'Yoshi's New Island' Is More Fun In The Sun With Babies And Dinosaurs

March 17, 2014

Sometimes it seems like Yoshi just can't catch a break. The perpetually hungry, prehistoric companion has always competed with Luigi to play second fiddle to Mario, and is often overlooked when it comes to having his own games. Even some of Nintendo's most hardcore fans could forget that the original Yoshi's Island game was actually a sequel to Super Mario World, the most successful Super Nintendo game ever released. Yoshi has actually appeared in a host of Nintendo games, from puzzle to party, and starred in multiple sequels the original Yoshi's Island. The latest entry into the series Yoshi's New Island falls right in line with the original titles, and once again has a whole island of Yoshis looking after a helpless Baby Mario.

Developer: Arzest
Publisher: Nintendo

Arzest is relatively new developer, founded only a few years ago in 2010, by Naoto Ohshima. While that name may not mean anything to you, it's a pretty safe bet that you're familiar with Mr. Ohshima's most famous creation: Sonic the Hedgehog. Mr. Ohshima created the original version of everyone's favorite blue hedgehog, as well as his arch nemesis, Dr. Eggman. Arzest has only worked on a few projects over the last few years: a mini game for Wii Play: Motion, some StreetPass Mii Plaza features like Puzzle Swap, and character models for Level-5's Japan-only Time Travelers. While that may be a short list, it was enough for them to get their hands on one of Nintendo's key spin-off franchises, Yoshi's Island.

Yoshi's New Island keeps to the basic theme of its predecessors: control Yoshi as he tries to protect Baby Mario, who is being carried on his back. Like his character in the Mario games, Yoshi can run, jump, and eat, but the Yoshi's Island games afford him one key additional skill - throwing Yoshi eggs. The Yoshis also have some transformation tricks up their sleeves, where players can transform into gyroscope-controlled mine carts, or drills, to help them escort Baby Mario through some of the more treacherous sections of the island. Battle your way through a series of different levels, search out Baby Luigi, steer clear of Baby Bowser, and take out the evil Kamek to help bring the Baby Mario Bros. to their intended family.

Yoshi fans will only be able to pick up their favorite dino's latest adventure on the Nintendo 3DS. On the plus side, if you're a Yoshi superfan, you can also pick up a limited edition Yoshi-themed 3DS XL to go along with your pretty new game.

Yoshi's Island fans will delight in another beautiful platformer, starring their favorite fictional dinosaur species, but everyone else might be a little less than thrilled about this game. Yoshi's New Island showcases some of the best ideas ideas in the series, yet the game doesn't bring a whole lot of unique innovation. Yoshi's transformations make for a nice break in gameplay here of there, but they're usually only momentary and don't amount to a whole lot except for a flower. Additionally, Yoshi's New Island seems to keep in line with one of Nintendo's latest trends, since it isn't notably challenging. The levels are well-designed and look beautiful, but overall, most experienced players are going to breeze through most of the game. To it's credit, some of the puzzles are enjoyable, and satisfying to figure out, but on the whole, New Island falls a bit short, especially when compared to its exceptional predecessors.