The Wii U may be remembered as a Nintendo failure, yet its library of games tells another story.
And it’s not just your Mario Kart 8s and Super Smash Brothers, there’s Bayonetta 2 and Xenoblade X to consider. Not to mention the Captain Toads and even Yoshi’s Woolly World.
Seeing the green dinosaur shrink down to the 3DS is a mixed blessing. It’s wonderful that a larger audience will get to experience this charming, entertaining side-scroller, but also acceptance that keeping the game exclusive to Wii U is no longer a sound marketing strategy. Especially when you discover that this handheld port is actually the definitive edition of the game.
Yoshi’s Woolly World is set on Craft Island, cast adrift in Handmade Ocean. It’s a peaceful place where the Yoshi clan all band together in perfect harmony. That is, until a Magikoopa called Kamek shows up and turns them all into yarn. I guess there are worse outcomes.
All but the familiar green dinosaur are affected and so he chases down the flying magician who drops handfuls of yarn as he scurries to get away. Before finally confronting the floating fool, Yoshi visits each yarn drop-off point in order to rescue his friends, jumping across platforms, avoiding obstacles and beating baddies along the way.
Yoshi can toss Yarn balls to knit together the environment as it’s been deconstructed. He can also tie up his enemies so he can then bop them on the head. Or just gobble them up and poop them out into … yarn balls.You can also unravel hidden areas to access puzzles by pulling on strands and discovering other surprises.
You can also unravel hidden areas to access puzzles by pulling on strands and discovering other surprises.
It’s a direct port of the Wii U version and has translated really well, especially on the New 3DS where it runs at 60FPS. To the point where it looks as good as the home console edition which is something of a surprise.
There are big differences, however. For starters, there’s a lot more Amiibo support in the 3DS edition. You can scan in various Amiibo to give Yoshi various custom patterns for Yarn creation as well as have Double Yoshi active during levels. However, you can also scan in a Poochy Amiibo which can be ridden by Yoshi in the game. You can also tap it in one of the bonus Poochy stages to enable it to be played in Time Attack mode.
You can even store a custom Yoshi pattern and transfer it to another 3DS cart using a Yarn Yoshi Amiibo.
Multiplayer has been stripped away from this version, however, so unfortunately there’s no option for 2 players to play through a level at one time
Instead, you’ll get the bonus addition of Poochy, the player controlled doggy who can help you uncover secrets during the game’s Mellow Mode – which basically makes everything easier by giving Yoshi wings.
You can also take part in secret Poochy missions which are essentially time attack stages. The idea is to collect as many beads as possible in the time limit and collect items useful in the main game.
There’s also a Yoshi Theatre which will include 31 stop-motion videos of Yoshi and Poochy which are about the most adorable thing you’ll ever see. Seriously, this is heart-melting stuff. Developed alongside Dwarf Animation studios, players are asked to watch the video and answer a short question at the end to receive small in-game bonuses. It’s a cute and light-hearted thing to do when you just want to take a small breather from the action.
And that’s something Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World does really well is fill the player with a sense of calm and composure throughout. It does throw up challenges and can occasionally be frustrating, but this is – undoubtedly – one of the most adorable, relaxing platform gaming experiences Nintendo have ever designed. It’s also a perfect franchise fit for the Dino and will hopefully see further sequels in the future.
It’s a game anyone can pick up, play, and probably fall in love with. Where the Mario Maker 3DS port suffered for stripped back functionality, Yoshi’s Woolly World thrives and even manages to excel and stand out in the packed 3DS library. Nintendo platforming at its finest.
+ The most relaxing platformer you’ll ever play
+ Infectious music and charm
+ Fun and effective mechanics that hold up throughout
+ A rare port that actually thrives more than the original
– Fairly simplistic throughout
– Doesn’t break ground in a busy genre