Back in July 2015, I picked up a copy of Yoshi’s Woolly World on Wii U and fell in love with the game. (You can read my review here). Even now, it stands as one of my favourite Nintendo games on the Wii U and so once a port was announced for the 3DS I was eager to give it a go. Would the game live up to the passion I had for the original, or was Yoshi’s Woolly World about to unravel on me?
It has to be said that currently I don’t have a lot of time for playing video games and so rather than replaying titles, I tend to prioritise stuff I’ve never played before. With that in mind it’s rare that I’ll pick up a port of something, especially something that I’ve played in the last couple of years like Yoshi’s Woolly World, but I loved the game so much that I figured it was worth a shot and that’s why I’m writing this article. It’s to explain why there are real justifiable reasons to playing this game again even if you owned it previously on the Wii U.
Perhaps the biggest sell for the game is the fact it’s now on the 3DS and therefore portable. This alleviates the problem of the Wii U gamepad and the fact it doesn’t really last very long on a single charge. It also means the game is a lot easier to pick up and play. Those challenge levels I never finished? I’ll probably be finishing them and aim to 100% the game now. The drawback to being on the portable is that, graphically, things have taken a hit. The attention to detail that the Wii U version was known for is no more, although it has to be said that the game doesn’t look bad by any means. Stages, characters and enemies are still beautifully crafted and the charm of the world still shines through. The 3DS just simply isn’t powerful enough to properly project all the materials and shiny sequins that the Wii U could.
Of course one advantage of the game being less demanding on a graphical scale is that load times have now been reduced to not really being noticeable. The initial boot on the Wii U took so long that we were treated to a full musical track, which has now gone for the 3DS version (although mild disappointment for me as it was one of my favourite songs in the game!). Otherwise it doesn’t seem like the move to the 3DS has really cost us anything, I’d actually go so far as to say this is where the game belonged in the first place.
Despite losing the space a TV screen offered, the stages don’t suffer for it. Being on a smaller screen actually works a lot better when it comes to collecting all the extras (with 5 Yarn Balls, 5 Flowers, 20 Gems and 20 Hearts to manage there is always something to keep track of!) and so shrinking down the size we have to keep track of is a welcome change. It doesn’t make things easier though and a certain addition saves the day when it comes to tracking down every last collectible…
As the name of the game implies, Poochy is now a big part of Yoshi’s Woolly World as well as three Poochy pups. The Poochy pups only come into the game when you’re playing in mellow mode, where they’ll act as Yoshi’s yarn balls and will sniff out the secrets hidden in the stage. Although, it is worth keeping in mind that the pups can be turned off for Mellow if you just want to make the game easier but not be directed to everything. Meanwhile, during any stage if you tap the Poochy amiibo to the 3DS touch screen, you’ll be joined by the woolly companion to help you out. The fun doesn’t end for Poochy there as we also have some special levels that you run through as Poochy. These take some quick reaction times to survive through but give you a nice collection of gems that can be spent on badges to give you special effects in stages – and they also act as a nice distraction from Yoshi’s slower gameplay. Overall Poochy is a cute and welcome addition to the already loveable game.
Poochy isn’t the only new addition to the game as Nintendo have also gone to the trouble of including some special videos, 30 in fact, which unlock daily and feature Yarn Yoshi and Poochy in a variety of situations. The only real issue with them is that you can’t unlock them in-game any way other than checking in every day – and not even when the date rolls over, but a full 24 hours since you last unlocked one. If you miss a day then you won’t miss a video but any day lost is just another day longer to unlock them all. It’s disappointing and I can only hope I remember to check in every day before I finish everything otherwise some of the videos will be left unseen.
However, while we’re talking about new additions we have some new Amiibo costume support – including a Wolf Link and Animal Crossing designs. It’s a small thing but certainly nice to see, even if the Pokémon amiibo still can’t be used. If you don’t fancy using the standard Yoshi design or any of the amiibo then you now have the ability to design your own Yarn Yoshi thanks to the built in stencil kits. You unlock more designs to work with as you play through the game and once you’ve designed your personal Yoshi you can use StreetPass to swap designs with friends.
Overall I’ve come away from Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World completely satisfied. Rather than being a port of a game I played less than two years ago it feels like a brand new game in its own right and I highly recommend it to anyone who never played the original. If you do own the game on the Wii U then buying it again really comes down to how much you care about the portability and Poochy’s additions – but even then it comes highly recommended from me. Oh and it still has one of the best soundtracks a Nintendo game has offered in the last five years.