|Release: March 14, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: N/A||Mild Cartoon Violence|
The six worlds can be cleared in just a few hours, but you'll find the real contest lies in returning to each board to nab all the collectibles. Apart from the five Smiley Flowers, there are twenty red coins to nab, as well as thirty stars. It's a trickier process than simply finding tucked away areas. Red coins are usually disguised as regular coins, some of the collectible are hidden in invisible Winged Clouds that only reveal themselves when you walk or jump over the area, and the stars act as the timer for capturing Mario. Thus, you'll need a nearly flawless run to build your star count to max. Snatching everything in each world unlocks secret stages, and collecting thirty golden egg medals via a roulette wheel at the stage's finish line unlocks a special vehicle board.
The Yoshi transforming vehicles, as well as the giant Eggdozers are touted features of this new entry, but I've found them to be more of an afterthought than anything. The vehicle sections are all self-contained areas that have no practical use besides collecting a few red coins and Smiley Flowers. From the Yoshi hot-air balloon, submarine, helicopter, mine cart, and a couple of others, they all use the tilt controls in much the same way, and the gameplay is quite shallow. The Eggdozers are giant eggs that can be launched for massive devastation, but again are in predetermined areas. Mixed with the fact that both these features appear only a handful of times, I would have preferred to see them ditched and replaced with multiple baby characters as in Yoshi's Island DS, rather than simply having Mario sit there the entire time with a dumbfounded look on his face.
Multiplayer consists of a selection of six minigames, unlocked as you complete worlds but played completely separate from the Story Mode. In all of them you basically have one minute to gobble up baddies, throw eggs or flutter kick to rack up points. None of them are engaging in the least, and they require two players locally, so forget trying to top your high score alone.
I was more than a little disappointed in the lack of challenge and overall content in Yoshi's New Island. The features that are included lack cohesion, and the bare bones multiplayer is laughable. Nintendo could argue that the design of the series is meant for a younger audience, yet I was twenty-seven when I played Yoshi's Island DS and thoroughly enjoyed it. Yoshi has had some grand adventures of his own, but sadly this is not one of them.
Date: March 14, 2014