Yoshi came out for the NES in 1992 (N. America). It's a basic puzzle game where enemies fall into four columns, and Mario is forced to keep swapping columns in order to prevent the stacks from reaching the top. Like enemies will cancel each other out. The main way to score points is to use a Yoshi egg. The bottom half falls, you get a bunch of enemies inside, then drop the top half of the egg. More enemies equals more points.
There are two modes: A is endless (a la Tetris), B requires you to clear the stage entirely. Settings include speed and initial enemy pile. There's also a competitive mode. Same deal as single player. Whoever hits the top first loses.
That's pretty much it. I was surprised that Nintendo included this game on their "30 Years, 30 Cents, 30 Days" promotion. The game isn't that renowned (or good, for that matter). It gets old really fast, and the limited settings don't offer much variety. The visuals are mostly frozen, and the gameplay is repetitive and unexciting.
Notably, the game was developed by Game Freak (before their Pokemon brilliance), and the music was composed by Junichi Masuda (before his Pokemon brilliance). Although I never would have guessed Masuda's involvement in a million years, because this music is rather bland. This was Game Freak's first partnership with Nintendo, and Yoshi had just been introduced in Super Mario World one year earlier as an exciting new character, so maybe the big N was playing it super safe. Unfortunately, the result was a boring game. Even the title and victory screens are lifeless.
|So much solid color. Keep in mind the NES had been out for 7 years, and the SNES for 1, so there's no excuse.|
I am sure that Nintendo's main focus was on the newly released SNES, but I don't feel that's an excuse for a subpar game on any front. If Nintendo wanted to release a Yoshi-themed puzzle game for the NES on the Wii U Virtual Console, why not Yoshi's Cookie? That game is so much better, in terms of multiplayer, music, visuals, and just plain having a personality. The game in general has more substance, not to mention a less static look.
If Nintendo wanted to go all out awesome though, they would have put Dr. Mario up there. Talk about one of the best puzzle games of an era. I was just playing earlier today, in fact. Everything about it (visuals, music, challenge factor, intensity, etc.) is near flawless.
|Hmm. I guess it takes more than just a checkered background after all.|
But I guess the big N felt that Yoshi would be a good choice for whatever reason. As it is the penultimate release for their "30 Year" campaign, I am very disappointed.