A few weeks ago, when I wrote our preview of Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World I made a confession that I had never made the time to play the Wii U title – Yoshi’s Woolly World. Well today I can soundly say that I have righted that wrong… sort of. I picked up the 3DS edition, and vowed to finally give this game the time it deserved and boy am I happy I did. The now titled Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World is a solid platformer and is bursting at the seams (pun intended) with content, both new and old all of which is wrapped up nicely with a gorgeous, knitted visual decor. But for all of its new frills this is still a port, on inferior hardware, which begs the question. Should you pick up the 3DS version or stick with the Wii U one?
The basic gameplay will be familiar to anyone whose played a ‘Yoshi’ game before and you’ll soon find yourself flutter jumping, ground pounding and turning enemies into
eggs yarn balls to your heart’s content. The hook here is that Yoshi’s entire world is crafted with yarn and other types of fabrics. This influences the gameplay in a few novel ways such as having Yoshi be able to push and fold walls to reveal secrets or tug on loose strings to unravel whole sections of the levels. Even classic enemies are forever changed thanks to the new yearn mechanic. For example, everyone knows you should never jump on a piranha plant (never!) but when its maw is locked shut thanks to a bundle of string? Well jump away!
Of course, all of this was present in the Wii U version and we’re here to talk about what’s new! Well you may have noticed that this is both Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World and so Yoshi’s best friend is given a more active role in the proceedings. For starters the game features a new suite of Poochy levels which play a little differently than the main game. Your still trying to collect beads and reach the goal but this time Poochy automatically runs to the right and it’s up to you to jump, duck and dodge any obstacles in your way. The game’s easy mode has also been expanded to include the new Poochy pups (which are so cute I got two cavities just looking at them). These tiny yarn puppies can sniff out secrets and hidden items, making it easier for novice players to still find a decent chunk of the game’s collectibles. And what a collection it is!
Don’t believe me? Here’s a rundown of everything you’ll be tracking down in the game…
- 5 Flowers / Level
- 5 Yarn Bundles / Level
- 20 Pattern Patches / Level
- 20 Stars / Level
- Poochy level challenges
- Yarn Poochy Patterns
- Daily Poochy & Yoshi clips
Some of these you’ll walk right into while going through a stage while others a deviously hidden in behind every nook and cranny… almost too deviously. The bottom screen has a handy counter to keep track of everything you need to find in each level but I was often surprised that I had missed something believing that I was going through the game with a fine tooth comb. When I would backtrack to see what I had missed I would usually find a minor detail that I feel would have been more apparent in HD on the Wii U. That being said the sheer amount of collectibles is a little humbling, putting some of Rare’s games from the late 90’s to shame.
And to top it all off, if you’re not happy with the look of your particular Yoshi you do have some customization options available to you. First off, those yarn bundles you find in each level combine to unlock a new Yoshi pattern for your to play as, which easily makes them the most desirable collectibles. The Pattern Patches allow you to unlock new options when customizing your own Yoshi. That’s right, unlike the Wii U version you can now create a Yoshi pattern all your own and share it with folks via StreetPass. But that’s not all! You can also customize your Poochy with pre-designed patterns, allowing you to have full control over the look of the game. Oh and that’s not to mention that all the amiibo costumes from the original are back too as well as bunch of new ones for the amiibo that have come out since then.
Ok, so we’ve established that the game has not lost a thing in the gameplay department when transitioning from the Wii U to the Nintendo 3DS and actually has more content than before, but what about the presentation? Well for the most part Yoshi’s Woolly World makes the transition nicely. The game suffers no slowdowns and runs at a solid framerate, the visuals of course are downgraded and I do miss the ‘fuzzy’ look of the original but you can still clearly tell that the environment is made up of fabric. Really my only complaint with the graphics is what I mentioned above, where some of the more hidden elements are even more hidden on the 3DS.
That being said, I do have a general gripe with the game’s art style and soundtrack… it’s just too darn nice. The art style, while pleasant can be a bit washed out with far too many pastels used throughout and the soundtrack is so inoffensive it borders on bland. Actually, there’s not one song from Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World that stands out to me. This is particularity disappointing when you look back at Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island’s awesome soundtrack and compare it directly to this game. Though I do want to mention that I was quite happy with the game’s use of stereoscopic 3D which, while it didn’t add anything to the gameplay gave the environments some much-needed depth.
Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World‘s asking price is $49.99 which at first may seem like a but much for port of an older game but is completely justified by the overall quality and sheer amount of collectibles that will keep you busy for hours. At the end of the day my playthrough came in at 11 hours and I still have LOTS of things to find. You can also pick up a bundle of the game and a brand new Yarn Poochy amiibo, which while easily being the cutest amiibo ever made (sorry Duck Hunt) also allows you to unlock even more Poochy related content and stages.
At the beginning of this review I asked if you should you pick up the 3DS version of Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World or the Wii U one? Well while the Wii U edition has all those nice and fuzzy HD visuals it doesn’t hold a candle to the impressive amount of content crammed into the 3DS version. So if you still haven’t picked this game up, I recommend you give the Poochy version a go over the Wii U one as you’ll simply get more bang for your buck. That being said, if you have already completed the game on the Wii U there’s probably not enough her to justify double dipping so you might want to stick to the console one in that case. All in all though, this is a very impressive game for the Nintendo 3DS and one that fans of Yoshi and 2D platformers need to check out.