torstai 12. elokuuta 2010

REVIEW - Yoshi (1991)

Genre(s): Puzzle
Released: 1991
Available on: GB, NES, Virtual Console
Developer(s): Game Freak
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Players: 1-2

The heroic dinosaur from Dinosaur Land instantly became one of the most loved characters in the Mario universe after his first appearance in the multi-million selling platformer Super Mario World. In 1991, he got the first of many of his namesake games, a simplistic puzzle that combines original concepts with the Mario franchise. Possibly due to Nintendo’s doubts of the potential sales of their own publication without Mario’s name, the game was released in Europe as Mario & Yoshi. Still, the game is commonly known around the world as simply Yoshi.

Yo hits the NES, but it’s not quite his show

The game looks cute – and nothing else. Dull to boot, since there’s really close to no animation at all. The graphics have nothing on the music though, it’s horrible! Luckily you have the oft-handy “Off” option available in the sound test section of the menu.

Yoshi is an extremely simple puzzle game, mainly for kids and people who generally aren’t too great with its kind – this is the part where I say “YO!”. Your goal depends on the game type, but the basic idea is that there are blocks shaped like enemies falling down to Mario. You need to move Mario’s trays (?) so that two identical blocks are lined up vertically, and try to keep the area as empty as humanly possible, ‘cause it clutters up quite fast. The blocks are big, while the area is very small. One of the blocks is the lower half of a Yoshi egg. Combined with the upper half, it becomes whole and hatches a new Yoshi, adding up to the score. This is also an ideal way to eliminate other blocks; regardless of how many are between them, if both halves are in straight line with each other, the egg will “eat” through the other blocks.

The playfield's "kinda" cramped.
Just like in Tetris, you can choose between the A-type and the B-type, besides the usual gameplay speed. The A-type is an infinite challenge in which you go for the highest level and score possible. The B-type game continues until the area is completely cleared of the blocks. Because of its very simple concept, Yoshi doesn’t uphold interest for the longest time, but it’s perfectly OK to kill a few hours with. So it’s not a bad game by any means, I just think I grew out of it years back. The game is not too difficult, either. The B-type, especially on high speed, might offer up some challenge, but overall the game is so simple and easy to learn that puzzle addicts should have no problems with it, if they’re even interested.

Like I said, Yoshi is not bad, it’s just not quite my thing or anyone of my age, at that. It’s quite weird that the game is called Yoshi despite of Mario being the character under the player’s control, but I guess that’s no more than a technicality in a game like this. Simple fun, for a while.

Graphics : 5.1
Sound : 4.1
Playability : 7.1
Challenge : 6.6
Overall : 6.9


a.k.a. Mario & Yoshi (EU), Yoshi's Egg (JAP)

GameRankings: 73.00% (GB)

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