Let me be up front with this because it may be an unpopular opinion, and it shades my opinion this game - I absolutely detest Baby Mario. And Baby Luigi. And Bowser Jr. And really pretty much any infant character.
Now with that out of the way, this game was...okay. Not bad by any means, but it just felt kind of lackluster to me. A better title, perhaps, would have been Yoshi's Sort of Average I Guess Island. Maybe my expectations were too high since I beat the STELLAR Yoshi's Woolly World back at Thanksgiving, but I was just not impressed with this game. It also didn't help that Baby Mario kept fucking crying every goddamn time one of my pixels touched one of an enemy's pixels.
This is all you're good for, Baby Mario.
Let me be fair, though. It's a really solid platformer. The problem is that it doesn't really feel like it has a "thing." You know? Like, every really great game as a "thing." Wind Waker's thing was the cell shading. Skyward Sword's thing was functional motion controls. Super Mario Galaxy's thing was the gravity based puzzles. Yoshi's Woolly World thing was having as many costumes as Larry King has had wives. Yoshi's New Island's thing was being remarkably average in absolutely every way.
The art style, while not captivating enough to count as a thing in my book, is pretty and well done. It has a very nice almost hand drawn looking aesthetic about it. It's a very subtle but very fitting look.
Some of the puzzles are really good, but by and large, the game is a cake walk. I also HATED the way they implemented Bitch Mode. In Yoshi's Woolly World, it was a legit mode; you paused the game and pressed Minus to toggle between Normal Mode and Mellow Mode (Bitch Mode). In this game, after you die a couple times, a pipe spits out a wing power-up that actives Bitch Mode. Normally that would be fine, whatever, but I'm impatient, so on the last level, I hit a spot where some careless jumps kept landing me in lava, so I was like "I'M GOING TO BEAT THIS DAMN LEVEL" and start going as soon as I spawn. Well, I didn't realize that I had hit the "Activate Bitch Mode" number of deaths, and I accidentally ran straight into those wings. The only way to turn it off would have been to restart the level, and I was about 75% of the way through it. Ain't nobody got time fo' dat. So I finish the level on Bitch Mode, whatever, I was bored of the game anyway. Turns out that there's a bonus world or some shit if you beat every level without using the wings. Well, looks like I'm never seeing that because I don't care NEARLY enough to go back and play that game again.
So in summary, Yoshi's New Island is not a bad game by any means, and since it's one of the recent Nintendo Selects, it's worth picking up if you can find it cheap used, especially if you're a fan of the Yoshi series/sub-series. Just don't go into it expecting a masterpiece. It's a nice way to kill some time, but it's not one of Nintendo's better platformers.
My Rating - 3 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.