Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World Review
When Yoshi’s Woolly World launched on the Wii U last year it was met with high praise, and for good reason. Graphically, it was a masterpiece; the graphics were supported by outstanding sound and the great platforming elements we’ve come to expect from a quality Yoshi’s title. With the release on 3DS, Nintendo has brought the Woolly world to a whole new audience.
A lot of our previous review of Yoshi’s Woolly World will still apply, as many of the elements are the same. Obviously Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World ads a lot of Poochy elements that we will explore further after discussing the general gameplay.
The first main difference between the Wii U version and 3DS version is the over world. While it’s a 3D experience on the Wii U, traveling between worlds and levels on the 3DS is a completely 2D experience. I actually prefer this way of travel personally, although it doesn’t make any difference in the grand scheme of things!
Similarities with Wii U
Now we tackle all the similarities! Yoshi’s Woolly World is built entirely out of yarn, so aesthetically it is beautiful. In fact, we gave Yoshi’s Woolly World the award for the Best Visuals that we gave out in mid December. If you happened to see the behind the scenes video that was posted at E3 2014 related to Yoshi’s Woolly World, you will understand the dedication and work that went into crafting this title. The reality is that words really don’t justify the look of this game. If you have yet to see this game in all of its glory, erase those thoughts of Kirby’s Epic Yarn from a few years ago, because this is nothing like that. Half of the value you will find in Woolly World is the visuals. Poochy and the Yoshi’s are equally as impressive as the environments, especially when you use amiibo to ‘theme’ your Yoshi after your favorite Nintendo characters!
With the visuals comes fantastic level design, and puzzles that only work in a world created out of yarn. Throughout the levels you will find strands of yarn that Yoshi can unravel with his tongue. This will often open up new areas to explore – creating large balls of yarn which can move through multiple objects or enemies. The yarn does create very unique puzzle opportunities. Often, silhouettes will be placed throughout the level waiting for Yoshi to throw a ball of yarn at it, creating platforms and other unique items.
One level really uses the yarn environment to the max. When traveling through the level, Yoshi is followed by a silhouette skeleton of Chain-Chomp. At varies parts in the level, Yoshi needs to cover the Chain-Chomp in yarn, effectively turning him into a big rolling boulder that will smash through barriers. After getting through, Yoshi needs to use his tongue to unravel the yarn so that the Chain-Chomp will continue to follow him through the rest of the level. Multiple times Yoshi will turn the Chain-Chomp into a boulder of yarn to complete obstacles. In moments like these, it is hard to not be impressed with the puzzle sophistication, and how well it is married to the environments.
Same Old Mechanics Feel New, Because of Yarn
Like previous Yoshi games, there are TONS of things to collect in Yoshi’s Woolly World. Like previous games, Yoshi will need to collect 5 sunflowers – used to open a bonus level at the end of each world – 20 stamps that can be used in Miiverse – these replace the red coins – and of course, attempt to finish the level with full health. A fourth collectible has been added to Woolly World, and it is by far the most fun to collect. Each level has 5 packages of yarn hidden throughout. When all 5 are collected, a new Yoshi design will be made available to you for use in other levels. Although this is only really a cosmetic change, and doesn’t really add anything to the level you are playing, it is still fun to try and collect all the available Yoshi’s, especially since some of them look fantastic.
The gems that you collect during each stage finally have a purpose in Woolly World. Gems can be used to buy badges, and these badges are an excellent addition to the game. Some badges will allow you to move through lava without taking damage, while others will make all your small balls of yarn large, and yet others that will allow you to play through levels with your friend Pooch. I never really used badges on my first play through of each level, but they definitly came in handy during consecutive playthroughs when I attempted to get all the collectibles. Getting the collectibles in each level is insanely difficult, and any potential bonuses that will help are always welcome.
Poochy adds a surprising extra level of depth to make revisiting thud game again on your 3DS. If you play on casual mode, where Yoshi’s is granted a set of wings, you will also be given three Poochy pups to throw. They act just like yarn balls, but since they are pups, they come running back. They will also highlight areas of interest.
My favourite addition, however, are the Poochy mini games. These games act as a side distraction from the main event. You play as Poochy in an automatic runner mini game. Each Poochy level has three tasks to complete which could range from collecting a certain number of gems, to popping 3 balloons, and more. They are a great distraction from the main game, but an enjoyable one that doesn’t just feel tacked on. There is a fair amount of challenge as well!
You will never run short of gems in Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World. When watching the various Yoshi shorts in the theatre – one unlocks per day – you get the option to answer questions based on the short film. Each correct answer nets you 500 gems which you can spend on level power ups. There doesn’t seem to be a cap on how many times you can answer questions either.
Some will argue that this is just the same game as the Wii U version. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Although the game retains a lot from the Wii U release, there is enough new content to justify purchasing it again!