Yo! Noid review

The good:

Addicting platforming gameplay
Running and jumping controls are tight
Colorful and detailed graphics
Cheery and catchy soundtrack

The bad:

Pizza eating contests = boring and action stopping
No checkpoints
Bad choice of spell activating controls


To be completely honest, I was skeptical about getting this game. Games based off movies, shows, ads, etc. turn out to be complete shit. Since this was going to be based off an ad about a claymation rabbit (known as the Noid) who tries to ruin pizzas from Dominoes, I thought this would turn out to be bad. It looked good, but I was willing to bet the controls were poor and the gameplay would get boring. When I tried it though, I was completely wrong. This is actually one of the best NES games out there.

Yo! Noid stars the Noid who is sent by the mayer (haha typo) to destroy his clone (known as Mr Green) who is destroying New York with the help of his monsters. The Noid has to go through 14 different parts of New York to get to the clone, but on the way, he runs into killer seagulls, harpoon guys, polar bears and other clones (oh, right, focus on one clone, but not care about the other 6...). So basically, it's a typical platformer story...yes, this is a platformer.

The game consists of running and jumping, making sure you don't miss some platforms. The jumping is spot on and isn't at all delayed. Actually, the controls are pretty damn tight and with no problems, meaning you can pick this up and play it. There is some precision jumping involved, but the controls are good enough to be fair with those. It's possible to change direction in mid-air kind of like in Super Mario Brothers, where it's a little stiff, but it's do-able. Less stiff than Journey To Silius's, but more stiff than Contra's.

Among that is the Noid's yo-yo (hence Yo! Noid). Just press B and you can hit enemies with it. When you see an enemy, just hit the living hell out of it with your yo-yo. It's kind of like in Startropics where the main character uses a yo-yo to kill supernatural monsters, but instead of supernatural monsters, its Mr Green's creatures that look like what you'd see in real life that gets killed by a yo-yo.

While you're going through levels, you'll find some scrolls. Collecting the smaller scrolls adds 1 to your MP (max 20). When you see the bigger scrolls, you can either just collect them and gain 5 MP, or bust them open with your yo-yo and get a new spell out of it. The spells range from screen killers to some power up that helps you beat the level. The screen killing spells cost 5 MP, and the power up costs 10 MP.

To actually use a spell, hold down and press B. Wouldn't it be easier to just press Select? Seriously? Down and B? What the hell? Select would make too much sense, so they decided for a button combination. That's starting to step in forbidden territory – Heroes of the Lance territory to be exact, and we don't want to head that way, now, don't we? But this isn't nearly as bad as Heroes of the Lance's controls (which I don't even want to try and explain how bad THOSE controls are), so that's a very good thing I guess.

Now, this sounds good and all, but when you inevitably get hit by an enemy or fall in a pit, you die. Simple as that. I know it's common in games like Contra and Super Mario Brothers, but at least in those games, you have checkpoints. Whenever the Noid dies, you have to start from the beginning ALL OVER AGAIN. This gets frustrating as you could be inches away from the end and some enemy kills you, and YOU'RE BACK AT THE FREAKING START AGAIN! RAGE!

At the end of certain levels, you face off against different colored Noids in...PIZZA EATING CONTESTS! Yay! Guess what? I'm freaking bored! Seriously, this kind of kills the fun of the game. What happens is that the opponent picks a card, and you then pick a card. If your card is a higher number than your opponent's, you score the difference (so if they picked a 2 card and you picked a 3 card, you'd score a point) – and the same can go the other way with your opponent collecting a high value than you.

There are ways to hinder your defeat. Along the way in levels, if you collect certain cards, you can use them against your opponent. Stuff like pepper and hot sauce can make your opponent spit out winning pizzas. I often find myself using these against the opponent when they have a high value card, making them waste it.

Of course, you can humiliate the opponent with whatever double or triple value cards you find (which doubles or triples the value, depending on what you use) and use them with your highest value...against their lowest value cards! Total destruction FTW! Unfortunately, it doesn't matter, because these are pretty boring. The only thing saving this is the catchy tune. It's so upbeat and fun to listen to, that it keeps me awake!

And guess what...those are your boss battles. I'm not kidding around – they ARE your boss battles. I know, shocking, isn't it!? *grumble grumble*

The game does like to mix things up a bit. In two levels, you get to control a sort of one-man helicopter. In these two levels, you have to maneuver through some obstacles and mash A to keep flying so that you can make it to the end without crashing and burning. It's an interesting twist to the usual platforming formula, and I like how there's 2 levels dedicated to it. Nice.

The second different thing to the usual gameplay is the skateboard. This one is pretty tricky at first. Killing enemies is kind of weird in timing, like sometimes it dies, sometimes you die, but I guess it depends on what part of the board lands on the enemy. Anyway, you get to skateboard through an entire level and be able to pull off some mad air!

The final different thing is the pizza crusher, however that's only for half a level. Oh well, at least in that, you get to crush enemies Mario style and jump higher too!

If you investigate levels hard enough, you can find yourself a bonus game. It's basically like whack-a-mole, and you have to hit a certain amount at least so you can basically bypass the rest of the level (yes...even the pizza eating contest can be bypassed). But man, these are pretty well hidden... So well hidden, that you can only find these by accident.

In terms of difficulty, Yo Noid is a pain in the ass! If you think Alex Kidd In Miracle World is hard, Yo Noid is harder. As I've pointed out, it's one hit kills, a lot of things can kill you and losing the pizza eating contests kill you. Fortunately, you get 3 continues, so that's a plus, and there are only 14 levels. In Alex Kidd In Miracle World, you only got one continue for 16 levels, though Yo Noid is harder overall.

Yo Noid is the sort of platformer that you'd play because you want to go back to the past and play one of the best the NES could offer. However, I feel that there could be some things that need improving to be as good as the Super Mario Brothers series. For now, it's a good alternative.

Gameplay: 4.5
A platformer which tries to mix things up, and succeed! The pizza eating contests throughout were, unfortunately, a lame idea and they really stop the action. However, the helicopter and whack-a-mole mini game both make up for it.

Control: 4.5
Excellent! They are easy to pick up and learn, and are very responsive (in a good way). It might take a while to learn how to do the spells in the game (or at least the button combination).

Story: 3.5
It could've been worse...It could've been "Noid! Destroy Dominoes!" But they decided to clone the hell out of the Noid and have him destroy the clones in pizza eating contests. Not bad, but it feels clichéd.

Graphics: 5
The game looks nice, colorful and detailed for 8-bit, and look like they should. The animations are fluent and the backgrounds and foregrounds are no slouch in the interest department.

Sound: 5
If a song can keep me awake during a boring moment, it's all good enough for me. There are a few songs to listen to, and they're all happy and catchy. I mean seriously, who here who has played this game, not ever hummed to the soundtrack? Come on now, serious answers here! The sound effects are actually not your typical 8-bit affair. Some actually sound pretty cool, cooler than what most usual 8-bit sound effects end up like.

Lifespan: 4.5
14 levels and quite a difficulty level as well as some secret bonus mini-games to "accidently" find...you'll probably keep at this for quite some time.

Funfactor: 4
This would be quite perfect. The soundtrack is pretty fun to listen to, the game is fun to play because it's not all "rip out your hair" difficult, it's more the fun difficult where you keep coming back to try harder. What ruins this is the boring ass pizza eating contests. Oh god...

Bottom line:
You'd be thinking that games based off ads and TV shows and movies would suck, right? Well, most of them do, yeah, but this game is pretty good. It's no Super Mario Brothers, but it's close.


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