Review by Pokejedservo

"Don't be fooled by its awfully preschool-ish appearance. Its still quite the solid 2-D platformer from Nintendo."

We all know now that Nintendo is currently in progress of making its own animation studio in Japan but ever wondered on what if they at least made an OVA on the Yoshi's themselves? Which would be a really cutesy but yet really well done storyline of child-like fantasy regarding those ever-so lovable yet awfully hungry Dino's? Well until when or if that happens this'll be a good substitute for now, not as much as Yoshi's Island Super Mario Land 2 but hey close enough…

Its been stated in debates of Nintendo 64 Vs. Playstation that despite on how overly blocky the graphics were for 3D games in both consoles early days. But yet later-gen PS one graphics ended up superior in having more polished & smoother 3D graphics. This is one of those few N64 games that would be a worthy enough opponent to challenge that very notion. (And not only is it not the only one to do so but its not even the absolute best either. Says something really good about the N64's infamously high potential huh?) It may not seem like it at first what with the pretty good but kind of crude title pic and artstyle used when the game tells you of how the storyline goes. But once you go into gameplay that's when the Graphics engine its when it's truly at its best. Exceptionally smooth Yoshi and enemy graphics and the background is very nicely textured as well. Heck once you play the game more & more you might end up thinking that your playing something on one of the modern consoles as well. This game is also a pretty good argument on why Nintendo SHOULD'VE got more good 2D games on the console. Went on a little too long in Graphics you say? Well then as for the aforementioned sentiment regarding 2-D gaming on the N64 graphics are not the only aspect that this game is a good example for. Again not seemingly THE perfect one but still…

Yoshi's Story is an indirect follow-up to Yoshi's Island: Super Mario World 2. (Kind of like how Chrono Cross is to Chrono Trigger. Except that the lead good and bad guys are for the most part the same in this case.) And while Yoshi's Island 2 is even I admit a better game but this one at least has one advantage no crying baby on back for a great amount of the time. (Heck this is pretty much the first and only Yoshi game that he stars in and Mario is completely absent. Not that I have anything against the world's most famous plumber of course but hey I'd just thought I point that out.) Gameplay is for the most part the same as you can still aim and launch the eggs you gather by various ways. (Eating edible foes, hitting blocks with Yoshi Egg-styled patterns, and so on and so forth .) Not too mention Ground pounds, higher jumping that'll make Luigi even more green then he already is and more. There are new features such as a Daisy is used as your life meter this time. And on how instead of protecting baby Mario you'll be gathering at least 30 fruits of any type throughout each stage. Now WHY would you do such a thing other than to help stop Yoshi's insatiable hunger? Well then I'll explain the plot to you. Baby Bowser reprises his role as the main villain but this time instead of holding Baby Luigi hostage he has one of the Magikoopas cast a spell to turn Yoshi Island into a big storybook. All the Yoshi's that currently were there are now turned into crude drawings on the storybook. And to make matters worse the “Supper Happy Tree” is now stolen by Baby Bowser especially on how it was their only hope to come back to their sweet-natured selves. Luckily 6 (well technically 8 due to the secret Black Yoshi and White Yoshi you can indirectly unlock in one of the modes) egg's were hatched soon upon that day as well. Since they were just born they were not affected by the magic they were confused at first then they realize that they must save their land and fellow Yoshi's from the evil Baby Bowser's wrath. (While collecting a lot of fruit along the way assumingly to eat the fruit but keep the seeds one way or another to help give it a good foundation to grow back in once they rescue the tree.) Now we all know that many a Mario game has its story built in style of child-like fantasy including its indirect predecessor. But lets just say that some might've laid the child-like aspect a bit too thick for some people. Granted I personally did not mind it all then again that was more on the opening storyline segment which was written in a very nice “Mother Goose” type of prose. Besides anyone who picks this game up and really expects this to be truly different from what it is… Well lets just say they can't blame anyone but themselves to put it nicely.

People have condemned this gem for being far too simple. Granted its not incredibly hard and it has no difficulty meter settings at all as well. However it might be more challenging to younger gamers and those who don't play Yoshi's Island a lot might have to get use to the gameplay at first as well. (Though don't worry its not to hard to learn at all.) However it still has challenge in it, not a lot but still don't get too over confident mostly in the later levels. Stage designs have a nice amount of variety featuring various sorts of challenges to go through. Music is very cheerful and quite above average in this game alongside with the rest of the audio as well… And this game has probably some of the best in Control regarding Nintendo 64 titles, really its absolutely smooth. The only thing a bit too simple here is on how in Story Mode even if there were more than one stage at a page if you clear one you go to the next page. Now don't get me wrong I don't mind playing a game when its considerably easy but that seems to be a bit much. But you don't have to go stop going to the Story mode just once when you complete it and you can play more stages there as well. Other than that the Story mode is just fine with me… (Not too mention on how if you play long enough you'll be able to be in different stages in Story Mode as well.) Now you can also be able to play them in Trial mode as which well focus entirely on gameplay as well. (And you can play in any stage you went through as much as you like.) There is also a Practice mode which is decent but I've seen better… There is not a lot to do in Options other than check high scores, remove Story Mode progress data and toggle the text between English and Japanese. While the concept sounds cool there it doesn't give you all that much different of an experience unless you can read Japanese well.

Overall while not quite like GoldenEye or Paper Mario its still one of the better games in the Nintendo 64. It doesn't QUITE have the looney eccentric charm that a certain SNES title has but its pretty darn close. This is also a relatively easy to find game and not too expensive and is overall another reason why the 1st party support of the Nintendo 64 was quite above average. (Aside from the awfully below average 3rd party support of course but that's all for a different review at another time.) Its also like I said earlier another reason why Nintendo should've focused more on making 2D games for the N64. (Sure not all 3d games in there are bad such as that aforementioned classic made by RARE but still…) The Nintendo 64 is infamous for not being used to its potential in various and I mean VARIOUS sorts of ways. Fortunately that for the most part this game does in many ways. “Yoshi's Story” is just simply one of the reasons why the N64 is still a remotely worthwhile system to get and is of course a recommendable buy…

+ Exceptional Graphics for a Nintendo 64 game with great stage designs
+ Great control with genuinely solid & easy to get into gameplay
+ Overall good audio
+ Nice “Mother Goose” styled prose in the intro and overall storyline
+ One of the N64's better games
- Story Mode might seem to be a bit too short
- Options Menu is not much
- It might be too easy for some gamers

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/30/05

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