Yarn Yoshi Doesn’t Look Like the Sequel that Yoshi Fans Want

yoshi-wii-u

I’ll be honest: I’m not excited whatsoever about the upcoming Yarn Yoshi for Wii U. And this is coming from someone who used to be a Yoshi nut and who actually rather enjoyed Kirby’s Epic Yarn. It’s just not at all what I wanted out of the next Yoshi game.

In fact, I can’t think of anybody who seriously wanted this out of the next Yoshi game. (Feel free to contradict me.) I’d rather Nintendo stop pushing their bizarre “style” experiments and instead start focusing on building the sequels that fans have been looking forward to.

Yes, it’s mostly about the art style. The game has this yarn and cloth thing going on – a style that’s being directly continued from 2010′s Epic Yarn. It’s all very hipster. But it’s not appealing. I don’t want the Yoshi franchise to look like it’s set in a nursery. I definitely don’t want it to literally be set in a nursery (see the screenshot at the top of the page).

yoshis-islandTo be honest, the style of the original Yoshi’s Island on SNES was already pretty iffy, and despite Yoshi’s immense popularity, the game saw a massive sales nosedive compared to most of the other “Mario”-branded games on the platform. Yoshi’s Story tried to change things up by being a bit more neutral in terms of the way the characters looked – but then they added in this bizarre patchwork/cardboard concept that made most of the levels… well, not feel like they were part of a real world at all.

The truth of the matter is, Yoshi games don’t need a distinctive art style. They certainly don’t need one that’s designed to look like it’s targeted primarily at children. Seriously, what kid goes out and buys something that looks like it’s for kids? They buy stuff that looks like it’s cool.

What Yoshi needs to be successful and to stand out from the crowd is to look phenomenal on a more neutral level – none of this “unique art style” stuff, since it’s been more or less proven that it doesn’t increase the appeal – and to add in its unique stylistic feel at the gameplay level.

yarn-yoshi-screenshotYarn Yoshi appears to be doing the opposite. It looks like it takes most of its gameplay cues directly from Kirby’s Epic Yarn, while at the same time adapting its art style to the Yoshi universe. Notice those beads? They’re a direct rip. There is no unique style to the game… because it just re-uses the style from Epic Yarn.

This is not the correct direction to continue an existing franchise. Nintendo properties are not guinea pigs with which Nintendo can continue to test out their gameplay and art style experiments. They have a customer base, with certain already-established desires and expectations. These constant efforts to change the way these franchises are presented to the customers have been very unhealthy for the success of many of Nintendo’s franchises, including Kirby (which has been all over the map) and Zelda (with its divided fan-base). Meanwhile, the franchises that focus most on consistency have been the ones with the greatest and most consistent success: Mario, Pokémon, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros..

It’s clear from the behavior patterns of Nintendo’s customers that what they desire is consistency, with innovation arriving at the level of new worlds to see and fresh content to consume. Unfortunately, Nintendo doesn’t seem interested in that. They’d rather “surprise” people with their Unique Art Styles™ and New Ways to Play™. Well, I’ve bought it for long enough – and I’m getting kind of sick of watching Nintendo crash and burn with each attempt when there’s a better way to move their franchises forward sitting right under their noses.

  • CChaplin

    I don’t honestly have a problem with the fact that they have some franchises which stay fairly constant in art style (Mario, Pokemon etc) and some that don’t (Zelda, Yoshi etc). With the series like the latter, the unexpected is part of what to expect.

  • Stary

    Nintendo can’t please everyone, just be great full that there’s a new Yoshi game on the way. This is probably the most negative article someone has wrote about this game, especially since we don’t know much about the game itself.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      Nintendo did a pretty good job pleasing everyone before they started trying experimental art styles. They had ZERO significant competition in the NES era, and the games all used pretty homogenous graphical styles. (The ART is another story, but the way the art was represented in pixels was always pretty similar.)

      • kerriganmarois

        You mean they did a good job of pleasing everyone, when they were the absolute dominant company and there weren’t other games to buy.

        Homogenous graphical styles in the 8 bit era? No sh*t, they had a resolution of 256×224 and 16 colors on the screen at once.

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          Point remains the same. People didn’t have to deal with art styles they didn’t like because they simply didn’t exist, and most of Nintendo’s franchises were at the pinnacle of their success at the time.

          There’s a REASON they were the dominant company, after all.

          • kerriganmarois

            Are you suggesting that Nintendo was number 1 because they didn’t have creative art styles? That is an extremely far fetched conclusion. Mario, Zelda & Metroid all had incredibly unique art styles on multiple systems.

            Not to mention that the Wii and it’s CRAZY art styles are the DOMINANT force right now.

            Are you possibly a newly jaded 15 year old who only wants grimdark games?.

            • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

              “Art styles” would never have been a factor in the 80s because they didn’t exist. Yet Nintendo games were renowned for being the most visually interesting games at the time.

              Ever since they have come to the forefront, however, the games Nintendo produces with “creative art styles” are usually at the bottom of their respective genres at the time they release.

              There is NO Wii game with a crazy art style that is anything close to “dominant.” You get down to about the 24th game on the sales list before you get to one that has a non-neutral art style (Animal Crossing), and there are very, very few games on Nintendo platforms that have achieved more than 2 million sales in the U.S. (the biggest gaming market in the world) that also use a non-neutral art style.

              This is a clear and 100% consistent pattern, and seems to suggest that customers DO NOT VALUE CREATIVE ART STYLES VERY MUCH, and actually prefer more “standard” styles.

              • zdog

                You make a very valid and fair point…but it begs the question “Then WHY IS NINTENDO DOING IT?!” I guarantee they have departments of full time employees dedicated to looking at exactly this type of information to make determinations about future game releases. So if they know what you and I know, and they’re still doing it…clearly they know something we don’t.

                • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

                  Nintendo makes the kinds of games they want to make. They’ve said this time and again. You know they’re making the game gamers actually want when they’re talking more about what the gamers want than what was fun for them to do.

                  • zdog

                    Touche, game developers love to think of themselves as artists, and I’ll concede to a degree that they are. But artists generally have this terrible attitude that regardless of what the public demands they will produce what they want to produce. I think when you find the happy medium between public demand and artistic expression you have a winner.

                    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

                      You’ve got it! I think the absolute BEST example of Nintendo getting too deep into the artist mentality is Other M.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jugglaj91 Joe Onley Jr

    If Nintendo began to just give the fans what they want they wouldn’t be Nintendo anymore. Nintendo does what they want because they focus on game play mechanics first and foremost and aren’t worried about the graphic whores who criticize a game because it looks different. Wind Waker turned out to be a great game, Skyward Sword, Kirby’s Epic Yarn was darn fun to boot as well. I will take a fun game over getting the same crap over and over again being called “new” aka New Super Mario Bros.

    • K2L

      “I will take a fun game over getting the same crap over and over again being called “new” aka New Super Mario Bros.”
      Very well said, sir.

      • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

        I’ve written several articles about how Nintendo clearly doesn’t care to do anything “new” with NSMB’s content. But that’s not what I’m talking about here.

        • http://www.facebook.com/jugglaj91 Joe Onley Jr

          All I said was i would rather have a fun game than the same crap shoveled into my face. Yoshi in yarn looks fun and if Kirby’s Epic Yarn is any indicator it will be. There is no point in bashing a game based on looks and that is essentially all you did here. You may not be excited now but I bet you’ll be pissing your pants with excitement when its closer to release.

          • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

            I don’t think the game will be bad because of how it looks. I think a large number of people will not buy it because of how it looks.

            Since Nintendo is a BUSINESS, it is Nintendo’s job to get people to buy the stuff they make. I want Nintendo to do a good job at this so I can be assured that they’ll still be making games 5-10 years from now.

            If they keep making design decisions that discourage people from buying their products, they are eventually going to go out of business. So I want them to stop doing it.

  • The_Hyphenator

    I’d prefer some more along the lines of Yoshi’s Island, myself, but I’m willing to give this the benefit of the doubt. Epic Yarn was surprisingly fun, especially in multiplayer.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      I’m probably still going to try it… but it’s not screaming at me to buy it. And I was OBSESSED with Yoshi as a kid.

  • http://twitter.com/FlameDragon_ Stealth

    Another alex plant ridiculous troll article what an idiot

    • Ghoti

      Did he seriously say Smash Bros. has a consistant art style? Smash 64 was all cartoony and like a comic book, Melee was about bright and vivid colors, and Brawl was washed out to make the characters look kind of like antiques. Completely different.

      • Jared Pryatel

        That’s not exactly the point. What YOU just described is like comparing Super Mario Bros NES to Super Mario Bros Wii U.

        • Ghoti

          They easily could have done Brawl’s artstyle in Melee, just less realistic. The darker, dryer colors aren’t a challenge to do, that’s just the art direction they chose for Brawl. Smash games have different art styles. Not to the degree of games like Zelda, but they are different.

      • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

        I suppose you could look at the washed-out colors of Brawl as a stylistic change. I don’t really see it as an intentional shift in the franchise’s style; the franchise has always simply featured Nintendo characters and settings “as they are” at the time, which is not (I think) really a “style” choice as much as it is a “content” choice.

        So the N64 characters look like N64 characters; the GameCube characters look like GameCube characters; etc.

    • guest

      Yeah and it satisfies me to read what I think right now about Wii U. I didn’t buy one even though I really want to, but I see what games Nintendo are getting out and what games I want and so far, none concur.

  • Mr. Nidoking

    I really like the yarn style, it’s creative and unique.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.dinkleman Thomas Dinkleman

      I concur, even though right now without knowing much of the game, I wish they would go back to the crayon and cardboard style of yoshi’s island. That just had amazing art, simply beautiful. Unique and colorful but not distracting. Certainly not boring like the NSMB series is becoming (even though every one of those is a great game in it’s own way). Just fabulous, but ya know if they wanna try something new, that’s great. I love new ideas and seeing how well they work in a game, and maybe they do something even cooler with this game and it’s yarn than they did with kirby. We just can’t really judge this game yet seeing as we have minimal screenshots and the artwork is probably not the final art, since the game is a ways from release (most likely).

  • http://twitter.com/FlameDragon_ Stealth

    crash and burn with each attempt?

    kirby epic yarn was the fastest selling kirby ever

    and you think its stupid to try it again?

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      EVERY game sells faster these days.

      • Jared Pryatel

        For game that can be downloaded yeah

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          Nah, I’m talking about sales becoming more and more concentrated at a game’s retail launch in recent years. There’s tons of data (from sources that don’t count digital sales) to support this.

          • http://twitter.com/FlameDragon_ Stealth

            YOU made the statement that the fans dont want it. Says who?

            • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

              Falling sales correlated with virtually every non-neutral “art style” seems to suggest it. After all, a game’s “fans” are limited to the people who buy the game.

              • http://twitter.com/FlameDragon_ Stealth

                no failing sales to speak of

                • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

                  The Wind Waker performed poorly enough that NoA told Japan to stop making The Wind Waker 2 and make a more Western-style game and they actually listened.

                  NoJ NEVER listens to NoA.

                  • http://twitter.com/FlameDragon_ Stealth

                    Wind waker performed so poorly it got 2 direct sequels bro.

                    And wind waker performed great. What you call western style, is still japanese stule.

                    • nightphoenix16

                      Phantom Hourglass was a DS “sequel” and Spirit Tracks was more of a “Here’s what happened a long while after PH”. In better words, PH was more like Majora’s Mask, except it was released for the DS.

                      In regards to Wind Waker’s performance, it’s a game that was appreciated more over time, hence why it’s getting a re-release on the Wii U. I honestly loved the approach that was taken with WW’s cel-shaded graphics. It added more to the characters and the storytelling as a whole.

                    • http://twitter.com/FlameDragon_ Stealth

                      The ds is the top selling handheld ever, so dont insult it saying oh it just got a ds sequel. Yeah it was great.

                    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

                      Thing is, being on one of the top-selling systems ever is sure to increase sales even if actual popularity doesn’t increase. That’s why OoT’s status as the best-selling Zelda even though it was on N64 is so significant. N64 isn’t the best-selling system – far from it – yet it turned out the best-selling Zelda.

                    • http://twitter.com/FlameDragon_ Stealth

                      You forget the situation surrounding the OOT. It didnt matter how much n64 sold

                      It was the first 3d zelda. That alone propelled it.

                      There wont eve be a “first” 1d,2d,3d,4d zelda

                    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

                      Mario being in 3D didn’t propel it ahead of the 2D Marios (in fact, it sold about 10 million fewer copies than the average 2D Mario game did before it). Something else was going on that made OoT special enough that it attracted MORE fans even though the N64 audience was smaller.

                    • http://twitter.com/FlameDragon_ Stealth

                      the point is when you say the sequel yoshi fans dont want, and when you say things dont sell. You arent using fact

                    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

                      Yoshi started out as a new entry in the Super Mario series. It sold about 1/4 of the previous entry (Super Mario World). They decided to not make it part of the Super Mario series any more going forward.

                      Something tells me the thought process here is obvious.

                    • http://twitter.com/FlameDragon_ Stealth

                      no it started as a side game, at the END of the snes gen. The n64 was already out. Thats why it sold less.

                    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

                      Shigeru Miyamoto said in a fairly recent interview that it was intended to be and is still seen as a “main” entry in the Mario series. Also, another game that came out at around the same time (DKC2) sold better, and plenty of third-party games managed to get some good spotlight in 1995 also.

                      It’s a myth that games that release toward the end of a system’s life don’t sell for that reason. Games that don’t sell don’t sell because they didn’t compel anyone to buy them.

                    • zdog

                      This is why I don’t watch sports, just a bunch of gorillas pounding their chests to see who’s stronger, because there is nothing more engaging than an exchange of debate, and that was some good stuff.

                    • http://twitter.com/FlameDragon_ Stealth

                      He never said that. DKC2 sold better because of the rising popularity of DK who had been dead for 15 years prior.

                      “It’s a myth that games that release toward the end of a system’s life don’t sell”

                      If by myth you mean fact sure. Just dance is a casual game. Its a different situation

  • tipsd9video

    “It’s clear from the behavior patterns of Nintendo’s customers that what they desire is consistency, with innovation arriving at the level of new worlds to see and fresh content to consume.” Tell that to the massive amounts of rage Nintendo gets with every NSMB game announcement. Everyone complains about the games being to similar to eachother, despite the fact that they have “new worlds to see and fresh content to consume.” I love the NSMB games, but I also love that Nintendo tries different things with some of their smaller franchises, like Yoshi and Kirby. And I haven’t played Kirby’s Epic Yarn, but I find the art beautiful. I don’t think it’s designed to look like its for kids, it’s just designed to look like things are made of cloth and sewn together. I don’t really see why a game that looks like that automatically looks like its for kids.

    • zdog

      I completely agree, and you see the same poor logic rear its ugly head on the other side of the spectrum. Everyone in the industry has determined that in order for a game to be mature it must use the F word a specified amount of times and have ultra-violence. I have no patience for that type of material, but still want a game that is deeply involving and mature not because of content that is not acceptable for children (or in my opinion anyone), but because it engages you on a much deeper level. Unfortunately no such game exists.

      • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

        Most of the truly “timeless” games that people connected with back in the day were really “made for all ages.” They were kid-friendly, sure, but they weren’t so tailored to children that “for kids” would be what comes to mind.

        Good examples: Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Kid Icarus, Balloon Fight.

        • tipsd9video

          I haven’t played Epic Yarn myself, but from what I’ve seen it’s a nice relaxing platformer. I’ve seen nothing that says its a game “for kids”, just its a relaxing game with nice music and gorgeous art. If this Yoshi game is like that, I have no complaints. I wouldn’t mind another game like Yoshi’s Island either, but this game looks great as it is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/FeeFGFM Felipe Flores

    Sorry, but I believe this art style fits even better with Yoshi than it did with Kirby. I am extremely excited for this title in particular (Yoshi’s Story fan here).

  • K2L

    I was never majorly interested in the Yoshi series to begin with. I played Yoshi’s Island DS and am now playing the SNES original. I love them, but I’m not particularly interested in grabbing every single game. I had briefly played Yoshi’s Touch and Go and, soundtrack and sky levels notwithstanding, it could have been better.

    That being said, I don’t know where’s really the surprise with this game’s visual engine. The Yoshi’s Island games were already child-like visually, and honestly I liked that feel because it DOES fit a series where the point is, umm, you know, taking care of a baby. If you want a “neutrally visual” platformer, Mario and Donkey Kong are there for you. No need to have this grapficwhore desire of dark and edgy graphics for a series that was never identified with them to begin with.

    Also, not every day I see Alex ranting so passionately as he did in this article. It must have really made him a bad day. =O

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      I get a little tired of watching Nintendo make the same mistakes that put them in last place with the GameCube:

      - Unique (i.e. non-neutral) art styles that never actually expand the franchises to wider audiences
      - Undervaluing 2D Mario in favor of 3D Mario, which is less popular and less profitable
      - Slapping ideas that should be invested in new IP into old franchises (which consequently see drops in popularity)

      Suffice to say I want to deliver a strong enough message that they wake up and actually make decisions that will sell some Wii Us.

  • kerriganmarois

    Yoshi’s Island is actually my favorite art style from any 2d game. I think it looks pretty unique the way it bends kirbys epic yarn with 3d environments and some other elements from yoshi’s island.

    Customer base for yoshis island is 18 years older now. I’m sure a lot of them can’t wait to play this with their kids.

    Strangest article I’ve read about Nintendo’s mascots. Would you really want a generic artstyle and game from yoshi? No you’d bitch and moan about Nintendo copy/pasteing.

    Also, yoshi’s island customer base is about

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      I don’t seem to recall any time when generic styles have actually damaged the sales of a Nintendo game.

      • kerriganmarois

        I don’t recall any time when a creative style have actually damaged the sales of a Nintendo game.

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          You’re kidding, right?

          The Wind Waker’s style was bad enough for the series’ sales, that when the game was released in America, Nintendo of America had to tell Japan to HALT PRODUCTION of Wind Waker 2 and change the art style to Twilight Princess’s style. And, well, I think it’s clear how that decision went over.

          Kirby Super Star Ultra, a remake of Kirby Super Star on SNES, went on to sell EVER BETTER than the original, which seemed to indicate that Kirby was about to make a series comeback. Then Kirby’s Epic Yarn was announced and Kirby’s sales performance dipped right back down again.

          Metroid: Zero Mission and Other M abandoned the Western style artwork present in the first three games and the Metroid Prime trilogy, and are today the worst-selling games in the series (apart from the Hunters and Pinball spin-offs).

          • kerriganmarois

            I understand Yoshi’s island was billed as super mario world 2, but the box has giant letters that say YOSHI’S ISLAND. Even if it wasn’t, you don’t get to play as mario and I would argue its a spin-off of the super mario world franchise, In fact, yoshi’s island is the best selling yoshi game.

            Metroid prime 3 sold LESS than Kirby’s epic yarn.

            As far as Wind Waker, There are only 3 other zelda titles that sold more in NA.

            Other M is one that has extremely generic environments and characters throughout the whole game.

            Also, our arguments are both rather pointless seeing as it would be very difficult to provide direct correlation between art style and sales. Especially with a company like Nintendo.

            Personally, I want Nintendo to keep trying out new things, because when they get it right, they produce some of the best videogames out there. I am sure we both agree on that. The problem is that along the way there will be bumps in the road.

            • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

              I think in the end The Wind Waker wound up having enough attention (the reactions to the style were INFAMOUS) and eventually got enough positive reviews and a good reputation, so people wound up trying it out anyway. It remains true, of course, that its success is pretty far behind the other console games, and we can see that that willingness to try it despite the style change hasn’t been extended as broadly to Skyward Sword.

              Other M definitely had problems apart from its style, but I think most of them wound up stemming from the fact that it was created to resemble the franchise’s manga series (from its plot to its characterizations to its more generic setting). Metroid is NOT a game that should be modeled after a manga in any way.

              • kerriganmarois

                Common ground! I knew we could agree. I think if any game can benefit from a more “normal” artstyle it is metroid. The whole time I went through halo 4 I just pretended I was samus :)

                • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

                  I just think “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t continue to make something BETTER, it just means you shouldn’t abandon an already successful path just for the sake of doing something new.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.lefebvre.161 Aaron Lefebvre

    Change “What fans want” into “What Alex wants”. lol I am fine with Yarn Yoshi.

  • kerriganmarois

    Neutral and phenomenal don’t go together. I can’t get over how ridiculous this article is.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      “Neutral” just means it works to appeal to everybody… or at least doesn’t do things that turn people off. “Phenomenal” is more an indicator of “quality” (whatever that is).

      The two work at different levels. Neutrality is about the pre-purchase stage; whether or not it’s considered phenomenal is a post-purchase perception. So, yeah, I think they could easily co-exist. See: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario Bros., etc.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sergio.montenegro.900 Sergio Montenegro

        Still your article is ridiculous and poorly argumented.

  • Aiddon

    dear freaking Buddha, this article is nothing more than a hissy fit. Crash and burn with WHAT? When? When exactly did the Yoshi games become a sacred cow?

  • http://www.facebook.com/travis.timmons.31 Travis Timmons

    I get my platforming from Mario. However, my daughter loved Kirby’s Epic Yarn. So I’m excited…for her…for the release of the Yoshi Yarn game. I do agree that for myself, I’d pass on it. If it were more like the older Yoshi game, I’d definitely get it for myself. But there’s a market for these games, and it’s kids who are too small to play Mario without constantly dying.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      I can get on board with that. But my issue here is that instead of reviving the Yoshi brand and then extending it into the territory you’ve just described, they’re just releasing Yoshi AS the type of game you’ve described. I don’t get the impression that that’s going to be good for the brand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Kyrunox Aaron Laye

    Both Yoshi and Kirby have always focused on colorful unique worlds.. how is this different? I understand the rage over copying the kirby’s epic yarn concept, but this is how the franchises have always worked. I especially loved the crayon world of Kirby’s Dreamland 3 and Yoshi’s Island.

  • LiquidKarnivore

    awwww poor lil alex crying like a little baby, shut up Nintendo does what it wants and us gamers who grew up with it don’t care because we have more memories on nintendo consoles than anything else. Graphic whores only rave about how it looks ask them about the story and they will not know much and plus games now a days aren’t very memorable, play a Nintendo game song and I guarantee people will start humming along.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      Do you really think that using a more neutral art style would make Yoshi suddenly not memorable if it was really a good game?

      Or, to put it another way, why does Yoshi need a “stylistic” art style to be a memorable game? (And the hidden second question: Is it just not good enough to be memorable without one?)

      • LiquidKarnivore

        Yoshi in a realistic setting will never work, he’s marios sidekick and is a CUTE character so expect nintendo to be making him even more cute because he is loved by everyone, so a child look doesnt hurt it if not it will help it cuz everyone knows who yoshi is.

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          What about Yoshi in a Mario-esque setting? That clearly worked.

          • kerriganmarois

            When has there been a yoshi game in a Mario-esque setting?

            • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

              Super Mario World?

              • kerriganmarois

                Why wouldn’t you just come out and say you want mario to look like NSMBU?

                Because the majority of hate that nintendo gets for their art, is from those games.

                • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

                  Two of the NSMB games are in the top 10 best-selling games of all time. If there’s backlash because of the visual style, it clearly isn’t in the form of people not buying the game.

      • Invader_Zim342

        I’m sorry, I’m just trying to picture a Yoshi-centric game in a “neutral” Mario-like style…and, well, I can picture it, but it just seems dull. The Yoshi games do have good gameplay on their own, but it just feels to me that if one were to take an older yoshi game and remake it in say, NSMB’s art style, the experience as a whole would suffer. In my mind, at least, artistic styles are just naturally associated with Yoshi games. If I were to see a standard styled Yoshi in a game by himself, I’d just find myself wondering, “So where’s Mario?”

        The stylistic art styles help the Yoshi games stand out, and I honestly don’t think people would take as much notice of a new Yoshi game that had the kind of style you are suggesting. Now, maybe that does mean that Yoshi *needs* an artistic style, but whether that’s because his games aren’t good enough purely on their gameplay merits or just that otherwise they would end up looking (to the masses, at the very least) like just more 2D Mario games that people have begun to get pretty tired of lately, is not really something I could make a call on.

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          I think there’s room for differences, just more to the extent that Metroid Prime looks different than Twilight Princess. I don’t think they actually need to SET OUT to create a new style; I think the characters and environments will already look different enough simply because the content of the Yoshi franchise is already different.

          • zdog

            This exchange was like a really good ping pong match. Well played everyone, that was a darn good exchange.

  • JeredenDonnar

    you have made quite a name for yourself, Alex. While it may not be best to copy a style, perhaps this wll lead to a sub-franchise? Look at super paper mario, those games are very strange yet very popular. Perhaps yarn will filter through the appropriate franches and then become a franchise of its own. maybe it’ll be like Little Big Planet, a game very highly reviewed.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      I’d love for it to be a sub-franchise.

      Problem is, right now the “main franchise” isn’t going anywhere.

  • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

    I think it’ll probably still be a good game. I just don’t think it’s going to be good for Nintendo’s overall image, and I don’t think it’s going to do any favors for Wii U’s financial performance.

  • Erimgard

    I’m fine with the art style. I just don’t want it to be a total clone of Kirby’s Epic Yarn gameplay wise.

  • Twister27

    @AlexPlant:disqus Is the picture at the bottom actually from Yarn Yoshi, or is it a photo-shopped picture from Kirby’s Epic Yarn? If it is actually from Yarn Yoshi, it’s a shame that Nintendo can’t at least try to be a bit more unique instead of literally copy-pasting the graphics from another game.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      That was a screenshot from Yarn Yoshi footage shown during Nintendo Direct.

  • kerriganmarois

    Clearly Alex is on his own with this article. Now we know to be wary when he speaks for all the “fans”.

    • zdog

      I don’t know man, I was pretty upset reading the article, but after going through all of these comments, he makes some pretty darn good points, so that even if I don’t agree…I can’t disagree with his logic.

      • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

        I look at it this way: if I’m right, we’ll know it because the sales won’t be there. And if I’m wrong, then the sales WILL be there.

  • kerriganmarois
    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      I disagree. Video games are not simply works of art; they are industrial products to be sold to the mass market. You should study the ones that actually demonstrate a successful business model, not the ones that fall into a pattern of market regression.

      • kerriganmarois

        You speak of a pattern of reggression, yet you tout that the artstyles of games should become more neutral. Without innovation and creativity, any industry becomes stale. You neglect that most games are made by artists, not mindless suits.

        There is a game out there for you though, Call of Duty. It is literally the perfect example of solid gameplay that never changes, an art style that only serves as a backdrop for the epitome of recycled gameplay.

        Games are many things and I truly believe that it is incredibly important for the future of the industry to have games with experimental gameplay and artstyles. Otherwise everything will look the same, and there wouldn’t be room for anything else to compete. Look at what’s happened with CoD, its a great shooter, but there are also many other shooters out there that are absolutely fantastic. They don’t really have a chance, because why play them when they are essentially the same experience as playing CoD?

        If your wish came true, no one would buy it, because why buy a yoshi game that looks just like mario but isn’t mario?

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          Without driving actual unit sales, developers become BANKRUPT. I agree that games need to be more than recycled and rehashed (we are beginning to see that approach collapse on itself), but I do not believe that simply making a game LOOK different is what makes it stand out from the crowd… at least, not in a good way.

          Moving gaming forward and standing out from the crowd is more about offering experiences that make everything else we’ve played before seem obsolete in comparison. And I just don’t see Yarn Yoshi trying to focus on this… it seems to want to focus on the yarn “look” instead, to the point of putting it in the title.

        • zdog

          Unfortunately its the mindless suits that make the decisions. Just look at rayman legends. But there is a reason they make the decisions they make sure there is going to be money there at the end of the day to keep everyone employed. I run out of patience quickly for this attitude that we need to let artists be artists blah blah blah, Alex is spot on here, video games have to follow a business model.

          • kerriganmarois

            Maybe the suits made the decision to make Rayman Legends multi-plat because it makes business sense. What they didn’t do was dumb down their incredibly creative art style in order to sell more copies.

            Rayman Origins/Legends is a perfect example of pushing the boundaries of how art can be used in a traditional 2d platformer without “looking” like everything else.

  • zdog

    Phew! It took a while to read through all of these articles but it was worth it! In honesty I was very upset after first reading the article. There was no logic to it! It wasn’t until I got into the comments and saw the ideas fleshed out that it made more sense.
    That said there are two things I still want to address. All of the points you made regarding Nintendo ruining their franchises by these art projects is spot on. Unfortunately the only franchise it doesn’t apply to is Yoshi. I think the points would have been much better made in an article regarding Nintendo art styles then a opinion piece against yarn yoshi itself, and here is why. Unlike other nintendo franchises that started out with a neutral style and then branched out from there, stand alone yoshi games have been built on the foundation of a unique art style, it is part of what makes them a yoshi game. To me the kiddy/artsy feel to yoshi makes me feel like is IS being consistent. I agree that fans want consistency, and here we have one of the few examples of Nintendo being consistent. If all of the sudden I’m playing a stand alone yoshi game, and it looks like I’m playing yoshi from super smash bros in a run of the mil mario universe backdrop I’d think this isn’t a yoshi game the same way I thought that paper mario just wasn’t the type of rpg game I had come to expect from Nintendo. NIntendo has totally flip flopped its priorities on consistency, (NSMB that never changes, and Zelda which never stays the same and thus the divided community) but I think with Yoshi they got it right.
    Second you state that “Nintendo properties are not guinea pigs with which Nintendo can continue to test out their gameplay and art style experiments. They have a customerbase, with certain already-established desires and expectations.” Nintendo knows this, Aonuma has stated on several occasions he feels trapped by the conventions that are demanded around the Zelda series like having to have bushes to be able to cut down for rupees. In the end I think they feel the only thing they really can tinker with is the art style.
    Cheers.

    • kerriganmarois

      Excellent points.

  • Terrak

    I agree with Alex on this one. This style should have been kept for Kirby. Yoshi should have been given his own style too. I think a cameo type game where he gets sucked into kirbys world might work though if thats the angle there going for but Yoshi is a big enough game character to get his own style IMO.

  • Altair_420

    The wii u is currently way overpriced and there arent any games i couldnt already get on ps3 or 360 that i want. (ive had a gamecube and windwaker for over a decade and i dont like how the new hd style looks)
    I would get this for 3ds though…….

  • EugeneBluejean

    I’m the manliest man I know and I am a huge fan of this art style and this is my most anticipated announced and unreleased game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sergio.montenegro.900 Sergio Montenegro

    Yoshi DOES need an artstyle, what the heck is wrong with this guy?! If you want the same thing over again then buy the 3ds Yoshi’s Island. I’m buying myself Yarn Yoshi.