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Yoshi Touch & Go

Yoshi Touch & Go, known in Japan as , is a video game that was developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. It debuted in Japan on January 27, 2005, in North America on March 14, 2005, and in Europe on May 6, 2005. As of August 2007, the game sold 197,337 copies in Japan. Yoshi Touch & Go was produced by Takashi Tezuka and directed by Hiroyuki Kimura. It was one of the launch titles for the DS in Japan.

The game revolves around Yoshi and Baby Mario/Baby Luigi. Its graphical style and cast of characters originate from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. The game heavily utilizes the DS's touch screen capabilities, and makes use of the microphone as well. The challenge in the game comes from replaying the same modes over and over to get the best possible score, similar to the classic arcade games of the 1980s. Therefore, the difficulty of the game is based primarily on improving one's own skill.

Gameplay

The game begins with three different gameplay modes: "Score Attack", "Marathon", and the "multiplayer vs. mode". Additionally, the player can unlock "Time Attack" and "Challenge modes" by getting the high score in the "Score Attack" and "Marathon" modes. When the high score on the two new modes is achieved, the mini-game "Balloon Trip" is unlocked. There are two basic level types. A vertical level, where the player must lead Baby Mario through the sky safe to the ground and a side-scrolling level, where the player takes control over different Yoshis, carrying Baby Mario on their back.

As opposed to the earlier Yoshi games, in Yoshi Touch & Go the player cannot take direct control over the characters. Instead, the Yoshis move from the left to the right automatically in a certain speed. However, the player can draw lines on the lower screen with the stylus, which creates clouds that will support a character. This attribute allows to create alternate routes to avoid enemies and obstacles. If the drawn clouds are impeding the progress, they disappear by blowing into the microphone. Enemies can be dispatched by drawing circles on them, which puts most of them into a bubble. In the side-scrolling level, a Yoshi can make an egg out of fruits by leading them to its mouth. By tapping on the screen, the Yoshi will launch an egg in that direction, which is useful for killing enemies or collecting coins and fruits. By tapping on a Yoshi himself, the player can make him jump, and tapping him again while he's in midair will cause him to do a flutter-kick jump.

The Nintendo DS's two screens act as one tall screen, whereas the player can only create clouds on the lower one. However, by throwing eggs in the upper screen it is possible to collect coins or fruits from there. An exception provides the wireless "multiplayer vs. mode", where only the lower screen shows the player's view, while the upper screen shows that of the enemy. In the multiplayer, the goal is to be faster than the enemy. By clearing out enemies on the own screen, the player can cause spiky obstacles on the opponent's screen.

In some modes, there is a star point counter. Once this reaches 100, a Super Star will appear. If Yoshi touches it or the player drags it to Yoshi, Baby Mario will temporarily become Super Baby Mario, who is considerably faster than Yoshi and has unlimited stars (instead of eggs) to throw. The star points will then return to zero. Also, by feeding fruits to Yoshi a certain amount of eggs will be replenished. The number of replenished eggs consists of the fruit (for instance, an apple only refills one egg, while melons refill twenty).

The color of Yoshi that Baby Mario rides depends on his score in the vertical falling part of the game. If he gets 60 points, he will ride a sky blue Yoshi, and then the color will go up a level for every other 20 points he gets (for instance, pink Yoshi at 80 points, blue Yoshi at 100 points, etc.). The only two exceptions are white and orange Yoshi: In Marathon mode, when Baby Mario changes Yoshis, depending on his performance he might start riding a white Yoshi, who will switch to black Yoshi, unless it's at the 10000 metres mark, in which case he will switch over to orange Yoshi. It will then switch to purple yoshi at 20000 metres in Marathon. In challenge mode, after the high score is beaten, getting 0 points in the Baby Mario segment of future games will unlock a fast purple Yoshi. The same thing applies to time attack where a white Yoshi, which has unlimited eggs, can be unlocked.

Plot

The stork is carrying Baby Mario and Baby Luigi to their parents when Kamek the Magikoopa attacks, knocking the babies away. Baby Mario falls down and onto the back of Yoshi. What happens next, depends on the game mode:

  • In Score Attack mode, Yoshi will carry Baby Mario to meet the stork at the end of the level. If the player scores 300 points in Score Attack mode, Baby Luigi will be on the back of the stork, unlocking the Time Attack mode.
  • In Marathon mode, Yoshi carries Baby Mario as far as possible, and will hand him over to one of the other Yoshis every 1000 yards (in North American versions of the game; other versions use metres). If the player makes it at least 3000 yards without dying, the stork will swoop in with Baby Luigi at the end, unlocking the Challenge mode.
  • In Time Attack mode, Yoshi and Baby Mario will try to shoot down the Toadies that are carrying Baby Luigi away. The clouds the player draws in this mode are yellow rather than white, causing Yoshi to run faster on these clouds than on the ground. Each Toady must be hit twice; once to detach it from Baby Luigi, and again to knock it out of the sky. If the player doesn't land the second hit fast enough, the Toady will reattach itself to Baby Luigi.
  • In Challenge mode, Yoshi and Baby Mario will try to get as far as they can before Kamek the Magikoopa catches them. A timer counts down the time before Kamek arrives. When enemies are destroyed in this mode, time will be added on to the timer, delaying Kamek's arrival and allowing the player to continue further (though the most seconds remaining on the timer only goes up to 99. Hitting enemies when the timer is below 99 will continue to add time). Like Marathon mode, distance travelled is measured in yards for North America, and metres everywhere else.

Development

According to Nintendo assistants Hiroyuki Kimura and Keizo Ohta, Yoshi Touch & Go was originally planned to be designed for the Nintendo GameCube as "Balloon Trip". A demo of the game was first exhibited during the of 2004 and gained positive response. Thereupon, the executives of Nintendo green lighted the project. Though, Shigeru Miyamoto considered that the game would create a bigger impact as a DS title.

Yoshi Touch & Go was produced by Takashi Tezuka, director was Hiroyuki Kimura. The game's musical score was created by Asuka Ohta and Toru Minegishi. Baby Mario and Baby Luigi were voiced by Charles Martinet, the voice-over of the Yoshis was done by Kazumi Totaka, including the 19-note song he did

Reception

The game was generally well received, though not as positive as earlier games of the Yoshi series, such as Yoshi's Island. It holds an average rating of 8.1/10 and 7.7/10 respectively at IGN, as well as an average rating of 7.8/10 and 7.5/10 respectively at GameSpot. Craig Harris of IGN said it "is one of the most original and unique games created for the system so far, and it's truly a design that's unlike anything you've played before. He especially commended the multiplayer mode and gave the game an 8.8/10. Additionally, it won the IGN Editors' Choice Award on March 11, 2005.

Some reviewers, however, criticised Yoshi Touch & Go for its lack of storyline and the simple gameplay. Also, the game gathered negative critics for its price, which was found too high by some critics. Nevertheless, Touch & Go was a middle success, selling 197,337 copies in Japan.

References

External links

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