Review by OutOfRange

"Nothing More Than A Tech Demo And Only Lasts 30 Minutes"

When I first heard of this, I thought it was a sequel to the SNES game Yoshi's Island. But unfortunately it's not. Rather, what we have here is what most game developers would consider to be nothing more than a mini game. However for some reason Nintendo decided that it was a good idea to release this as a game in it's own right, probably due to the lack of DS titles available at the time. Was it a good move? Probably not…

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Storyline (3/10)
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This ‘game' is more of an example of what can be accomplished with the DS's features. Due to this, they didn't bother providing a storyline, if you haven't played Yoshi's Island, then you probably won't even understand what's going on. Essentially, Baby Mario floats down from the sky and the Yoshi's find him and decide to take him back to the stalk. While the storyline doesn't get in the way of this demo, the problem is they didn't even come up with a way of ending the game properly, and instead it just ends when you get to the end of the level, giving you the high score board. The game doesn't need a storyline, but since there are tiny cutscenes they should have at least explained it a little rather than just assuming too much background knowledge. This does nothing to advance any of the many Mario storylines and in essence the events in this game are just happening without any consequence.

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Gameplay (4/10)
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As a demo the gameplay is alright, but having to shell out money for this, and what is extremely simple gameplay is horrendous. If Nintendo really wanted to have this game produced, they should have included it with the DS as a tech demo, because that's all it is. The game is split into two parts; the first features Baby Mario falling from the sky, and it is your job to draw lines of clouds to guide him past the enemies and collect coins, there is a slight variation on this where you collect stars and then you can touch the enemies to build up your score. The second part is where Yoshi finds Mario and then escorts him to the ‘goal', the gameplay here is to draw paths to guide Yoshi around the enemies and over pits, while you can also use eggs to attack the enemies. Unfortunately, this is as far as the gameplay goes; you end up just doing this same thing over and over. While there are four modes to choose from, two of which need to be unlocked, at the end of the day, they are all the exact same game only with or without a time limit, and the objective of getting a high score.

While simplicity is often a good thing, it is a major problem in this game in that there is very little to do, especially since you don't have any direct control other the characters, you merely try and influence them to go along the path you want. This is a further problem, many times during the first section I've had Baby Mario either go the wrong way and climb upwards, or simply go straight through the clouds I drew, thus completely ruining the path I had set up for him. The second section of the game is practically identical every time, only with one mode you get a time limit and in another it doesn't have an end, however, this does not change the gameplay or make it any more challenging. Also, since the game only uses the stylus for input, it gets confused as it has a hard time reading whether you want to draw a small line of clouds or throw an egg. I have made very simple homebrew games with better controls, how? In this case; just using the stylus means draw clouds, hold down the L or R shoulder buttons and touching the screen means throw an egg. It sounds more complicated but due to the way you hold the DS, it works well and overcomes this flaw easily, how a load of developers can ignore a fault like that when it's solution is obvious is beyond me.

While fun for about ten minutes and challenging for about another twenty while you get the top score in all the modes, after that you are left with absolutely nothing left to do on this game. Trying to hide how little there is to do in this game by providing other modes where you do the exact same thing shows how they knew this was a problem. The game is boring, plain and simple, you are given no point to play this game other than trying to get a high score, and when you're only playing against yourself, there is no fun to be had doing that.

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Graphics (5/10)
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The graphics look exactly like Yoshi's Island and it really wouldn't surprise me if they simply used the same graphics. Can't say I entirely blame them, afterall, if they are at hand and saves production time and money on having to make new graphics, then it's a wise move. However, to price it the same as other full games with unique graphics when you're recycling graphics from other games along with sub-par gameplay is a terrible move by Nintendo. As they are however, the graphics are fine, but there's very little imagination with the enemies as some are nothing more than circles and for the most part look incredibly bland.

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Sounds (5/10)
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Pretty much the exact same story as with the graphics. The music isn't or at least doesn't seem like it was taken straight from other games, and for the most part sound alright, but the sound effects, on the other hand, are. Sound wise, it sounds extremely generic and provides nothing you're going to start humming or listen out for.

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Lifespan (2/10)
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This is almost non-existent in this ‘game', you have about 30 minutes of playing it and then you are left with absolutely nothing to make you come back and play it again. After a while I did try and load it up again to give it a try, but I got sick of doing the first part of the game, and by the time I got to the second part, which I actually wanted to play, I was bored of the game. There is some slight challenge to be had, since it takes a couple of tries to beat the top scores, but the problem is that once you've done that there's nothing left to accomplish and it does take very long to get to this point. There's very little to do and in my opinion, this would have been best left as a mini game in Yoshi's Island DS rather than trying to milk money by pushing out this non-game.

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Summary (3/10)
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I gave this three and not two for a variety of reasons. The first being that while it lasts, the game is actually somewhat fun, despite how little time this experience lasts for. Another being that I feel it is on par with electroplankton in terms of being nothing more than a tech demo that shouldn't be on general release. Unlike many games that have been pumped out for the DS, it does actually make use of the DS's unique features pretty well, such as the touch screen. I do believe in many ways, a game this bad is worthy of receiving a two, but it's saving grace is that it is at least something original for the DS, which has been on the receiving end of a lot of ports that don't make much use of the features, a perfect example being Yoshi's Island. In fact this could have been put in that game and improved it a lot by actually having something that used the touch screen in a useful way. But as it is, this game on it's own is definitely not worth it's price tag however little it may be. If you can find a friend who has it, then it's worth a try, but you aren't missing out on anything major by not owning this game.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 07/09/07


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