Author Topic: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread  (Read 7256 times)

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Offline Jonnyboy117

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RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« on: September 30, 2010, 11:28:48 AM »
We'll be discussing Yoshi's Story (N64) for RFN RetroActive #14. Please use this thread for on-topic discussion of the game, which is available on Virtual Console for 1000 Wii Points. Tentatively, the RFN crew is scheduled to discuss this game on Episode 215, with the option to read additional comments from this forum thread on a later episode. Any post in this thread may be selected to be read on the show, especially if it helps frame or supplement the RFN crew's discussion.


Note: After discussing it with the other guys, we decided to reschedule this on-air discussion to Episode 215 in order to give more time for playing the game and for this thread to develop.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2010, 05:02:32 PM by Jonnyboy117 »
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Offline Kytim89

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2010, 04:13:27 PM »
No Perfect Dark! :'(
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Offline Stratos

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2010, 01:11:55 AM »
I never got more than two levels finished by only collecting melons. Some of them are really tough to complete that way. I always liked playing with the Black and White Yoshi's because they could eat anything without losing happiness.

The weirdest thing I remember about the game was Miyamoto or some other big guy making a huge deal out of how you could manipulate the border/background. And all it turned out was you could make the fruit border shrink in or expand out. I never understood what was so important about that ability.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 01:13:36 AM by Stratos »
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Offline vudu

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2010, 10:52:31 AM »
Anybody know if a VC purchase of Yoshi's Story gets me any Club Nintendo coins?
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Offline broodwars

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2010, 10:55:05 AM »
Anybody know if a VC purchase of Yoshi's Story gets me any Club Nintendo coins?

It should.  All the VC games I've purchased since Club Nintendo started gave me coins.
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Offline vudu

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2010, 10:58:13 AM »
Any game that was released on VC before Club Nintendo started isn't eligible for coins.  I suppose the question should be when was Yoshi's Story released relative to the start of Club Nintendo?

Edit:  Yoshi's Story was released on VC on September 17, 2007 and Club Nintendo launched in America on December 15, 2008.  I guess I answered my own question.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 10:59:57 AM by vudu »
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Offline TJ Spyke

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2010, 11:02:56 AM »
Yoshi's Story came out in September 2007, the North American version of Club Nintendo started in December 2008.

Edit: Nevermind, while I was looking up the info vudu edited his post.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 11:05:06 AM by TJ Spyke »
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2010, 09:31:25 PM »
I just checked the FAQ at Club Nintendo, which has a list of all games released prior to December 2008 that are eligible for coins, and Yoshi's Story is not on the list.

Offline jrlibrarian

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2010, 08:36:17 AM »
Well, although I have a wall-sized poster of this game, I won't be able to play it. I look forward to hearing and reading your impressions of it.
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Offline Jonnyboy117

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2010, 11:01:35 AM »
How do you access the border controls? I would like to shrink it if possible -- the ring of fruit around the screen is very distracting.
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Offline gojira

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2010, 01:27:19 PM »
How do you access the border controls? I would like to shrink it if possible -- the ring of fruit around the screen is very distracting.

Zr on the classic controller turns it off.  I don't know what button that is on the n64 controller if you're playing on that.

I was a huge fan of Yoshi's Island.  Huge.  It is still one of my favorite games.  So Yoshi's Story was such a let down.  To this day Yoshi's Story immediately pops into mind whenever there's any conversation about disappointing games. 

Having only rented the game back on N64, I never really delved too deeply into the game.  However, once the game was released on the Wii VC I decided to give the game another shot.  The game looks pretty good, especially the canvas stage.  The music ranges from decent to annoying.  But worst of all, the controls are very loose.  Despite the game's relative lack of difficulty, I've never beaten it until my current play through for this feature.  It wasn't too hard to get to the final level with all Yoshis, but the bad controls usually got the better of me and I tended to lose them all falling down some hole or another.  Beating levels by eating a certain number of fruit lead to either beating a level half way through or aimless wandering.  Also something I never liked was the necessity to play through the game several times to unlock all levels.

On the bright side, if you unlock those extra levels or attempt all melon runs, the game can be more interesting and challenging.  There are some unique experiences that can be found in there.  Unfortunately none of that fixes the controls. Even with all that, the game just doesn't compare to Yoshi's Island which was just a much more tight and structured experience.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2010, 01:36:01 PM »
How do you access the border controls? I would like to shrink it if possible -- the ring of fruit around the screen is very distracting.
Turn it off with the L button, or resize it using the D-pad.

Offline anand

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2010, 03:14:56 PM »
Yaaaay, Yoshi's Story. I love this game. Because it is so WEIRD. It's, like, a branching, linear succession of 2D open-worlds. In a lot of ways, Yoshi's Story is the fusion of the platforming of 2D Mario and the adventure-style, 'explore the environment and find challenges' gameplay of 3D Mario. And the aesthetics are amaaaaazing. It might still be my favorite-looking 2D game (far more pleasing and thematically consistent than LittleBigPlanet and an obvious antecedent of the beautiful Epic Yarn). And the music perfectly straddles the line between maddening and catchy. Even if you hate it, you're still going to remember it. That's more than you can say for most modern-ish games.

Yoshi's Story is a game that is easy to write off. It could be seen as saccharine. The difficulty is largely elective. For such an apparently simple game, it doesn't hold your hand in the slightest (although, from the perspective of the current gaming environment, I find that opaqueness rather refreshing). It stresses scoring over level completion (like the also amazing Yoshi's Touch and Go). Sniffing is... not fun (luckily, it's only emphasized in the introductory stages). Even when you DO give the game a chance and play it as the designers obviously intended adult humans to play it (high-score melon runs), the scoring system is rather punitive. One little slip-up can destroy an otherwise perfect game.

But it is such a quirky game that I still love it. I love the courage that drove its creation. Nintendo KNOWS 'the platformer'. They've proven this before and since. Yoshi's Story is like a subversion of the rules that Nintendo themselves created. It takes the movement and egg mechanics of Yoshi's Island, amps up the scoring emphasis to the billionth power, and then goes crazy with everything else. A melange of bizarre, counter-intuitive design decisions. From Nintendo. They don't all work, but they are all fascinating, nonetheless. Not everyone will enjoy this game, but everyone should earnestly try it and attempt to appreciate it. It's a strange fruit, but there's some tasty juice to be squeezed from it.

As an aside, how do you guys feel about analog control in a 2D platformer? I usually despise it, but I feel it works pretty well in YS, due to the slower pace and the design of the challenges (like the melon-balancing bits).
« Last Edit: October 04, 2010, 03:27:07 PM by anand »

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2010, 03:16:18 PM »
Really, the only thing I dislike about the game are the block-balancing minigames.
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Offline anand

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2010, 03:25:08 PM »
Yeah. I think they're pretty fun, in and of themselves, but if you mess one up, it basically ruins your score. That's what I meant by punitive. I find that I got the most enjoyment from this game by exploring during my leisure and unlocking all of the levels during the early playthroughs, and then trying to Melon each stage. Going for the highest cumulative end game score could be kind of maddening, so I didn't focus on that.

Yoshi's Story is such a weird, idiosyncratic game in that the methodology of playing affects your overall experience so much. You really have to play it the right way. And the game doesn't even explicitly tell you which path to follow. So un-Nintendo.

Un-modern-Nintendo, anyway.

Offline Jonnyboy117

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2010, 08:34:42 PM »
Roguelike fans: Do you think it's fair/accurate to say that Yoshi's Story is a roguelike platformer? It does seem to have some structural similarities in how you're supposed to play through it multiple times and do things differently each time.
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Offline Stratos

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2010, 08:42:35 PM »
That's a really interesting comparison. I don't play rouge games though so I can't make a direct comparison.
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Offline anand

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2010, 09:58:01 PM »
I love Roguelikes (like Rogue!). The rules of a roguelike are kind of specific (random generation is a big part of it), and Yoshi's Story probably doesn't qualify, but it definitely has kind of a Groundhog Day vibe, like Dead Rising and Breath of Fire V. Except in those games, you power up each time...

Yoshi's Story does have a weird kind of structure, but does it really differ from any dense, linear game that encourages exploration and mastery? Like even Super Mario Bros.? The difference, I guess, is that YS is a bit more (less?) explicit, with the melon thing. The elective difficulty is sort of similar to that of Wario Land: Shake It, though, as well as, apparently, Good Feel's follow-up, Kirby's Epic Yarn. Maybe those guys were big fans of Yoshi's Story? Kirby certainly has a similar aesthetic.

Starting with Donkey Kong, and even leading into Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros., scoring actually used to be a significant part of Platformers, before they became all about getting to the end and unlocking levels. Nintendo has sort of tried to bring that back a couple of times, with Yoshi's Island, Yoshi's Story, Yoshi's Touch and Go, and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, as well as Mario Vs. Donkey Kong. Jungle Beat had a particularly fresh scoring system, being a combo-based platformer. I'd really like to have seen how they could've expanded on that concept with a control scheme that was a bit more reliable and predictable. But, alas, we got DKCR.

By the way, someone actually did make a Roguelike platformer: Spelunky.

Offline Killer_Man_Jaro

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2010, 12:17:14 AM »
This is my first time playing Yoshi's Story, naturally using Virtual Console to do so. I really enjoyed Yoshi's Island and, to a lesser degree, its sequel on DS, but this N64 game was so roundly put down by the press for years, I never felt the urge to try it. Thank heavens for this feature.

I'm now quite far along in the Story Mode, and it's been somewhat fun, but if I had to summarise my thoughts in a single sentence, I would say... a sequence of potentially interesting ideas that aren't used as imaginatively as I'd hoped/expected. I'm talking about Yoshi's now omni-directional tongue, the more free form method of throwing eggs, the paths which fork out, the ability to choose different colours of Yoshi - these are just what I observed in the very first level of concepts that seem like they could be used in creative ways but ultimately are never realised. In addition to this, Yoshi himself feels weird to control. Gone is the speed and agility from the previous game, and I'm not sure I like it this way.

It's a shame because other parts of Yoshi's Story are done really quite well. No, I'm not talking about the singing Yoshis; I had to mute the TV every time they broke out. The storybook visual style is very cohesive, considering the time it hails from. Also, the music is taking the same approach Super Mario World did, which I believe in musical lingo is called a leitmotiv. It's when one melody is prevalent throughout the entire soundtrack (in this case that chirpy tune made famous by Smash Brothers), played perhaps with a different tempo and different instruments. In the fire world, it's a sitar and bongos, while in the underground parts, it's a strange techno mix with a deep voice sample saying the word 'Yoshi' over and over. One more thing to note about the sound: this game might be the first to have Yoshi make the noises we know and love him for. "Boing-HA!"

I have to dash, so I'll leave that it there. I'll probably have more to say once I've completed the game.
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Offline Stratos

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2010, 12:46:43 AM »
Once, my friend and his brothers were arguing. These guys don't normally fight but this time all three were getting very heated. I popped in this game and the intro dumbfounded them all into silence. The argument was forgotten and never brought up again. Yoshi's Story: Family Therapist
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Offline NWR_Neal

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2010, 06:06:36 AM »
I know most people despise the soundtrack in this game, but I love it. I think it's kind of amazing, though it can get very annoying.

But the sheer variety of musical styles is astounding. You have the Ska Yoshi song, the Rap Yoshi song, the one that sounds vaguely like the Nutcracker, and a lot more.
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Offline Halbred

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2010, 06:04:21 PM »
Having recently played through the entire game, I have a few thoughts:

1) This is basically a score attack game. After you beat a stage, you can play it whenever you want from the beginning and improve your score. Getting 30 melons is difficult but gets you the highest score. Because of this, some of the other ways to get a good score are somewhat redundant--lucky fruit and Yoshi color to favorite fruit seems bizarre when you consider that melons are not color-specific.

2) Like any good Mario game, every stage has something different to do, be it avoiding a giant Cheep-Cheep or riding the back of Falkor and everything in between.

3) The graphics are great in their variety and texture-based aesthetic. I've said it before, but Yoshi's Story may have provided some inspiration for Kirby's Epic Yarn.

4) The Yoshis themselves are obnoxious.
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Offline GearBoxClock

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2010, 08:02:28 PM »
Though I would have preferred Perfect Dark, I do enjoy this game.
I do like the aesthetic, but, like a lot of N64 games it is a bit hard to look at on a large television.
The music works for what it does.
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Offline Stratos

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2010, 01:01:52 AM »
I think the Yoshi's are adorable.
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Offline TheYoungerPlumber

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Re: RetroActive #14: Yoshi's Story -- Official Discussion Thread
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2010, 12:14:37 AM »
I tragically have not yet taken the time to pull out my N64 and revisit this title. I remember it fairly well, though.

The game definitely has lots of nooks and crannies for the melon-hunters out there. I really like the variations-on-a-theme soundtrack. The controls, while different from Yoshi's Island, work well, and the visuals are of course colorful and creative.

The level design is a bit bi-polar, though. The looping level designs with warp points encourage exploration over multiple passes, and some levels have cleverly hidden secrets that reward completists for their effort. However, other levels have cruel melon placements where manipulating the environment out of order can make a single precious melon inaccessible. Other levels have sections that blur together or otherwise feel redundant. And, of course, the evil balancing mini-games cannot be replayed without restarting. The more annoying phenomena tend to be in the harder levels, which can be avoided if going for an easy perfect run, but these are still regrettable decisions.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 08:18:24 PM by TheYoungerPlumber »
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