8.5

Really fun, but not as good as the original.

Well let me begin by saying that, as much as I want to rate this game by itself, it IS a sequel and that does mean that I will make comparisons to the original. With that being said, let us begin.

Gameplay (9/10): Honestly, this game retains most of what made the original so fun. That is actually a very good thing. As Yoshi, you eat eat enemies and (depending on the enemy) turn them into eggs, which you can throw at enemies or other things. Also is the baby on his back who you must protect, and instead of dying (unless you fall on lava or spikes or other one hit kill things) you get stunned and the baby starts to float away, and you must get him/her back before the timer goes to 0. You can of course extend the time from the standard 10 up to 30 (seconds) per level, but in the middle of a fast-paced level, it can cause complications (not in a bad way). So that is the gist of it really. Of course you need to get from one level to the other until you get to the game. What makes this different from the first game is the addition of 4 new babies, and each of the 5 having a special power (for example: Mario can make Yoshi run fast, Peach can make Yoshi hover longer during his jump...). This makes things interesting for a lot of the stages. It isn't too amazing of an addition, though. It just doesn't feel like much after you get used to it after the first world. That doesn't mean it isn't fun though. I will admit that overall, the new bosses make good use of the two screens and are actually just as fun as the original bosses. That is one very strong point about this game. Otherwise the game is pretty much the same old Yoshi's Island you remember, which isn't a bad thing, but it could have used a bit more new so I could have given it that 10. Oh yes, and to add is the story. It isn't amazing, it is there and that is about it. Then again, since when do Nintendo Platformers need complex stories to be fun? One last thing to add is that the game has no time limit (except auto-scrolling stages), which means you can take your own sweet time to play through each stage and explore, and this game does a wonderful job of rewarding exploration.

Graphics (8/10): Though the original looked AMAZING on the SNES and GBA, this game just doesn't advance the visuals enough to give it the same 'WOW' factor that the original did. Mind you it is still beautiful, with that same storybook feel. The bright and colorful visuals make everything just jump out at you and really does grab your attention in a very good way. The dual screens manages to be used for making the gameplay field taller than a normal game which can make for some interesting moments of 'Oh I see a platform down on the bottom screen, I wonder if I can make it down there' and then getting hit by an enemy in the gap between screens that you didn't see. That can actually get a little annoying sometimes but it can be dealt with. So really the game looks great, but the DS hardware is capable of so much more that the slight advancements aren't good enough to warrant a perfect score here.

Sound (7/10): I LOVED the music in the original. The music here does nothing more than get the job done. You will likely not be humming to any of the themes and you will likely not remember any of them outside of gameplay. They are merely too simple and sometimes even sound more like an ambience than anything else. I will admit that it makes you feel more like you are in a storybook than the original, but it just isn't all that memorable. The sound effects are pretty much the same as the original, though things sound a little more crisp. The sound is overall pretty good but the music weighs this score down. Pity, because I this is probably one of the only Nintendo Platformers' music that I did not enjoy.

Value (10/10): This is truly where this game shines, just like its predecessor. Initially you have 40 stages to go through, and more likely than not you will first try beating the game before you go for the extras (like I did). That will warrant about 6-10 hours of gameplay time, which is pretty darned short, and it is generally pretty easy as well. It is the extras that makes this game a joy to come back to. In every stage, there are 20 hidden red coins and 5 flowers hidden about. Along with the number of seconds you have of baby-seeking (when you get hurt) time, this all adds up to 100 points. 30 points if you have the maximum number of seconds to lose your baby (by getting stars throughout the stage), 20 points for the red coins and 10 points for each flower. Oftentimes the coins or flowers are quite challenging to acquire, and that leaves room for a lot of time spend in this category. To add to that is that as you get more points, each world has 2 secret levels you can unlock, making the final total 50 stages. Need I mention that the secret stages are fairly difficult to complete, let alone obtain 100% items in? Add to that the ability to play 5 OK minigames on two difficulties and a Time Trial mode you can unlock after you beat the game, and you will likely be coming back to this for quite a while. So is this game worth getting? Well that depends. Are you patient and like platform games? Then yes. Did you enjoy Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island? Then yes. Do you like platformers but don't have too much patience? Maybe, try it out first. Do you hate platformers? Then no. Simple as that. Enjoy.

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