Yoshi’s New Island: First Impressions


You see, the Yoshi series has been under scrutiny because for many people, or at least a vocal minority. Some feel that no Yoshi game comes close to being as good as the first one. It was originally released under the title Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island and came out for the SNES late in its lifecycle. Despite this, it was still given praise for multiple reasons, the most important one being that it’s a fun, creative game.

Since then, there has been six Yoshi games, these are:

  • Yoshi Story (1998)
  • Yoshi Topsy-Turvy (2005)
  • Yoshi Touch & Go (2005)
  • Yoshi’s Island DS (2006)
  • Yoshi’s New Island (2014)
  • Yoshi’s Woolly World (2015)

Two of these games, Yoshi Topsy-Turvy and Yoshi Touch & Go, weren’t traditional platformers and instead did things different. Topsy-Turvy utilized a tilt sensor in the cartridge and Touch & Go didn’t involve you directly controlling Yoshi. The rest of the Yoshi games on the list had similar mechanics to Yoshi’s Island.

But despite the games that had similar mechanics or the ones that did something different, all of these games regardless have been said to be, “not as good as the first Yoshi’s Island.” I’ve heard Woolly World to be the best game since the original but still not quite.

Now, why do I care what people on the internet say? In truth, I really don’t. What got me interested was that I’ve read and heard from different places the same things about this series. So, to some degree, it must be true, yes?

In particular, Yoshi’s New Island was met with mixed reviews from bigger sites, regarding its similarities as being bad because it either took too much or took too little. From the miscellaneous internet chatter I’ve come across,  people knock the game for its “horrendous” music, bad gameplay, crappy artstyle, running the ending of the first one, etc., etc. If you want to read more, you can easily find it with a google search away.

Moving past what other people think, it now comes down to what I think. Before I bought this game, I actually was hesitant since I thought I could play the original first since it’s considered “the best”. But I decided to take the plunge with Yoshi’s New Island, despite everything I’ve heard, despite all the bad claims against it. And what do I think?

I like it.I really do.

I haven’t beat the game yet but so far, I’ve really enjoyed playing it in my spare time. Just the other day, I was stuck on a train for about an hour with New Island popped in my 3DS. I played it happily and had to force myself to stop just so I didn’t get too far. So what’s all this talk about how bad it is?

This is a track that plays in the very beginning of the game. I’m not gonna lie, it does sound like a farting symphony. However, this is just one track of the whole game. Now, this game’s music isn’t spectacular or anything but it does serve its purpose. I also think I get what the composer was going for. Along with the clay, childlike artstyle, the kazoo and other instruments used in the game are reminiscent of classroom instruments. Because at the end of it all, this game was made for kids. (Let’s be real.)

Gameplay feels pretty solid but considering it’s similar to the first, not too surprising. In terms of being easy, yeah it has been. For the first world. Beyond that, there have been quite a few challenging sections that have required me to revisit levels multiple times to get everything. To compare, I don’t remember New Super Mario Bros. 2 challenging me as much in its whole game.

Since this is just a ‘First Impressions’, I think I’ll finish off here. This post looks quite long but mostly because I explained a short history of Yoshi games and the critical approach towards the newer games. I understand that everyone is different, grew up differently, blah, blah blah. My goal isn’t to change anyone’s mind, just provide a different perspective and if I happen to persuade someone, then cool. If not, that’s also okay.

Final thoughts: As someone who has never played a Yoshi’s Island game, Yoshi’s New Island is a very welcoming entry. It doesn’t feel like it’s aiming to be the best Yoshi but bring in new players to the series while entertaining the older ones.

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