Yoshi Touch & Go (Nintendo DS) - Review by Flakmagnet
Yoshi has to be one of my favourite Nintendo characters, he?s cute, funny, and has some of the best sound effects in the Mario games. It looks like Nintendo are finally giving him some well deserved recognition by adding him as the starting character for Mario 64 DS, and giving him his own game just a matter of moths after the DS?s launch.
The object of the game is fairly simple, and is divided into two parts, the first is to guide Baby Mario down from the sky, avoiding the enemies who are out to pop his balloons and send him plummeting to his death, and collecting coins as you go. This is achieved by drawing a series of clouds using the stylus on the bottom screen, and guiding Baby Mario to safety.
The end of Baby Mario?s freefall is not the end of his ordeal to say the least, however thankfully he has a Yoshi waiting for him at the bottom. You must now help Yoshi catch up with the stork who dropped Baby Mario from the sky in the first place, and return him. Again you must aid Yoshi by drawing clouds with the stylus to help Yoshi traverse the map. However this time you are given a helping hand by having the ability to make Yoshi jump by tapping him, or tapping anywhere else on the screen to throw an egg at the enemies. (Be careful though, you have a limited supply of eggs, so throw wisely!)
There are 4 modes within the game, each feeling different and also the same, 2 modes to start with, and 2 more to unlock. Firstly there is a ?Score Attack? mode, where in a certain distance you must beat a certain score, gaining points for collecting coins, ridding yourself of enemies in various ways and combinations of both, ?Endless? mode, where after 1000m of freefall, you must get as far as possible with Yoshi without losing a life. Beating the high scores in these modes will unlock ?Time Attack? and ?Challenge? modes. Time Attack Mode sees Luigi carried off by group of Baron Von Zeppelins, and you must return him as quick as possible. In challenge mode you must again attain the farthest distance possible, this time in Yoshi?s stage there is a timer, which you must keep at bay by scoring points, because when the timer reaches 0, a Baron Von Zepplin will come and snatch Baby Mario from Yoshi?s back.
Controlling the game sounds more complicated than it actually is, though there are 2 distinct learning curves in the game, the first, learning to control the game, is very shallow, learning to be good at it and managing to beat the high score, is much steeper.
As well as controlling clouds and eggs, should you draw a tight, continuous circle around an enemy, you can encapsulate them in a bubble, turning them into coins, which you can then throw to Baby Mario or Yoshi. However, not all enemies can be turned in this way, so you have to watch out!
The best thing about the controls is that you always feel truly in control, all of the features are activated in the right way, and after a little practice, very few eggs ever go astray. In an attempt to use more of the DS?s features, you can also blow away all the clouds on the screen if you make a mistake, simply by blowing into the mic. This feels a little pointless however, as most of the time, doing so would simply leave Yoshi plummeting to his death, and in the few occasions where you may need to use it, the game could have been programmed to make you use any of the buttons instead, as none of them are used for anything else.
It may not be pushing the DS?s capabilities, but they sure are pretty. The designers have clearly gone for the Yoshi?s Island look, and it works really well. Whilst some say the graphics are the same, they are much crisper than any GBA titles, and most importantly, work well within the frame of the game.
This is again a spot on part of the game, the sound effects are cute, bubbly and generally funny. Most of which are re-cycled from almost every other game, but it doesn?t make a difference, they all tie in well. The music is once again Nintendo?s finest, and will have you humming it along the next day, even when you don?t want to, it?s that damn catchy.
There are some real pros and cons here, because whilst it uses the top screen well, sometimes it can be frustrating, especially in the Baby Mario levels, as you have no control over what happens up there, so should he fall a different way than you planned, you must very hastily alter your plans for when he does fall to an area you can again manipulate.
It also leads to some interesting challenges, such as trying to hit enemies on the top screen whilst having to target them in the bottom half. Whilst the game feels like it could have been done on one screen with a higher resolution, it wouldn?t have represented such a challenge.
There?s definitely a lot to be said here, first of all, the game is fun, there?s no doubting that, and it?s the first thing that needs mentioning about the game. The problem is that it feels like one giant mini game. There are no levels to progress, and whilst the worlds on ?endless? mode are randomly generated, because you are always trying to do the same thing, the novelty wears of just a little too quickly.
The main feeling I got after completing it was "why didn?t they just add this as a mini game on Super Mario 64 DS?" Because whilst this is more complicated than most of the ones on there, I?m fairly certain it could have been done. To be honest, I feel some of the games on there have a better replay value in the end.
Pro: Great fun...
Con: ...for a week.
Final score: 6.4