Review by Hsieh

"Even Mario can fall high from the sky"

The first Super Nintendo game I ever played was Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island -- and like many others who played the game, I was completely enthralled. The sight of Baby Mario and Yoshi -- both of whom I already considered wonderful little characters at the time -- riding together on their quest to save Baby Luigi completely sent me into their world. I ran, jumped, and of course, cried very loudly and tediously a la Baby Mario, and when all was said and done, I laughed as Baby Mario and Luigi were sent back to the doorstep of their parents' home.

Yoshi's Island is a great game.

More than a decade later, I was able to obtain a Nintendo DS system, and later on I bought Yoshi Touch & Go for precisely $39.99 from my local Target, hoping that my money would have been spent well on this spin-off of my favorite SNES game. Right when I reached home, I turned on my DS, and with it, Yoshi Touch & Go. I excitedly played for about ten minutes -- then less excitedly for another ten -- and then felt an inhuman urge to effectively defenestrate the game I had just bought. This...thing should not have been what came out of Nintendo's developments. It did not deserve to bear the names of Baby Mario and Yoshi.

The reason? Simple.

Yoshi Touch & Go is merely a tech demo. Not unlike Pac-Pix, Yoshi Touch & Go is basically a game where you point with your stylus, and then drag it around to make fluffy little clouds that Yoshi can walk on. Normally, that'd be adorable -- in a minigame, that. When the whole game is about Yoshi walking on fluffy little clouds that you draw, eating a couple fruits stuck in bubbles every now and then, it's not adorable. It's dull. It's dreadful. But most of all -- it's no fun at all.

The famous creator of the Mario and Zelda series (among others), Shigeru Miyamoto, once said that he did not like role-playing games; he considered the fact that the player started out very weak in those games absolutely debilitating. Games such as the Mario series, however, had the player have all possible abilities from the start. The great Miyamoto mused that this would allow players to feel as strong as the hero himself from the very beginning. Unfortunately, in Yoshi Touch & Go, even though you can do anything and everything at all from the very beginning, nothing stops you from feeling very bored by the time you reach the first checkpoint.

The fact that Yoshi Touch & Go offers multiple playing types is no consolation -- the types all involve the player moving endlessly through a stage, drawing fluffy little clouds so that Yoshi can avoid enemies, or poking enemies so that Yoshi can throw his shortage of eggs at them. Fruits regenerate Yoshi egg count, but they are few and far in between. Sure, Yoshi walks around adorably and Baby Mario squeals very, very rarely -- which, by the way, is a good thing -- but these tiny things do not make up for what is a horrid excuse for a full-fledged game.

Some may argue that this is not supposed to be a full-fledged game; it is merely supposed to be a break from a much bigger game. In that case, I offer a simple solution -- make the entire game a minigame instead. Yoshi Touch & Go would have fitted in nicely among the ranks of Wario Ware: Touched!'s souvenirs, or even Super Mario 64 DS's and New Super Mario Bros.'s minigames. As a game itself, though, it completely falls short.

The fact that I did not even mention the music is a sign of how poor this game came out to be. The expectations I had coming in from Yoshi's Island were apparently too high -- or more likely, Nintendo made Yoshi Touch & Go much worse than it could have been.

About two weeks or so after I bought Yoshi Touch & Go, I took it to my nearest GameStop and sold it -- for much less than I bought it for. My money was not spent well, and I was left disappointed in my once-honorable favorite video game company. I had thought Nintendo would not go to such lengths to get money out of their consumers. I was wrong.

Reviewer's Rating:   0.5 - Unplayable

Originally Posted: 08/18/06

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