Feature Article

Yoshi's New (Old) Island

Back to the island.

by

Yoshi's New Island is familiar territory for Nintendo's favorite prehistoric mascot. Of course, reviving a classic franchise without altering its formula is a very Nintendo thing to do nowadays, and on one hand, I can understand why some people criticize this habit, citing perceived laziness or a lack of creativity. On the other hand, Nintendo knows its audience better than most. I played the original Yoshi's Island, and going into Yoshi's New Island, I felt the same cynicism that I expressed for The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds before actually playing it. Once again, I'm forced to eat my words. Yoshi's New Island is incredibly familiar, and that's why I like it so much.

At the start of Yoshi's New Island, babies Mario and Luigi are separated while en route for stork delivery, with Luigi falling into the evil Magikoopa Kamek's hands, and Mario plummeting onto Yoshi Island. Immediately after landing, Mario starts crawling confidently, and the onlooking Yoshis decide they ought to help him out. It resembles the story from the first game, but this didn't bother me because Yoshi's Island is a gameplay-driven experience.

Jumping into the actual game, I was immediately familiar with the controls that were mapped to the 3DS, but you have the option to reconfigure them in a fairly significant way, beyond swapping the A and B buttons. Outside of platforming, one of the most crucial mechanics in the Yoshi's Island series is the art of throwing eggs to kill enemies and interact with objects. In past games, you would hold the throw button and watch Yoshi's aiming reticle cycle back and forth, forcing you to time your shot at just the right moment. That system still exists, should you choose to use it, but you also have the ability to use the 3DS's gyroscope for precision aiming, negating the auto-cycling aim altogether. You don't need to rotate your 3DS very far, because the gyro-aim is sensitive enough to respond to the smallest movement, thankfully, without feeling too temperamental.

One of the biggest additions to the series in Yoshi's New Island is mega eggdozers--gigantic eggs that can smash through obstacles, revealing secrets and earning Yoshi 1-ups in the process. You can throw mega eggdozers blindly, but completionists will want to explore their immediate surroundings and plan carefully, because a few degrees of difference in trajectory can have a big effect on the outcome of an eggdozer toss. Throw it, and it may unveil a few collectibles, but throw it at an angle, and it may begin a series of ricocheted movements, netting greater destruction and rewards in the process.

Don't let the cute flowers fool you! Death lurks around every corner.

Vehicles also make a return in Yoshi's New Island, including the Yoshified helicopter and a new minecart. These mini bonus stages challenge you to reach the finish line before a timer runs out, and if you succeed, you'll be handsomely rewarded. Fail, and you simply get booted back to the main stage without suffering any penalties. This is good, primarily because you're required to use gyroscope controls during these levels, and it doesn't work nearly as well when aiming egg projectiles. You have to rotate the 3DS much farther to get a result, thus requiring the system to disable 3D. Even though these are optional bonus stages, I can't imagine why Nintendo forces gyroscope controls during these moments, because it's certainly a hindrance.

Apart from these troublesome bonus stages, Yoshi's New Island controls really well. I played five levels from the first half of the game, and it was never particularly difficult, but it was fun. The familiar visual style and catchy soundtrack captivated me just as the original Yoshi's Island did almost 20 years ago, and if you can believe it, the new sound Mario makes when he falls off Yoshi no longer makes you cringe uncontrollably. Don't go into Yoshi's New Island expecting a renovation of the series. Go into it expecting a new adventure in a familiar world, and if you do, there's a good chance you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

Discussion

60 comments
soulless4now
soulless4now

I never beat Yoshi's Island for GBA. lol 

deadpen
deadpen

Here is further proof that Super Mario Bros 2 US release was the REAL smb sequel. Otherwise why would shy guy be in it. Just like Birdo being in the mario golf games.

sotantalus
sotantalus

New concepts, please, new concepts.....

Nintyfan95
Nintyfan95

Yoshi's Island DS looks better than this, it looks like a step down from this. 

ABIBASS
ABIBASS

baby marios too cute

RainIsMyDrug
RainIsMyDrug

Only Nintendo can get away with selling you a New old game... Sq enix try it with tomb raider and everyone already feel rip off and the damn thing isnt even out yet lol. 

Naylord
Naylord

Wouldn't titling the gyro sensor really mess up the 3d effect?

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

I'll definitely to try it out, but... I have my doubts. The game is developed by Arzest, who pretty much only made bad or casual games. I'm afraid the gameplay in this one will feel much slower than in the original, and the game will be much easier, which is a bit boring. Also the music and the graphics are alright, but they're not that good compared to Yoshi's Island on SNES.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

Woohoo cant wait for this! I love Yoshi!  This game has been long over due.

KBABZ
KBABZ

In other news, 3DS screenshots still suck.

xcollector
xcollector

That banner picture is just wrong. It looks like Yoshi tried really hard to shit an egg, baby Mario is staring in confusion as though he just seen his parents having sex by accident,  and the turtle dude is ever so very angrily riding his happy cloud trying to hook the egg shit. Who the hell drew that picture?

notjustin
notjustin

think they should remake the nes mario bros. and put yoshi in it just hd maybe a yoshi here and there

pszone
pszone

A remake what should be left alone and it wont save 3DS or Nintendo money problems.

bballentine95
bballentine95

Lately I've been considering purchasing the 3DS.. reading this, I am no doubt going to purchase it as soon as possible. Yoshi's island is one of my childhood favorites!

DiverseGamer
DiverseGamer

That Yoshi picture at the top is creepy.

Drkr_Zen
Drkr_Zen

Its awfully funny Nintendo keeps putting the "New" word in these titles... its like they're hoping that fools customers, lol.


All kidding aside, I agree with DrKill09. While I still enjoy the occasional Nintendo game, as I loved Super Mario 3D Land, they repeat the same process generation in, generation out. Release console and handheld, release Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pokemon, Pikmin and Mario spin-offs, wait for next generation to happen. 


I was hoping with the Wii U having some more beneath the hood, it'd open up Nintendo's potential, but all that did was make you wait for ports that were superior on the PS3 and 360. 


That said, I'll probably give this a go once its used, on sale, and/or both... the original YI remains one of my favorite games to this day, but like most recent "new" games from Nintendo - namely New SMB2, YI DS, etc. - I have my hesitations with picking up their games day one, like I used to. 

DrKill09
DrKill09

This game has already been remade once.  Stop it.


Nintendo, you're failing because you are not making any new IP's, and you think video games are just for kids.  Most gamers have gotten tired of your endless rehashes, and have simply outgrown you.

hadlee73
hadlee73

Considering the Wii U is just a giant HD 3DS, it amazes me Nintendo only ever releases these games on their portable system.

xolivierx
xolivierx

the 3ds is getting tons of interesting  games but the wiiu is getting crap...wtf is wrong with you Nintendo?
they really need to change the people in charge, they need some good ideas because this crap is going down the toilet.

STrugglingFool
STrugglingFool

No wonder why WiiU has weak sales. Great games for the 3DS.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper


A definite buy from me if I ever buy a 3DS!  Yoshi's Island was probably my favourite game on the SNES.

Setho10
Setho10

I'm always surprised that people tend to completely ignore the DS Yoshi's Island game. I thought it was really good and captured the spirit of the original quite well. Yet these days it's like the game didn't even exist. With comments like it being "20 years" since the original game, implying, at least to me, that we haven't played a Yoshi's Island game in 20 years, when the DS one came out like 7 or 8 years ago. Just strange to me.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@RainIsMyDrug Well yeah but Square Enix did clearly state that it was a remake. And it has been updated it visuals quite considerably. 

Nintendo just make a new game, stating it is an all new game and then it turns out it is exactly the same as the old one in a new skin. I'm surprised they haven't been done for false advertising yet.

bjvill
bjvill

@Naylord It's a good idea so I hope they pull it off. 

Resident Evil Revelations added the option to use the gyro for aiming, and that wasn't too bad. But it needed a bit of learning how to move the 3DS the right way without messing up the 3D much.

UFOLoche
UFOLoche

@Tiwill44 THANK YOU!  I'm not the only one who has doubts because of the developer!


Another note is that Arzest is basically just a bunch of people from Artoon with some new people thrown in.  Artoon is the company that made Yoshi's Island DS.

Nintyfan95
Nintyfan95

@pszone Mario rescued it in 2011, the PS4/XBONE are what need saving. PC's FTW!

notjustin
notjustin

@pszone what part of the system of the year last year need saved?

samussaturn101z
samussaturn101z

@DrKill09 I still love nintendo, but i agree they need to start catering to the children and cater to all ages, make a couple new series, and change up the formulas a bit 

notjustin
notjustin

@nl_skipper mario kart,super mario world, orge battel, just tossing some titles you may have forgotten about

Hypermug
Hypermug

@Setho10 I never played it personally (I did watch a walkthrough), so while the gameplay might have been good, the soundtrack in particular was utter garbage. The graphics also seemed clunky. 



yorkrose26
yorkrose26

@Dannystaples14 @RainIsMyDrug  But like the reviewer said, Nintendo knows its audience in the fact that it will still sell thousands even though people are playing an 'extension' of the old game. People who buy will fall into two camps either they will know this or they will be disappointed and purchasing the game and wishing they had just replayed the first. Of course though that wouldn't bother Nintendo as they would have still 'made the sale'"!

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@abHS4L88 When the only news out is of Nintendo's demise it is hard not to keep coming back.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@Dannystaples14

Yet you can't stop visiting Nintendo related articles, clearly they're still very alive to you.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@UFOLoche @RainIsMyDrug Hypocrisy? I sold my 3DS over the summer because I was sick of the games. I haven't touched a Nintendo full sized console since the N64.

Nintendo died for me a long time ago.

Yoshi's New Island More Info

First Release on Mar 14, 2014
  • 3DS
Yoshi's Island brings Yoshi and Baby Mario back with flutter jumps, ground pounds, egg throws, and a host of new actions that use the unique features of the Nintendo 3DS.