Yoshi Topsy Turvy E3 2005 Preshow Hands-On

The lovable green dinosaur is back once again in a new handheld, tilt-sensitive action game. We go hands-on.

It seems like neither Mario nor anyone associated with him will ever catch a break, which is precisely why everyone's favorite green dinosaur, Yoshi, is back in a new 2D platformer for the Game Boy Advance called Yoshi Topsy Turvy. That dastardly Bowser is up to his old tricks, terrorizing Yoshi's island and turning all of the egglings into apples. Apples? Delectable fruit or not, Yoshi's friends need to be returned to their original state, and that's where you come in.

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Luckily, you'll have a secret weapon up your sleeve--a tilt sensor built into the cart that will directly affect aspects of the game's levels. We got to take a look at some short levels during a brief demo of the game that gave the indication Topsy Turvy will be set up like a pretty standard 2D platformer. The novelty of the game comes from the fact that you can affect different aspects of the levels by tilting the GBA to the left or right. One passage was blocked by what looked to be a rolled-up carpet of grass; tilting the system to the right caused this grass to unroll and flatten out, letting us walk through. Other sections of the demo were set up somewhat like a halfpipe and required us to tilt the system back and forth rapidly to keep Yoshi's feet planted at all times. In fact, even outside of this particular area, moving the system would make Yoshi lean in the appropriate direction, which we imagine will come in handy quite often as you progress through the obstacle-course levels of the game.

Of course, since so many of Yoshi's friends have been turned into tasty red fruit, apple-collecting will form a substantial part of Topsy Turvy's gameplay. But how about the rest of the experience, from puzzles to different sorts of levels to possible bosses? Our short demo didn't show off much more than the basic concept, but we won't have much longer to wait to see the rest of it--the game is already out in Japan under the title Yoshi Universal Gravitation, and we'll be able to get our hands on its rechristened form in June. Stay tuned for more.

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