Yoshi is a Nintendo character that has many solo adventures over the years. From his grand adventures helping Baby Mario too helping his clan get all the fruit of the land, Yoshi’s been on many adventures. But many don’t compare to his first adventure Yoshi’s Island. That game stands tall to this day as a Nintendo Classic and the most recent installment in the Yoshi’s Island series with NEW Yoshi’s Island disappointing many despite being just ‘okay’.
Good Feel, makers of quality platformers like Wario Land: Shake It! and Kirby’s Epic Yarn released the Wii U exclusive ‘Yoshi’s Woolly World that takes the yarn concept from Epic Yarn but blends the concept with the Yoshi’s Island gameplay. The result was a hidden gem on the Wii U that many sadly didn’t play.
Nintendo is working with Good Feel to bring the game to the Nintendo 3DS & New 3DS platforms with Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World. They recently put out a demo of the game on the Nintendo E-Shop and I played through it extensively. How does it hold up compared to the Wii U version and is it a fun time?
Normally I would save this part last but I need to bring it up for one key reason; the frame rate. The game runs at a locked 30FPS on Nintendo 3DS while NEW 3DS (updated model with C-Stick and better CPU) runs at 60FPS like the Wii U version. Unlike other console ports like Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D though, the games frame rate is a locked one, not capped at 30 and very rarely dips to 26FPS. This is important considering you are talking about a 2D platformer; they need strong control to feel ‘right’.
Yoshi’s Woolly World on the 3DS feels great, with button inputs being very responsive. General visuals hold up quite well from the Wii U version too despite some details being cut from that release (the ground doesn’t seep-in when Yoshi walks over it). The Yarn visual style looks fantastic on 3DS and every character is well animated.
Music is good to, with the demo’s two music tracks being catchy and charming. Similar to other Yoshi games, they have a mellow tone which pushes the exploration aspect that core gameplay motives. Good performance, great visuals and charming music helps Yoshi’s Woolly World feel natural on the 3DS platform.
The gameplay is classic Yoshi’s Island through and through but with some key differences. Yoshi doesn’t hatch eggs but rather makes Yarn balls he can toss at enemies. In addition, you have a health meter similar to Yoshi’s Story and taking a hit isn’t nearly as punishing compared to Yoshi’s Island (where you hear Baby Mario scream ‘WAH! WAH! WHA!’).
But more cosmetic gameplay differences mirror Epic Yarn, where Yoshi changes his shape a bit when doing actions. When using his iconic flutter jump (which is 1-to-1 similar to Yoshi’s Island and has a clear arc of movement), his feet turn into a little propeller. Ground pounding has Yoshi morph his legs into a little hammer. Running has his feel turn into a little wheel. It even gives more context to the transformations Yoshi can undertake. The demo lets you turn into a motorcycle that can move forward and jump; the little level this transformation is used in was a lot of fun.
Basic level design pushes exploration and the secrets are well placed, giving level design as sense of depth. The demo only has two levels from the games first world, so secret placement is quite simple honestly. Considering it’s early in the game, I would imaging it gets more challenging to collect everything in a given level.
One final touch I really enjoyed is the inclusion of Gyroscope aiming for your Yarn Ball toss, as you can tilt the 3DS to aim where you toss it instead of a icon moving up and down until you toss it. It felt natural and happy to see the 3DS hardware being used in simple but useful ways.
Yoshi’s Woolly World is a charming platformer that I honestly cannot wait to fully try out on my Nintendo 2DS February 2nd. Through having stable frame rate, fun gameplay, charming presentation and honoring the gameplay from the original Yoshi’s Island we get a very enjoyable experience. If you own a 2DS, 3DS or any of the New 3DS models I highly recommend going on the E-Shop and trying out the demo.