N64 Review: Yoshi's Story
Review by: Hairball (hairball@sm128c.com)

Game Info

 System: N64
 ESRB: Everyone
 Genre: Fighting
 # of Players: 1
 Size: 128 Megabits
 Developer: HAL Laboratories
 Publisher: Nintendo

 Controller Pak: No
 Rumble Pak: Yes
 Transfer Pak: No

 Release Date:
 US: Mar 10, 1998
 EU: Jan 20, 1998
 JP: Dec 21, 1997




Final Score:

Yoshi's Story is one of the most underrated games, or perhaps most misjudged game for the Nintendo 64. This game stars the lovable green dino from Yoshi's Island, Yoshi. Nintendo says that Yoshi's Story is an upgrade to the original Yoshi's Island.

There is lots of criticism about Yoshi's Story, saying it's doesn't meet the standards of an N64 game. Just because it's 2-D doesn't mean the game will be bad. Just remember back in those old days we used to play Super Mario World all the time. We just don't care about the game if it's 2-D or 3-D. It was the gaming experience that matters.

The graphics prove something that the N64 can make almost any type of game possible. The graphics look downright amazing. The game does really look like an interactive story book. Doesn't the game looks like those things you do with modelling clay? Yoshi's Story looks a lot like that, and it's really cool but really hard to describe. Because people are so against 3-D we might not really see another game that can meet or beat this game's standards.

In Yoshi's Story there's many colours of Yoshi's to choose from. The colours of Yoshis in the game are Red, Yellow, Blue, Light Blue, and Green. There are also two hidden Yoshis. They are Black and White. The hidden Yoshis can eat anything including things Yoshis don't like.

The point of this game is to restore happiness to Yoshi's Island. Baby Bowser took away the Super Happy Tree, and the baby Yoshis want to restore happiness by defeating Bowser and taking back the tree. Because they are just little Yoshis, they want to get Super Happy by eating fruits. Each colour of Yoshi likes a certain fruit better, except the Melons, all Yoshis like those.

Basically there are two modes. The modes are adventure, and time trial. The adventure mode is simply going around and getting 30 fruits in each level and defeating both bosses (one boss in the middle of the game, and Baby Bowser). Once you have some levels completed you can play the Time Trial. It's basically going around getting fruit as fast as you can. You can only play in levels that have been completed. I was very disappointed that Nintendo didn't include a multi-player mode in Yoshi's Story. It would have been cool if there was something like a Mario Bros-style game. It would be cool because the N64 has 4 controllers, and a bunch of friends can have a bash like the good ol' Mario Brothers.

In the levels of Yoshi's Story there isn't an ending to the level. You have to get your Yoshi to eat 30 fruits (which are found almost everywhere) to pass the level. The fruits you eat can give you a different score. The way to get the best score (and ending) is to eat ONLY the honeydew melons. Eating only melons in the entire game is the biggest challenge, sometimes even though you may find all the melons, it's hard to eat exactly the right one. Sometimes by accident you can eat nearby fruit, which has happened to me before.

Once again in a Nintendo game, the sound is really great. After playing the game for quite a while, you can feel that you are kinda playing all the previous Nintendo side-scrollers. The music is mostly re-mixed stuff but it's really cool. Most of the music, if not all is really happy kind of music. There's lots of joy into playing this game. Also the sound effects are spectacular too. Yoshi can kind of talk. You can hear him run, smell, jump, and other similar types of sounds.

Like all the recent Nintendo games, there always seems to have a few familiar faces popup. The enemy seen the most is probably those Shy-Guys (those things that fly around and have many colours). For some reason Nintendo overloaded the game with them. There are also many new faces too.

For the first time Yoshi can do almost anything he wants. He can run, walk, eat, throw, jump, smell, swim, leap, make emotions, and much more. The new smell move makes Yoshi able to smell things underground, such as hidden fruits, coins, and other secrets. And when Yoshi finds something that he smells, he'll talk to you. When you get the hang of this game, you'll find out that it's really cool, it's kind of like a 3-D game in a 2-D world. Thus, this game is a 2-D masterpiece.

Nintendo could have made this game the coolest game ever. But the game had a problem, it was the length. the game in fact only has 24 levels and 4 bosses. But unlike adventures like Super Mario World for the Super NES. You have to play 6 at a time. This is really not much fun. Even though 24 levels is kind of a large number, considering the tasks to do, which are eating 30 fruits in a level, the game is still very easy.

Yoshi's Story is more than just a cute short game. There is more that meets the eye. Once you start playing you might think it's easy. But this game has superior graphics in the abandoned 2-D graphics. Maybe more levels and tougher challenges will make this a better game to play.

-- Hairball (hairball@sm128c.com)

Bottom Line: Although Yoshi's Story has had too much criticism the game is still lots of fun, if you don't mind the overloads of cuteness. Yoshi's Story is a game anyone can play, and master.