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Release Date: March 14th, 2014 Movie Release Year: 2014

Yoshi's New Island

Overview -

Lapping up enemies and popping out eggs with the expediency of the world's last asexual rabbit belongs to just one video game character, and in Nintendo's recent reproduction of popular platforming franchises at a similar rate, it's no surprise that Yoshi returns in his own adventure. 'Yoshi's New Island,' a 3DS sequel in the series spawned from the SNES title long-hailed as platforming perfection, 'Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island,' attempts to reignite the dinosaur's solo career after years of stronger side-kick showings and various sporting avails. Baby Mario is in need of a ride and, ever loyal, Yoshi is there once again to trek the Shy Guy-filled path.

Worth a Look
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
March 14th, 2014

Video Review


When they aren't blurry, the character models in this game are absolutely great. Coming off as sort of a savant toddler's first or second go at drawing, concerned more with form than perfection, Yoshi and his fellow travelers are filled in with scratched crayon and, possibly, children's dreams. Unfortunately, good ideas in the style department aside, everything visual in 'Yoshi's New Island' is undeniably cheap and quickly done. The backgrounds are vacant of any personality, achieving only the bare minimum in scene-setting. Levels themselves are mostly nondescript and repetitive. Even some sprites seem unfinished, jagged edges where a curve should be.

Yoshi's New Island

The 3D effect, while certainly present, further highlights the slapdash nature of it all. Some animated affects pop out just a bit too much, disconnected from the scene, and nothing in the level design even feels commensurate with the 3DS' capabilities.

Still, here and there you'll come across a well realized element to the original idea – a child's imagining of Yoshi's world. It's just not a cohesive effort.

Audio Review


What positive things can be said about the visuals do not extend to the audio. There is a theme to it all, but the execution seems determined to match baby Mario's wails in pure annoyance. Kazoos and squeaks (I imagine a xylophone made of rubber duckies somewhere) sleepily play you through a basic main theme, repeated and just barely iterated on as the game progresses. It's a trance that you're put in, the kind that makes you want to put the console down so you can wake back up. No, that's not a metaphor for the entire game, but I do recommend you simply slide that volume control down to null. Even the small riffs signaling some sort of success, like a boss defeated or level succeeded, find a way to make you regret having ears.

So for me, veteran platformer (including Nintendo's many offerings), 'Yoshi's New Island' doesn't deliver. I'm forced then to conclude that I'm not the audience for this game, and that it would be much more suitable as an inexperienced gamer's first platformer. 'Yoshi's New Island' may actually fill a void in the world of gaming right now as the 3DS is as often in the hands of veteran Nintendo diehards like myself as it is in young, impressionable new gamers. I imagine a solid chunk of youngsters can enjoy this game as a step towards the bigger, the better and the more challenging.

It is perfectly functional, and if you've never played a platformer before, the ideas, visual and design-wise, could pique your interest. And that's worth saying in this case because much of the game looks and feels like it was made for a significantly younger audience. There needs to be room for those games. As such, 'Yoshi's New Island' has some redeeming qualities beyond what I've covered in this review, and the overall score is indicative of different set of gamers. It just wasn't made for me and the rest of the experienced bunch out there.

Yoshi's New Island

Even so, I won't completely absolve the game of its faults. The upcoming Yoshi yarn game from the people who made 'Kirby's Epic Yarn' could very well please both audiences, which is the hallmark of a great kid's game anyway.