Yoshi's Island DS (Nintendo DS) Preview

By Mike Mason 30.06.2006

If there's one Nintendo 2D platformer you should play, it's probably the original Yoshi's Island, first released on SNES but ported to the Game Boy Advance in later years. For the poor people who haven't experienced its wonders, the hook of the title is that Yoshi carries Baby Mario around on his back, trying to get him back to his parents, while rescuing his baby brother Luigi. Upon being hit, Yoshi loses Mario and must recover him before the timer runs out and he is snatched away, all whilst trying to reach the goal at the end of each stage. Many have clamoured for a sequel, but could it be a case of one game too many for the plucky egg spitter?

First impressions look very positive. The colourful levels make a welcome return, and the style as a whole looks like it could be plonked right into the original title with little or no disagreement. This is a DS title though, and so the palette seems to be stronger than before

Screenshot for Yoshi's Island DS on Nintendo DS

Rather than just carting about Mario this time, Yoshi appears to have become more like a walking nursery school, introducing a further two tykes to the concept of danger. Princess Peach and Donkey Kong baby editions are now present as well, with baby DK being all-new and baby Peach first appearing in Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time earlier this year. Each baby brings its own skill to help out Yoshi: Mario acts as a 'normal' character and seems to allow our green dino friend to leap higher; Peach carries her trademark parasol to allow safe floating to the bottom of long drops and to pick up upwards wind streams to go flying up to previously unreachable heights; Donkey Kong allows players to climb up and down vines and swing across monkey-bar style grips attached to the ceilings. In addition to Yoshi's already substantial moveset, which includes egg-hurling, butt-slamming, tongue-lashing and hover walking, the amount of movements possible is much more varied than before!

Screenshot for Yoshi's Island DS on Nintendo DS

Not all babies can be carried at the same time, though (have you ever tried ferrying about a trio of children, all the while navigating around and away from enemies and hazards? Coming back from the weekly shop in rush hour doesn't count. Didn't think so. He might be a dinosaur, but he's still a living creature, dammit!). Players must use a bit of thought as to which baby would be most beneficial in each part of a level, with some sections impossible to pass without a certain infant. To swap your kid, Yoshi must pause at a 'bus stop' of sorts and wait for the stork to come and take your current baby away and replace it with one of the others. We're sure some parents would like this feature in real life, too...

Audio-wise, again, everything seems as it was, from the cheery, dreamy, wishy-washy tunes that play as you romp about, to Yoshi's trademark voices (Bdriiing! Yoshi! Badum! Blech!

Screenshot for Yoshi's Island DS on Nintendo DS

Aside the presentation, something that has clearly been taken into consideration when developing Yoshi's Island 2, the fact that the game is on a DS has not been ignored. Rather than forcing the features of the DS into the game unnecessarily, it takes on a far more subtle, natural approach

Screenshot for Yoshi's Island DS on Nintendo DS

Final Thoughts

The ball is in Nintendo's court to improve and make up for the last two efforts, and what better way than by resurrecting a much loved classic. As long as they don't ruin it






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (20 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


What should be pointed out is that people are very worried about this because Artoon is developing it on behalf of Nintendo.

HOWEVER, I loved what they did with Yoshi's Topsy Turvy/Universal Gravitation...and what I've seen of this so far looks faithful to the original (although the controls are apparently not quite as tight).

I reckon this could potentially be another million seller in Japan...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I'm not so worried about the Artoon connection - I think Nintendo will keep the leash rather tight on this one, particularly because it's a sequel to one of their classics, and because of the lack of love for Universal Gravitation.

I can definitely see it selling a million in Japan, yep. :-D

I have to say this looks pretty damn good. I haven't played the original :O but from what i've heard it's great. My only worry is a saturation in the 2D platformer handheld market but I'm sure Nintendo will space them out adequately. Nice work though :Smilie

Even if you have to swim through a pit of lava, get your hands on that game. It's a must.

Great preview, Mike :-D

seriously, if you havent played the original, you really must :-o

I'm looking forward to this sequel, I was so excited when it first got announced. I just really hope they don't mess it up and disappoint me...

Co-founder of the PDSLB - Pink DS Lite Buddies Fraz: Cheerios are made from fairy orgasms.

Cool preview, this is the first time I heard of the additional characters, I'm a big fan of the original, acing that and the GBA version recently, I hope this one is as good as it sounds!

If they ruin this game I will personally mutilate every single person responsible... Yoshi's Island is my favourite game ever...

Still a proud member of the 'omfg amazing water in games' society
Guest 03.07.2006#8

you forgot that yoshi's story on n64 was craptacular. It was gorgous to look at and was fun to play for the five minutes that it took to play it. The snes version was pretty darn challenging and long, but the 64 version was so basic it wasn't funny.

I think Gamespot.com has a review of this game and they gave it a 9.3 or something close (it was over 9.0) MUST-HAVE GAME! YAY! lol


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