Reviewed by Raymond Almeda
This game should be plastered with a notice sticker:
NOT INTENDED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES!
Actually, that may be a bit of exaggeration, but it should be clearly
understood by everyone that Yoshi's Story is targeted to younger
gamers. Now, is it just me, or is there something a bit ironic in hearing
grown men complain that the latest video game starring their favorite
dinosaur is ***GASP*** made for kids?!
Anyway, once you accept the idea that this is not Bloody Bikini Beach
Massacre Part 3, Yoshi's Story delivers a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Ahead Cute Factor 10, Mr. Sulu!
Yoshi's Story follows on the heels of the highly successful Super NES
classic Yoshi's Island. However, this game is not intended to be a sequel
to the revered Super Mario World series. Yoshi's Story is not Super Mario
World 3, although the game incorporates many of the same trademarked
platform gameplay elements of running, jumping on enemies, tossing eggs,
and grabbing power-ups. And this time around, there are (for better or
worse) a few new twists.
Rather than travel in a linear fashion through each level to an ultimate
destination or goal, Yoshi's Story demands that players wander its worlds
in search of "Super Happy Tree Fruit." As we all know, Yoshis will eat just
about anything, and they particularly love Super Happy Tree Fruit. Gulping
down the stuff will positively influence the Yoshi's mood; gulping 30 will
advance Yoshi on to the next level. The game might thus be subtitled: The
Search for Fruit.
There are six different colored Yoshis, and each variety of Yoshi has a
favorite fruit. Part of the challenge of Yoshi's Story is to locate and
swallow only the best fruit. Completing a level by locating 30 melons,
for example, will unlock certain secrets of the game. Truly savvy players
may discover the ultra-rare White and Black Yoshis.
There's an unfortunate problem with emphasizing fruit-munching, however:
it's simply not as fun or exciting as the experience of obtaining goals and
seeing new levels. So while the mythical fruit quest adds a unique twist
to gameplay, it's not necessarily a welcome or addictive one. It's really
quite easy to achieve the 30-fruit goal and advance to the next level.
And once you have seen all of the levels, much of the gameplay interest
The goal of Yoshi's Story is to play through each of its six "pages"
(levels). There are six chapters with four pages each, for a total of 24
different levels. However, rather than forcing gamers to complete
these levels consecutively, Yoshi's Story allows gamers to merely
select one page from each chapter. As a result of this design technique,
it is possible to "complete" Yoshi's Story in only a couple of hours.
Seeing everything in the game, however, will take much longer.
The graphics in Yoshi's Story are excellent. Although 2D, the characters
and backgrounds certainly posses a depth that approximates 3D. The
Yoshis themselves are bursting with the personality that has proven
irresistible to kids of all ages around the globe.
Equally compelling are the background environmental textures. Nintendo
artisans have lovingly crafted backgrounds that resemble materials such
as denim, cardboard, and the like. As with many in-house Nintendo titles,
Yoshi's Story certainly is a hallmark of innovative graphic design.
The sound in Yoshi's Story is also first-rate. Although older gamers will
wince in pain at the Yoshis ultra-cute between-level songs, no one can
deny that this cartridge delivers compelling audio. Yoshis assorted
jumping noises and whelps are smoothly integrated into gameplay,
and the music is generally crisp and thoughtfully composed. Nintendo
has once again demonstrated that top quality audio is possible on the
But despite having many irresistible qualities, Yoshi's Story ultimately
falls a bit short of expectations. If you are looking for a cleverly designed
state- of-the-art 2D platformer, look no further. But if you are seeking
long-term challenge in the vein of the legendary Super Mario World, be
warned: Yoshi's Story may not hold your attention for very long.
Perhaps the best advice is to simply relax and accept the game on its
own merits. Yoshi's Story is undeniably brimming with personality and
fun. Even the most hardened DOOM and Quake players will laugh out loud
at some of the Yoshis' endearingly cute behavior.
Without a doubt, Yoshi's Story makes a welcome addition to the N64
library. Let's all enjoy this game for now, and perhaps that "adult-oriented"
Yoshi game will come along someday.
Overall 8.4 out of 10