Thanks to hanging out with my awesome niece and nephew, Uncle Pauly’s heard babies at their best, when excited for Cheerios or a new toy or that dangerously catchy tune from Thomas the Tank Engine, as well as at their worst, when the world is just crumbling apart and they have to go to bed instead of staying up with us cool adults who then get to have crazy, neck-and-neck games of Madden ’12 in the dark. Naturally, babies sound better when being amazed and amazing, laughing and playing in their own fantastic universe, not screaming for salvation.
Yoshi’s Island–well, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island if you want to be official with titles and all that–gets this, and that’s why Baby Mario screeches the moment he leaves Yoshi’s back. He doesn’t just cry, he bawls for home. He makes a sound that is unrelenting and uniform in its purpose, to stop all further plans save for the one that gets him back to his dino buddy. It’s excruciating in how effective it is though.
As you can tell, I’m working my way through Yoshi’s Island, level by level, tear by tear, and it’s a great time except when Baby Mario starts howling. Strangely, amazingly, I’ve never played this game with an actual controller. I missed out on it during its SNES heyday only to emulate it poorly on a computer with keyboard controls during my one of my four years in college and to now get it in late 2011 on my Nintendo 3DS for being a good ol’ supporter of expensive handheld consoles. There are some downsides to this, as despite how colorful the above screenshot is, the version on the 3DS gets stretched to fit an unfitting screen and thus loses a lot of pretty, becoming muted and occasionally muddy. But otherwise, the platforming remains solid and challenging, with enough variety to keep each level sempervirent; I believe y’all know that if you want to get dizzy, touch fuzzy.
I know the levels from the first two worlds extremely well, as that’s as far as I ever got thanks to the previously mentioned keyboard controls. Currently, I’m on World Two, at the final castle, and am looking forward to moving on to the next world for all things unknown. Many of the game’s tricks still work well today, especially the third dimensional stuff, even when on a system that loves that stuff and yet can’t make it more effective because it’s only a port of a GBA title and not something made specifically for the 3DS. Kind of a shame there. Let’s keep the crying down to a minimum. Especially you, Baby Mario. Especially you.