The Nintendo DS desperately needs a killer app. In the face of increasing pressure to deliver and amid something of a first-party top-tier blackout, Sony’s marketing of the PSP as the handheld of choice is managing itself in the eyes of the gaming public.
Catch! Touch! Yoshi! is not a killer app. It also carries that most shameful of lineage – being spawned from Super Nintendo code which is over a decade old.
You see this is not a true update in the stunning and sublime Yoshi’s Island series, a franchise begot of Super Mario World which at launch featured perhaps the best graphics ever offered up by a home console. Catch! Touch! Yoshi! takes sprites and style sheets from the original game, mixes them up and adds a new gameplay mechanic.
So what’s the point? And is it worth the £20 or so likely to be asked of when it hits the UK under the Yoshi’s Touch and Go! monicker? Remember, this game started out life as an E3 2004 tech demo named Balloon Trip.
You’ll see previews of this game on various slower European sites which rose-tintedly spew about the way gaming has obviously rediscovered fun, how Catch! Touch! Yoshi! (Japanese import version reviewed) harks back to simpler times, before technology mattered and it was all about gameplay.
For want of a better word, this is in the most part bollocks. C!T!Y! does have some tricks up its sleeve, and one play mechanic that makes this game simply unmissable. Allow us to explain.
The fundamentals: This is a game on rails. It scrolls at its own pace. There are two elements: Guiding Baby Mario as he descends through various skyborne hazards and controlling Yoshi with Baby Mario on his back. The controls: In the descent sections you can draw clouds and encircle enemies and items in bubbles. That is all. In the carrying element, arguably the ‘main game’ portion of YTG, you can jump and flutterjump by tapping Yoshi, draw clouds and encircle enemies and items in bubbles and fire eggs. The only input is the touch panel.