Hmmm...I'll look at the reviews on the game on GameFAQs. Turns out it was rated 3.36 on GameFAQs itself. Here are some ratings from others (all are from GameFAQs's review section, under Critic Reviews) :
Joystiq - 4 out of 5 stars
Cheat Code Central - 3.1 out of 5 stars
Game Informer - 7 out of 10 stars
IGN - 7.9 out of 10 stars
Destructoid - 7 out of 10 stars
I think I might know why it's not getting the highest rank. maybe it's because it seems like the same objective as the past versions of Yoshi's Island. But I am still planning to pick up a copy and see it for myself.
here's a player's review of the game:
"The title's a misnomer, but the gameplay still works. I guess that's the point."
Yoshi's New Island is still a competent game and a fun adventure for those looking for the exploration-heavy gameplay of Super Mario World 2.
The story hits all the same notes, just with a few different chords. There's a problem involving a baby-delivery stork and a troublesome Magikoopa named Kamek, and the Baby Mario Bros. are separated. Mario drops down to Egg Island and Kamek takes off with Baby Luigi. The baby lands in a small clearing where a bunch of Yoshis happen to be hanging around. Baby Mario knows, intuitively, where his brother is. The Yoshis decide to bring Mario to his brother and to then take the babies to their rightful parents. This is all under the watchful eye of Baby Bowser, who is in an island-conquering mood. I don't really like the slapdash story used here, but it's rather secondary to the rest of the game at hand.
Gameplay in Yoshi's New Island is innovative in that there still isn't much like it on the 3DS, but these “innovations” actually stem from the Super NES game Super Mario World 2. It's just that no one has had the nerve to copy these innovations yet. Baby Mario rides around on Yoshi's back in these fairly expansive 2D stages; Yoshi must collect coins and flowers as he makes it to the goal. The main gimmick is that Yoshi uses eggs as projectiles; the eggs are found in boxes throughout the stages, and Yoshi can also swallow enemies and swallow them to make them into egg projectiles.
The eggs can be used to be launched at other enemies, to nab coins and switches that are out of reach, and even to ricochet off of water as a kind of skipping-stone mechanic (which is only used once or twice in the entire game). Egg throwing still proves quite fun, and it makes exploration a breeze.
There are two new egg types in Yoshi's New Island; one is a gigantic egg, which can be launched like all the others, to break otherwise solid pipes and barriers. A metal type of giant egg makes Yoshi sink underwater (where he'd otherwise float, unable to swim) but can also be used to mow down enemies and barriers. Maybe it's just that they're not used very much, or that developers didn't tap their potential. They each appear in a handful of stages, and they clear a few pipes and walls. So what? I think the metal egg could have really made for some great underwater labyrinths. Just like a few other enemies and elements from Yoshi's Island, they're used so sparingly in Yoshi's New Island that one questions why developers didn't attempt something new in the first place, if they couldn't think of anything to do with them anyway. It sometimes feels like a cliffs notes version of Yoshi's Island, without the mechanics or meaning explained for each one-time enemy or item from the past iteration.
The vehicle levels make a return as well. Most of the vehicle sections are separate from the rest of the level. They use gyroscope controls, and I don't think they're as bad as everyone has claimed them to be. In fact, I wish I saw a greater variety in the vehicles themselves, or that the stages had appeared more often. I especially liked the hot air balloon and minecart vehicles, for example; the latter reminds me a lot of the Donkey Kong mini-game from Nintendo Land. They're woefully underused. For 100-percenting levels (as they do contain red coins and flowers), they're integral enough to the game to at least give them a shot when they appear.
The inclusion of medals makes for a fine alternative to the end-level mini-games. When players make it to the goal, the player earns medals based on where the infamous roulette wheel lands. If the roulette marker lands on one of the five flowers you collected (or however many you actually did collect), you earn that many medals. Collect thirty medals in a world and players unlock a gyroscope-based vehicle challenge.
I'm ambivalent about the Super Guide equivalent of the flutter wings, which appear after Yoshi dies three times on the same level. Yoshi's New Island is already pretty easy overall, and it's stripped a lot of things to make it easier and more accessible for new players. That, and it tosses lives at the player in large amounts. A game this easy doesn't require or really benefit from a handicap like the flutter wings, which help Yoshi float even longer to prevent damage.
The level design is not as ambitious in this outing as in others in the series, which makes for fewer “standout” stages this time around. That, or the “standout” stages in Yoshi's New Island are about the same ones in Yoshi's Island: the “forced scrolling lava” stage, the “cave and sewer labyrinth” stage, the “ride on Poochie over the spikes” stage - they're in both games, sparingly enough to make them stand-outs.
Bosses in Yoshi's New Island range from somewhat innovative to downright disappointing. These would have fit as mini-challenges in the stages themselves, but New Island just doesn't work that way. Most encounters involve using well-worn gameplay mechanics against Kamek himself, like dumping ?-buckets on his head, butt-stomping colored pegs in sequence or knocking out an angry, sentient beanstalk by smacking it in the face with eggs. The final boss encounter, even despite its “surprising” reveal, is so unoriginal that it's really very sad.
The gameplay is not without its flaws. I could complain about the slowness of the egg launching, and I could lament about how Yoshi seems heavier this time around, which makes jumping and floating a bit tougher, but the game plays more or less fine. In fact, the game makes some interesting changes (improvements?) to the template; I like the fact, for example, that vehicle portions are shorter and are optional for completion instead of being mandatory for level progression. Some control a lot better this time around too. I'm a little happy about how one doesn't have to get all flowers, all coins and all star points in one fell swoop but can instead tackle those objectives individually; it takes away a lot of the challenge from the gameplay structure, but some of these levels are so cheap or oddly designed that 100-percenting them feels a bit too unbalanced.
Overall, and despite everything, Yoshi's New Island makes for a competent platforming adventure. The levels can be tackled at a slow, methodical pace, in order to collect all the coins and flowers, or they can be blasted few in a scant few minutes. However you go about it, the game can be beaten in about five hours; hundred-percenting the game may take a while longer.
The fact that the graphical style deviates from the original game doesn't bother me in the least. What concerns me is how the final product, and I'm pleased with how Yoshi's New Island turned out from a purely aesthetic standpoint. The game reminds me a lot of Kirby's Dream Land 3, a game which employs a delightful 2D art style which resembles a child's drawings and doodles. The colors in Yoshi's New Island are varied and bright, and everything flows quite nicely. Characters animate well and everything blends together well. The interface and menus look fine as does the lively world map.
Yoshi's New Island is not delightful to listen to, though. Why the programmers would decide to include music that's off-tempo and off-key is simply beyond me. Perhaps to match the child-friendly look and feel of the game, the soundtrack for this 3DS outing is a cacophonous mix of kazoos, whistles and the plinky-plonky tones of a cranked-up jack-in-the-box. The soundtrack is positively offensive on the ears; further, instead of creating different melodies for different stage styles or visual motifs, the developers decided instead to rely on a single melody and riff on it for every different type of stage. It's the same silly melody played with different instruments or at a different tempo throughout almost the entire game, with very little variation. This is the worst soundtrack I've heard in a very long time. The sound effects are fine on their own; even a wailing Baby Mario sounds better than the actual music.
On its own merits, Yoshi's New Island is a fun addition to the 3DS library. The graphics are still a joy, the gameplay model holds up surprisingly well, and the level design, while a bit pedantic, helps provide a pretty fun experience throughout. Sure, there are some issues with structure, and the soundtrack is positively dreadful, but there's still a lot to like about this particular Yoshi game. Holding it up to Yoshi's Island for the SNES is inevitable, and perhaps a bit unfair; consider that the ubiquitous high-fidelity graphics of today feel a bit whitewashed and universally bland compared to the admittedly unique gloss of the original Yoshi's Island. That, and I can't really fault the game for providing a lot more of the gameplay I enjoyed so much as a child.
Like Mario (or, in an abstract sense, even literary characters like Sherlock Holmes), Yoshi is a character who fits well in a particular template and who has garnered enough fans to warrant a new iteration for each new generation. We begin to miss the character, so we want to see it return, with slightly different conditions, or as a “reboot” to the franchise, or teaming up with others in a unique way. This is not to say that Yoshi's New Island is obligatory, but it fills a necessary niche in the Nintendo market. I'm glad I played through it, and it works well for the 3DS market but, for those nostalgic for the original or for platforming purists, it may be helpful to wait for the price to go down. I can't call for an immediate recommendation for this one.
Edited by ChamametchiandMametchi, 20 April 2014 - 09:54 AM.