Let me get my only complaint out of the way. The music is the worst part of the game. There are some good tracks, but the game has its fair share of bad songs. There's this instrument (a kazoo? a vuvuzela?) that gets used way too much and simply doesn't work. The title screen's music provides a terrible first impression of the game.
I find it to be very relaxing. It's not hard by any means, but collecting red coins and flowers provides some stimulating challenge and a bit of thinking. Just enough stimulation to engage the player without bursting the bubble of calm relaxation. The levels have places to explore, but aren't "sprawling" as many people have said. There are little diversions to check out as you stroll towards the end of the level. Players are encouraged to look around and experiment without tension. The visuals are simple and look nice without being over-stimulating. The 3D doesn't make things pop, rather, the effect clearly defines what is a platform and what is part of the background. The art style and visual design are used to create a world that gives me a feeling of happiness. Just playing the game, seeing the little Yoshi casually walk through this vibrant world at a laid back pace leads to a feeling of relaxed joy. There's no stress or pressure. You can get through the levels without hassle and the areas that can be explored aren't confusing or maze-like. Simply playing the game and visiting its world makes me feel at ease. It's a simple kind of joy that's hard to describe. It's kind of like taking a nap during a warm day at the beach or sitting in your favorite chair and putting your feet up after a long day of work. Of course the game's not going to look impressive or exciting or push the boundaries of the genre. That's not what it's trying to do. If Yoshi's New Island is compared to the likes of Tropical Freeze, it's going to lose. This is a different kind of platformer that engages the player and provides fun in a different way.
I'm almost done with the bulk of the game. I went in with tepid expectations, and somehow the game is worse than what I expected. It feels too much like the original Yoshi's Island (can't speak for Yoshi's Island DS).
It's certainly not a broken game, but it's not a particularly good one either. And don't get me started on the "music"...
I have no desire to play this game. I have the first game, via the ambassador games on the 3ds. I remember renting the first game for the SNES cause I wanted to try it out before actually buying the game. The game was insulting to include Super Mario World 2 in the title. Yoshi games pretty much are for wee little kids. There hasn't been a Yoshi game yet, (except for the NES Yoshi game) that I could say I really like. Shame on Nintendo for not doing justice on Yoshi games. I'll keep my fingers crossed that Yarn Yoshi breaks that trend.
And to basically rehash the same story a third time, with storks and all. Come on Nintendo, you guys are really sucking it up. I'm in agreement with many others, that Nintendo needs a huge management change. Hell, DKC TF has only sold .47 million units worldwide since release. Not even half million yet! Thats pathetic, esp considering how well DKCR sold on the Wii. Even the 3ds version of DKCR has sold around 1.32 million units WW. Nintendo and it's marketing sucks. I hope they fire Iwata this summer. I'm sick of hearing how sorry he is. Sorry doesn't cut it in the business world, buddy. Only results! Hiroshi Yamauchi is probably rolling over in his grave.
If you like the same theme played in different variations ad nauseum, then it's right up your alley. Basically, take the music in the trailer up there (second video in the OP) with the same children's-sounding instruments and put it in just about every level. Even in levels where it doesn't sound appropriate...like, say, a Chain Chomp is eating away the land below you (which is a copy-pasta of a Yoshi's Island level). So relaxed...in a stressful situation.
A couple of arrangements are decent, but for the most part, it's bland. This is typical...
Whereas this was Yoshi's Island (the original)...
I dunno, I guess I'm a little hung up on the original. But since the story sets this up as a DIRECT SEQUEL to Yoshi's Island: Super Mario World 2...it's pretty terrible compared to it. Mostly because it's exactly the same outside of one transformation and egg dozers.