Oh no! It looks like your grandad was right--things really were better in the old days. Well, they were if you liked 2-D platform games, anyway, and Yoshi's Island is indisputably one of the best ever made.
In a laudable attempt not to rehash its immediate forebear Yoshi's Island goes back in time to recount the touching story of the various yoshis' attempts to unite Baby Mario with his parents. For the first time ever in a Mario game you don't actually control the Italian plumber-to-be but instead his dinosaur pal, who has the curious ability to eat his enemies and then immediately turn them into eggs which he can then fling at more enemies and/or politicians.
Since Yoshi isn't particularly fast and can float in mid-air for a few seconds after making a jump, the whole dynamics of the normal Mario gameplay have changed, but the same incredible attention to detail and endless imagination that mark all of Nintendo's best efforts are still here in full effect. In fact they're joined this time, after the rather plain looking prequel, by some wonderful pastel-shaded graphics that were jaw-dropping when the game was originally released in 1995 and still manage to impress now.
As with the other Super Mario Advance titles this game also contains a four-player version of the original Mario Bros. arcade game, making it even more of a bargain than it already was. --David Jenkins