Review by GreenFlag
"This game is too immature for an "E" rating."
First of all, what a totally ridiculous game idea. Give me a break. Not only was Yoshi's reputation as Mario's trusty sidekick ruined, but it basically created Yoshi's reputation for future games. And trust me, it's sickening to play if you are over eight years old. ''I must have picked the wrong game off the shelf,'' I muttered as I got into the game and the storybook visuals - and the totally immature story idea. I wasn't expecting John Grisham-ish story lines, but this is totally ridiculous! And the worst part of it was that I was stuck with it for 7 nights...
I'm going to bring the inevitable statement into the equation right from the start: the storyline really, really, really sucks. There's absolutely no background to it (except for Baby Bowser being mean to everybody and so on and so forth). I'm not going to mention it here in fear of dying at the keyboard. It basically makes me want to shiver just thinking about it. As a high school student, playing a game with a storyline suited for infants is a little bit off-track. Definitely this is not the best way to advertise a game, and definitely not for the regular game player's demographic.
What I do give Nintendo credit for, however, is bringing back the two-dimensional formula for a platform game. Granted, I think the game loses a little bit of depth because of it, but it is a pretty good game with some pretty cool elements and surprises. I think Nintendo, as a matter of fact, did come on to something when they decided to set the goal at eating 30 pieces of fruit to proceed to the next level instead of a mad point A to point B chase. Some fruit pieces are hidden in secret areas, encouraging players to complete random tasks to get the fruit. Also Yoshi's nose also encourages players to use it as a sort of ''radar'' to sniff out various goodies. However, the 30-fruit piece goal seems really, really easy to achieve in all of the 24 levels that you can get in this game.
In Story Mode, you must go through six worlds, each with four levels. I do appreciate 24 levels. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the big weakness of Yoshi's Story is the way that you play the levels. You have to play one level from each world, and that is it. If you achieve your goal, you move on. This makes the game WAY too easy and just not worth your time. However, the trick is that in each level there are three hidden hearts. Should you pick them up, you'll unlock another level in the next world, giving you a choice of which level you want to go to. Not to mention you have six tries to get through the whole game. No one-ups. It's either very tedious trying to get through the game while trying not to lose Yoshis or very easy.
Trial Mode is a unique mode and perhaps one of the best features of F1WGP. Believe it or not, in this mode, once you play certain levels you'll be able to play them again in Trial Mode in order to aim towards the highest score possible, factored in by time, the fruits that you eat, and so on. It's definitely one of the best features, and just barely manages to save a title that was already ruined by the Story Mode from totally receiving a one or a zero from every critic. (See, every game DOES have merit, even if it does make you cringe a little bit!)
Oh yeah, practice. That's for people who really don't have a clue and can't read instructions or just want to apply it to the game. Big deal.
Looking at Yoshi's visuals, okay, they're the ''cute'' kind of visuals. I'd have to be a complete moron to overlook that. However, you can see that the parallaxed background has various textures to it that you can easily see. It's quite obvious that Nintendo was trying to reproduce a makeshift pop-up storybook, but they did a pretty good job of trying to do it with easily obvious crayon pictures and other stuff. It's not bad, but it definitely adds to the little kid ambience. The big disadvantage? It's in two and a half dimensions. There are some instances where it looks more 3-D than other times, but for the most part, yes. It is two-dimensional. You could argue that it ties in with the storybook theme, but it's definitely not pulling maximum revs from the N64.
Music? Sound? AUGHHH!!!! SHOOT ME NOW!!!! Well...I think that pretty much explains what I would give Yoshi's Story if there was a separate sound category. Music and sound isn't what you should weight most of a game's merit on, but really lousy music and really lousy voice effects can kill a game, and that's exactly what happened here. The title screen music is not even remotely tolerable as it is with all the Yoshis singing. The rest is just bad. And here's the worst part: Nintendo decided to use the same theme music in games such as Smash Brothers, Mario Tennis, and so on. Therefore insuring more matured gamers' insanity for generations to come. As for sounds, well, they do sound pretty babyish. One has to wonder, whoever voiced all of the characters in this game, what were you on when you did this!?
Multiplayer modes in platform games are virtually non-existent, although Trial Mode is probably the saving grace if you want to crowd around the screen and try to beat each other.
On second thought...don't even bother with multiplayer. You've probably already driven yourself insane with this game, there's no point in spreading the insanity. While the title does have merit, if you really want to find that merit you'll have to brush the little-kid visuals and audio aside, and really get to the basic idea to the game. Is this game worth a buy? Certainly not. Is it worth a rental? Perhaps a rent for one or two days might fulfill you, but that's probably it.
Nintendo could have a GREAT idea for the most part, they just killed it by interpreting it the wrong way and wrapping it in the baby Yoshi paper that makes me start to question this title's ''E'' rating from the ESRB. Did you mean EC, perhaps? Basically, Nintendo, thanks a lot (yup, I'm being sarcastic here). You not only messed with a good thing, but you didn't bother to clean up your mess that you created by changing the ''Yoshi style'' from somewhere in the middle to just plain cute trying to play to younger audiences.
Although if this game does appeal to you, keep on hugging your stuffed Yoshi on your bed.
Final score: 5.2
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 03/07/00, Updated 07/12/02
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