Yoshi's Island DS
Review by xcamel24
"I really did try to like this one but..."
Its another sequel! The world is full of sequels, but this time around, we get a brand new Yoshi game! Thats right, a sequel to the original totally awesome Yoshi's Island! Well what could go wrong if they stick with the original formula right? The answer, sadly, is almost everything.
In all fairness, the Yoshi's Island gameplay is pretty solid. Unfortunately for this title, it feels far too repetitive as you go on through the game. You never do much different from level to level. Now as a way to add more depth to the gameplay, new Babies were added. Up to 5 babies can be used in your quest, all of which have special powers. Unfortunately, the lasting value of a new baby is the first level you use them in. The puzzles and platforming doesn't change from level to level, you keep having to complete the same types of puzzles and platforming. If these things were fun, this wouldn't be so bad. But the level design (the first level is a near replica of the first level in the previous game) is really lacking in some areas. However, the classic Yoshi's Island gameplay is as present as ever, with jumping, egg throwing, and ground pounding.
Now keeping in mind that this review is my opinion and solely my opinion before I say this, I think the graphics in this one look WORSE than the GBA title. In terms of pixel counts and detail I'm sure on a technical basis the graphics have improved. But Artoon went ahead and redesigned the whole game engine- for the worse. Everything seems to look a little more bland, especially the longer you play into it. The character animations don't seem nearly as interesting and fluent as the original game engine. Now given that, the animations for what they're worth are pretty good, and the environments are still as colorful as ever. The "crayon" appeal that the original Yoshi's Island had is not as present in this game, but is still there.
The reason this one is so high is because I honestly didn't expect them to repeat the exact same storyline again. But it is true, virtually the storyline from the first game is now the storyline for the second game. Not that anyone has a problem with that. (*looks at Mario Bros. games) But basically, Kamek decides to kidnap not just Mario and Luigi, but all babies. The Stork is able to save Mario and Peach from capture, and from then on its up to you to save them all.
Yep, the rumors are true. If you heard bad things about the sound, you can skip this paragraph. The music is plain horrid in this game. I'm gonna go with my gut and blame Artoon for this- Nintendo would never let crap like this go out the door. While Yoshi's Island had upbeat rhythms and spooky castles and mood setting tunes, every song in this game sounds like something that would come off a merry go round or come out of a 3 year old's toy box. Even the castle theme sounds like this, which is very odd sounding and has the potential to ruin some of the experience. In fact, I'd recommend that you get the original sound track from the first Yoshi's Island, and play the tunes on speakers nearby instead of listening to the music in this game. However, the saving grace that keeps this from getting a 1 is that all the sound effects are perfectly intact, Yoshi sounds fine.
There are a few minigames, but here is a large problem with Yoshi's Island DS. They decided to make the levels longer. While thats not necessarily bad, depending on the 100% score for replay is. Longer levels make collecting all the flowers, coins, and keeping 30 stars very difficult. In most levels past world 3, it can be quite irritating. While there are a few mini games to keep your interest, there is no multiplayer, and only a few secret levels which can be unlocked if you get a high enough score on the other levels. But because the game feels so repetitive, you might find a hard time wanting to do this.
One thing they did do right is keep most of the difficulty in tact. The original Yoshi's Island could be quite difficult in some areas, and the same applies in here. The controls couldn't be any closer to perfect either, with the 4 different control configurations there is no reason to complain here. This game will provide a worthy challenge to any platforming fan willing to face it, and will greatly challenge those going for a perfect run. The only thing keeping this from being a 10 is the lack of multiple difficulty modes.
In my opinion, this will probably disappoint fans of the original, and non-platforming fans shouldn't pick this as a title to break the ice. However, platforming game fans who haven't played the original Yoshi's Island could have an enjoyable ride through this game- as they won't have something to compare it to. Simply put this game is a lesser version of its original with more babies, and unfortunately that doesn't make up for the lack of quality here. Nintendo would do best not to let Artoon touch the next Yoshi's Island game.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 01/16/07
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