Before we start we want to thank Nintendo UK for giving us a review copy of this game. We hope this game is successful for them.
Despite the lack of success, the Wii U had (for the most part) wonderful games in its library, with big hits like Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon to smaller, but still high-quality titles, like Tokyo Mirage Sessions and Captain Toad. In order to give some of these games a second breath of life Nintendo has begun to port many of these titles over to new systems. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is coming to Nintendo Switch, and Super Mario Maker and Hyrule Warriors were already ported to Nintendo 3DS. Following in the footsteps of the latter is Yoshi’s Woolly World, the 2015 cutesy platformer by Good-Feel. Does the charm remain even on a lower-quality screen or has this game’s appeal unravelled itself from the minds of gamers?
Let’s find out.
The story this time is identical to the one found in the Wii U title. Everything is peaceful for the Yoshi’s on Craft Island when one day Kamek shows up. He needs a large amount of Yarn for Baby Bowser and the Yoshi’s are the perfect source so he begins to turn all the Yoshi’s into yarn balls with his magic. Two Yoshi’s and Poochy manage to remain hidden and try to save their friends, ripping a hole in the bag and causing Kamek to leave a trail of Yoshi yarn as he escapes. Now it is up to the Yoshi’s, and Poochy, to rescue their friends. The only difference here is the presence of Poochy and his dog house on the Island. You are not looking at Shakespeare here but for an excuse to get the Yoshi clan out there it works. After all, the real meat is in the gameplay.
There is very little changed, presentation-wise, between the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U versions of Yoshi’s Woolly World. All of the aesthetics and music are the same in both versions, only that the 3DS version is of an inferior quality to its big brother counterpart. This is to be expected and it is impressive they got the game running so well, at least on the New Nintendo 3DS. On the New Nintendo 3DS, the game runs at a glorious 60fps, just like on Wii U, and it looks gorgeous. Unfortunately, on regular 3DS and 2DS, the game’s frames are cut in half to 30fps which can make the game a bit choppy.
That would be it for the presentation but there is one new feature I need to include here. In the Yoshi Scrapbook House, there is a new mode alongside the bestiary and music player being the Yoshi Theatre. In this room, you can watch the various Yarn Yoshi and Poochy shorts that Nintendo released on YouTube in the build-up to the game, including new ones. There are 31 of these shorts overall and you unlock a new one every day. Once you watch the video you receive a question based on the events you watched and a correct answer nets you some beads. It in no way has a great impact on the game in total but I would be lying if I said these videos weren’t unbelievably cute and worth your time watching. A definite improvement to the game, if a light one.
Just like the story, the majority of the gameplay here is the same as the original Wii U title. The game is a platformer that takes elements from Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Story in order to make a natural evolution of the franchise. It is Yoshi without the babies on his back so any gameplay functions that involved them are gone. Rather than eggs, Yoshi now has yarn balls which function nearly identically but with some added versatility. In the world, you will sometimes find the framework of platforms, blocks and Chomp-balls. Hitting one with a yarn ball will cause it to take form and allow Yoshi to interact with it.
This cuddly dinosaur’s other abilities like the ground pound, tongue and flutter jump have all returned. However, the latter of these is only available if you choose to play the game in normal mode. Mellow Mode returns from the Wii U game and it gives Yoshi wings allowing him free flight over enemies and platforms. It is this game’s Super Guide feature and is entirely optional. Specific to the 3DS game, however, are the Poochy Pups who tag along with Yoshi in Mellow Mode and act as make-shift yarn balls for him. They never go away and make the game even easier.
All the collectables from the Wii U game are back from Flowers to different Yoshi designs. There is one difference though and that is the removal of the Miiverse stamps. Instead, these are replaced with design patterns for the new creator mode where players can customise their own Yoshi’s for StreetPass and to use in-game. This feature is brilliant and quite in-depth. It comes with two modes, a simple design and an advanced. The latter allows full customization of all Yoshi parts from the end of his nose to the tip of his tail and it is incredibly fun to create and play with your custom Yarn Yoshi’s. Of course, the unlockable and amiibo designs also return for this game with even more amiibo designs added for the new Mario, Animal Crossing and Splatoon amiibo.
Another new mode is the Poochy Dash mini-game which is really just there to justify adding Poochy’s name to the title. The game is an auto-runner where players attempt to jump or duck past obstacles while collecting as many beads as possible. Upon completing a level for the first time you unlock three missions for each stage. These missions are always the same for every level however and they are not very hard. When playing the main mode, if Yoshi gets a flower in the goal ring you can unlock the chance to try a gold-rush version of a Poochy stage which allows you to get twice as many beads. It is fun at first but as beads are fairly useless in this game still you’ll find rarely a reason to keep coming back. That is unless you have the Poochy amiibo in which case you unlock a time-trial mode and custom Poochy design. These add a bit more depth to the mode but not much.
Outside of those two modes, everything else is the same. There are no new levels or bosses to encounter. Using the Poochy amiibo in a regular course allows for Poochy to appear in a level and help the play while using a Yarn Yoshi allows a second one to appear much in the same way as the Wii U one. This is the only way you are going to be getting to Yoshi’s on a level however as there is one removed feature in this 3DS port and that is multiplayer. I can only assume its removal was done in order to get it working on the 3DS which is a shame because if it was there then I would have no problems hailing this one as the definitive version of Woolly World.
The big question on everyone’s mind surrounding this game, and really any port or remaster, is whether it truly improves over the original. For Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World the answer will truly come down to how much you value Nintendo’s multiplayer experiences. While the presentation of the game is obviously worse here than on Nintendo 3DS it was not something I really cared about. The game still looks good on a New Nintendo 3DS and the portable aspect allows for Yoshi on the go. The new modes are mostly insignificant but are well-implemented, fun and adorable. I really enjoyed all of them, especially the Yoshi creator. Unfortunately, the lack of a multiplayer option removes some of the fun that you could have from the original title which did its co-op extremely well. If you doubt you could convince someone to play something like this with you then the 3DS version is for you in my opinion. However, if you and a friend or loved one were looking to have a good time in the comfy world of Craft Island then maybe head over to the Wii U game instead. Either way, the game is of top-notch quality and everyone should play at least one of the versions available.