Yoshi’s Island DS

yoshis island ds box art review baby mario
7.0 Overall Score
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 6/10
Controls: 7/10

Challenging with nice graphics

Frustrating split screen, obnoxious baby crying, and almost drunken controls of Yoshi

Game Info

Game Name:   Yoshi’s Island DS

Developer(s):   Artoon

Publisher(s):   Nintendo

Platform(s):   Nintendo DS

Genre(s):   Retro/

Release Date(s): Release Dates

ESRB Rating: Game Rating

yoshis island ds playable characters

The Gang’s All Here!!!

Baby Luigi and a host of other babies have been kidnapped by Kamek who intends to find the seven stars needed to unlock the power to conquer the universe.  Baby Mario finds himself teamed with Yoshi and his clan in his quest to rescue his brother…but Mario and Yoshi are about to find out they aren’t alone.  With Baby Peach and Baby Donkey Kong, Mario and Yoshi battle across the islands…but the arrival of Baby Wario and Baby Bowser could be a blessing or a curse!

Yoshi’s Island DS (ヨッシー アイランド or DS Yosshī Airando Dī Esu) is a Nintendo DS side-scrolling platformer.  The game was originally going to be called Yoshi’s Island 2 and released as a direct sequel to the 1995 Super Nintendo’s Super Mario World 2:  Yoshi’s Island but followed Yoshi Touch & Go for the DS in 2005.  The game has been made available on the Nintendo Virtual Console.

yoshis island ds bird boss battle gameplay screenshot

Who’s the dodo now?!?!

Super Mario World for the Super NES was a great game, but I remember being a little disappointed by the follow-up Yoshi’s Island which I felt just wasn’t up to the same level of fun.  Yoshi’s Island however had wings and continued to spawn sequels…which like the original are good, but not great.

The graphics on the game are rather strong for the small little handled console and they hold up after over ten years because they don’t try to be overly complex.  The split screen aspect of the DS is a bit frustrating since when you play you often find things hidden in the split or it makes it hard to hit things in the top or bottom half of the screen.  The character designs and the happy bright world of Yoshi’s island really pop off the screen and involving multiple characters not only enhances the story and controls but gives some variety to the graphics and worlds for the characters.

yoshis island ds final boss bowser gameplay screenshot

Somehow, I don’t think Bowser will succeed…

Despite the pleasant soundtrack, the Yoshi’s Island series continues to go down as one of the most obnoxious games to play.  The game which gets increasing difficult, has the irritating baby crying of Mario when he is knocked off Yoshi…here however we get six different crying babies…great.

It is the challenging gameplay (combined with the crying) that starts to really grate on you.  The levels get less and less enjoyable and the pressure rises and rises.  It often feels like you are fighting the controls of the game with Yoshi’s uncontrollable running and jumping.  Sometimes when I wanted to shoot up, I find myself accidentally entering a door, and other times, I finds trying to maintain flight (and or running) doesn’t leave me much room to shoot off eggs.  The game at least varies the control with each baby which has a different style of play (and are sometimes necessary to pass a level).

Like the Super Mario Brothers games, Yoshi’s Island DS fall victim to the greed factor.  You want to collect everything you can for the best score on each level and find yourself dying and falling unnecessarily as a result.  It starts to become quite maddening, and you don’t want to ever play the level again…forcing you to die even more to avoid having to revisit the level.  This doesn’t always mean enjoyment…but it does mean the game is a challenge.  Yoshi’s Island DS was followed by Yoshi’s New Island for the 3DS in 2014.

Related Links:

Yoshi’s New Island

Yoshi’s Woolly World

Yoshi’s Crafted World

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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