Yoshi's Island DS - NDS - Preview

E3 2006 First Look Preview

Yoshi’s Island was met with huge success on the Super NES. The graphics were extremely advanced for their time, looking like a hand-drawn cartoon come to life. The gameplay was different from any Mario game before it, eventually leading us to stop referring to Yoshi’s Island as a “Mario” game and start calling it a “Yoshi” game.

Since that time we’ve seen Yoshi’s Cookie (a spin-off puzzler) and Yoshi’s Story (a storybook adventure for kids). Yoshi appeared as a ride-able character in Super Mario Sunshine, bringing the gameplay of Mario World into the third dimension.

Now Yoshi will go on his biggest journey yet. In fact it’s so big they had to use not one, but two screens just to cram it all in – Yoshi’s Island 2.

Yoshi’s Island™ 2 screenshots

Two things will stand out the instant you take a look at this game. (1) Obviously the graphics follow the same path taken with the original. The DS is more powerful than the SNES, but since they can’t do too many extensive effects. It was wise to keep the game looking good but not too complex, then make the gameplay the part that delivers. Plus, fans expect the graphics to look at least somewhat like the way they did before. Otherwise it wouldn’t feel like Yoshi’s Island.

(2) The game uses both screens throughout the entire experience, showing more of the world in what could be described as a reverse widescreen image. Sonic Rush did this last fall, and Mario & Luigi 2 had snippets of dual-screened levels as well. With Yoshi’s Island 2 utilizing this feature, the developers will be able to place enemies on one of the screens and items on another. Yoshi can only be on one at a time, but the player will be able to see everything going on in the level, high or low, any time they desire.

Yoshi’s Island™ 2 screenshots

Colorful and friendly, these visuals look as if they’ve been hand drawn. I don’t know how many games still institute that ancient technique. Whatever the technology behind this, Nintendo has effectively created an image that’s so different from everything else out there (except the first game), and so very pleasing to the eye.

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