ith a moniker like Yoshi’s Island DS from Nintendo, the easy assumption is that this is yet another re-release of the classic Super NES title with some new touch-screen options and dual screen support. After all, the original Yoshi’s Island was released for handhelds as Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi’s Island. Thankfully, even with Nintendo’s history of repackaging, nothing could be further from the truth.Yoshi’s Island DS is a brand new adventure from beginning to end that takes full advantage of the DS’s multiple screens, and offers up a heaping helping of new gameplay by adding in multiple babies to the mix.
The original Baby Mario returns, but this adventure also features Baby Peach and Baby Donkey Kong, who add much-needed dimension to the gamplay. Other babies make cameos as well, with Baby Wario and Baby Bowser appearing for short stints.Each of the babies offers up different powers. For example, Mario enables Yoshi to run faster, break Mario blocks, and ricochet eggs around corners. Peach uses her parasol to float through the air and to ride air jets. But even better is Baby DK, who empowers the player with a Dash Attack for smashing blocks, as well as the ability to climb vines a la Donkey Kong Junior.
With tons of hidden items to collect across the game’s five worlds, numerous minigames to unlock, and fantastic use of the multiple screens, Yoshi’s Island DS is an outstanding addition to the DS’s list of impressive platformers. I must admit that I had grown a little tired of the original Yoshi’s Island, but this game has given the series new life for me, and I highly recommend it for any platformer fan.