'Yoshi's New Island' 3DS Review


'Yoshi's New Island' is out now in the UK for Nintendo's 3DS (And 2DS)

The Pitch:

"On this magical journey you'll explore Egg Island, gobble up bad guys, toss egg missiles, solve puzzles, and uncover tons of secrets!"

The Verdict:

Yoshi games are that corner of the Nintendo universe where instead of controlling Mario himself, you are tasked with instead carrying a Baby version of the little hat-wearing proto-plumber on the back of a cute, booted lizard. And instead of simply jumping on the head of your enemies (though you can do this) you more often use your lizard tongue to swallow them and turn them into eggs which can be fired with reckless abandon at other, similar, enemies.

Here your ability to run and jump are constrained compared to other Mario games, but your range attacks are better. The other wrinkle is that Yoshi can't really die - you only lose a life when Baby Mario is knocked off your back and floats away.

So far, so similar to Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, released 20 years ago. In fact there isn't really a whole lot here which is new or inventive. Your Yoshis (for there are many) can wield giant eggs this time, but those are rare events. There are some vehicle-based mini games too, but they're not consistent or to be frank all that interesting.

Worse, the actual platforming is about as pedestrian as Nintendo games get these days. It's slow and bland, definitely aimed at a younger audience but probably not varied enough to keep their attention. The art effect - a version of Mario World as drawn in pencil by a Japanese Manga draft artist - is occasionally quite neat, but the usual sparkle isn't really present. The overall effect is very disappointing, especially in the light of Nintendo's recent sterling work elsewhere.