Review: Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World
Posted 01 Feb 2017 at 14:00 by Jonathan Stanley
Although other reviews cast the game in a slightly different light, when I reviewed Yoshi’s Woolly World for the Wii U back in 2015 I gave it an emphatic 9 out of 10 and said that it felt like I was playing a bit of a classic. So I jumped at the chance to dive back into the (woolly) World of Yoshi and see if his yarny charms had retained that initial magic. While there might not be enough new content to justify Wii U owners double dipping, for those who will be buying this for the first time on the 3DS Poochy and Yoshi's Woolly World is still a brilliant little game.
This review might be somewhat on the shorter side compared to others as, for the bulk of gameplay and my initial impressions of the original game, see my review here.
For the 3DS, my initial reaction was a lot more subdued compared to being bowled over by the Wii U game. To be fair, this is a two year old game which I have played extensively. But I think a lot of the charm and, certainly from my point of view, why I enjoyed the Wii U version so much, was the graphical style and how utterly stunning that looked on Nintendo’s home console.
With the 3DS, obviously, you’re not getting that same graphical fidelity and I felt that took away from the game somewhat; don’t get me wrong, its not a deal breaker, but when you’ve had the balls of yarn in lovely HD, it is some thing of a comedown to have them in a more pixelated form on 3DS, and even Yoshi himself is looking a bit like he’s been tumble dried at too high a setting. Thankfully the music has still retained its initial feel, the sound quality barely feeling compromised as the perfectly judged audio accompaniment to each level is still there in all its glory.
The world select menu has changed as well, now incorporating a more traditional 2D scroll through the over world as opposed to the Wii U’s more open world design of getting to each level or hut in the hub area. Although it’s a shame it makes perfect sense for a handheld to incorporate this style, and with the touch screen you can quickly skip to each world as and when you choose, limiting any dilly dallying about. And this also perhaps has an impact on the loading times which were never that bad on the Wii U however are noticeably quicker on the 3DS, the hub world and levels themselves being a lot more accessible.
The 3D effect is, as always, nice if unnecessary, not adding anything massively to the gameplay apart from a few nice touches with exploding blocks that come flying out of the screen. I was playing on New 3DS XL and didn’t notice any dramatic slow down or issues with the slider all the way up, however whether this effects older 3DS models is yet to be identified.
The new name on the title might suggest we are in for a remix or plenty of new bits to the game, but Poochy is fairly limited in his first starring role in a game. Poochy levels are unlocked as the game progresses, which are fun little side levels that are tantamount to an automatic ‘run’ game where you only control Poochy’s jumping. They are fun, quick blasts which do encourage replayability as there are certain objectives to hit to fully complete each level; what they boil down to though are opportunities to gather more gems which form the in game currency.
Poochy and his pups also provide a nice bit of help in the games mellow mode; essentially if you find yourself stuck/unable to progress you can change to a much easier mode that provides invulnerability and poochy’s pups as constant yarn balls, meaning you’ll never run out of opportunities to hit enemies or uncover new secrets and surprises.
Poochy also stars in Yoshi theatre, which are a series of little videos exclusive to the 3DS version. They are fun little shorts designed, obviously, with children in mind yet I still found them endearing and worth a watch. If Nintendo ever decided to take these adventures into films seriously…
And finally the Miiverse tokens you once collected in the Wii U version have been replaced with craft tokens; these form part of the new create a Yoshi hut which allows you, as the name suggests, to create your own patterns and have a fully original Yoshi at your disposal. There is a great array of designs and choices and some freedom is allowed too in terms of colours (if you want green flames you can have green flames) and this is also incorporated into the street pass element of the game as well, where you can send your own brand of Yoshi out into the world for others to collect and play with or, well, unravel and put on the yarn scrap heap, I guess.
This is still a really solid game and is perfectly suited to a handheld system, it’s just a shame this wasn’t held back for the Switch as, fundamentally, the game owes a lot of its goodwill to its presentation which was simply beautiful on Wii U; sadly the port to 3DS has obviously had to compromise on this and has nullified one of the big selling points of the original.
As I said right at the start, if you already own or played the Wii U version then, in all honesty, its difficult to say why you should pick this version up as well.
If you never tried Yoshi’s Woolly World on the Wii U then this 3DS version, with added Poochy, is highly recommended as a brilliant 2D platforming adventure with added charm, yarn and…farms* to boot.
*as far as I know there are no farms in the game…
N-Europe Final Verdict
Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World is absolutely worth picking up on the 3DS, especially if it's your first time playing this glorious game. Though to those who have already experienced the original on the Wii U it's impossible to say what more you'd get out of this new version. Afterall, how long is a ball of wool?
Positively charming gameplay
Wealth of additional extras
Graphics take a hit