Written by: J.H. Longman
Guess who’s back with a brand new game, with a brand new look, but still the same, it’s Yoshi and if that name doesn’t ring a bell, seriously where have you been the last few decades. Who doesn’t know the green, “hmmmmmm” noise making, long tongued companion and friend to Mario, who in all honestly, is a character who is almost as famous as the videogame series franchise he came from. A character who has made many, many appearances in Smash games, Mario games and of course, in his own Yoshi series and now we get to see in in a whole new light as Yoshi’s Woolly World is out and bringing join to gamer’s households this very moment.
Gone is the day of singular bold colours, as the Yoshi are back with a whole new look, one made of yarn an just like yarn coming in all forms an colours, so do the all new Yoshis, who in their latest adventure, a déjà vu of the Nintendo 64 game, Yoshi’s Story where the principles and actual gameplay is the same, except the fruit the Yoshis once ate serve no real purpose except to finish the levels quicker, the eggs are replaced with yarn balls and there’s no Happy fruit tree under attack, just the Peaceful Yoshis, who Kami is turning into yarn, only he didn’t exactly make the best of escapes, as he’s dropping the yarn converted Yoshis, all over the place, but don’t fret, your Yoshi friends can soon be saved, just by playing though each and every level, in every world, collecting all five yarns on each level. But don’t worry, if you fail to get all five in your first, or second playthrough, as long as you manage to collect the ones you originally missed, they add to your overall collection, thus giving you your all new Yoshi, be him Treetop, Moo Moo, or even Yoshimelon. (I know, you can tell it’s a Yoshi game, funky names and even the levels have funky names, it’s all just part of the fun.)
But yes, the Yoshi’s lived in peace, just leisurely kicking it, only to have Kami come along and ruin it, the age old classic, “yeah things are good, I’m gonna go ruin that now,” still in action and working like a charm, still it’s what gets the adventure going, which can be played solo, but as always with gaming, sometimes blazing through story-mode with a player too, there’s nothing better, so with my player two by my side, with a gun to her head to play, we were good to go. (Only joking about the gun, didn’t need one, for her sins, she’s a Yoshi fan, although she did say she’s rather be playing Creed IV, I can’t fault her for that.) And now that we’re good to go with level one, why write about it, when I can show you our play-through video, as part of our web-series, when Mike Scorpio took his turn with the game:
My partner favoured swapping Yoshis every time we unlocked one, while I choose to remain with good ol’ Woolly green, until unlocking Moo Moo because he just looked totally cool and had the whole “own it like a boss” feel to him an talking about bosses, you get to fight two of them in World 1 and provided you get all the available yarn in the levels, you can get a special version of Yoshi, in the colours of the bosses you defeated. But just because you beat the eighth level and unlocked the next world that doesn’t mean you’re quite done. After all, provided you collected the five flowers hidden in each world, you can unlock another secret level to fully complete the map, a little something for all the achievement gamers out there, we just can’t resist 100% percent game completion. So for you achievement gamers, Yoshi’s Woolly world may just hold a lot of appeal for you as there is quite a bit to be done, hours of gameplay required and with the amiibos only adding a further arsenal of Yoshis to the game, looks like you’ve have to build on your amiibo collection as well, in your pursuit to unlock, find & sew them all. (Catch them all is so much easier and quicker to say, but last time I checked Yoshi isn’t a Pokemon.)
But no, for all you Yoshi purists out there, this is a game, with the very same Yoshi many of you first fell in love with, the same noises, same playful nature, just a different look, but this wasn’t the first time things on the Wii U got woolly, for in Nintendo Land, in the Zelda segment, our Miis don the hero’s tunic. Becoming woolen Links in a woolen world, filled with Woolen enemies and a Woolen Ganon (and don’t forget Kirby’s Epic Yarn), but hey when it works, it works and wool is a good look for Yoshi, just a shame the game didn’t feel as original as it could be, too much remake as opposed to reboot, or follow up with a whole lot more and although it is something I would play with someone else, honestly I don’t think I’d actually play it solo.
So with that in mind, it’s almost moment of truth time, but as always, before the final result gets revealed, a list of Pros & Cons is drawn, so here they are:
-Story mode able to be played both solo and co-op
-Hours of gameplay and many different Yoshis to be achieved.
-Even more Yoshis available thanks to Amiibos, which includes known characters from the Mario games and Zelda games (Ganondorf Yoshi is seriously awesome, shame you couldn’t have a Pikachu Yoshi though, would have been hilarious)
-Easy enough to pick up and play whenever
-Fun, colourful and upbeat
-It’s too much classic Yoshi. Besides the woolly twist, it’s not really something we haven’t seen before, just a rehash of a classic game and not that it is always a bad thing, but if I had a choice between playing this or playing the N64 Yoshi’s Story, it would be N64 hands down every time
-With the many different Yoshis available in game, why limit to just two players, when this could have been a full on four player as well, making it another ideal party game
-Variety is a great thing, but sometimes it can be a little too much, I’ve already said Yoshi’s Woolly Land comes packed with plenty of Yoshis to unlock and play as, as well as having many more available to come, due to the amiibos, but it’s starting to feel like Nintendo is trying to force them down our throats. There’s no doubt that the amiibos saved Nintendo after the unexpected negativity and under sale of the Wii U, but all these cross-overs, with Link in Mario Kart, Zelda & Mario items in Animal Crossing, and more game content available, such as levels, weapons and customization, thanks to the amiibos, but it is going a bit too far. One of the high points with Nintendo was their DLC only added to the games and available at cheap and cheerful prices, but the DLC that comes via amiibo, well not all of the amiibos come cheap and the minimal content they provide, well it puts Nintendo on par with the likes of Playstation and Xbox with their arguably extortionate DLC prices.
So with the list laid bare before us, it’s time for a Yoshi yarn ball rating and with a full 10.0 on offer, for me Yoshi’s Woolly World pulls of a modest 7.4 it is a good game, but just not good enough. Yes it is a gaming experience to be enjoyed solo, or with a partner. Yes it is another well-made Nintendo game. And lastly, yes it is colourful and fun, but so is Splatoon, the Zelda quest in Nintendo Land and Pokemon Rumble, available from the eShop and a nice twist on a well age series, which also allows you to obtain every catchable Pokemon, without the needless hours of levelling up to learn more powerful moves and evolving. Unless you are a through and through Yoshi fan, this is a game you could give a miss, a game you don’t have to purchase, only to then buy a Woolly Yoshi amiibo afterwards, as there are many other lesser known titles on the Wii U and in the eShop, which some are actually really great to play and let’s not forget classic Ocarina of Time is out now in the eShop too.
But as always, this is just thoughts on the matter and its encouraged for you to make your own.