't actually be done because there were secret paths and keyholes we could have taken, but the game would have the decency not to hang that over us, making the accurate assumption that a lot of us couldn't give a shit.

Yeah, no. This is exactly the same thing. Either you care about getting everything or you don't. If you care about getting everything, you want to get all the secret paths so the level doesn't glow red on the world map anymore and you see all the levels. In Yoshi's Island, if you care about getting everything, you get a perfect in each level so you can unlock the bonus stage.

Yoshi's Island was much more about challenge, a challenge of how much you want to put into it is how much you get out of it, which is why all the secret levels that get unlocked are the hard as nails ones. The game knows the people who want the challenge are the people who want to get everything, and not the people who blow through the levels not caring that they missed a flower.

There's plenty of little sublevels in the game whose only purpose is a short challenge course to get some of the red coins or flowers. These serve no purpose towards beating the level, they're ONLY there to challenge the people who want to get everything. This kind of design is not bad - it really WAS ahead of its time.

You could also deduce the presence of a secret in Super Mario World, if an area has a suspicious lack of a ceiling that might imply a hidden route up, or if you saw a keyhole missing a key.

If it weren't for Nintendo Power, would people REALLY have figured out that in Mario 3 if you duck for 5 seconds on white blocks that you fall behind the foreground layer? I mean, sure, someone would have eventually, but let's not pretend previous Mario games were so well designed in the secrets department. I think my favorite one in Super Mario World is the one where you have to go UNDER an end of level gate either by a crazy dive bomb with the cape or a suicide Yoshi. Good luck figuring that one out naturally!

The thing is that World didn't tell you that you only did "ok" on a level. You cleared the level or you didn't there was no "OOOPS! You didn't get everything, remember that". And I think that alone is what bothers him. World doesn't even tell you that red levels are ones that have secrets you realize that on your own and decide to try and find all the secrets in the red worlds. They don't tell you that only 1/2 exits were found and give you a score of 50% even though you did finish the level itself.

I did. Because you can see it when you clear the level through the vanilla exit. Also he was comparing Yoshi's Island to Mario World and its innovations and design not Mario Bros. 3 so whats the point in bringing that up? It only furthers the point that they regressed.

thanatos388:
World doesn't even tell you that red levels are ones that have secrets you realize that on your own and decide to try and find all the secrets in the red worlds.

Actually, one of the info boxes in the game told you about the red levels. Also, a star appeared next to the number on one's save file once all the exits were found, though there was no way of knowing that in advance.

In Yoshi's Island doing 100% on every stage unlocked an extra level and a bonus level where you could stock up on items.

One of these items instantly awarded you with 10 or 20 stars. Since your star counter would always reset back to 10 (out of a possible 30), you could easily just make it to the finish line with 10 stars and then use a +20 star item before crossing the line. So long as you had one of those items on you - and farming them became pretty easy past world one - you didn't have to worry about stars at all.

I was a big fan of Yoshi's Island. I loved Super Mario World as well. But I liked the extra challenge. Much like I prefer Donkey Kong Country 2 & 3 over the first game, because of all the secrets and goodies that added replayability to every level.

Running after Baby Mario was obnoxious and not fun. Nobody likes escort missions, because most of them are done shoddily. And that's basically what Yoshi's Island is. One big long escort mission.

Walls that look like regular non-pass-throughable walls that hide secret goodies? Wtf? At least when Castlevania games since Symphony of the Night did that, there were collectibles that increased Max health and magic, even if I had to whip/slash every chunk of wall to do it. And Yoshi's not the only culprit, the Donkey Kong games have a lot of Kong koins and those letters that spell out KONG. At least they gave you extra lives.

MCerberus:
Pitchforks! Get your pitchforks here! Cheap and sturdy! Buy two, get a free torch!

Do you have a garden hoe? Or maybe a scythe.

crazya02:

CaitSeith:
Kinda far-fetched to relate level completition tiers to invisible walls and restricted linear paths. Mechanically, the first is totally optional; and the others are forced (no way around them).

PS: Thank God for Lenin

His point is that Super Mario World rewarded exploring the level by unlocking more levels, branching the path and adding more fulfilling gameplay. In Yoshi's Island, it's just another tick on the checklist.

Agreed. I didn't mind collectibles in GTA III because there was a cool (but not necessary) reward. In Assassin's Creed, there are 420 flags to pick up just so you can say you picked them up.

You can unlock 1 bonus and 1 secret level per map by 100%-ing it. Remember those question mark squares? They flip around after 100%-ing every level on the map.

Croshaw forgot, and so did all of you. If that's still worth complaining about, then that's the part he should be criticizing instead. Here's a video link to a walkthrough of said levels:

https://youtu.be/yAdIXPGG-nI

Well, Yoshi's Island did unlock some brutal bonus levels if you 100% all levels in a world... but I can see how that is too much work for not enough payoff, especially since the levels you unlock only really are there to kick your ass.

Yoshi's Island was one of my favorite games growing up. I never paid much attention to the completionist aspects, I don't think I ever unlocked any bonus levels ever. Just beating the damn game was hard enough for my 10 year old self.

That being said, now I want to go back and try all this stuff now.

Foolery:
Running after Baby Mario was obnoxious and not fun. Nobody likes escort missions, because most of them are done shoddily. And that's basically what Yoshi's Island is. One big long escort mission.

That's not true and you know it. You aren't escorting Baby Mario, you're carrying him on your back, he never get's in your way. It's only when you get hurt that his presence has any impact on gameplay, and it serves as a punishment for getting hurt.

strumbore:
You can unlock 1 bonus and 1 secret level per map by 100%-ing it. Remember those question mark squares? They flip around after 100%-ing every level on the map.

Croshaw forgot, and so did all of you.

o rly?

Thanatos2k:
In Yoshi's Island, if you care about getting everything, you get a perfect in each level so you can unlock the bonus stage.

LordTerminal:
Yes Yoshi's Island has a grade system but besides opening an extra level

Johnny Novgorod:
In Yoshi's Island doing 100% on every stage unlocked an extra level and a bonus level where you could stock up on items.

I totally dig what are you saying. I'm playing Geometry Wars 3 now and I don't feel like advancing until a finish the level with three stars. But the difference between two and three stars is the difference between slightly good and merge itself with the controls.

Eh, count me as one of those who found the Baby Mario mechanic too annoying to enjoy the game. Never got past the 2nd level.

Granted this was way back when I sucked at video game so maybe someday I'll give it another try.

Foolery:
Running after Baby Mario was obnoxious and not fun. Nobody likes escort missions, because most of them are done shoddily. And that's basically what Yoshi's Island is. One big long escort mission.

I agree with this mostly except I do feel it would've been at least tolerable if he didn't make the most annoying noise in the world when he was in that bubble. That's the point where I say Mario's mother should've had an abortion, just so I wouldn't have to deal with that screaming.

To be honest a good deal of my nostalgia for Yoshi's island comes from just messing around in the worlds after my older brother had beaten them. In particular I remember one where most of the world was made of yellow gunk that you could break with an egg, and that was a good 14 years before Minecraft even existed so I liked to imagine building a game where you could build a house out of that stuff. I think it was the start of level 3-5.

I think I would have really enjoyed this game if it didn't have that constant wailing, it just grates on me. Once I finished it, I was done. Oh, and I guess I wasn't a big fan of the targeting either. Now Super Mario World....I definitely enjoyed that, and I think the hidden exits/alternate pathways contributed to that mightily.

Well, that's okay. I never played it. So, we're even.

I loved Yoshi's Island, and hated Yoshi's Island 2, Yoshi's Story, and passed on the new ones since they didn't look interesting.

I loved Yoshi's Island so much I even got Tetris Attack, and wrecked all my friends.

The only part of Yoshi's Island I didn't like much was the final boss fight, the helicopter, and some of the harder skiing sections.

The music, graphics, and level design were just excellent. Even compared to more modern games, not just Mario series its a good platformer.

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