Review by Allidoisreview
"Avoid at all costs"
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island was a huge success, so it's not surprising that Nintendo would try to feed off of that success by producing a similar (at least in appearance) title on the Nintendo 64. However, it looks like they didn't want to actually put any effort or development time or care into this one, at all. To be blunt, this game is awful. I went into this game with average expectations and came out with a migraine headache.
Story - 4/10
I don't like to give platforming games a score based on their story unless it is truly bad. This is one of those cases. The story is basically that Bowser stole some Super Happy Tree from the Yoshis, and they need to get it back from him. However, they need to be very happy all of the time without the tree, so they eat fruit because that makes them happy. I'm dead serious - that's the plot.
Graphics - 8/10
Alright, these are actually pretty good. They're reminiscent of Yoshi's Island, which is definitely a plus, although not quite as detailed or as good. If you're not familiar with Yoshi's Island (you should be!), they are just very cartoon-like, creative, happy graphics in 2D. They're very good overall, but they still seem to be a lot less inspired than Yoshi's Island.
Sound - 4/10
Do you like listening to Yoshis sing weird songs off-tune? Yeah, me neither. I don't even remember the music from the levels, so that means it was average at best, but the music when you complete a chapter is probably used as a torture device in Japan. If you play this game (big mistake), you better pray that no one walks in on you when this music is playing. They'll never talk to you again. The sound effects themselves are all pretty good, though. I would recommend playing this game with the volume off or, better yet, not playing it at all.
Gameplay - 4/10
Everything up until this point would be forgivable if the gameplay was good or even okay. This is the meat and potatoes of a platformer, so it HAS to be good or the game is automatically trash. Allow me to break down the gameplay.
So the game starts up, and you're in an open book that has pictures popping out of it. There is a selection of four different levels to choose from. The average gamer will think "Oh, so there's 4 levels in this world, okay.", but the average gamer will be wrong. Well, technically they're right, but you'll only get to play one of them. That's right - you get to play one level per chapter. There are 6 chapters total. That means that you play 6 levels, and you've won the game. This is a 20 minute game.
The gameplay is similar to Yoshi's Island only in that it is also a platformer where you can shoot eggs, but that's the only similarity. You'll use the eggs to shoot fruit out of bubbles or to break blocks. They can be used to kill enemies, but it's rarely necessary.
Aside from shooting eggs, you have the ability to do a ground pound move and this extended jump where Yoshi makes a weird moaning noise and launches upward slightly at the end of a jump. The ground pound really doesn't have any use beyond the first level, but the extended jump is useful, as you would expect.
The objective in each level is just to eat fruit. There's a gauge located around the border of the screen, and once you fill it, you win the level. The number needed is the same for all levels,but I didn't bother to count how many it is. Anyway, yeah, you eat the fruit and win. Once you've eaten the required amount of fruit, the level just ends. THIS MEANS THAT THERE ARE 6 LEVELS IN THIS GAME, AND YOU DON'T EVEN PLAY ALL OF THE WAY THROUGH THEM.
From what I can gather, and what the few diehard fans of this game seem to imply, is that the pull of this game is to play through it multiple times so that you play every level. However, after playing two levels, you're not likely to have any interest in even beating the game, let alone beating it multiple times.
The controls are bad, and it's hard to explain why. My best explanation is that they are really loose. It seems like every time you tap the joystick, Yoshi goes flying halfway across the screen. If you try to jump onto something that is right in front of you, you'll probably end up flying right past it. They're not impossible to use, but they just don't work quite right.
You are given the option to play as one of 6 different-colored Yoshis, and these work as your lives. If you die on a level as one of the Yoshis, you can select one of the other Yoshis to play as. There are also white Shy Guys that can be found in the levels and operate as extra lives. You can select them to bring back one of the Yoshis that you lost. I remember hearing rumors that you could find both a black and a white Yoshi hidden in certain levels, which you could then choose to play as, but I can't confirm whether or not this is factual. I don't know that it really adds anything to the game, either way.
Pretty much everything that you eat restores your health. Enemies, fruit, flowers - almost everything. This means that it's almost impossible to die. I died a couple of times, but this was only due to the poor controls leading me to go launching off of a ledge.
I fought two bosses in my playthrough. I don't know if there are others depending on what levels you choose. The first boss was a guy made out of cotton candy that you just needed to lick like 6 times and you won. No challenge whatsoever. The second boss was Bowser and, again, there was no challenge. Even if you have a hard time with Bowser, there is a tree that constantly produces fruit, so you have unlimited health. It's a joke. Anyway, you hit him like 6 times, and the game is over.
"Conglaturations!! You have prooved the justice of our culture!! Now go and rest our heroes!!!"
Okay, it's not that bad, but it does say "Happy End". Is that correct grammar? Maybe it is, but it doesn't sound right.
It's playable, and that's about it. However, don't play it. Don't buy it. Don't even look at it. Don't think about it. You don't want anything to do with this game. It has no redeeming qualities. You're better off playing with paper clips, and you'd save some money in doing so. I spent $10 on this game, but I would have been mad had I spent $.01. It's an awful game that was clearly intended to steal money from those hoping for a follow-up to Yoshi's Island, and I feel terrible for anyone who bought this game brand new.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 11/07/13, Updated 08/13/14
Game Release: Yoshi's Story (US, 03/01/98)
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