When Nintendo first
released Yoshi's Island: Super Mario World 2, it was at the end of the
Super Nintendo's 16-bit lifespan. A shame really, because to date, it's possibly the best
scrolling platform game ever made. It simply never got the recognition it deserved. The Super
Nintendo faded in the glare of the Nintendo 64 and the very pinnacle of platforming fun faded
isn't about to let go of the most popular gaming franchise ever, and
Yoshi's Story is the 64 bit incarnation you've been waiting for. Although the graphics have
been updated to take advantage of the 64-bit processing, you might be surprised to learn that
this is still a basic scrolling jumparound.
The graphics are the
main attraction though, with a continuation of the hand painted look seen
in Yoshi's Island. This time Nintendo has added a bunch of beautifully rendered, if
plasticky-looking backdrops and game an incredibly distinctive look. The main Yoshi character
is endearingly cute and even the most obnoxious bad guys are huggable.
The gameplay is simplicity itself. Yoshi is a vegetarian apparently, and has to collect enough
fruit on each level to move on to the next. It really couldn't be simpler. Finding the fruit is
the hard part. At the start of each level, there'll be plenty, just laying around waiting for
you to eat, but later on, the fruit becomes more elusive and difficult to reach.
Typically for a Nintendo
game, there are lots of other things you can do on each level. You can
collect coins (yes, a hundred will give you an extra Yoshi) or collect the power-up eggs. Yoshi
can shoot the standard eggs like missiles, controlling their trajectory with the analog stick--
and this in itself opens up all sorts of puzzles. Each 'life' is signified by a different
colored Yoshi, which makes no difference to gameplay except in the points gained for collecting
fruit--each Yoshi prefers a certain fruit. There are even a couple of hidden Yoshies, including
a black one and a white one that we know about.
The game is very large--lots
of levels, with lots of hidden sub-levels, and certainly lots of
objectives throughout. So lasting power wouldn't be an issue were it not for the fact that
Yoshi's Slory is very, very easy. It's danged near impossible to lose all your lives if you're
even remotely careful, and you can collect so many free lives, that there is a real possibility
of completing this on your first day. But like we said, it's a big game, and that would take a
heck of a long time.
So, unless the gamer
you're purchasing Yoshi's Island for is some kind of prodigy, you should
get plenty of value out of the price of the cartridge. Just be prepared to be smothered in
happy, squeaking cuteness.
All in all, this comes
highly recommended for all ages, but is especially suitable for younger
players. Oh, and watch out for the music. It's just too nauseatingly cute.
AUDIO & VIDEO GAMEPLAY SPECIAL
Music 7 Balance 7 Presentation 10
Sound Effects 9 Depth 8 Innovation 6
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