Yoshi's Universal Gravitation (Game Boy Advance) Review

By Adam Riley 31.05.2005 51

Review for Yoshi

There is something that needs to be remembered when dealing with Nintendo and that is that when you think you have it pegged, it goes and throws the world a curve ball. It happened with WarioWare, same with Donkey Konga and now that loveable little green dinosaur is getting the innovative workout. Yoshi's Universal Gravitation certainly is a game with one heck of a twist...

That scoundrel Bowser has been up to his usual dastardly antics, causing havoc wherever he frequents. However, his evil has annoyed someone a little bit more powerful than him, Hongo, the spirit of books. In retaliation, Hongo entraps King Koopa on Yoshi's Island, but accidentally confines the entire island in book format as well. Another spirit, though, one who likes surprises and was recently fired by Hongo, decides to help Yoshi save the day by giving him the ability to tilt the whole world to his advantage and deal with Bowser accordingly!

Screenshot for Yoshi's Universal Gravitation on Game Boy Advance

Back in the final days of the Super Nintendo's lifespan, Nintendo released the sequel to Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island, which utilised the powerful Super FX chip that gave an extra graphical boost to the ageing 16bit platform. It was hailed as one of the most beautiful titles on the system and guess what? Rather than following the cleaner style adopted by Yoshi's Story on the N64, this latest Yoshi continues with the drawing-book technique, which looks simply lovely! Cute little animation cut-scenes, detailed static images, rich colours flowing out of your GBA screen and the whole movement of the game is extraordinary to watch. Nintendo and Artoon have created a smart-looking game that does not simply put a clever idea above presentation levels.

To be honest, though, the audio aspect is a little on the unusual side. To start with, the title theme is reminiscent of the Donkey Kong Country series, and the introductory scene about Bowser includes very Zelda-esque strings. It seems that this Yoshi game does not really have its own unique identity as previous outings have. One level even sounds like it was ripped out of Software Creations' Plok! To go back to Yoshi's Island, the game's soundtrack was immensely memorable, with the intricacies of the title tune alone warranting a 10/10 rating. What is clever, though, comes from the little sound effects from characters and even notes on the ground that you can roll over to make a tune! But whilst originality may not be the strong point here, what is on show is done well enough to prevent you from switching the volume off!

Screenshot for Yoshi's Universal Gravitation on Game Boy Advance

Kirby's Tilt 'N Tumble started the Nintendo revolution of hands-on control, moving the little pink puffball around by moving the actual Game Boy system, but then ditched the whole idea after promising a sequel on the GBA that linked up with the GameCube (becoming Rollerama before dying a premature death). However, the tilt sensor has now been modified to pick up left and right movement, being used in WarioWare: Twisted and now this, the new Yoshi platform adventure. Everyone and their dogs are lauding Wario's micro-games, but transferring the same technology over into the platform world is an entirely different matter.

You start off by having to calibrate the cartridge's sensor by tilting your GBA to one side when told then the other. Quite a simple process, but imperative if you are to get enjoyment out of the game at all! The aim is to collect various pieces of fruit, coins or even kill a specific amount of enemies in order to not just finish the level, but clear the objective set for Yoshi so that progress through the game can be made. You do not simply have to reach the designated target, though, as this will only garner you a low level medal at the end, with a gold only being dealt out if you exceed expectations. This really does help to make you bolster your performances, repeating levels just to out-do your last score.

But these are not just simple run and jump levels, as you must tilt the system left or right to walk up walls, swing ships and platforms to reach higher levels or move across large treacherous open spaces, unroll patches of land or even ram enemies into sharp objects. Sure it is only a simple twist of the handheld, but whilst trying to run around, jump and flick Yoshi's long tongue around at the same time, you may find that things are not quite as easy as they may sound.

Screenshot for Yoshi's Universal Gravitation on Game Boy Advance

It is also far cleverer and well thought-out than you may initially assume, with not only the world moving around but special sections where Yoshi turns into a balloon, a ship or rides to the top of the screen before sliding down with you controlling his path back down to collect the maximum amount of coins. This innovative theme runs right the way through to the confrontation with a certain evil Koopa and other than a little bit off frustration involved in jumping from vertical wall to vertical wall, with the whole having to twirl the GBA quickly from side to side, there is nothing wrong here at all! If only all games tried as hard as Yoshi's Universal Gravitation!

Now, Universal Gravitation might come across as a rather short experience, but just as with DK: King of Swing, the trick with this lies in mastering the special functionality of the game. DK's adventure had gamers relying on just the shoulder buttons for the unique control system, whereas Yoshi's has players trying to come to terms with the tilting nature of play. Working your way through the various levels as quickly as possible will do nothing more than ruin this quaint little title. The challenge lies in making your way through a stage, tilting your system in the correct manner and still trying to manage the collection of everything available along the way. As with the N64 Yoshi game, the aim here will be to come back time and time again in order to try and beat all the high-score goals set and play all the challenges inside.

Screenshot for Yoshi's Universal Gravitation on Game Boy Advance

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Nintendo has to be applauded yet again for trying out a new style for platform games, with Artoon creating almost as satisfying a title as PAON's DK: King of Swing. Certainly not perfect, but you would be struggling to NOT have fun with this twisting and turning Yoshi outing!

Also known as

Yoshi Topsy-Turvy






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  1/10 (2 Votes)

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


A clever little game that isn't as gimmicky as people might think. There's actually subtance in there...and good substance!! :eek:

Hehe :lol:

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Its good, but not nearly as good as

Seriously, Twisted is by far the best Wario game, and one of the best games of the last 5 years.

http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

I can't wait for WarioWare, true - shame it's been delayed til later in 2005 for Europe! :roll:

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Any certain dates for WWT?

Also, nice review, i always had the impression that nobody liked it, they said that the tilt sensor was not very good quality. How did it feel?

360 Gamertag: shiptoncraig
PSN: shiptoncraig
Steam: Guess what?

I've read that also, but seriously had no problems other than quickly trying to switch between left and right when jumping from vertical wall to vertical wall - and that's not the sensor's fault, but my slow reaction speed!

WWT: http://www.cubed3.com/viewnews.php?storyid=3933 Delayed from a June release to Q4 :-(

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

I'm surprised, I've not heard good stuff about this. I'd consider getting it if it was cheap, though.

Definitely - hardcore platform fans might be turned a little cold by this, but as a cheap alternative to the norm its quality is definitely high enough to warrant some time with it.

Those looking for something fresh will likely lap this up!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Big fan of yoshi games, might get this one.

I definitely prefer it Yoshi's Story, that's for sure!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Oh no, did Yoshi's classic sing song not make it in the game? That song is oh so cute! :-D

Awesome stuff 'Raz, this is on the to-buy list definitely.

Shame it's bombed over here in the UK! :roll: And shouldn't that be your 'bankruptcy list'? :eek: You're going to be skint Nick!!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Just import WWT
Its pretty cheap in lots of sites...you will almost certainly *save* money by importing.

http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

Thing is, I'm supposed to be getting a review copy from Nintendo and my current financial situation means I'd much rather wait and get it free in all honesty Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

this looks like a really fun game! im not a big fan of music games so maybe i might get this wen it comes out?!?!

I see all these people insulting the Nintendo corporation because of the lack of mature content. Yet there is something about Nintendo (at least their games) that strikes a certain unadulterated feeling of joy!!!  Pokemon Y - 1048-9263-5562

I'm still not sure whether to import this or not - I REALLY want it, and I don't know if they'll include the headphones, etc. for a Western release. Maybe it'll be my first Japanese import in...well, ever.

Great review, really enjoyed reading it. :-D

The idea of no saving your music isn't too appealing, a simple saving feature would have been nice. But, hey! It's a great concept and looks like fun.

360 Gamertag: shiptoncraig
PSN: shiptoncraig
Steam: Guess what?

Perhaps that's something that will be looked into for a possible Western release...being able to save your creations would indeed be superb!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Aww, I wanted a section called Sheldon! (off spongebob).

Anyway, I'm not sure about this 'game'. Seems like all I could make with it is random noises, and no save function is dissapointing to say the least...

To be honest, that's going to bug me now - as I'd not considered a save function before shiptoncraig mentioned it! :sarcy: :alien:

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

"Perhaps that's something that will be looked into for a possible Western release...being able to save your creations would indeed be superb!"

or a second game Smilie
well i might import it, i'll take a look round :Smilie
It sounds great...

My little brother and my wife both love it more than I do! Now that's saying something...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

I wish I'd stop reading these comments now - I'm THIS close to getting on Lik-Sang and departing with

Beware - unless you order from Lik-Sang Europe you will get slapped with about

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Oooh, sounds just as good as I was hoping. Can't wait for it to come out on western shores (well, Europe) my DS is gathering dust worryingly fast, I crave innovation!

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

You don't fancy giving the likes of Touch & Go or Pac-Pix? Might as well try and get this cheap on eBay...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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