Do you consider Yoshi to be a major Mario spin-off or its own game series?


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In case you were living under an egg, Yoshi managed to have a good amount of games under his name, beginning from not long after his debut in Super Mario World, with Yoshi (GameFreak) being the first in line. While it's true that the games are named after Yoshi, something that you might have noticed, especially in the earlier games, is that Yoshi isn't really the main character. Instead, Mario tends to be the main player even in Yoshi's games, that is until Yoshi started taking charge in "Super Mario (World 2): Yoshi's Island". It wasn't until Yoshi's Story where Yoshi personally took charge, since Mario is no where to be found in the game.

In spite of Yoshi being on his own, with his own island to play around with, a lot of elements are borrowed from Mario games, which is best seen in his platformers. For one, Shy Guys are the main enemies of the games, and they essentially originate from the Mario games. Even Koopa Troopas appear, and let's not forget that the main villains of the games are Kamek (a Magikoopa who is no different from a regular Magikoopa) and Baby Bowser, with Bowser appearing in a few games. Plus, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has an interesting designation on matters relating to Yoshi: Yoshi is assigned to his own universe, but a Super Mario World (the first one) stage is treated as a Yoshi stage. Although, it's not like Peach or Captain Toad where their games are strongly rooted to the Mario series that they are clearly Mario spin-offs despite headlining their own titles.

This is unlike Donkey Kong and to a somewhat lesser extent, Wario. The former's games are completely divorced from the established elements from the Mario series that it's easy to consider Donkey Kong an individual franchise. It helps that the first game is named "Donkey Kong", so him branching out is smoother. Wario too doesn't have much in common with Mario especially because his games shed off most of the ties to Mario (after the first Wario Land) to hang around or fight with an eccentric cast of characters. Therefore, it's not a stretch to consider Wario distinct. Yoshi, I felt, is somewhere in the middle: his games has lots of distinct elements from Mario, but at the same time it still shares a lot of things with Mario.

So, would Yoshi be considered a Mario spin-off, or an independent franchise?

Thank you for reading.

Hibiki Tachibana

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i do consider it a spinoff, but not one with its own identity? It never really felt like yoshi has a super strong independent nature the way dk and wario do, espec with how many major characters are just main series characters but baby

so all in all yes but not the same level as dk and wario


King Bowser
If we don't consider it an official franchsie, I'm okay if it just be a prequel story that tells more about the childhood of Mario cast. However it feels like recent Yoshi games doesn't really want to dig into the past of Mario cast, especially Baby Daisy is still not in the canon of Yoshi games yet.

It depends on whether Yoshi games want to break out its own structure and go with further stories that aren't related to Mario and Bowser. At least a new antagonist to fight against. Otherwise it just feels like it's in the same tier with Luigi's Mansion and Captain Toad, where the titular characters are just being protagonists and have featured games, but technically not independent series.

As for Yoshi's own universe expanding, I think we are all aware that other dino/draco characterrs like Birdo and Glydon can really fit in. Yes, the story is indeed located on Yoshi island so that justifies the absence of other characters or species. It does feel like the games want to make it as simply as possible to cater to the children book style. Just that kinda wastes the potential of the Mario universe.
Y'all might think I'd quickly rush to Yoshi's defense here but I'm inclined to agree with @Hibiki Tachibana. In fact I'd say it's even less then how they put it. It's on the same level as Mario Kart, but only in that they're both series with many games based on Mario.
Yoshi's Island games in particular are very similar to sidescrolling Mario games in terms of gameplay and level layout.

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Major Mario Spin-off. There's way too much Mario elements in his games for me to consider it its own series. Also I agree with Dorayaki that they should do more touching on Dinosaur elements like Rex and Birdo.

I also agree with my perceived sentiment of the thread, that Yoshi series should stray from the Mario elements like Wario did. It's already got a start with Yoshi Story bosses.
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Cosmic Beauty
In a way, the Yoshi's Island series can be considered a sub-series, since it has stronger connections to the Super Mario series than what you would get from the Donkey Kong Country or Wario series'.


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It has its own things, but most of the bones in its body are strictly from Mario and its first entry in the series was developed by Nintendo EAD and used the Super Mario branding to sell copies initially. Its common enemies? Shy Guys and Piranha Plants. Its main villain? A Magikoopa and Bowser as a baby (some entries such as Yoshi Topsy Turvy and Yoshi's Island DS have just outright Bowser as the main villain). It still uses castles and fortresses to house bosses. It contains Goombas and Koopa Troopas, though they aren't common. Yoshi's Island's setting is directly lifted from a previous Mario game in the series, Super Mario World. Mario and Luigi are present, but as babies. Wario and Donkey Kong both don't have heavy Mario elements in its series and are more of their own thing than Yoshi is because they don't have much of the stuff from Mario that Yoshi does have. And of course, out of all three series that Mario games typically reference back, it's the Yoshi series that gets the most representation in Mario games, such as Paper Mario, Mario Party, or Super Princess Peach, rather than Wario Land or the Donkey Kong Country series.