Review by matt91486
"Me Yoshi. Me talk in gibberish and eat all kinds of fruit. Mmmmmmmm"
I picked up Yoshi's Story the day it was released. You know, it being the official sequel to Yoshi's Island from the glory days of the Super Nintendo, how could I not? Of course, little did I kno that Nintendo had completely altered the course of poor little Yoshi. No longer is he Mario's fabled dinosaur pal. Now he is a babysitting tool for millions of children across the world. Passing Barney cannot be far off for poor Yoshi.
Platforming has always been Yoshi's strength, and I must say that Yoshi's Story provides the best side-scrolling platforming action on the Nintendo 64. Granted, that is not providing as much of glowing endorsement as it sounds, since it's competition was, what, Mischief Makers? But Yoshi's Story is hardly bad gameplay wise, especially if you long for video gaming's glory days in the early nineties. Your objective is to progress through the levels in Yoshi's Story, collecting fruit and hearts. You gotta catch them all too, on your quest to find the Super Happy Tree. Yes, in Nintendo's little world, trees have feelings too.
There are plenty of enemies and obstacles in Yoshi's way. Of course, there seem to be health and weaponry at every turn, but that is another issue altogether. Of course, Nintendo hardly hid the ways around and over these. You just need to platform your way over them. The most interesting parts gameplay wise, are when you have to jump from the moving platforms to each other. Granted, the entire game is two-dimensional platforming, and that is something that seems rather simplistic after the three-dimensional games like Super Mario 64 have been released, but Yoshi's Story seems to have been designed with the beginning platform-game players in mind.
The graphics in Yoshi's Story are clearly the game's strong suit. Nintendo reps called the graphical style two-and-a-half-dimensions. And I kind of liked the phrase and I think it really describes the graphics well, so I have stolen it for my review. The backgrounds almost look like they were made out of clay, in their style, but Nintendo has assured me that, no, they were rendered however Nintendo chose to render them, which did not involve expensive mud of any kind. Anyway, these backgrounds look like they were taken straight from a richly and lavishly illustrated children's book. They truly are picturesque in that fantastic, whimsical way that Nintendo wanted everything to turn out. Usually Nintendo does not focus on eye candy over gameplay but they did for once. But at least the graphics look spectacular as a result.
Not only do the backgrounds look spectacular, Yoshi and the other characters look spectacular. The pastel coloring fits the premises perfectly. They seem to pop-out of the screen a little bit, which is probably where the entire two-and-a-half-dimensions thing got started. The characters all move quite fluidly, probably more fluid than any other game on the Nintendo 64. And the expressions that everyone makes within the game are amusing as well. Nintendo truly created a gem graphically here.
Has there ever been a greater reason to mute your television while playing a video game? The music is entirely far to repetitive, and not to mention very annoying. I mean, the Yoshis are looking for the Super Happy Tree. This has to mean that they are not happy yet. So why is the music so blasted happy! Constantly upbeat, constantly up-tempo, constantly uplifting is this music. Yes, optimism is good, but I really think that Nintendo took it quite a bit too far. Handling monotonous, repetitive, happy music for hours on end is not my strong point.
The sound effects are slightly better in Yoshi's Story. Whenever you perform any action, your Yoshi says some gibberish in Yoshi language. I am guessing when he is hanging from a ledge he is probably saying
''Dammit! Where's that idiot Boshi to pull me up when I need him!'' And when he is gobbling his enemies he is probably saying
''You taste like chicken. But you've got nowhere to run around like you have gotten your head cut off.''
I'm sure Yoshi's trash talking. But, anyway, the sound effects fall under the same category as the music does. For, I don't know, a minute and a half you can stand it, but after that you either pick insanity or muting. Please choose to mute your television. The institutions and asylums are already filled to capacity in the land of Jesse Ventura. Hmm, I wonder why.
Nintendo certainly did not make the control very complex, which is good, since the game really seems to have been designed with the younger gaming crowd in mind, an they get very frustrated, very easily. So, you will probably not notice anything innovative in the least bit about Yoshi's Story. But, the control is solid, which is something you really need to have in a two-dimensional platforming game, and you should not have any progression problems due to the control. So if you are bad at the game, do not try to pin it on the control. Everything control-wise is set up logically, and Nintendo did an excellent job with that. Logical control is the first step to good control, something that Nintendo and I have learned through many years of gaming.
Yoshi's Story was really much too short, especially considering it's relatively low difficulty level. There are only twenty-four levels included. This is especially disappointing, considering in the later days of the Super Nintendo many side-scrolling platform games had well over fifty levels, some even reaching a hundred levels. Of course, none of that applies, because Yoshi's Story only has twenty-four levels, and not a single thing going on in the multiplayer arena. It is strictly a short, single player quest. It's a fun, nostalgic quest, but a short, solo one still. The lack of multiplayer capabilies and the minescule length are really what hurts Yoshi's Story's fun factor.
Let us be perfectly honest. Yoshi's Story is an amazingly easy game. You really should have no problems beating the game quickly, especially when you consider that there are not all that many levels to even progress through. Yoshi's Story was designed easy for a reason. Nintendo wanted a game that younger game players could beat without getting angry with their video games and giving up forever, running to their mommies and crying about how they never wanted to play another game in the progress. No, Nintendo wanted to snag their players early and hold on to them tight, so they made a game that children under the age of nine or ten would find about averagely difficult. It was just a side effect of not being in the intended audience, that is all. Live with it.
Really, once you beat Yoshi's Story you really do not have a lot of reasons to replay it. Sure, you can use that Stage Select Mode to play through a few of your favorite stages again, but once you find the Purple, Black, and White Yoshi's, who are all accessed through different ways within Yoshi's Story, not codes, you will probably never really play the game again. It's a fun little game, but there are no multiplayer capabilities and that really hurts Yoshi's Story.
*Graphically is the best 2D platformer ever created.
*Best sidescrolling game on the Nintendo 64.
*Control is rock-solid, making platforming less frustrating.
*Far too easy for most experienced gamers.
*The audio is horrendous.
*No real reason to replay Yoshi's Story.
Now that Yoshi's Story is not a new game, you can probably find it for a price of about twenty dollars. While it may have not really been worth fifty bucks as it cost when it was first released, twenty dollars is a wonderful deal for perhaps the greatest two-dimensional home console platforming game that will ever be released after 1997. If you can't find it new, or on eBay for a good deal, at least rent Yoshi's Story, and give this classic platformer a chance.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/01/01, Updated 07/18/01
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