Where Is My Truly Great Yoshi's Island Game?

Yoshi's Island came out in 1995. That's almost 20 years ago. Since then we've endured mediocre sequel after mediocre sequel. Yoshi's New Island is out in Australia tomorrow and, whaddya know — looks like another average platforming game starring Yoshi. What gives?

When Yoshi's Island was released on the SNES it represented the absolute pinnacle of platform design. To this day it remains a masterclass. I'm hard pushed to think of a more inventive video game in that space. Maybe only Mario Galaxy 2 with its splattergun innovation comes close. Yoshi's Island was a feverish toy box bustling with invention. It is, for my money, the greatest 2D platformer ever made.

Why has the brand been treated with such disrespect?

We had Yoshi's Story on the N64, a game that confusingly shrank in scope. Then Yoshi's Island DS, a paint by numbers facsimile. Yoshi's New Island on the 3DS appears to be similarly mediocre.

Here's what Yoshi's Island used to represent: a dazzling spitfire blast of over-delivering genius that could fart out ideas that destroyed the competition. Yoshi's Island was the Miles Davis of 2D platforming. It created ideas for fun, used them once and tossed them by the wayside for lesser titles to base their entire game around.

What happened to that? Why can't we have that again? Where is the creative spirit that made Yoshi's Island so explosively original?

Perhaps the closest we got to that was with, surprisingly, Yoshi's Touch And Go — an essentially throwaway DS game that made great use of the DS's touch screen when its touch screen was actually a point of difference.

But I want Yoshi's Island to be relevant again. I want a game that lives up to the legacy of the original. We had Retro Studios work wonders with the Donkey Kong Country franchise — can't someone else do a similar job with Yoshi's Island?


    Didn't Miyamoto hate that game? Something about them wanting to create backgrounds similar to Donkey Kong, which he hated.

      No I believe he hated Donkey Kong Country and made this as his response

        Miyamoto was rumored to have stated that Donkey Kong Country was devoid of proper gameplay.

        The connection between this game, and Country, is that both were supposed to use pre-rendered graphics, but Miyamoto understood that Yoshi's Island wouldn't feel as original if it used another game's art technology.

    Have we got a proper review of Yoshis Island 3DS yet? I'm genuinely curious to know how it stands up to other platformers. Is it difficult?

      Polygon have their review up, and they seem to think its a solid game with a "...gradual learning curve. Yoshi's New Island ramps up slowly, starting with gentle courses and evolving into stages that require perfectly timed jumps and throws over lava or bottomless pits."

    Yoshi's Touch 'n' Go! \o/

    I used to play the shit out of that on my train trips to uni and back. Massively underrated game imo, especially once overshadowed by the (only kinda) similar Kirby's Canvas Curse.

    It is, for my money, the greatest 2D platformer ever made.

    Can't agree enough...

    Poor EB Guy that I was talking to last night. He was so excited for the new one because Yoshi's Island SNES is his favourite game of all time.

      It's funny/sad when the EB/game-store guys don't have the advance knowledge you (sometimes unreasonably) expect as a customer. But we are all just gamers!

      I remember coming back to an EB the day after purchasing Homefront on the 360 and asking the EB-guy, "Why did you let me walk out of here with this? I thought we were friends! Or at the very least, friendly. Have I... wronged you, somehow?"

      He was confused, because he thought it was awesome.

    Hehe. That spinning planet boss.

    I played it a heap but at the time I was into other games so it never really found it's way onto my classics shelf. I also sort of resented it for being called Super Mario World 2 without being Super Mario World 2. However looking back there's no boss in there that wasn't great. A little too hard or frustrating at points, but when you line them up it's like they got super drunk, scribbled vague descriptions for a fight, woke up the next morning and somehow made it work.
    It really took advantage of what a SNES could do. Not just in a way like Star Fox where they pushed what the hardware could do, but in a way where they just sorted through every visual effect they had available to them and used it like a pro. It pushed the limits not with raw power but with precision.

    Although Baby Mario's cry still haunts my nightmares. I swear I got good at the game just to shut that baby up. =P

    Is it really looking mediocre?
    From what I've seen it looks to be more of the same, which isn't a bad thing really.

    Nothing will be like it was 10-20 years ago. It's all baby-fied. You'll have 50+ lives by the end of the first two levels and if you die more than twice you get a power up to help you through. Nullifying any need to have 50+ lives. It's ridiculous. The moment I saw how many lives you accumulate in short time with Yoshi' New Island, I cried. Same with a whole handful of Nintendo games released in the last few years.

    Such a joke.

    Ummm... So we are just going to assume this is a bad game before it's even released?

    I don't think we should mourn the fact we won't get as good a game as the original, rather celebrate the fact that they got it so right the first time around.

      I dig the quote reference, but also... THIS IS THE INTERNET. COMPLAINING IS WHAT WE DO.
      ...OFTEN IN CAPS.

    I loves yoshis story as well, but thats supposedly a shit sandwhich. So 'opinions' or something.

    I love Yoshi's Island, but it's not one I replay as much as Diddy Kong's Quest or Sonic 3 & Knuckles,

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now