Yoshi's Island DS Review for DS

On: DS
Yoshi's Island DS is a fine platformer and a refreshing change of style
Yoshi's Island DS is a fine platformer and a refreshing change of style

Yoshi's Island DS is a fine platformer and a refreshing change of style

It makes a quite refreshing change to hear the impossibly cute mumblings of Mario's eternally helpful sidekick, Yoshi, directly after having your eardrums burst by Marcus Fenix's hyper-macho marine madness. It's refreshing in all sorts of ways. Going straight from the jaw-dropping high-definition next-generation graphics of Gears of War to the tried and trusted 2-D cartoon platform action of Yoshi's Island DS, and not missing Mr Fenix a single bit, is one. Leaving behind the whining and bitching of the ever polite Xbox Live community for the peace and quiet of a classic single-player adventure is another.

But it's the realisation that you can still lose yourself in a virtual world, whether it be blasted into your living room from a 40-inch LCD or engraved onto your retina from the back-lit glow of the Nintendo DS' dual screens, that is most refreshing of all. It's back to basics in the most pure, unadulterated fun kind of way that the DS seems to have a monopoly on (well, pre-Wii at least). It's the embodiment of the fundamentals of gameplay that I sometimes pine for, even when picking my jaw off my carpet following the resolution of a particularly exhilarating fire fight in Gears of War.

And you really have to hand it to developers Artoon for such a noble effort, not without a sizeable amount of pressure. The Yoshi's Island franchise is treasured among Nintendo platform devotees - 1995's Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island on the SNES (remade in 2002 for the GBA as Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3) is arguably the greatest platform game of all time - and a cock-up could have resulted in a particularly nasty backlash. But don't worry - you can put down your protest banners - despite some niggling annoyances, Yoshi's Island DS is a thoroughly enjoyable re-imagination of a classic platformer and a heart-warming alternative to the next-gen madness which will no doubt dominate the gaming agenda this Christmas.

I say re-imagination because it's more a remake than a sequel. The simple backstory involves the Yoshi clan helping babies Mario, Peach, Donkey Kong, and, later on, Wario and Bowser (don't worry, that's not a spoiler, the manual will tell you that much) to rescue Baby Luigi from the evil Kamek, the Magikoopa in his floating castle. The staple Yoshi's Island platforming goodness remains, but with a DS twist. While carrying a baby on his back, Yoshi can swallow enemies by sticking out his tongue, then either spit them out or turn them into eggs. Get hit by an enemy and the baby will start bawling and float away in some demented direction, forcing you to frantically retrieve the babe before its protective bubble disappears and Kamek comes calling.

If games were rated on cuteness, this would earn a 10.

If games were rated on cuteness, this would earn a 10.

There's lots of precision jumping, puzzle solving and pipe exploration, as you'd expect. And the structure of the game is equally predictable - complete levels, get to castle, defeat boss, start next world.

Within five minutes of play you'll notice how long the game is compared to, say, New Super Mario Bros. By no means will you fly through the game, platform guru or not. But it's not because the levels are particularly difficult, they're just, well, long. Reflecting this, there's no time limit, so there's no pressure to rush through things. It's more a case of relaxing, bopping along to the cutesy music and enjoying the ride.

You won't die too often either, which is curious, given the masses of extra lives you'll pick up along the way. Yoshi's Island DS feels more like a coin hunting exercise than a platforming extravaganza.

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Ichigo

This game is great. I used a cheat to unlock all the levels, which makes it so much easier. The other two save files are still stuck in World 2, while I play in my Clear! game, to practice. (That's usually all I do)
In any case, you'll be hooked on this game. All babies are over-adorable (except for Wario) and have amazing abilities. Bowser is my favorite, you don't have to waste your eggs, you can just use fire.
Posted 16:42 on 26 October 2008
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Anonymous@ YoshiFan

COOL
Posted 11:38 on 02 January 2007
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debs@ YoshiFan

oh, the last thing i'll say..
if you have a choice between buying this game or the original yoshi's island for the gba, just buy that game for your ds. its better by far.
Posted 23:43 on 30 December 2006
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debs@ YoshiFan

lol @ not dying a whole lot...obviously the reviewer didn't play the game after beating the first two worlds. world 4 and 5 are enough to make you break your ds.

with that said, IMO, this game is boring, repetetive, and a chore to finish and get 100% on all levels. whats the point? everything after 4-4 is equal to or greater in difficulty than ANY yoshi's island (snes) extra level.

the baby thing is very, VERY gimmicky. mario is the only one that DOESN'T handicap yoshi. i find myself using mario unless i absolutely have to use one of the other babies because mario has better control.

the music is garbage in this game. outside of the first level in the first world, all the other themes are lame. all of the bosses are lame, with the sole exception of the bird boss on the 4th level. that boss fight was hot. i'll give yoshi's island ds that...its too bad the music in the background wasn't easily as hot, but yeah...that would have been dope on the big screen.

overall this game gets a 6.5/10

music: 3/10
graphics: 8/10 (original was better IMO)
gameplay: 6/10
replay value: depends...i'm very turned off at the difficulty. its not a fun hard, if that makes sense...yoshi's island was fun and hard. yoshi's island ds is just stupid hard in some areas. its like...you die 30 times (no exaggeration) to figure out how not to die in one area because you don't know what to do. the dual screens thing is wack as well.
Posted 23:33 on 30 December 2006
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YoshiFan

Great review... great game!
Posted 12:38 on 18 December 2006

Game Stats

Yoshi's Island DS
8
Out of 10
Yoshi's Island DS
  • Cute visuals
  • Classic Nintendo gameplay
  • Nothing new
  • A little gimmicky
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 01/12/2006
Platform: DS
Developer: Artoon
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer
No. Players: One
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 2,659
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