Review by ice beam
"Yoshi's Island: Masterpiece. This game: an abomination"
Poor poor Yoshi. I would have given this game a zero out of ten but I love the little guy too much to give anything he is in that low of a score. Nintendo, I ask you; What happened? Why did you tarnish Yoshi with this game? So many hours of my life have been wasted playing Yoshi's Island. That game is not only one of the greatest platformers on the SNES, but one of the greatest platformers of all time. You excite us with a Yoshi game for the N64 and you give us this? Anyone who has played Yoshi's Island can share my sentiment. Yoshi's Island was a beautiful pearl that shone among others, but Yoshi's Story is no such thing. Yoshi's story is what happens when the clam (Nintendo) tries to create a pearl, but you end up with a nasty mix of sand and vomit instead.
The only thing good thing I can say about this game is that it is absolutely beautiful. Nintendo certainly put a lot of detail into the graphics of this game. Similar to the style of Yoshi's Island, it is very colorful and vivid. the 2 1/2D style really makes the graphics shine, rather than the large worlds in other platformers. My personal favorites are in the snow levels (the sky and all), the backgrounds to the caves, and some of the areas inside Bowser's Castle. The graphics are excellent, even though some look like they were sown on the back of some jeans (don't believe me? Look at the first levels). The controls are pretty decent too. I didn't have too much trouble figuring out everything.
The story is a prequel to Yoshi's Island. The Yoshi's all lived in happiness, given to them by a plant called the Super Happy Tree. For no reason whatsoever, Bowser decides to steal it and make all the Yoshi's sad. Then just for more laughs, he turns to story into a pop-up story book for them to suffer (which doesn't make sense because his castle is also in the story book). While all the Yoshi's are sad and depressed, six Yoshi's hatch from their eggs, all filled with warm cuddly happiness. They wonder why the adult Yoshi's are so sad and find out about the Super Happy Tree. They decide to go out on an adventure to find the Super Happy Tree. Are you about to vomit bunnies and lollipops? This story is so childish it makes shows like Teletubbies seem manly in comparison. Please note that I am not one of those gamers who think all games must be "mature" (which they usually mean life-like graphics and tons of gore). I'm a huge fan of the Kirby series and I still watch children's cartoons. Even Yoshi's Island is "kiddy", yet it is still good. This game is so kiddy that even a two year old would be embarrassed to be seen playing this.
The gameplay has taken a rather strange shift from its predecessor. In Yoshi's Island, each level was simply the "get from point A to point B" style of platforming. In this game, you have to eat fruit in order to complete the level. That's right, just eat fruit. You have to eat thirty pieces in order to complete the level. Don't worry, you get a good variety of fruits, ranging from apples to bananas to grapes and watermelons. This introduces a somewhat unique idea to the game. When you eat fruit, life is restored. The six Yoshi's gain more life if they eat a fruit that corresponds with their color (Green Yoshi eating a watermelon or Blue Yoshi eating grapes). The fruit isn't hard to find, but you can challenge yourself by trying to find the thirty melons hidden throughout the level. However, the game give you no incentive to do it (unless you just want bragging rights from your friends). Plus some are hidden in the ground, meaning you might have to sniff throughout the entire level just to fin one melon.
This leads me to the next point of the gameplay. There are only 24 levels in this game (as opposed to Yoshi's Island's 54 levels). That wouldn't bother me too much except for one thing. You can only choose one level per world. That's right. When you go through the game, you can only choose one level per world. This can lead to multiple paths throughout the game. In order to access more levels, you have to find hearts throughout the level (kind of like the flowers from YI, but they look more like fat angel faces rather than hearts). This may seem interesting at first, but the levels are so uninteresting that you won't care.
The sad thing is that the worlds and the levels did have potential to make interesting levels. The second world features caves, lava pits, pipes filled with spikes and jelly, and a water drenched maze. The third world features a tower which you must use springs to make large jumps. The jungle features everything from a hut to a garden filled with Piranha plants. Bowser's Castle even has it's moments too. One area has you trying to open locked doors while blades shoot up trying to kill you. Sadly, because of how they designed the levels and what they made you do that kills the levels, no matter how much potential this game has.
But about half way through the game, you meet up with a group called the Midstory Meanies, which are four moronic failures for bosses. You get a different boss depending on the level you choose. One of them is named Cloud n' Candy, and the entire battle with this abomination simply consists of eating him. Plus he can't damage you. I'm not kidding. That is how you fight him. The other bosses just require throwing eggs at them. No challenge really. Gone are the days where bosses consisted of pounding giant penguin/raven in the crotch while on the moon or being swallowed by a giant frog and forcing to throw you up. Bowser is even incredibly pathetic. You literally have infinite life when you fight him, so nothing to worry about. Remember how epic the final fight with Bowser was in Yoshi' Island? You will see none of this here. But if you don't defeat these bosses, you will see poor widdle Yoshi be hauled off to Bowser's Castle (while crying never the less). Seriously though, the only good thing about these boss fights is Yoshi's hilarious attempt to intimidate them with his growling.
Remember the catchy bouncing melodies throughout Yoshi's Island? This game attempts to create music, but it ends up like something that would be played at a daycare center. I cannot think of one melody that sticks in my head. Remember the boss theme, how intense it was? Or the caves, a beautiful place filled with an enchanting sound? Do you remember the castles an the ominous feel the music gave to them? The music in Yoshi's Island gave the game a wonderful atmosphere. Sadly there is no such thing in this game.
Simply put, this game is an abomination. Sadly, it is an abomination that had some potential. If they had just stuck with what made Yoshi's Island so great and tried to build upon that, I'm sure it would have become a worthy successor to that game. But just because it had potential doesn't mean it's good. This game is an insult to Yoshi as a character. It kiddies him up to the point of sugar overdose, which is quite amazing actually, since the original game involved giving a baby back to a stork. I will never play this again. Yoshi deserves better, and so does Yoshi's Island. I will continue to play that game though, and pray that one day, Nintendo will work on creating a truly worthy sequel to Yoshi's Island. With this games incredibly easy difficulty and short playtime, kiddy themes, horrible gameplay, and wimpy bosses, their storybook will be collecting dust for years to come.
Reviewer's Score: 1/10 | Originally Posted: 07/21/10
Game Release: Yoshi's Story (US, 03/01/98)
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