Feature Article

Yoshi's New (Old) Island

Back to the island.

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.

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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.
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.

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doc-brown

Peter Brown

Peter used to work at GameSpot. Now he just lurks at GameSpot.

Yoshi's New Island

Yoshi's New Island

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ChiefFreeman

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This game looks like manure.

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soulless4now

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I never beat Yoshi's Island for GBA. lol

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sotantalus

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

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BlazingSpeed

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<< LINK REMOVED >>Exactly,

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Nintyfan95

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

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voljin1987

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<< LINK REMOVED >>DS did have terrible music tho.. the original is still yet to be beaten

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ABIBASS

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baby marios too cute

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RainIsMyDrug

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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.

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deactivated-58270bc086e0d

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<< LINK REMOVED >> 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.

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yorkrose26

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> 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'"!

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tristanxalbion

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Tomb Raider was a reBOOT, not reMAKE. Tomb Raider Anniversary was a remake.

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deactivated-58270bc086e0d

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I was referring to the Anniversary Edition.

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UFOLoche

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> The amount of bias and probably hypocrisy in these two posts are making me choke.

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deactivated-58270bc086e0d

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<< LINK REMOVED >> When the only news out is of Nintendo's demise it is hard not to keep coming back.

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abHS4L88

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<< LINK REMOVED >>

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

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deactivated-58270bc086e0d

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> 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.

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Naylord

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

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bjvill

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<< LINK REMOVED >> 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.

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Tiwill44

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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.

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UFOLoche

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<< LINK REMOVED >> 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.

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kay2kid

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Do want

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GH05T-666

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

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KBABZ

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In other news, 3DS screenshots still suck.

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xcollector

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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?

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notjustin

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

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pszone

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

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Nintyfan95

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Mario rescued it in 2011, the PS4/XBONE are what need saving. PC's FTW!

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notjustin

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<< LINK REMOVED >> what part of the system of the year last year need saved?

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dom28

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>Titles and ranks come and go, it's the present that counts.

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twizzickle

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<< LINK REMOVED >> 3ds doesnt' need saving

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bballentine95

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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!

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DiverseGamer

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That Yoshi picture at the top is creepy.

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Mr_Big_Boss

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<< LINK REMOVED >>Nothing creepy about holding babies while pooping eggs.

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Drkr_Zen

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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.

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DrKill09

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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.

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pszone

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<< LINK REMOVED >> well it wont stop Nintendo money problems.

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samussaturn101z

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<< LINK REMOVED >> 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

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hadlee73

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

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Aero_Slasher

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<< LINK REMOVED >>There IS Yarn Yoshi, if that hasn't become vaporware by now.

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xolivierx

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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.

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Vambran

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Yeah ill buy this.

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STrugglingFool

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

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deactivated-581dd8ca87cd8

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Super Smash Bros 4 and Mario Kart 8 plus more advertising might pick the Wii U's sales up.

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OuroborosChoked

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> You mean like Pikmin 3 was supposed to? And Wind Waker HD? And Wonderful 101? And on and on and on?

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notjustin

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> those are not smash and mario kart i'll grant you WW Hd but it wont move systems couldn't move the game cube a new zelda 2 would move more consoles and there working on it

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samussaturn101z

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> true, true, but with that new console project i think they might be giving up on the wiiu altogether

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

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notjustin

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<< LINK REMOVED >> mario kart,super mario world, orge battel, just tossing some titles you may have forgotten about

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