Yoshi’s Woolly World Review
Yoshi’s Woolly World Review – Ever since Nintendo concealed a magic vine in World 2-1 on Super Mario Bros, the company has been obsessed with splicing secrets and wondrous little diversions in its platform best actions games. Yoshi’s Woolly World honours this tradition, but also subverts it. Here, finding hidden items is technically an optional side-quest, but paradoxically, it’s also the game’s only real challenge.
Yoshi’s Woolly World Review
Should you decide against hunting down Woolly World’s hundreds of secluded items, opting instead to dash across its 48 levels as though you were playing any other Mario platformer, then you’re likely to come away slightly disappointed. Played straight, Woolly World does not inspire enough quick thinking or daring leaps of faith. There’s no time limit, and no lives to lose, which gives the proceedings a measured, pedestrian pace. The boss fights, meanwhile, can be conquered on first attempts.
As expected from a Nintendo platformer, the controls are immeasurably perfect and dependable. Along with the usual high-jumps, tongue-whips and ground-pounds, Yoshi can also carry balls of yarn with him, which can be tossed at the press of a button. This manoeuvre requires timing, as once you hold down the throw button, a reticule will run up and down the screen, which will determine the projectile’s trajectory upon the button’s release. Care and attention is necessary, as Yoshi only has a max capacity of five yarns, and they are handy in many scenarios, such as activating secret platforms and wrapping piranhas in cotton muzzles. Since the vast majority of foes are made of wool, Yoshi can pull them in with his tongue, and instantly digest them into new balls of yarn. It’s probably not worth mentioning where the balls sprout from.
The excellent controls only makes Woolly World easier to finish without many issues. In fact, if you have experience playing the likes of Super Mario World or Yoshi’s Island, it’s likely you’ll be able to breeze through the game’s first half on autopilot: Run right, line your jumps along the craniums of Shy Guys and Koopas, eat foes with a whip of Yoshi’s tongue, and reach the exit on the furthermost-right point of the level. No real peril or heroics; just violent tourism.
Fear not; You can still find that inimitable Nintendo sparkle, that magical je ne sais quoi which enlivens your inner-child who is absolutely over the moon that you still play video games. It’s just that, while Woolly World can be wonderfully fun, it’s only so if you choose to make the most of it. Specifically, when each level is finished, a list of collectable items shows all the hidden little treasures you missed along the way, and to unlock Woolly World’s bonus content (such as the rock-hard S-levels, as well as some imaginative Yoshi skins), you gotta catch ’em all.
So while it’s undemanding to complete almost any stage in less than five minutes, doing so with the full set of collectables in tow requires scrupulous scavenging and sleuthing, and some of the most fiendishly concealed secrets will evade your best search efforts for upwards of half an hour. This is Woolly World at its best; Moments where you scan the landscape to spot architectural anomalies that could be hiding something, or running into a wall you suspect is a secret tunnel, or leaping into the great unknown outside the screen’s field of view like a cartoon Columbus.
The eye-catching art style, which is an ambitious attempt to portray everything as though it’s knitted in wool, naturally offers some excellent hiding places. Tiny loose threads occasionally protrude from giant plinths of cushion, and if pinched by Yoshi’s tongue, unravel soft little bunkers containing various treasures. Other collectables are tucked away behind some of the spongier stacks of pillow, which Yoshi can compress by pushing his whole weight against. It’s the video game equivalent of finding money down the back of the sofa, and it never fails to satisfy.
The regular co-op mode employed in Yoshi’s Woolly World is another area in which the game excels. The entire game can be completed using local co-op mode (a rare feature in modern titles), and the ability to eat your fellow player and transform them into an egg is actually very useful when searching for well concealed collectables – if you have the power of teamwork on your side. Like most Super Mario Bros.-style platformers, this game is fun in groups, even if only one person is playing – the suspense of watching someone platform their way through perilous levels always seems to invoke some kind of primal screaming response in a group of friends. Also, like most Super Mario Bros. platformers, the difficulty of the stages in Yoshi’s Woolly World seems to be on some kind of crazy exponential curve. You will breeze through the entire first world, but by the time you reach the fourth, you will likely be cursing Kamek for leading you into this Woolly hellhole.
Jumping and fluttering your way through Yoshi’s Woolly World is fun, and will likely be the most adorable experience of your life. The satisfying search for collectables will keep older players hunting every stage in their quest for completion, while children and casual players will appreciate the simple fun this game provides. Yoshi’s Woolly World was a highly anticipated Wii U title, and for this player, it lives up to the hype.
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