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Yoshi's Island 2 - updated impressions

There are five different youngling versions of other Mario characters to carry and each of them bestows upon our saurian hero a different ability. Hitting judiciously placed 'stork switches' lets you toggle between them.

Other than Mario, who bestows his talent for butt-stomping, you'll be able to ferry an infant Peach, who uses her parasol to fly and glide; Donkey Kong, who can climb vines and swing between them; and Wario, who uses his magnet to suck up coins. Bowser, predictably, shoots fireballs.

As well as all this, the ever-popular enemy-eating, egg-firing mechanics remain intact. Yoshi can gobble up bad guys with his disturbingly long tongue, and either spit them out immediately or swallow them, creating a trail of eggs he drags behind him that can be used to blast at enemies.



We're hoping for a simple touch-screen aiming device as seen in the wonderful-but-limited Yoshi Touch & Go. Levels sprawled over both screens, allowing you to shoot at enemies both above and below you would be welcome, too. Nintendo has confirmed that there will be some kind of Wi-Fi online play, although it hasn't disclosed what it is yet. Yoshi battles? Cooperative play?

Like New Super Mario Bros., this is another return to classic gaming and, while the new additions are obviously welcome, don't expect a reinvention of the wheel (or, more appropriately, dinosaur). But then a little familiarity, when that familiarity is so splendid, never hurt anyone, did it?

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