Yoshi’s NEW Island [Game Review]

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Beat: 08.17.2014
Rating: 10/10
Platform: Nintendo 3DS

You will hear me say this a thousand times, but Yoshi is my all-time favorite Nintendo character. Why is that? I don’t know. Perhaps it is because way back in the day when I was first playing Super Mario World I thought he was a Dragon (and I was obsessed with Dragons), or the fact that I fell in love with Yoshi’s Story because how cute, cool, and quirky it was.
Either way, Yoshi and Yoshi games are my thing…so naturally, when I first got the news of a new Yoshi’s Island game, I was bouncing off the wall!!

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Before I go any further, I will again thank my friend Shujo who bought me the game for my birthday when it first came out. I’m not the best friend to him, but he is an amazing person who really knows what makes a gaming girl happy!  😉

Moving on though, I have played Super Mario World 2, “Yoshi’s Island”, and the game is like nothing I had ever seen before. The music was quirky which is typical of a Yoshi game, but, instead of Mario being the main character, you were playing as a tribe of different-colored Yoshi’s who found baby Mario after the Stork was attacked, and the baby basically tells you (in some weird telepathic way) that he must save his brother Luigi who has been taken to Baby Bowser’s Castle. So, you place the baby on your back and for the rest of the game you are carrying around this baby who is practically like a life bar for you. You run all around this island to finally make it to Bowser’s Castle (located in the Volcano at the center of the island, duh) and then defeat the Baby-King to save Luigi. Sounds pretty simple, right? WRONG!!! It’s not.

Whether you are playing Yoshi’s Island, Yoshi’s Island DS, or Yoshi’s NEW Island, the mechanics are basically the same thing. If Yoshi is hit then baby Mario flies off his back and starts to float away in a bubble. You will notice that a countdown has started as well. While you start out at the number 10, as you progress through a level, save-rings and little stars that you find in random places will give you a higher number, but, no matter what you will always regenerate to at least 10 points. Anyways, the timer starts to count down when Yoshi gets hit, and, if the timer reaches zero, then Kamak and her horde of goons will come and steal baby Mario away and it is a game over for you. Also, if Yoshi falls in lava, falls in a hole, or he gets eaten by a giant Chomp and/or gets squished by rocks, it is also game over.

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The point is…just don’t get hit.

Along the way you have things you can collect in each level. You can collect up to 30 stars per level, 20 red coins, and 5 flowers for a level completion bonus. As I mentioned before, this game is not only a platformer, it also has puzzles to solve. There are locked doors in which you need to find the key, there are mini-games to play, and so much more! Now here is where I admit the sad truth. While I may have just beaten Yoshi’s NEW Island, I have never beaten the other two games. The first one I am mid-way through it, and then of course on the sequel and DS version, I am halfway through the game and almost to the end, BUT the level I am stuck on is extremely hard and it is total chaos which makes me rage quit time and time again.
But I guess before I go on any further, it’s time to list the pros and cons so you can see why I gave this game such a high rating.


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****WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!!!***

PROs:

1. The graphics in this game are amazing. Yoshi is now in 3D rather than pixelated, but they kept the background which looks like it was drawn in crayon. It is typical Yoshi game style and it is always very fun and very charming.

2. The game had some really good music in some parts. I generally love the music in the game because it is peppy and funky and really keeps the game interesting.

3. There were a lot of new enemies introduced in this game as well as the old ones that we know and love. The Pyro-Guy (the flaming shy guy) as well as poltergeists (hate those purple ghost things), and the mimic man (a spotted shy guy that turns into you and then copies your movements) are just a few examples.

4. The Mimic Man should get his own little section in the PROs because this was an amazing part of the game. So, there is a spotted Shy Guy who now has the ability to turn himself into a carbon copy of Yoshi and Mario. Basically he is in a stone maze and since he copies your every move, it is your job to lead him into the spikes that will ultimately stop him and allow you to succeed. I really liked this part of the game as it was new, fun, and challenging.

5. The Giant Eggs!!! What else can you say? After swallowing a giant shy guy, Yoshi creates an abnormally large egg which causes mass destruction across the screen (smashing everything in your way and you even get a damage bonus). I just loved it because of how cool and destructive it was (especially for a Yoshi game), and the different eggs do different things. You have the large egg (normal) which allows you to crash through anything (and it can be tossed in the air), then you have the giant steel egg which allows you to sink underwater (to reach hidden items) and it is so heavy that it can only roll when you throw it…but it still keeps its destructive power which is amazing.

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6. Shape-shifting! Yup, Yoshi can now shape-shift into many new things and some familiar forms from the old games. You can become a jack-hammer, a hot-air-balloon, a bob-sled, a helicopter, and so much more! Each form is accompanied by a timed mini-game which gets you a lot of stuff, and only occasionally is said-game needed for actual level-completion (which is nice).

7. Super Yoshi! Like the super baby Mario before it (where baby Mario gets a cape and runs around the screen for awhile), Super Yoshi is basically the same thing. Grabbing a power star allows Yoshi to run so fast that he can run on walls, leap really far, and after collecting a different star he turns into a fireball which then shoots him across the screen in a blaze of blue light. While this is something that is fun, its usually just a secret area withing the level (if you find a stage like this) and it is very challenging though it is not needed for level completion.

8. The boss battles are all different and all very exciting. I always look to Boss Battles in games because it really shows you just how much effort they put into a game. With the newer Mario games, Boss Battles seem so recycled, and in one Mario game, for the smaller castles, you were fighting the same dinosaurs over and over again which made it really tiring. But, while you are fighting Kamak in every mini-castle (before the real boss of the particular world), each challenge to beat him is different, and it is always very challenging and fun. Also, the bosses themselves are really unique and are always a challenge as you are not always aware on how you are supposed to beat them. I think this is the first time in a long time that I did not rage quit.

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10. The thing is…the game was done really well. You see, each Yoshi’s Island is the same as the one before it storyline-wise. It’s like they take the same plot and do a re-telling of the same story, just like Square did with Parasite Eve and then the 3rd Birthday. Only with Yoshi’s Island, well, they knew how to do it right.  :p
So while the story has not changed from the original, the levels are all new with brand-new elements added onto old ones and older mechanics, and it makes for a charming new adventure which does not seem old and overused *cough, cough* Super Mario Bros. *cough, cough*

11. The game was challenging, but not like the older DS one where it gets so hard at times where you just want to quit. If you do die alot, you get an item called Flutterwings which usually keep you safe for the whole level and allows Yoshi to fly, but, at the same time, these are an optional item and you dont have to take them if you do not want to. This means that even kids can enjoy this game as long as they can get all the keys and solve all the puzzles in the larger castles and such. I never got bored with this game.

12. There is a secret boss battle at the end with grown Bowser if you beat the game without using the flutter wings at all! Post-gameplay yay!

13. The game has Yoshi in it, duh!!!


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CONs:

1. While I just said that the story was fine the way it was (even though it was being re-told), for some people, the inconsistency and the fact that it is the same story is a con. Some people believe that they could have done so much more with the game like they did with the DS version by adding multiple different babies rather than just have Baby Mario.
2. The Final Boss Battle was kind of a let-down. I mean, having never made it to the end of any other Yoshi’s Island game, I cannot really compare it to anything, but I must say that I was expecting so much more. Basically you hit baby Bowser with an egg 3 times and then he becomes a giant Baby Bowser. Hit that one with 3 giant eggs and then you’re done. I mean, getting all the keys to break into his Castle were harder than the battle with him, and I only had 10 as my count-down rather than something higher.

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3. I have mixed feelings about the flutter wings (as I did use them once) but ultimately I hate them. Nintendo has been doing this thing where, after you die a certain number of times, you are either given an item which makes you invincible OR you are given a guide that runs through and beats the level for you. I mean, I know they did it for children so that kids could beat the video-games too…but, what are we really teaching kids by this? By beating everything for them? I really think of it as cheapening the gaming experience, PLUS, if you use the flutter wings in the game, you cannot have the secret Boss Battle in the end.
4. The Yoshi forms were really cool, but sometimes they were very hard to control. You had to tilt your system to get these things to work (move forward and such) and either it was hard to see where I was going (I got disoriented because I was always turning my screen), or the controls just seemed very slow to react at times and I always ended up getting stuck. Towards the end I was avoiding these mini-games like the plague because they were so hard.
5. I also avoided a lot of the super-dash secrets because if you died in these levels, you really died unlike if you fail on a level where Yoshi is in a different form.
6. They introduced a lot more characters from the Mario universe such as Goombas, Koopas, and Bullet Bills. Maybe they have always been in there, but I would like to keep those things as separate as possible though it did add a bigger array of enemies than previous games.


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CONCLUSION:

After all that, there is not much else I can say. I guess if anything, I can easily say that this is the easiest Yoshi’s Island of the three just because it is the only one that I have ever managed to beat. Still, I feel really accomplished and really like the game so that is all that matters. As far as I know, this game is still selling like mad which means you are still looking at a price range that is $35+ but I will tell you now that if you are a Yoshi’s Island fan or just a Yoshi fan in general, it is really worth every penny.

Now, I did not use the 3D view for this game very often (just my personal preference), but, from what I saw (from what little time I did use it), it is actually really good…better than a lot of other 3DS games that I have played.

Obviously it is lacking in some things as all games are. I liked the music for the most part, but some of it was just too weird and funky for me. Anyways, if you have played this game before, please leave me a comment below and let me know what you personally thought of  Yoshi’s NEW Island…also, if you are a huge Yoshi fan, let me know what is your favorite Yoshi game! 🙂

That’s all I have for now, sorry it was such a short review…but yeah, until the next one!

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