torstai 12. elokuuta 2010

REVIEW - Yoshi's Cookie (1992)

Genre(s): Puzzle
Released: 1992
Available on: GB, NES, SNES, Virtual Console
Developer(s): Bullet Proof Software
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Players: 1-2

Just a short while after the release of the game Yoshi (a.k.a. Mario & Yoshi), Nintendo co-produced another puzzle game under Yoshi’s name with Bullet Proof Software. They went for another simple concept that would go well with the kids, but this time also appeal to older players. It just so happened that Yoshi’s Cookie sold quite well, although it’s a bit amusing that in the original NES and Game Boy versions, the title character makes very seldom appearances in the flesh. It’s still not Yoshi’s show... but the game works.

Cookie boogie

The layout kind of reminds me of Dr. Mario.
This game's just a hell of a lot better.
Yoshi’s Cookie is a puzzle game, so of course the audiovisual performance is quite irrelevant. Still, I gotta say that it’s definitely not the ugliest one around. It’s quite colourful and therefore appealing to the target audience. Like in so many games of its kind, the music is downright awful, but luckily it’s one of the large number of games in which you can turn the music off, and the sound effects aren’t that bad. I like the humorous cutscenes they added in to spice up the game, kind of inspired by the post-boss animations in Super Mario World.

The concept of the game is extremely simple. Cookies appear on the screen, both vertically and horizontally, and your goal is to empty the screen by organizing them into straight lines. There is no maximum limit to the amount of identical cookies in one line – the larger the combo, the better your score. Eventually the game will get more than a bit harder as you start off with more cookies and very few identical ones, which makes it much trickier for you to organize them in time. Unlike in previous puzzle games in the Mario series, you can pretty much move the cookies in any direction you wish. Rare ones shaped up in the likeness of Yoshi’s face serve the same purpose as the eggs in the game Yoshi, they are “wild cards” which you can use in any line.

There are ten rounds, all of which comprise of ten stages, so that adds up to 60 different puzzles. The difficulty level doesn’t really increase before round 4 or 5; up until that point the game is pretty much a breeze to any puzzle veteran. The speed of the game has its own effect on the difficulty, of course. Generally, the game is for kids, but I know that at least some adults will enjoy the tougher stipulations.

Yoshi’s Cookie is pretty much the best Mario-related puzzle game there is, just a little too simple to be a true masterpiece in the genre. The later SNES version is a little bit more diverse, and therefore deserves a slightly better overall rating.

Graphics : 7.5
Sound : 4.9
Playability : 8.0
Challenge : 7.6
Overall : 7.9


The game looks quite good, actually. The recycled backgrounds from Super Mario World look awesome and the cutscenes – identical to the NES version in script – are executed a bit better. They changed the tunes except for the theme song, but the music still sucks, bad. Be sure to switch it off if you want to remain sane.

The “Action” game and the multiplayer mode are identical to the NES game. They look a bit different because this time we actually have Yoshi in person in single player mode, pulling another lever on Mario’s opposite side, and everything on screen is laid out a bit differently. What’s new about the SNES version is the “Puzzle” mode. The idea is to make all the cookies on screen disappear by making a given amount of moves, or less. The amount of moves you are allowed to make is indicated by a numerical meter on the right side of the screen. This is definitely a breakthrough in making the game more suitable to adults, it gets pretty difficult very quickly. The “Action” mode is still relatively simple, but this new “Puzzle” mode makes things just a weeeeeee bit harder.

The new Puzzle Mode spells out some serious
I don’t know how long the game can uphold your interest at a time, but it sure is a good, simple, harmless and comfortable puzzle game. Not nearly as hard as Dr. Mario and not quite as simple as YoshiYoshi’s Cookie is definitely the best game out of the three.

Graphics : 8.0
Sound : 5.6
Playability : 8.1
Challenge : 8.0
Overall : 8.0



GameRankings: 71.50% (GB), 66.50% (SNES)

A remade version of Yoshi's Cookie was released as part of the Nintendo GameCube game Nintendo Puzzle Collection, which was released exclusively in Japan in 2003.

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