Yoshi’s Island 3; What I hope to see

With the 17th of April Nintendo Direct announcing it, Yoshi’s Island 3 is officially going to become a reality.  But to make the game stand out as being as good as the original and to avoid the pitfalls made by Yoshi’s Island DS, here are some things I hope to see in the game.

1. More originality and new ideas

First up, here’s the main thing this game needs for it to stand out from Yoshi’s Island DS, originality and new ideas.  You see, Yoshi’s Island DS had two major problems with it.  What was the first?

How much like a ROM hack of the original game it felt.

No, I’m not exaggerating.  Heck, the entire first level of Yoshi’s Island DS is literally identical to the first level of Yoshi’s Island on SNES.  Or at least similar enough it’s arguably blatant plagiarism:


Above: Wow, you copied an entire level exactly.  Real creative.

This continues throughout much of the game, to the point I sometimes wonder if the designers were sticking just a little too closely to the original for their own good.  So the original had Burt the Bashful?  Now we’ll have the Big Burt Bros, two smaller copies of Burt!  Found in a fortress with a layout which to a degree is copied wholesale from Burt the Bashful’s! Did the original game randomly throw in a skiing section part way through? We’ll do the same!  The bosses stuck a little too close too, Big Bungee Piranha was basically Naval Piranha except vertical.  Bowser fought like Hookbill the Koopa in the original complete with same weakness. And the final boss was just a pale imitation of the first game’s equivalent with the same concept.

Of course, it does differentiate itself about halfway through (and the secret levels are as new as can be), but I do hope the third game is very different from either of the first two and actually feels like a proper sequel rather than a retread.  I also hope they don’t blatantly trace over older game sprites like Artoon did:

Bowser reshaded

Above: Oh come on.  Artoon were this creatively bankrupt?

2. Fairer and more professionally done level design

The other big thing I hope it does to differentiate itself from the DS game is in the level design.  You see, whatever way you put it… Artoon were not great level designers.

Aside from blatantly stealing whole sections of the original game and including them minus any real changes, they also tended to design levels like some people design games and hacks for Youtube Lets Plays… to be extremely difficult and annoying as hell to play through.

The difficulty curve to put it bluntly was a brick wall you slammed into by about world 5. The final castle had you go through lengthy sections filled with deadly spikes that would wipe you out in one hit.  They really liked spikes and thorns in general really, just compare any level from the original with one from the DS game, the latter just piles them up to the point half the level is made of them.

And the secret levels were not fair.  Traps you couldn’t see coming meant to catch you off guard (Yikes! Boiling Hot!), unavoidable traps forcing you to die (every secret level going), sheer luck based tedium (much of Yoshi’s Island Easter Eggs) and even glitch abuse were part for the course in some levels.  Remember how in older games you could JUST about jump off a pressed P switch?  Well you actually needed to do this in the level ‘Let There Be Light’.  Oh, and every level was a marathon level.


Above: This was actually required in a Yoshi’s Island DS level.

So here’s hoping Yoshi’s Island 3 takes a step back and designs it levels in a way which are both reasonable and fun for normal people to play through.  Less stuff like ‘A Light in the Dark’ with its blind jumps and darkness, more stuff like More Monkey Madness which is actually designed like a real level.

3. A great soundtrack

Well, this should be obvious.  We need another great soundtrack like that in the SNES game rather than one like the sometimes ear hurting DS game one.  This is great music, the stuff Yoshi’s Island 3 should take inspiration from:

This really isn’t:

It wasn’t a complete catastrophe music wise, there were some decent themes in the DS sequel:

Above: Although their bad programming cut off half the music and made it loop after about ten seconds.

But the third game really needs to have a great soundtrack that’s at least somewhat up to the same quality as that from the original SNES game.  Make the themes catchy and distinctive, yet fit the mood better than many of the Yoshi’s Island DS tracks.  Shouldn’t be too much to expect if an internal Nintendo team are the ones working on this.

4. Poochy

I know, Poochy Ain’t Stupid has probably made quite a few people really hate this poor dog. But generally he was a pretty cool companion in the older Yoshi games, and the fact he could run through spikes and bulldoze through enemies was fantastic.


Above: This level’s name was an absolute lie

Then he pretty much disappeared without a trace and never even showed up in the direct sequel.  Poor guy, absent for years and the last ever appearance he had was as a mediocre ‘Gaddget’ in Mario Party Advance.  Here’s hoping he’s brought back for the 3DS game!

Poochy Pal

Above: Poochy’s last ever appearance.

5. More transformation usage

Finally, I hope to see more transformations in this game.  After all, while they were technically present in the DS game, transformations were literally confined to just one or two levels each rather than being used for any significant amount of the gameplay.  And every non ‘Island’ game with Yoshi in just did away with them altogether.

Yoshi Transformations

So here’s hoping we see transformations return in Yoshi’s Island 3.  And that ideally a significant amount of the level design is based on them rather than them just being thrown in for half a second for the hell of it. Maybe have another level use them as much as Mario Advance 3 level ‘Go! Go! Morphing!’ did?

Well, that’s what I hope to see in Yoshi’s Island 3.  Do you agree with my wishlist?  What things are you hoping for when this game is released in a year or so?


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8 years ago

This all seems pretty reasonable. If a game with Yoshi’s Island in the title isn’t gonna give Poochy any love, who will? Anyway, I’m ambivalent about the transformations. I guess I can’t disagree with improving them. It’s just that many of them have very loose controls and you tend to be helpless against enemies, which feels like it goes against everything the game stands for. On that same note, the fact you can only run with Mario is one of my beefs with YIDS. You generally have no real need to go fast in YI, but it was nice that… Read more »

8 years ago

Honestly, here’s what they need to do, make it so you don’t need to go back through all the obnoxiously hard levels to get 100% on.

Poochy shouldn’t come back. He was extremely annoying and hard to use.

There need to be more enemies rather than mostly just shy guy variants.

There absolutely HAS to be an island museum. That was fantastic and more games need them.

They should honestly make it so the only babies are Mario and Luigi, but they’re both used in very unique and specific ways.

Luis Carmona
Luis Carmona
7 years ago

Guess what? The same shitty developers have made this game once more…it’s like Nintendo doesn’t learn or is trying to safe money..Artoon went bankrupt after Yoshis Island DS…From the gameplay provided so far from Yoshis New Island it seems like they did the opposite of your advice..shit game once more 🙁 guess I will replay Yoshis Island SNES again.