The little green dinosaur gets a new island.
Yoshi’s New Island on Nintendo 3DS is cute and adorable on every level. Nintendo’s iconic friendly green dinosaur Yoshi transports a baby bubble of Mario across a selection of worlds in an effort to keep him from the constant danger of their perilous adventure on Egg Island.
Yoshi is adorable and you’re can’t question his lovability as the star of this title. His huge eyes, and long sticky out tongue still manages to fill the players heart with charm and delight. In Yoshi’s New Island, Yoshi can hover and flutter in the air, and gobble up enemies or eggs before skillfully spitting them out again as projectiles. However, if Yoshi is wounded, the baby Mario on his back will drift away in his tiny baby bubble, wailing, as you rush to reach him and rescue him from the devilish clutches of evil shy guys, the snapping jaws of Piranha flowers, or being pelted by flying bombs.
The game mechanics remain more or less the same as the previous title, with a few changes along the way. Tossing a multitude of multi-coloured eggs into ongoing enemies is still the most favorable way of destroying them using the dotted line cursor, but another way is using the chomp rock. The chomp rock allows you to roll over enemies with a massive rock, which can also collide with the environment to expose hidden secret areas. A pair of binocular eyes is also handy for scoping out the area, as you can move around the platform landscape, highlighting where those precious collectibles are located.
The majority of your time is spent jumping, back and forth over pastel perfect environments; jumping on clouds or tiptoeing on beanstalks. You’ll find yourself trying to collect every red coin and sunflower within reach and yes, there is a completest in all of us. The player as Yoshi will have to do their very best to avoid being devoured by nipping and chomping plants, or to balance precariously above volcanic environments. Yoshi will be fluttering past bouncing flames of lava and avoiding being clubbed around the head by spiked wooden hammers.
Each stage has a certain element of danger, but danger can be avoided most of the time with a little bit of patience or quick thinking. The game has a number of visible and masked green question mark clouds scattered across each stage and these can be shot at using an egg to find more coins, or give you a quick solution to those tricky moments. Yoshi can flutter and jump through beanstalks in a bid to collect those shiny gold or red coins.
Yoshi has an appetite for eggs, so swallowing up a giant shy guy can then transform one small egg into one metal eggdozer, which can then go on to destroy and blast bigger areas and walls of the stage like a rocket. Just following its path of destruction, Yoshi will be able to enter areas that he couldn’t before.
Yoshi can take on many forms in Yoshi’s New Island and these are highlighted within the game at various stages. Believe it or not, there’s a fake Yoshi inside the game and this copycat mimics Yoshi’s movements. You’ll have to make sure you can destroy the fake Yoshi on spikes in an effort to escape this double vision. Yoshi can transform into a drill and this enables you to drill through a number of layers in a selected area, to get to your goal in a limited time. Luckily a number of scattered time balloons can be found in the area, so the remaining walls don’t fall down and crush you.
Yoshi also has the ability to transform into hot-air balloon Yoshi where tilting the 3DS system will see you manoeuvre Yoshi through a series of spiked areas, just waiting to burst your balloon. Yoshi can also mould into a mine cart, and using the same mechanics as before with the hot air balloon, can ride and jump over platforms, collection coins and avoid incoming enemies.
If, during the course of your adventure, you can’t seem to complete a stage or you keep being destroyed, the game spits out white and gold wings to aid you on your journey, making levels much easier. The player can gain medals in the game, but these only give you additional lives and nothing more. Better incentives and rewards would have been nice from Nintendo. You can also team up in co-op mode, but this does rely on your friends having a physical copy of the game too, where as a download play option would have been more preferable.
Yoshi’s New Island doesn’t seem to make the most of the 3DS qualities, but has given me a nostalgic journey with memories of the previous Yoshi’s Island title on Nintendo DS. The game still oozes charm, the wailing baby Mario is sweet, if a little irritating at times. It’s a casual and feel good handheld title for the next generation of new gamers, that might have not been around in the classic DS days. Yoshi’s New Island offers the chance to join Yoshi in his latest adventure and still manages to delight and light up the faces of people of all ages. While the new features don’t exactly push the boundaries in technological and graphical creativity, it still pushes the player to explore the fun environment in new ways. Yoshi’s New Island, although difficult at times, is a happy game that will leave the player with a warm, satisfied feeling, providing they keep baby Mario safe, that is…