Saturday, 6 June 2015

Yoshi's Safari (SNES review)

Developer: Nintendo R&D1
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: 1993

Yoshi's Safari is a first-person rail-shooter that requires the Super Scope light gun.

There are 12 worlds that include beaches, deserts, underwater areas and Bowser's Castle. You play as Mario who rides on Yoshi's back while automatically moving along the level. A variety of familiar enemies try to stop you and you need to shoot them using the Super Scope. There are times when you'll need to jump over large gaps by pressing the Cursor button. You'll also notice large yellow barriers in the levels and if you shoot them another route will open up which occasionally houses power-ups. These could increase your Power metre (allowing you to shoot continuously for longer), give you temporary invincibility or provide you with a mushroom to top up your life. Mid-level bosses include Koopas that throw boomerangs and a giant octopus that fires tons of smaller octopi in your direction. The action is fast and hectic but the light gun works brilliantly. The levels are enjoyable but they're a bit short and I would have liked more expansive environments. The boss battles are amazing and they're the best part of the game. Each has its own unique attack pattern (as well as multiple forms) and it's a lot of fun figuring out the best method to defeat them. I particularly like the World 3 boss that emerges from pipes and you need to judge the correct moment to shoot the flying Anvil so it drops down and hits Wendy O. Koopa on the head. The game doesn't last long and it's also not difficult to beat as each time you're hit you take very little damage. The graphics are colourful and have some nice Mode 7 scaling but the backgrounds look a bit bland.

Although Yoshi's Safari doesn't have much replayability in the traditional sense it's such a unique experience that you'll want to play through the adventure multiple times. The levels are admittedly short but the boss battles make this game stand out as a great light gun game that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Random trivia: Yoshi's Safari features the first utterance of Princess Peach's name in a North American game. Previously, she was referred to as Princess Toadstool.

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