Published on June 25th, 2013 | by octaneblue0
Review: Yoshi – Wii U Virtual Console
Developer(s): Game Freak
System(s): NES, Game Boy, Virtual Console (Wii), 3DS Virtual Console, Wii U Virtual Console
Release Date: June 1, 1992 (NES), July 1992 (Game Boy), July 9, 2007 (Virtual Console [Wii]), September 1, 2011 (3DS Virtual Console, Ambassadors), February 21, 2013 (3DS Virtual Console), June 12, 2013 (Wii U Virtual Console)
Before commencing the Pokémon franchise, Game Freak developed a few rather obscure titles. This includes Yoshi, a puzzle game starring Yoshi and Mario. It has some similarities to Tetris, but it’s different enough to the point where it’s not an exact clone of the said game. The game is simple to learn and can be fairly fun for some puzzle fans. Read on for the full review!
The main gameplay of Yoshi involves falling sprites that feature several different Mario-series enemies, which includes Goombas, Boos, Piranha Plants, and Bloopers. There’s also a top and bottom part of a Yoshi egg. The sprites drop down two at a time, with three of them dropping down in higher levels. As Mario, you can flip around four small platforms that hold the sprites. When two matching sprites are stacked, they’ll disappear. Different sprites stack on top of one another and remain in place. The main goal is to prevent the stacks from reaching the line at the top of the screen. If that happens, it’s game over.
The mentioned Yoshi egg is the “wild card” of the game. The bottom half of the Yoshi egg is treated like a regular sprite. When the top half is stacked onto the bottom half, a Baby Yoshi will hatch, awarding more points. What you can do is stack multiple different sprites on top of the bottom half, and if the top half is stacked on top of them, all of the sprites between the two halves disappear, a special Yoshi type will appear, and you’ll be awarded with a large amount of points.
Yoshi features 2 different modes: A Type and B Type. A Type features endless gameplay, where you keep playing until you get a Game Over, while B Type is a score/time attack mode where the main goal is to clear a certain amount of lines to win. You can adjust options such as the starting level of sprite stacks on the gameplay field, the speed of the falling sprites, and the background music. There’s also a two player competitive mode, where Mario and Luigi battle it out in a split screen competition. A player wins a match by clearing out their side first, or if the other player gets a game over. The first one to win 3 matches wins the game. If you can find another enthusiast of puzzle games, there may be some fun to be had here, at least for a few games.
The core gameplay is what matters most in puzzle games. So it probably isn’t surprising that the graphics of Yoshi are bland. On the flip side, the music, composed by Junichi Masuda, a mainstay of Game Freak that went on to compose soundtracks of Pokémon titles, is actually quite catchy.
As with other Wii U Virtual Console releases, Yoshi supports Off-TV Play, save states, and has its own dedicated Miiverse Community.
Fans of puzzle games might want to check out Yoshi. It’s a simple and easy-to-learn title that is surprisingly addictive. Anyone else won’t be missing that much if they skip this, though.
Yoshi is a part of Nintendo’s Wii U Virtual Console Trial Campaign, where it is offered for the discounted price of 30 cents from mid-June to early July. At that price, it is definitely recommended for puzzle fans. After the time period, it reverts to its regular price of $4.99, which is rather expensive for this game and is not recommended to download at that price.
+ Easy-to-learn gameplay
+ Catchy music
+ Surprisingly addictive
– Bland presentation; doesn’t stand out much
– Overpriced at its regular price
– Only for fans of the puzzle genre
Final score: 3.25 out of 5