Yoshi's New Island (Hands-On) (Nintendo 3DS) Preview

By Az Elias 27.06.2013 3

Review for Yoshi

Many Nintendo fans have a soft spot for Yoshi; especially those that grew up playing the SNES classic Yoshi's Island - a game that many class as one of the best 2D platformers of all time. The lovable green dinosaur has starred in a few games since his first solo outing, but it is only now that a third Island entry has come to fruition. After the somewhat lacking Yoshi's Island DS, many are hoping that Yoshi's New Island on Nintendo 3DS will rekindle their romance previously felt for the original 1995 title.

Initial trailers and screenshots of Yoshi's New Island have looked a little rough, leaving many to assume the game is only very early on in development, or that it simply looks much better in the palms of players' hands. Thankfully, what can be said about the actual graphical art style when the game is in front of the eyes is that it looks very good. The pastel shading and water colour designs used in the flower garden and forest stages of the demo are typical Yoshi's Island, and fit perfectly to the standards set by many previousYoshi games that have always strived to deliver unique graphics. It's the actual Yoshi and other character models that stand out as not as impressive as the environments around them, appearing a little jaggy. Hopefully this is something that will be patched up before release. The 3D effect does what is expected of it, delivering some depth to the varying background and foreground planes, without taking the focus away from the level of field which Yoshi is on.

This particular playable demo featured three stages, which all transitioned straight into the next upon finishing them. Due to the fact there were no goal rings to jump through, and that each level was pretty short by previous game standards, it's very likely that Yoshi's New Island is certainly not far into development. This is probably a good thing, since there really wasn't a lot to get excited about after coming away from playing the demo.

Screenshot for Yoshi's New Island (Hands-On) on Nintendo 3DS

It's all very familiar for those that have played previous games, with Yoshi's trademark moves all returning, including the Flutter Jump, Ground Pound and Egg Throw; and the core gameplay element that of trying not to get hit by enemies, else see Baby Mario floating off of Yoshi's back in a bubble, endure his wretched crying noises, and then need to catch him before a timer expires. The only real new idea that's been shown off is a giant egg item, which can be launched across the stage to smash down pipes and other obstacles, whilst also collecting coins it happens to bump into. Prior to picking up the oversized egg, it's possible for Yoshi to hit a block which allows players to scan the vicinity of the stage at a zoomed out perspective using the Nintendo 3DS gyroscope. This gives a good indication of exactly which direction to throw the giant egg in order to knock down as much as possible, and gain a few extra lives in the process.

After traversing the flower garden area, the forest stage stands out as being very lovely looking, with the aforementioned water colouring prominent. The final section is that of a cave - again very much identical to the underground themes of the previous Yoshi's Island games. With many bouncy balls that launch Yoshi to higher platforms, Fang bat enemies and spinning maces that block the way to collectible flowers and red coins, it's clear that developer Arzest is staying true to the previous entries in many regards.

To tie up the demo, Kamek appears to sprinkle a bit of his magic onto a foe, to turn it into a giant Fang boss. With just three accurate egg throws, it's bye-bye Mr Boss, who barely managed to lay a hit on Yoshi as it flew and bounced around the enclosed room. Hopefully the three hits needed to fell it are not an indication of the final game bosses, since it was over in about 20 seconds or so.

Perhaps the most pleasing aspect to take away is that the dual screen approach used in Yoshi's Island DS has been scrapped in place of the action only taking place on the top screen. The bottom screen acts as a very handy reference to how many collectibles have been found in the current stage.


 

Screenshot for Yoshi's New Island (Hands-On) on Nintendo 3DS

Final Thoughts

It might be wise not to read too much into this particular demo, because it was a very short and simple affair, that ultimately felt rather dull. It almost felt like the demo was put out there merely for the sake of having one, and it was certainly missing many other key elements of previous games to try out, including vehicle transformations and mini-games. It should be safe to assume that there is going to be a lot more to Yoshi's New Island than was available to play here, with hopefully some long stages and challenging gameplay and bosses, as well as more new ideas to keep it fresh. No other Yoshi games have really come close to topping the SNES original, and Arzest does have a job on its hands if it wants this 3DS iteration to match its heights, but with Yoshi's New Island not due for release until 2014, there is plenty of time for the team to correct initial problems and, with any luck, deliver a quality title that many long-time Yoshi's Island fans have been craving for years.

Developer

Arzest

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

Comments

Interesting. I just looked up who Arzest is, and they're made up of a lot of former Artoon staff, so it will indeed probably be like a spruced up version of YI DS, a game that I didn't mind, to be honest.

I had a feeling this would look good when played, just like Mario and Luigi. These sort of games just don't look that impressive when blown up in video form.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

I always had the feeling that they showed this a bit too early. Maybe they just really wanted to show something for 2014 but with a 3DS game I want around every corner, I really wouldn't mind a less packed 2014 for the 3DS while I'm catching up on games I missed.

I really enjoyed it, but the demo levels felt too short as they were perhaps just for the purpose of the demo really, not too sure!

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

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