Electronic Theatre Preview: Yoshi’s New Island

Nintendo’s recent string of critically acclaimed Nintendo 3DS releases has undoubtedly aided the change of the console’s fortunes, which Electronic Theatre maintains was most likely the plan all along, and the quality of the line-up doesn’t seem to be waning any time soon. There are […]
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Electronic Theatre ImageNintendo’s recent string of critically acclaimed Nintendo 3DS releases has undoubtedly aided the change of the console’s fortunes, which Electronic Theatre maintains was most likely the plan all along, and the quality of the line-up doesn’t seem to be waning any time soon. There are still a number of big name titles to come in the latter half of 2013 and into next year, and the surprise announcement of Yoshi’s New Island marks an early highlight of the post-holiday release schedule.

Just as New Super Mario Bros. readdressed the traditional Super Mario Bros. formula for the then modern Nintendo DS console, so too does Yoshi’s New Island look back at what it was that made the original Yoshi’s Island a distinctiveElectronic Theatre Image and enjoyable platform videogame. Of course, there’s been much less ground covered by the few titles in the series between debut and rebirth, unlike the dozen-or-so titles that Nintendo’s flagship series had received. What this means is that Yoshi’s New Island plays much more like you would expect a sequel to as opposed to a return to traditional design.

New abilities, progressive level design and an improved control system thanks to the Nintendo 3DS’ singular analog input, Yoshi’s New Island play very similarly to it’s predecessors but with far more variety in its mechanics, just as you would of a sequel. This is no bad thing, as Yoshi’s Island DS left plenty of room for the Electronic Theatre Imagedevelopment to explore the world that had been created – and the characters within – much further.

Of course the core mechanics return as would be expected; Yoshi carries Baby Mario throughout the levels and being hit will cause them to lose him, with only a limited amount of time to recapture him as he floats in a bubble. Enemies are swallowed, eggs are tossed and stars are collected in a familiar fashion, though giant eggs are a significant addition: players will use a set of binoculars to view the area and determine where the giant egg needs to be fired, and upon committing to it will simply watch the path of destruction until it hits an impassable object. Only one rendition of the puzzle was available in Electronic Theatre Imagethe preview build Electronic Theatre experienced, yet it still offered a tantalising glimpse of the exciting mechanic the giant egg could become.

From a visual standpoint Yoshi’s New Island most closely resembles Yoshi’s Story from the Nintendo 64. It’s a commendable decision to opt for this style over the more familiar Yoshi’s Island as – although both arms of the series are very similar – the added depth of the 3D visuals allows for a much more appreciable use of the console’s stereoscopic 3D capabilities. This extends beyond the Yoshi character model and also includes the level design, icons and interactive elements, all of which are based directly on their appearance in Yoshi’s Story.

It’s disappointing that Nintendo chose not to show more of Yoshi’s New Island than the very beginning section, but with obvious reason. Showing a playable build this far ahead of release is become less and less common – especially from Nintendo – and it’s clearly the quality of the gameplay that convinced Nintendo to Electronic Theatre Imageshowcase the videogame this early. With plenty more time in development, hopes are high that the strength of the very first level can be replicated throughout the entirety of the videogame. No specific release date has yet been announced for Yoshi’s New Island, but at present it’s expected that Nintendo will bring the title to retail within the first quarter of 2014. Of course, you can rest assured that Electronic Theatre will keep you updated with all the latest details on this and other forthcoming first-party Nintendo 3DS release.

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