"The Yoshi's quest to become happy! Talk about odd..."

Yoshi's Story is truly the cutest game of all time. It's not very probable any other game will get to that level ever again. What other game has a tree called the "Super Happy Tree"? What other game has you get fruit to get happy and rains hearts after every page? No game, that's what!

Yoshi's Story is similar to Yoshi's Island is quite a few aspects. It consists of playing as Yoshi, throwing eggs and flutter-jumpin' through 2D levels. There are different colored Yoshis and some others I most likely missed. The differences are just about anything else. Like the story. In Yoshi's Story, Baby Bowser grew angry at the Yoshis because they were so damn happy. No one can blame them... Yoshis will die if they aren't happy (more on this in a bit). WELL, Baby Bowser decided to take horrific measures and STEAL the Yoshis' main source of happiness... the tree of infinite fruit, The Super Happy Tree. He also turned the island into a story book. Just then, 6 baby Yoshis hatched out of their eggs and went after Baby Bowser, eating fruit along the way.

The game is very story-book-like with its presentation and graphics. In the backgrounds of the levels there are signs that appear to have been constructed from cardboard, like when it says "fragile" or "this side up" in the background, along with saying "Nintendo". The platforms and such are constructed from (what appears like) felt that has been patched up too many times. In the levels portray the theme of the game pretty damn well. The Yoshi models are good and clean. Not to forget 3D effects throughout the levels, with the enemies and some hazards, along with the layout of the level selection. The level selection is a page of a book with all these pop-up objects that symbolize each level. All around, the graphics are the strong point of the game.

The weakest part of the game?

You ready?

The sound. More specifically... the sound effects. The game is, dare I say, plagued with overly-cute Yoshi grunts and little pops/bobs/plops. The music ain't much better, chumpettes. From the second you start the game there is the inevitable theme of the game which is so cute... but ear piercing that you may want to skip right into the game.

ALTHOUGH a lot of the sound is pretty bad, there is respect to give to the Yoshi-rap-underground song. That song kicks ass.

Goals of the levels are as follows: choose a Yoshi, run around in a level looking for hearts and fruit, then after you collect 30 fruits you go to the next page. Each level is so different from each other so it stays fresh. Some levels have irritating plants that turn you small, fish that will swallow you whole, tall towers, bone dragons, slugs, jelly, giant but tasty cloud enemies, invisible ghosts, frustration, magma... there are a LOT of variety! You play these levels until you encounter a boss then continue until you beat Baby Bowser. You'll also have to watch your happiness, which is in the form of a flower. You start with 1 petal and eat fruit to get happier. Strangely, Yoshi dies when he gets too unhappy, so watch out... It's a good formula that compliments Yoshi's Island since it's moderately different while still maintains a somewhat similar vibe. I'm not sure how many fruits there are in each level... but there are enough to make it pretty easy. Each page/world in the game has 4 levels, but not all of them are there upon arrival (exception is the first world). In order to have more than the first level available in the next world, you need to collection hearts in the levels. Each heart you collect opens a new level in the next world to choose from. There are 6 worlds/pages with 4 levels each... so there are 24 levels in all. That's not too many. After 4 well-played playthroughs of the game, you'll have it complete. That's the only real big problem with it other than its difficulty... and the lack of things to do after you've beaten all 24 levels. After you've beaten a level you can play it in an extra time trial mode in the game for massive points and high scores. It's ok if you really feel like playing levels over and over. One thing to be noted is the massive high score you get for collecting all 30 melons in a level. That's just about the only difficult part of the game, sadly enough...

Throughout your adventures with Yoshi, you'll encounter a lot of different levels, enemies, warping-jumping thingies and even secret characters (>_> <_<), so it's quite a good and variable game while it lasts. Buying it for a bargain would be great, but don't go around spending hordes of cash on it, since it ends far too fast. Rental? Hell yes, 'specially if you liked Yoshi's Island (or can find a rental store that rents out N64 games).

Pros
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+ Story-Book presentation
+ Graphically one of the best games for the N64
+ One of the best 2D platformers for the N64, too
+ Underground rap theme with YOSHI every 5 seconds
+ Good variety of levels

Cons
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- So short and easy you could beat it in 20 minutes
- No multiplayer or anything to keep you coming back except for the mediocre time trial mode
- Sound
- Too cute for it's own good.

Final verdict: 7/10


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 04/27/05


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