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Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island (Game Boy Advance) Review

Review for Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi

The Game Boy Advance is being thought of more and more these days as the next generation SNES. With great new titles being released all the time, along with the many games of the 16-bit era that have been given a new lease of life on the handheld wonder, it really is a gem in the Nintendo game console collection. Arguably though, the updates of the old classics are what really make it shine. So here's another true relic that deserves be on the console, Yoshi's Island...

As the third in the Super Mario Advance series, Yoshi's Island was originally the SNES title Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, a game released near the end of the 16-bit period. The story is that a stork is interrupted on its quest to bring two brothers to their parents by a strange creature. One of the babies is captured, but the other falls through the dark clouds to the sea, seemingly to its death. However, (by amazing chance, I'm sure) he actually lands on the peaceful Yoshi's Island, right on Yoshi's back. From here your adventure starts. Yoshi must travel through the perilous lands on the island, faced with drops, spikes, moving platforms and a whole host of evil forces, in an attempt to finally re-unite the two brothers.

The difference between this and other Mario titles is that you play as Yoshi, as Mario is still a baby sitting on your back. The gimmick with this is that you can no longer die by hitting an enemy. If this happens baby Mario will float off your back, and you'll then have a certain number of seconds during which you must retrieve him. If you fail, then you lose a life. Of course, Yoshi also moves a lot differently to Mario. After you jump, if you hold the button down Yoshi will find some extra height by furiously pushing at the air with his legs.

Screenshot for Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island on Game Boy Advance - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Yoshi's eggs also play an important role in the game. By hitting the B button Yoshi will lash out his tongue, and if any enemy is in the way they'll be pulled into his mouth. You then have the option of spitting them out, or devouring them and making an egg from them. Eggs automatically trail behind you as you move, and can be aimed and thrown at enemies or switches by use of the shoulder buttons. This idea has been taken a long way, and how well you use eggs will be critical in whether or not you succeed.

If you're a total fanatic when it comes to Mario games, you'll no doubt spend hours trying to get a perfect score on every single level. The emphasis is on exploring every nook and cranny, every hole and every platform at every height. You see, hidden within the levels are twenty red coins, five flowers and thirty little stars that also increase the amount of time you have to recover Mario should you lose him. If you get good enough scores over each world you can unlock some bonus levels, and the more flowers you collect the more chance you have of being able to enter a mini game at the end of a level. This system of rewarding the player is all well and good, but in honesty, we'd explore the levels thoroughly even if there was nothing else that could be unlocked anyway. As it is, Yoshi's Island takes the exploration side of Mario platformers a step further, and this GBA version rewards dedicated players with extra bonus levels not found in the SNES classic.

All in all then this is a lovely game that is well worth a purchase. Well, what else did you expect us to say? After all, don't forget that Yoshi's Island is one of the best Mario games ever, so it makes perfect sense that it works so well on the Game Boy Advance. If you've never played the SNES version, it's essential, if you have, make your own descision. It's great to bring back those memories, and when you wear it out you can always have fun with the original Mario Bros. game, which also comes as standard in the package.

Screenshot for Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island on Game Boy Advance - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review


Exploration is a complete pleasure, boss fights are fun to overcome and we really can't fault it. A super adventure.


Just genuinely pleasant to look at, with bold colours, interesting detail and some quaint little effects.


Boasts the same cute sound effects that we've grown to love over Mario's twenty years of gaming.


Six large worlds comprised of eight levels should last you a while. On top of this, you have the replay value factor and the Mario Bros. game to enjoy.

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

The challenges in this game are always fun to beat, and it's clear from the outset that this title holds something very special. Fortunately, it never loses this edge, and you can enjoy every minute of it as we're sure many of you once did eight years ago.

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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (8 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

i've been having problems getting in since monday. tonight seems to be really bad for some reason, took me about 10mins and several hundred refreshs to get in.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

We'll be back and running full steam soon enough! :Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Kamon (guest) 27.10.2009 23:24#3

This needs to be put onto DSi Ware. I wanna try it out.

bob (guest) 02.02.2010 03:34#4

i like this game

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