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Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 review
Meh
by XV

When I was a kid I didn't own a SNES so I couldn't play this game on its time, now, the years have come, and as an adult, sadly I find a lot of issues within this game.

The first thing that came to my mind while playing this game and a thing that was so hard to get past, is that this isn't a Super Mario game, or at least not in a conventional way, the controls are tight and responsive but the level design is frustrating and unintuitive, it has some verticality and a puzzle design that simply doesn't work, and a lot of times you'll find yourself just wandering around in circles because of its maze-like environments, the navigation is not that fun, but what makes it more annoying is the baby mechanic: if an enemy or projectile hits you, automatically Mario will be floating on an erratic bubble, and if you don't touch him in a specific set of time, you'll lose that life, in theory, this will be fun and challenging, but given the number of projectiles, annoying patterns and enemies that came out of nowhere it seems more like a cheating mechanic to make it more "challenging".

As I said before, this is not a Super Mario game, so you can't advance the stages at a speedy pace if you like, instead, you regularly find stages that put you in a platform that automatically navigates the stage while you avoid things, sometimes they're a little challenging but more often than not they're too boring, and if you for some reason die on any part, you have to restart from the very beginning, it may sound like I want an easy challenge or a lot of checkpoints but the fact that you have to wait instead of jumping and running in a platform, it really kills the mood. Although almost my entire time was painfully in this game, there are certain commendable things like the soundtrack, each song it's pretty good and has a lot of memorability and style, the only bad thing is that there are few songs, so you'll listen to them more than necessary.

The art direction is an obvious thing to praise, and with good reason, it is simply beautiful and stylish, not only the sprites are great but it seems that they recreate the concept art on point. Finally, the thing that I enjoyed the most, were the boss fights, they sweat creativity and exploit the particular art style to the point that makes you think how this game doesn't have more bosses than stages. As a little side note I loved stage 6-7 it felt quite a lot like a great platformer and it was challenging and fun, if only the other stages were more like it...

Sadly, Yoshi's Island wasn't what I've expected, at a glance at this review it may be that I didn't grasp the mechanics but I'm pretty sure that it was more a design issue, nonetheless, I can hardly recommend it to anyone who likes Super Mario games or platformers in general.
«Game over at last!»