When you think of Nintendo, you think of Mario. But don’t forget that there are plenty of other characters in the Mushroom Kingdom. Most of these characters have their own spin-off games and Mario’s loyal dinosaur Yoshi is no exception. After Yoshi’s Woolly World for the Wii U, Nintendo brings us Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World. Nintendo wants to keep the charm of previous Yoshi games, while providing a new experience by focusing on graphics and exploration.
Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World is identical to earlier Yoshi games in many ways. The goal of the game isn’t much different than that of Yoshi’s Island for the SNES and Yoshi’s New Island for the Nintendo 3DS. You’re still trying to reach the end of the level without a scratch and save your fellow Yoshi. This time, evil sorcerer Kamek has turned an entire village of Yoshi into wool. Yoshi still uses eggs to combat his enemies. Because most of the gameplay is identical to previous games in the series, you can easily see the connection between them.
Eventhough it’s not the main goal, the biggest challenge in any Yoshi game is collecting all the different items. Each level in Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World contains five pieces of wool. With these pieces of wool, you save a fellow Yoshi from the wrath of Kamek and you unlock a new skin for your own Yoshi to show off. The flowers from Yoshi’s Island make a return and you’ll also be rewarded for collecting diamonds and completing the level with full health. Collecting all these items provides a sense of longevity and depth. The points you receive for collecting these items can be used to purchase Power Patches. These Power Patches make things easier.
This also touches on one of the few differences compared to earlier Yoshi games. The game is much easier than a game like Yoshi’s Island. The Mellow Mode makes the game even easier. In this mode, you can use the newly added Poochy Pups, which help you find hidden objects and can be used as a weapon. You can also pretty much float through entire levels. This makes the game more accessible to newer players but doesn’t take away from the diversity of levels and the amount of collectibles in the game. Experienced players will still be offered a decent challenge, if they play without using the Mellow Mode.
While the gameplay is pretty identical to earlier games in the series, the graphics are the complete opposite. This time around everything in the game is made of wool, from the ground on which you walk to the enemies and platforms around you. Nintendo made it very clear that the gameworld and graphics played the main role in the development of the game and this is clearly noticable. You’ll be dragged into a different dimension from the moment you start the game. The graphics are bright, colorful and lively.
While you can’t compare the graphics of the 3DS to the Wii U’s, the game is still a pleasure to look at. There are no framerate issues. The 3DS version of the game adds things like customisation of your look, Pencil Patches and stopmotion animations. With this, the game manages to offer a complete experience to players who haven’t played any other Yoshi games, but lacks the content to keep people who already own the Wii U version occupied enough to justify a purchase. Changing the name to Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World isn’t that good of a choice as it just ends up being an obvious marketingstrategy.
The happy and profesionally-knit setting are well supported by an especially catchy soundtrack. The music manages to fit into certain situations very well. Tension is noticable when you expect it to be and the fase in which you focus on collecting hidden items are supported by relaxing music.
Besides that, there is plenty of interaction with the gameworld itself. There are numerous loops to find which you can grab. These loops reveal secret areas where you’ll find even more items to collect. There are invisible clouds that you can make visible when you walk past them. Generally speaking, it’s dangerous for a developer to focus on graphics and atmosphere, but Nintendo seems to pull it off. The in-game world is colorful and interactive.
3DS VS. Wii U
While the game is a Wii U-port, the 3DS version offers extra Poochy levels besides all the content available in the Wii U version. In these Poochy levels, you’ll take control of Poochy the dog in auto-scrolling levels. You’ll need to collect as many diamonds as possible and there are multiple objectives to each Poochy level.
Because of these objectives, the levels are challenging. Overall though, Poochy seems like a gimmick. You don’t nessecarily need to clear the Poochy levels or complete all the objectives. The levels are short and are about the only time Poochy even appears in the game besides once or twice in some of the main levels. The game controls well, just as good as on the Wii U. Yoshi is still as floaty as ever, throwing eggs using the D-pad works fine and moving Yoshi around is just as good.
Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World is a wonderful game. The game manages to stick to the solid gameplay of earlier games in the series, but doesn’t add much to it. The elements that are added such as the Poochy levels don’t appear often enough. The game is accessible enough and people of all ages can enjoy this charming game. The graphics are colorful and vibrant and will take you away to another dimension. If you already own the game for the Wii U you can easily pass on the 3DS port. But for newcomers, it’s a great game.
Have you played Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World? Let me know in the comments down below if you agree or disagree with my opinion. Oh, and if you liked this review, please consider subscribing to LiveLifeLounging. New posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!