Thursday, 28 May 2015

A cute pop-up book

Greetings, Dreamers!

This week I want to talk about a cute game for N64.

Let's talk about

Yoshi's Story is a game for N64 developed and published by Nintendo in 1997 in Japan and 1998 in the rest of the world.

This is a game developed as a sequel for Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. The thing is, since it was designed in a completely different way, it was very poorly received with cries that it was nothing like Yoshi's Island. While this "It isn't the same so it sucks" mentality isn't new, this game truly suffered due to it, but that's a story for another day.

Just look at that laughing flower!

In this game, Baby Bowser steals the Super Happy Tree, turning all of Yoshi's Island into a storybook. However, a handful of newborn Yoshi resisted the change, and go into a quest to recover the tree from Bowser's Claws. They traverse the pop-up book that Yoshi's Island has become, facing numerous enemies and eating delicious fruit. (No, not that kind of delicious fruit.)

Unlike most platformer games of the age, however, instead of just reaching the end, the player has to eat 30 fruits out of the MANY that are strewn throughout the level. While the player could eat any fruit (with different coloured Yoshi liking different fruit best, granting more points), all yoshi like Melons the most, of which there are exactly 30 per level. Thanks to how the points system works, the best bet for anyone wanting the most points is to eat nothing but melons.

The challenge in this game varies, with the difficulty of the game depending entirely on whether the player wants to find all 30 melons, or just eat any random 30 fruits and be done with the level as soon as possible. While this allows for a quick game, it skips on many little things the game has to offer, as well as skipping easily half of the game in a hurry.

Each level also has three hearts hidden within, and upon clearing and going to the next page of the book, the player will be able to pick between more levels the more hearts they collected in the previous level, to a maximum of four. This is where the replay value comes in, since the player can only clear one level per page before the page turns.

If the player doesn't get enough hearts in the first level, they might not get to see this lava guy.

What stands out the most in this game is the art style. The levels seem to be made of cardboard and patchwork for the most part, making all of them look rather like craft projects, which gives the game a very child-like atmosphere. This can sometimes be at odds with the difficulty spikes the game has, particularly in the last level.

Even in the most hostile of areas, though, the game manages to retain a cute look and friendly artstyle.

While not revolutionary in any front and a very simple story, this game is still easy to grasp and play through, excellent for anyone that hasn't played many games extensively, and wants to test the waters of platforming games.

Truly, this is for the Nintendo 64, but software like Project 64 can emulate the game quite nicely, and I'm sure there are many other options. You just need to find the ROM file and you're set!

Though of course if you can find an original cartridge, all the better!

I hope you give this game a try, and if you do, that you enjoy it!

Let me know what you think, and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Keep on dreaming!


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