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Yoshi's Island DS Review - DS

8.5
Gameplay: 9 stars 9
Graphics: 8 stars 8
Audio: 5 stars 5
Innovation: 4 stars 4
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Introduction


Yoshi's Island DS picks up where the original left off. Kamek, foiled the first time around in his quest to kidnap the babies Mario, has returned, this time kidnapping children from all over the land. Thankfully, a hapless stork manages to set free young Mario and Peach, sending them hurtling towards Insula Yosius.

The story is told through little cut scenes that play out after castle levels, with the actors on top and the text on the bottom screen. Some of the scenes are cute but the writing isn't spectacular.

On the journey to recapture the other kidnapped tots, Yoshi and company will also encounter a young, and already greedy Wario and his money attracting magnet, and Baby Bowser, his fiery disposition fueled by his young impetuousness tantrums. Combined with the ever present Mario, the baby Peach and a little ape called Donkey, each with their own unique abilities, five worlds with eight levels a piece await.

Each tot must be used to their fullest and the ability to change on the fly at special “stork docking stations” means you can play with the tot you like most and still switch when the level dictates. While the differences each tot make aren't huge, their effects are still felt. Peach lets Yoshi hover just that little bit longer, while Donkey weighs our nigh extinct friend down, preventing the fluttering of limbs we love so well. You probably won't even notice the difference until you fall just short of that dangling platform, but it's there.

story
quality of writing

Gameplay


YIDS doesn't mess with the classics and keep the controls as similar as possible Jumping, floating, egg tossing, locking on and pounding the ground, it's all as steady as she goes, and all intuitive. For those who, like myself, spent many an hour playing the original, the small changes to the mechanics, such as jumping and hovering, will throw you off. Like New Super Mario Bros, it forces you to readjust and takes away from the classic feel of the original a little.

For those unfamiliar with its pedigree, Yoshi's Island DS will have you running across 2D landscapes, overcoming enemies and obstacles, jumping from precarious platform to dangerous ledge, all the while eating as many hapless enemies as you can. Once done, Yoshi can squeeze them out in the form of an egg, which is then used, hurled if you will, at enemies and obstacles alike. Of course, if you miss your target and take damage, your tot jockey will fall of Yoshi's back. A timer begins, and if the tot isn't rescued in due time, it's game over.

While the levels follow Yoshi's original, with strange and quirky design, it still manages to include all the staples. From fixed position donut lift levels are checked off, there's the obligatory mine cart level and the faithful castles, complete with labyrinthine passages and puzzles. The levels unfold in the required manner. Three ... (continued next page)
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