Will any game ever live up to the vast beauty and nostalgically phenomenal success of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island? No, no it just won't. However, that doesn't mean that the formula hasn't proven itself to be a winner, and Yoshi's 'New' Island does everything that we see from the Snes classic and then some. Is it an improvement? I would say no. Is it good clean fun that will take you back to the glory days? Well it does for me anyway. Let's look at the things that this new 3DS title did right:
First and foremost, I'm going to cast in my 2 cents about the graphical overhaul; which is easily the most controversial aspect of the game. I like it. There ya go. In all seriousness, I've found the new art design and graphics to be a plus for the game - I truly enjoy the new models, and the colors are as bright and vivid as ever. Everything about the layout of the game is going to instantly look familiar to fans of Yoshi's Island, and I simply can't complain about that. There is a lack of cute enemy pictures depicting the theme of a level before you click on it in the menus.....but let me tell you how many hours of sleep I've lost over that (ahem, 0). The 3D doesn't add too much to the game, though it certainly provides depth. All in all, the game looks very nice in my opinion.
Level designs and enemies will feel familiar too. This can be a good thing....or a bad thing, depending on what you are looking for. Personally, I felt like I was practically playing a continuation of Yoshi's Island. In many ways, the new level design and layout are very similar to the classic game with hidden stars, red coins and flower tabs to collect. It isn't 'easy' either, as many critics have claimed. A true Yoshi's Island completionist will have their hands full for quite some time finding all of the little goodies in every level, and they will be pleasantly rewarded for their efforts as well (sorry, no spoilers but it does pay off to put in the extra effort). As for the aforementioned enemies...well there isn't a lot to tell you. You'll see a lot of familiar faces, but not a lot of new ones. This isn't really a deal breaker by any means, but I would have liked to have seen more creative new enemies. Boss fights feature all new enemies, which I have found to be pretty engaging fun to play.
New features of the game?......ummmmm.....not much to say. The game does utilize the 3DS for it's 3D capabilities and gyroscopic controls. I personally have found the gyroscopic vehicle games to be fun, and I'm the kind of gamer who actually likes to see features of my technology used. There are a couple new concepts, such as the giant egg. The giant egg is a fun new feature, but it isn't something you'll be utilizing regularly. Other than that....there really isn't much more to say. Again, if you loved Yoshi's Island for the Snes, then you won't think much of it. If you were looking for something new and drastically innovative, then you will probably be letting out a few heavy sighs.
The one thing that absolutely bothers me about this game is the soundtrack. The soundtrack is horribly repetitive, tinny, and just flat out scored horribly. I don't know where Nintendo dropped the ball on this one, but I honestly have had a few occasions where I simply had to turn it off. Sound effects and Yoshi noises aside, the music is just not very good. As a musically oriented person, I found this incredibly disappointing, and as a big fan of the original soundtrack from Super Mario World 2, this was indeed a let down for me.
Everything being said, I am a pretty big fan of Yoshi's New....ish....no not really, Island. It brings back all of the elements of a proven winner, and tries to implement some new ones to keep things feeling fresh. While it doesn't entirely succeed at this in my opinion, it's still a fine game at it's core. On a random side note, I still get excited for levels that feature the original green Yoshi more than any other color....how about you??