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Yoshi’s Story
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Originally designed as a sophisticated follow-up to Yoshi's Island, this game finds itself in the embarrassing position of being a sort of Yoshi Lite. Gone is the sophisticated puzzle aspect of the original, and instead, we have an admittedly pretty but ultimately shallow children's game.

The original was the brainchild of Shigeru Miyamoto, but this 64-bit sequel was handled by a different team, and it shows.  Players simply guide Yoshi around the simplistic levels collecting fruit. Explorations generally involves heading up and right, and puzzles seldom deviate from finding a weak spot on a bigger opponent.
Graphically, the mixture of rendered and hand-drawn art is refreshing.  Wonderful animation and beautifully realized characters abound.  The music is either a surreal work of art or a tortuous sonic calamity, depending on your age/sanity/level of pretension. It has been designed with young N64 owners in mind, and with that as a starting point, the game does have a lot to offer children. It's easy to access, simple to play, and easy to play through.

In fact, reasonable players will finish this on day one and therein lies the problem.  As with all N64 games, this is an expensive proposition, and even the biggest Yoshi-phile will have to think seriously about spending more than fifty bucks for a few hours of entertainment. Its real value is mostly as a library piece for obsessive Mario collectors.

Yoshi's Story could have been a renaissance for side-scrollers Instead, it sounds more like a death knell.
Rating: **

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