Nintendo’s longtime fan-favorite dinosaur will soon be returning to platforming prominence in the upcoming Yoshi’s New Island on the Nintendo 3DS.
Set for release on March 14, this sequel to 1995’s Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (if you don’t count Yoshi’s Story or Yoshi’s Island DS) brings the series back to its roots by once again pairing up the titular sticky-tongued dino with the ever fussy Baby Mario. The evil Magikoopa Namek has kidnapped Baby Luigi after the stork delivered him and his brother to the wrong house, then lost them over Egg Island. Now it’s up to the Yoshi tribe to protect Baby Mario while rescuing Baby Luigi and putting an end to Namek’s schemes. The original game was a welcome addition to the SNES library back then, and this new entry in the series will only serve to strengthen the now rather impressive 3DS lineup.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of playing the original Yoshi’s Island (because you may not have been born yet or missed the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program) I highly suggest you give it a go as many of the title’s most memorable features are slated to come back. The charming hand-drawn storybook art style of the previous games has returned, as have many of the gameplay mechanics that keep people exploring levels again and again. Gamers are tasked with finding twenty red coins, five flowers, and thirty stars hidden throughout each level while keeping Baby Mario safe from the enemies trying to kidnap him. Those stars are pesky to maintain through the end of each stage though, as they are tied to the countdown timer which depletes after a baddie hits you. At that point, Baby Mario starts floating in a bubble away and crying surprisingly similar to the most annoying child you’ve ever had to endure at a family restaurant.
Yoshi’s signature egg-throwing ability is also coming back, naturally, but Yoshi’s New Island gives the green gulper the ability to consume gigantic enemies and lay powerful Mega Eggs. Unlike the standard-sized eggs that Yoshi can create by eating most other enemies, these monolith projectiles can demolish otherwise impenetrable barriers. To get a better view of the likely path these Mega Eggs will take, players can use binoculars to scout ahead in a level using the 3DS’ accelerometer, very similar to the ones found in Super Mario 3D Land.
Another one of Yoshi’s abilities unique to his signature series is the ability to transport into vehicles like helicopters and mine carts to grab collectibles in select portions of particular levels. While one can try to argue how ridiculous that premise is, I tend to stop as soon as I realize I am playing as a green dinosaur with the tongue of a toad and a baby on his back trying to rescue the kid’s brother from a wizard turtle. Like most video games, it’s best not to think too hard of these things.
It’s games like Yoshi’s New Island that make me excited to be a 3DS owner, as Nintendo’s first party game lineup is usually without fail among the best each of their platforms has to offer.
Yoshi’s New Island will be released on March 14 on the Nintendo 3DS.