One thing that has always confused me is the hatred surrounding Yoshi’s Story. It reviewed fair enough if my memories of flipping through Nintendo magazines during lunch breaks at school serve me well, but once the internet was a common thing, all I read was some sort of intense hatred. Maybe I needed to replay it? And recently I’ve done just that, but I’m still confused. I always am.
Yoshi’s Story is the follow up to Super Mario World 2 Yoshi’s Island, an incredible Super Nintendo classic which featured egg shooting, ground stomping platforming action. And a screaming baby. Yoshi’s Story ditches the baby sitting and instead has a collection of Yoshi’s hunting for fruit to progress through the pages of a hand crafted story book. They even sing at the end of each level, with a cute overview of what they’ve been doing. It will make you puke rainbows. I can guarantee.
The recent craft like games such as Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Yoshi’s Woolly World, Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush, and Paper Mario Color Splash have been wowing gamers all over the net, thanks to beautiful aesthetics that look like they’ve been put together in the real world. Clay, card and wool seem to be the components Nintendo games are made out of these days, but it isn’t such a new thing. Yoshi’s Story has had that hand crafted look since 1997, and the game still looks pretty impressive today thanks to it.
The backgrounds looked like they’ve been stitched together, the foreground made out of toys and newspaper cuttings. I guess back then 2D wasn’t so hot when you could run around 3D landscapes as Mario, no matter how shiny it looked.
It isn’t as good as Yoshi’s Island (what is?), but it holds up today as a fun platformer which can be as tough or as soft as you’d like it to be. Six levels are available in each play through, with fruit being the main goal to turn the pages and see the ending. It’s incredibly easy to wander around the open levels grabbing the required amount with Yoshi’s tongue and handy flutter jump, but to see the whole game you have to track down giant hearts too.
It isn’t easy to find three of the beating bloody organs, which is necessary to see the fourth level in each chapter. For those scoffing at the challenge the game presents, here it is! It isn’t too dissimilar to seeking out alternative paths in Star Fox 64, and nobody complains about that. Skip the hearts means skipping Shy Guy’s limbo, infested piranha plant jungles and cotton wool snow.
It’s pretty, it’s fun, it has challenge, and there’s a lot of high score potential. I guess that’s why I’m confused. Sometimes sweets are just too sweet.