Nintendo makes a just nice, uninspired successor? The mighty powers of our world have fallen deep.
Why does the concept of life still exist in Nintendo titles? So a limitation of possible new attempts, which only serves to increase the level of difficulty. Because this is exactly the purpose they have not fulfilled for a long time, because Nintendo does not want to create frustration among the players. It is better to shower them with extra lives than to put a stop to the whole thing and remove the system. In both Super Mario 3D Land and World, the number of my existing lives soared into the triple digits before halfway through the game. Even Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was unable to break away from a concept that is apparently retained solely for reasons of tradition.
Don’t be afraid of death
Yoshi’s New Island also follows the trend and literally buries you in a flood of extra lives that lose their value and thus their rewarding function. If Nintendo is so afraid of challenging its customers in any way, why not just throw the concept in the bin? I noticed it even more than usual in Yoshi’s New Island because my little dinosaur didn’t want to die at all. After the credits, I was able to count the number of deaths on one hand. In a short afternoon, I flew through the adventure with no problems.
I was just getting used to the title. It was anything but love at first sight. At first I was shocked by the new look. Kind of weird mix of Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Story, where all 3D models wear a crayon filter as a suit. In addition, many 2D backgrounds with rather three-dimensional platforms in the foreground bite each other. Certainly a matter of taste, but the charm of the template was lost at first. Surprisingly, turning on the 3D effect produced the biggest difference. Suddenly the differences between the levels seemed much better and embodied a kind of stage design. In some sequences, however, the necessary contrast between individual elements is missing. The colors on the screen often mix to form a spongy mass that lacks the clear design of the SNES title.
Make sure to turn on the 3D while playing.
What I disagree with, however, is the new soundtrack. What happened there? Many of the new tracks create an unfamiliar pain in the ear. While the songs of the original brought the childlike atmosphere of the colorful areas to life, the audiovisual design now seldom merges into a uniform orientation. The reinterpretations of old sounds are really unbearable. The happy melody that greets you at the end of each level now sounds as if someone were farting the individual notes into a calcified tuba.
I know, I know. I compare Yoshi’s New Island too much to its predecessor instead of seeing it as a separate product that stands on its own. But the title lacks the necessary identity to set itself apart. Too much it feels like a simple extension. Even the six worlds are strongly based on those from Yoshi’s New Island, so that sometimes you think you’re playing some kind of remake that Nintendo is marketing as a successor.
The happy melody that greets you at the end of each level now sounds as if someone were farting the individual notes into a calcified tuba.
Viewed differently, the similarities even help the title, since it is based on one of the best platformer of Super Nintendo. Even if Yoshi now moves a little slower, the cute dinosaur continues to steer perfectly. In contrast to a Mario or Rayman, it does not build up high speed. It defines itself more by its ability to eat opponents and throw them as eggs. At the push of a button, the usual target marking appears on the screen, which gives you the throw line. You are only directing the alignment indirectly. The cursor moves up and down in quick steps. If it reaches the desired height, you either fire your egg immediately or hold the trajectory to throw the protein bomb later. So far everything is the same.
The only innovation to this system is the introduction of giant eggs. At certain points, gigantic shy guys appear, which Yoshi chases through his stretchy body in an almost frightening animation. In addition to normal objects, giant eggs also destroy solid stones and are strongly reminiscent of the mega mushroom from New Super Mario Bros., which is as entertaining as it is incredibly fun. In almost all situations you only point to the desired point and the entire level is freed from problems. As simple as the process may be playful, it generates a satisfying feeling every time. Various modifications such as the metal egg also enable Yoshi to dive in the water.
Otherwise not much has changed. The main attraction is still the exploration in order to get to all collectibles. In addition to the hidden flowers and red coins, the mini-stars continue to provide the greatest challenge. They increase a kind of life indicator in the form of time. If you get a hit, Baby Mario falls off your back and floats through the air in a bubble. If your remaining time runs out before you reach the nagging toddler, the game will drop you off at the last of the sparsely distributed checkpoints.
At certain points, gigantic shy guys appear, which Yoshi chases through his stretchy body in an almost frightening animation.
Baby Mario’s screams are still the sonic embodiment of the devil.
The strengths are still in the clever level design, which does not challenge you with obstacles, but has some surprises in store. For example, brief moments in which you control a doppelganger next to your Yoshi and lure it into spikes. Between some sections, Yoshi transforms into different vehicles as usual, which your 3DS takes over control this time. A perfect opportunity to establish yourself as a complete idiot on the bus or train.
Although Yoshi’s New Island is a proficient platformer, the game somehow lacks identity or personal touch. I also miss the passion and love for the product that you can feel every second in Super Mario 3D World or Rayman Legends. Yoshi’s New Island, on the other hand, feels like a simple sequel with a few changes. It’s still fun, no question about it. The existing elements are too well implemented for that. Problems are more evident in the optics, the music and the lack of incentive to reach new heights. You were satisfied with good and it didn’t get any more than that.