Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review: Yoshi - Wii U Virtual Console

Until July 2013, Nintendo is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Famicom by releasing "classic" titles for the new Wii U Virtual Console. As an added bonus, you can get these games for 30 cents during the first 30 days of each title's release. This month's release is Yoshi. Is the game like a bowl of cherries or the pits? Find out after the jump.

Yoshi doing what he does best, eating stuff and helping Mario. 
Unfortunately he does neither in this game

Okay, let's get this out of the way. Yoshi is the least enjoyable game in the 30th Anniversary Campaign. It is also the least memorable game. Matter of fact, I had completely forgotten that Yoshi was one of the titles in the 3DS Ambassador program until reunited with it today. Granted, I love Yoshi as a character; Yoshi's Island is my favorite Mario game. I even have a Yoshi and baby Mario statue displayed in my home. However, Yoshi is a misstep and a misnomer. My beloved Yoshi hardly makes a peep or an impact in the game that bears his name. 

My very own "special award." I won it in a sales contest at GameStop.

Yoshi is a puzzle game at the most basic level. The player controls Mario and the goal is to stack 2 icons atop one another in order to make them disappear. The icons will be familiar to any veteran of the Mario universe since they are Goombas, Bloopers, and the like. The gameplay is barely above Game and Watch territory and the graphics and sound defy the 1992 release date like a Luddite. The only twist in the gameplay comes when you stack an egg top on an egg bottom and a little Yoshi pops out to indicate bonus points. I guess I can thank this game for an epiphany I had while playing it in preparation for this review. Since Yoshi eggs hatch more Yoshis, imagine the sacrifice this breed of dinosaur has endured for the cause. I mean, how many eggs were hatched and tossed throughout the years in his other adventures? Not to mention the fact that Yoshi was forced to sit on the sidelines and watch while his good name was besmirched by this game. 

Big thanks to for enduring Yoshi long enough to post this video. 

With the release of New Super Mario Bros. U, Yoshi gained a bigger role in the Mario universe and showed a whole host of abilities. That game highlighted the culmination of nearly a quarter century of evolution for our dinosaur pal. In stark contrast, Yoshi stands out as the dud in his storied career. This game is darn near as embarrassing to Yoshi as the Phillips CD-i games are to Mario and Link. 

Nintendo has proven they can develop and publish great puzzle games like Tetris, Pokemon Puzzle League, Dr. Mario, and Kirby's Avalanche. Play one of those instead of Yoshi. 

The game works, but no one will want to play it. 

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