Yoshi’s New Island was released in 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS as a follow-up to Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island for the Super Nintendo and Yoshi’s Island DS, though the story this time around is a prequel to the DS version.
Our story begins with the stork delivering Baby Mario and Luigi to their new home. Before they can reach their destination, Kamek appears and abducts both the stork and Baby Luigi, but miniature-size Mario slips through his grasp, falling to the ground. All is not lost however, as the wayward delivery fortunately lands on Egg Island – the small island adjacent to its better-known neighbor, Yoshi’s Island. A congregation of curious Yoshis soon gather around the unexpected visitor and decide to embark on a journey across Egg Island to keep Baby Mario out of harm’s way and reunite him with Baby Luigi.
Yoshi’s New Island sticks to the established formula of Yoshi escorting Baby Mario across six worlds with the little guy being entrusted to another, differently-colored Yoshi at the end of each level. The levels comprise of the familiar platforming elements found in previous Yoshi’s Island games as you run, flutter jump and hurl eggs at objects and enemies before facing a boss at the end of each world. The game is set up perfectly for play on the 3DS as the more-relaxed gameplay typically found in Yoshi games lends itself nicely for shorter, on-the-go gaming sessions.
The game showcases a level of charm that has become a trademark of Yoshi games. This is particularly displayed in the art style, which is patterned after watercolor or even crayon-sketched backgrounds and character models.
The biggest criticism against Yoshi’s New Island is not its undeniable charm, but rather the way it follows so closely to the previous Yoshi’s Island games without breaking any new ground, making the experience generally forgettable for many players. Yoshi games have been held in similar regard to Kirby games in that, while downright adorable at times, they very rarely venture from an established formula and never pose much of a challenge to complete; even the most inexperienced of gamers have little difficulty seeing through to the end. Though l feel it is unfair to simply brush the two series off as inferior franchises or overlook completely.
This brings me to my point on what Yoshi’s New Island represents – consistency, familiarity, comfort. Yoshi games have always been the equivalent to that worn-out sweatshirt or comfy pajama pants; the cozy feeling of gaming’s bygone 16-bit era is still there and within the game still lies a satisfying gameplay experience. Yoshi’s New Island oozes cutesy charm throughout its six worlds with colorful levels and fun boss fights. It’s a game I feel demonstrates that, in order to provide an enjoyable experience, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel as long as Nintendo has laid a consistent foundation on which to work. Thanks-a for reading!
Wahoo! You are a Super Reader! But the adventure doesn’t stop here… There’s more of this project in another castle! This article is just one level in an entire Super Mario Multiverse, a galactic collaboration between writers around the world sharing a bit of our hearts and memories about our favorite Mario games. Visit the Center of the Multiverse to see more: