When I first heard about Yoshi’s Woolly World, I was disinterested considering the disappointment of Kirby’s Epic Yarn. However, that more information that was released, the more I found that it would be quite the opposite.
Being fan of previous Yoshi games, including the recent 3DS exclusive Yoshi’s New Island, it was reassuring that Woolly World would be more similar to the former, especially in terms of difficulty.
Granted Yoshi’s Woolly World, for the most part, is still one of the easier Yoshi titles. That being said, it greatly improves on the difficult issues — especially compared with Kirby’s Epic Yarn.
Before I started playing, I scanned both my Mario and Inkling Boy amiibo to gain their costumes. If you’re an Amiibo collector (and actually opened them), you’ll have costumes galore from the start, not to mention the Double Yoshi feature acquired from the special Yarn Yoshi amiibo.
I also had the chance to play co-op, which was highly entertaining. If you ever played New Super Mario Bros Wii or its sequel with multiple people, the experience can be almost as hectic, especially when you can throw yarn balls at the other players or even suck them and term them into yarn balls.
The game offers two modes, Classic and Mellow mode. Mellow mode doesn’t really change the game much, except it gives Yoshi wings. Using his wings, you will be able to stay in the air as long as you hold “A”; in classic mode; the effect only lasts for a few seconds. However, even though you have wings, you can’t ascend.
Considering that you can lose the same amount of health when getting hit by monsters, and the wings can’t save you from big screw ups, players might as well just play the way the game was intended to be played and use Classic Mode, as you’ll probably enjoy yourself more.
Before starting a level, you will be asked if you want to use a power badge. A power badge basically gives you an advantage in that particular stage. There’s a variety of power badges such as immunity to fire and lava, the ability to survive pit falls, and even make bigger yarn balls.
Just to see how easy it would make the game, I played on Mellow mode combined with the Fire Immunity badge on a fire level. Unfortunately, such advantages made completing the level too easy.
The only players who might benefit to using such a combination are young children who might want to enjoy the cute visuals in a more relaxed setting.
The level designs in this game are top notch. Not one time will they feel repetitive, giving players a unique experience each level. Even the mini and bonus games, which are time constrained, are a blast to play through.
One complaint in this aspect, however, is a trope pretty common among Yoshi titles. I disliked that most boss battles only had three lives as it makes defeating them too easy, not to mention that most of their attacks were too easy to avoid.
Luckily each boss battle offers a different experience corresponding to their world, shaking up the formula a bit.
While completing each level itself is an easy task, completing all at a 100%, especially with no damage taken, is another challenge of its own and I enjoyed it greatly.
Due to my goal of completing a level at 100%, I replayed them many times, investing nearly an hour into every level despite that they merely require a few minutes to simply beat.
With that being said, the way the checkpoint system works is frustrating. If you lose, the game takes you back to the last checkpoint as if it was the first time you reached that point, meaning any item(s) that you collected prior to your death is gone.
Granted, that’s another thing common with any Yoshi title but it still didn’t frustrate me any less. At the very least it’s certainly better than the game being too easy, so I can still appreciate the mechanic a bit.
As a platformer, the control scheme is pretty simple so anyone can jump in and play the game. It consists of jumping (wouldn’t be a platformer without it), eating and spitting enemies, making yarn ball after eating enemies, and throwing the yarn balls.
I really like that Woolly World has a variety of controller options such as the Wii U Gamepad, Pro Controller, Classic Controller (regular or Pro), and even the Wii Remote. I myself prefer either the Wii U Pro Controller or the Classic Controller Pro for this title.
Due to its cartoony nature, the environments are certainly beautiful. You can see how much detail was put into each stage, enemy and even Yoshi himself. As a bonus, the game runs at 60 frames per second as well, which is always important.
We can’t forget about the game’s soundtrack either. It’s honestly one of my favorites out of any game I’ve played. It’s so good that I actually downloaded it for casual listening at the best quality possible, with my favorite track being “Ending 1.”
Whether you love the Yoshi franchise or are new to it, without a doubt I would recommend Yoshi’s Woolly World.
The game has so many unique levels, the mini games are fun, there’s plenty of challenge and challenges to be found in every level (especially with all the item collecting), adding up to tons of fun and replay value.