Flashback Friday: Yoshi's Story

Double Jump Kris MiiYoshi is one of the most adorable characters in the Super Mario franchise, and with good reason. Ever since Yoshi’s first appearance in Super Mario World in 1990, the character has appeared in nearly 60 games!
This month’s Flashback Friday post is dedicated to one of those games, Yoshi’s Story.
Yoshi’s Story was released for the Nintendo 64 in December 1997 in Japan and March 1998 in North America. A side-scroller platform, the game was released on the Wii’s Virtual Console ten years later and the Wii U’s virtual console almost ten years after that. Yoshi’s Story is actually the last main platform game starring the titular character until Yoshi’s Woolly World for the Wii U in 2015.
While it’s considered almost a sequel to the SNES’s Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, Yoshi’s Story is more puzzle-orientated with a cuter style in both graphics and music. It’s levels appear as a pop-up storybook, images resembling materials that one would use to make a scrapbook, such as fabric, cardboard, and paper.
The game had two modes, Story and Trial. Trial Mode enabled players to pick a course to go through as often as they wanted, but they were not unlocked until the player beat the course in Story Mode. Getting a high score was the main objective of each level, with the level ending when the Yoshi ate 30 pieces of fruit to complete the border around the screen. Considering the story of the game involved the Yoshis journeying across their island in search of Baby Bowser, who stole the Super Happy Tree. By eating the fruit, the Yoshis can stave off gloominess while trying to save their island.
Before each level loaded, a Lucky Fruit was chosen at random, which earns more points than any of the other fruit. Players could also get bonus points for eating the favorite fruit of whichever color Yoshi they happened to pick or for eating the same piece of fruit multiple times in a row. Players can go through each level as quickly as possible by eating every fruit they come across, but they can unlock secrets of the courses by biding their time and exploring every nook and cranny of the level.
Yoshi’s story got mixed to positive reviews, averaging only about 60% to 70% by most critics. It was, however, the second most downloaded title on the Wii U’s virtual console during the week of its release. With that said, the virtual console version received similar, if not worse, reviews than its Nintendo 64 counterpart.
I remember this game from ages ago. Rachel and I never owned it ourselves, but instead borrowed it from time to time from our aunt. We didn’t do too much in the Story Mode, being young enough to find it rather confusing, and amused ourselves with picking and choosing courses in the Trial Mode. We were always fans of Yoshi and had lots of fun with the game, its art style, and especially the music.
And, don’t lie, you all got the theme song stuck in your heads as much as we did:

Have you ever played Yoshi’s Story? What did you think of it?

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Readers Comments (17)

  1. Nice write up. Despite not loving the Yoshi games, this is on my wish list for my N64 collection.

    • The Yoshi games are right in the middle for me — not my faves, but I don’t hate them. This one just brought back a lot of childhood memories, haha! I’m hoping it’ll end up on the N64 list too!

  2. I know this game has a bad reputation, but as I child I loved it! Unlocking all stages was a real joy for me back then. This game certainly holds a sweet nostalgic spot in my heart.

    • I’m hoping it’ll be available on the N64 Classic edition, whenever that thing comes out, because it was definitely fun to play as a kid!

  3. I really enjoyed this game. My younger brother got this game for his birthday and we would play it religiously until we got every Melon and unlocked the Black and White Yoshis. A lot of good times and frustrating to when trying to do the Melon Run and accidentally eat another fruit causing you to have to start again. There was a reason for going after the Melons but I can’t remember after all this time. I’m sure it wasn’t just for the high score.

    • You definitely remember more of this game than I do! Rachel and I mainly ran around the trial stages that were unlocked from when our aunt had gone through the story mode herself, just eating whatever we found and mimicking the adorable Yoshi sounds and song, haha! We’ll have to give it another shot whenever we get the opportunity. šŸ™‚

      • It probably hasn’t aged well but the levels were always fun and challenging to play. If you are looking for a game that is similar than Yoshi’s Woolly World for the Wii U is a good choice, plus it has two player co-op so you and Rachel can play together at the same time. There are even different pattern Yoshis that you can unlock in game and also with amiibo though the amiibo costumes are exclusive to the amiibo.

  4. I bought this when it came out, purely based on how much I loved super Mario world 2: Yoshi’s Island. I can’t say I was super pleased at the time, something about it just didn’t click

    • It definitely took a different direction from Yoshi’s Island, with the style of graphics and gameplay. A lot of people seemed to find it too “cutesy” as well, but that was also said about the Legend of Zelda: the Windwaker. I’m not sure how I’d find Yoshi’s Story if I played it now, but I think I’d give it a try for the sake of nostalgia if I get another chance.

  5. I adored this game! I remember my favorite yoshi to play as was the yellow one. šŸ˜ƒ I enjoyed helping the yoshi eat fruit and gain eggs, but I never liked the noise from when a yoshi got hurt by an enemy. The most challenging part of the game I never got the hang out and occasionally messed up on was holding specific game buttons to aim and fire the eggs.

    • Was there a big difference between the different Yoshis, or was yellow just your favorite color? šŸ™‚ The Yoshis were (and still are) so cute, I always hated it whenever one accidentally got hurt!

      • No, the yellow yoshi just happened to be my favorite. ā˜ŗ Boss battles scared me the most in that game! I would always lose so many petals on the flower health bar… The game was very good at increasing my stress level because of all the atmospheric sounds and noises.

        • I honestly don’t think I got too far with the boss battles. As a kid, I remember the game belonged to my aunt and I would just replay the levels that she had already unlocked. I don’t think I understood the concept of story mode at that point, haha!

          • Me too with the boss battles. I would often mess up during battles because Iā€™d get too nervous or start freaking out if the yoshi got hit too many times. Then I’d ask my brother to beat the boss for me, lol. I remember at some point he had a save file with all the levels unlocked and he had even collected all the yoshis, including the special black and white yoshis. I had fun replaying levels knowing there wasn’t going to be a consequence if I lost.

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