Review by CooperF4

"One of the most creative puzzle/platform games you will find"

When I first heard about Nintendo's new handheld called the Nintendo DS, I was excited about the possibilities it would offer. Obviously I was expecting to see better graphics and sound, but when I heard about the touch screen I was intrigued to say the least. I was wondering how games would be played with it. When I first got my DS I had the Metroid Prime demo as well as Super Mario 64 DS, both great games, and while the touch screen could be used for both I had to get used to it. This practice would certainly pay off, and when I found out about Yoshi Touch & Go I was anxious to get my hands on a copy. I love platformer games, and I love puzzle games, so this interesting mix between the two is perfect for me. Oh, and I'm also a big Yoshi fan (my preferred character in Smash Bros. and all the Mario spin-offs). Anyway, on to the review....

Story 5/10 - There's really not much to say about the story. It is the same as Yoshi's Island (my favorite game of all time). Kamek, Bowser's Magikoopa henchman has attacked the stork carrying Baby Mario & Luigi. While he is successful at getting Luigi, he misses Mario. Mario falls onto the beautiful Yoshi's Island, and there he is greeted by a friendly group of dinosaurs who pledge to reunite him with his brother. Now, seeing as this particular game doesn't have a climax per say (i.e. a final battle with Baby Bowser), the story isn't really that important so it doesn't really affect my overall score of the game. It's a nice backdrop that does give you a small sense of purpose when you're playing though.

Controls 10/10 - This aspect more than any other is what sets this game apart. Yoshi Touch & Go could not be replicated on any other video game system other than the DS. The dual-screen and touch screen format work incredibly well for this title, and the game was well designed to cater to the unique features of the DS. You will not use the D-Pad or any of the letter buttons or even the select button. You will only use the Start button to pause if necessary. There are only two other control inputs. You use the style to draw clouds and encircle enemies and coins. You can also make Yoshi jump or have him throw eggs. Baby Mario can shoot starts when you get a super star (for every 100 points you get on the ground in Challenge mode). You also use the microphone to clear away clouds you might have drawn in a bad location. It's a very unique and rather creative feature that only helps to increase the interaction you have with the game.

Graphics 8/10 - When looking at this game initially you notice it seems to have very similar graphics to Yoshi's Island and this was the intent. You will shortly notice though that this game actually looks a lot better than Yoshi's Island. The colors are bright and vibrant as you'd expect from Nintendo. Yoshi and Baby Mario as well as all the enemies you encounter as all animated very well, and have their own personalities (especially Yoshi himself). The backgrounds are good, and they change every so often, meaning you don't always look at the same thing. There's really no telling how many different backgrounds and level types there are. You just have to get as far as you can to likely see them all. While this game is obviously not representative of what the powerful DS is capable of, it looks nice and is fun to look at.

Sound 8/10 - Sound isn't as big an issue in a game like this, but the music and sound effects in this game really help to put you in the mood to play. You'll notice some familiar tunes from Yoshi's Island (some of the most catchy tunes in any video game I can think of....gets stuck in my head easily), and a few new ones. The sound effects are also good. Yoshi really comes to life, and as with the graphics, the sounds help to give the characters unique personalities. Yoshi has all his usual voice effects as does Baby Mario. The enemies (a few of them anyway) also have good sound effects, many of which you will remember from Yoshi's Island. You can even create a "sound" of your own when you blow into the microphone, you will hear a gust of wind as your clouds blow away.

Gameplay 9/10 - Obviously this aspect is the most important for any game. Just how fun is this game? The answer is very. There are two modes to begin with, which challenge you to set a high score or to see just how long you can last. If you set new records for those modes, you unlock two more modes, one of which is a harder version of the marathon mode where you again try to go as far as you can, but there are some extras thrown in to change things up a bit (as well as a ton more enemies and a timer that you need to keep bumped up by getting points.......when it runs out Kamek attacks and your game is over). The other unlockable mode is a bit different from the first three because in it you must save Baby Luigi from Kamek's toadies. This in a sense is like a boss fight of sorts because you must defeat each of the four toadies with egg shots. It can be challenging to do. There's also a small minigame that becomes unlocked once you set high scores in all four of the main game modes. It's nothing major, but it's a nice side note that tests your hand-eye coordination. There's also a versus mode where you compete against a friend. By scoring lots of points and stuff you can make life harder for your opponent giving the more enemies to deal with. The best part about versus is that it only requires one Yoshi Touch & Go cartridge to play, and the range with the DS's wireless signal is pretty good. It also has a PictoChat feature that will alert you if you're within range of people on PictoChat. All in all, Yoshi Touch & Go is a fun game to play, and while the modes are all broadly similar, they each have enough of a difference to make things interesting everytime you play. With the four modes of play, the nice combination of puzzle and platformer, plus the nice versus mode, Yoshi Touch & Go is certainly a worthy purchase for the DS.

Replayability 6/10 - This aspect of the game depends on the person. For people like me who simply like to play games, and try to set high scores it's a dream come true. For people who enjoy puzzle games, platformers, or both it's a perfect title. The group of people who probably won't like this game as much are those that do nothing but sit down and play a game until they beat it then they don't ever touch it again. I'm this way with a few games, but this one is not one of them. You haven't truly beaten this game until you've unlocked all four modes of play, and beaten the high scores on all of them. Depending on how good you are with the stylus, this could take some time. I bought the game when it came out, and have only recently (as in today) beaten everything. I will continue to play though, there is no doubt about that.

Overall 8/10 - This game is so unique that I can't help but love it. I love the mix of puzzle and platform that no other game offers. Additionally, you can't duplicate this game on any other system because of the unique features of the DS. This game is innovative and creative in a way I never thought possible. I give props to Nintendo for making a truly fascinating game that I have a hard time putting down. If you like puzzles, platformers, or both I'd recommend this title. If you have friends with a DS then that's even more reason to get it. Some people criticize the game for being too short, but in my opinion it's all relative. If you're someone who simply enjoys playing games and you like the challenge of getting a high score (make no mistake this game isn't easy until you've had a lot of practice), then this game is a must purchase for the DS. Good job Nintendo.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/14/05

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