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Yoshi’s New Island makes us question all of his dino-egg tossing (preview)

Above: Is my sitting on your back helping at all?

Image Credit: Nintendo

I have some weird questions about Yoshi’s New Island that Nintendo will likely never explain. When Yoshi sucks in some poor Shy Guy and generates an egg, what happens to the Shy Guy? Does Yoshi absorb his corpse in order to generate an egg? Is the Shy Guy horrifyingly trapped inside the egg (and if so, can he breathe)? Does the egg hold the genetic product of combining a Yoshi and a Shy Guy? If true, is Yoshi’s tossing of said eggs really a tale of rampant child abandonment?

I haven’t even gotten to the anatomical question of where, out of Yoshi’s body, these eggs are coming from?

I’m afraid the only Yoshi-based mysteries I can resolve today are those that Nintendo answered for me during a short playable demo of Yoshi’s New Island.

The island may be new, but it’s all familiar

Yoshi's New Island boss battle

Above: Are you going to eat that?

Image Credit: Nintendo

Yoshi’s New Island is a full-on sequel, not a remake, of the Super Nintendo’s Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Island DS. Yoshi is once again tasked with watching over infant Mario on a new island full of dangers on a quest to save baby Luigi from Bowser — making this probably the worst case of child endangerment in video game history.

Yoshi has some basic moves to help him traverse the island — running, jumping, and extending jumps with a short burst of aerial dog paddling. This small dinosaur also has a sticky tongue, which he can fire out on an enemy and suck the poor soul back into his mouth. Once you shallow a bad guy, pressing down on the D-pad makes Yoshi lay an egg. These eggs stick with Yoshi until you decide to use one as a projectile (and ultimately abandon another mouth to feed, the deadbeat!). It seems like you can carry as many eggs as you want, so you can potentially have a very long chain of ammunition following Yoshi around like a serpent’s tail. During the demo, I wasn’t able to mess around with seeing if there was a limit on how many eggs I could carry, but I had a fairly large chain worked up in a small amount of time.

When it comes to tossing the eggs around, players have three different control options: Hasty, Patient, and Gyro. The Hasty scheme requires holding the R button, which brings up a floating reticule bouncing up and down. Letting go of R will then fire the egg off in the direction of the target. Patient is the same thing, but you are tapping R to bring up the reticule and then tapping R again to toss an egg. Gyro activates the 3DS’s gyroscopics, which then control the aiming reticule with physical movement of the console, with R firing off an egg.

You are what Yoshi eats

Yoshi's New Island ice blast

Above: That cool, refreshing flavor. …

Image Credit: Nintendo

What Yoshi swallows can also affect his basic abilities and the characteristics of eggs. Swallowing certain enemies enables Yoshi to generate a giant mega egg, which can smash and destroy certain chunks of a level when thrown. An Ice Watermelon turns Yoshi’s tongue grab into an ice beam attack. During the demo, I had Yoshi swallow a special balloon transformation item, which put Yoshi into a sort of bonus round situation where I was steering a floating balloon toward coins via the gyroscope controls. Nintendo also hinted that a bobsled transformation item also exists, that is controlled in a similar fashion.

In addition to the main game, Nintendo showed off a pair of two-player minigames. The first places two Yoshis in a small arena that contains an egg generator. As balloons of different shapes and sizes start floating upward, both Yoshis must use their egg-tossing skills to pop as many balloons as possible before a timer runs out. In another minigame, both Yoshis leap off of a cliff and use their aerial dog paddle to try to float themselves toward as many coins as they can collect.

Yoshi is a rolling stone

It seems convenient that Yoshi would run off to a new island. If the theory is true that all of these eggs he keeps tossing around really are his offspring, then he likely decimated the orphanage system of his home country. Yoshi could be the grand master of deadbeat dads, and the fact that he cares for two children that are not his own (Mario and Luigi) makes him some sort of psychotic. I may never figure out what the hell the biological workings are of Yoshi’s egg laying and person swallowing, but at least living vicariously through his adventures of potential irresponsibility is an enjoyable time.

See you on Maury, you monster.

Nintendo provided GamesBeat with a hands-on demonstration of Yoshi’s New Island on the 3DS. Yoshi’s New Island is scheduled to release on March 14, 2014 for the Nintendo 3DS platform. Stephen is convinced that Yoshi is the father.

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