it’s been a while since i’ve done a series ranking, so i thought i’d review the main yoshi series. it only consists of five entries, two of which have unusual control schemes, and three of which consist of unusual structures, but i finished the series not too long ago and i should probably write this up before the two new entries yarn yoshi for wii u and yoshi’s new island for 3DS come out next year. i wasn’t able to find anyone who’d beaten all five entries, so i’m on my own for this one. a-here we go!
as ranked by geozeldadude
1) it should come as no surprise to anyone that at the top of the list is super mario world 2: yoshi’s island originally released on SNES. the game is a frequent member of “best games of all time” lists and has a firm place on my list as well, for good reason. the game improved on super mario world and offered up several new game mechanics (carrying babies, swallowing enemies, and throwing eggs), a previously seen character in his/its first substantial role, a wholly satisfying amount of variety, fun enemies, memorable bosses, tons of collectibles for completionists, and a distinctive art style. unlike other games in the series, this entry hit that ideal sweet spot where it wasn’t too easy but also wasn’t frustratingly difficult. a well-loved classic, and the only contender for the top spot of this list.
2) next on my list is yoshi touch & go. released as part of DS’s launch, the game uses the DS’s unique touchscreen and microphone controls. i played it much more recently, though, and the game is very enjoyable even now that the novelty of the DS’s controls has been lost. the game combines two distinct experiences, one featuring baby mario falling from the sky and the second, more-substantial section featuring yoshi in his usual role of babysitter. against the odds, the game successfully pulls off the feat of fitting a platformer into an arcade (i.e. high-score chasing) style game, and although it includes all the modes you’d expect (score attack, time attack, etc.), each has a different feel. the controls feel good, and the game is easy to get into but takes time to master. it’s a worthwhile challenge to top all the default high scores, and this was a surprisingly fun experience and a definite highlight for the series.
3) in third i would have to put yoshi’s island DS. the game was the first true sequel to yoshi’s island, and although many felt it suffered in comparison in every way, i enjoyed it overall. it cribs too much from the original, although the addition of multiple babies other than baby mario does give the game a unique twist. the dual screens are not used very well and the difficulty in the last stages is more frustrating than fun (mostly because checkpoints become much harder to come by). the game isn’t a classic for the ages, but it has its moments and definitely ranks higher than the other two remaining entries in the series.
4) in a distant fourth is yoshi’s story for the N64. like yoshi’s island DS, yoshi’s story suffers when being compared to the original, yoshi’s island, and upset many fans when it was first released for what appeared to be an extremely short length given its high price. for those who looked closer it became apparent that although, yes, you could beat the game very quickly, to experience the full game you’d have to beat the game at least four times, and it would almost certainly take players more attempts than that since to gain access to all the stages you have to track down “special hearts” hidden in previous levels. the game feels like an early attempt by nintendo to offer up an experience that could be both easy and more challenging, and it achieves that by allowing the user to choose among available levels. this unique mechanic is memorable and there is some platforming fun to be had overall (not to mention a new take on the storybook art style of the original), but even aside from being misunderstood by the majority of people who played it ultimately the game fails to provide the thrills of the best of the genre.
5) at the bottom of the list is yoshi topsy-turvy for the GBA. along with the novel motion controls (achieved by the cartridge’s built-in accelerometer), the game was unique in that it was mission oriented (e.g. collect a certain number of coins, defeat a certain number of enemies, etc.). although the controls may have been amazing for the time, i found them to be more annoying than fun, and the game was too reliant on its mission-based structure to sustain the player’s interest as opposed to all the things that make a platformer really fun and enjoyable. definitely the low point in the series’ history.
so that’s the list! the series has managed to pack in a lot of variety into just a few entries, and although it’s had more downs than ups i’m hopeful that the next two entries will elevate this series’ reputation. here’s hoping! and to end, here’s a classic yoshi comic from nintendo power. yoshi yoshi!
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