The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Yoshi’s Woolly World is the best Yoshi’s Island game since the original released for Super Nintendo in 1995. Seeing its gameplay on a different platform seemed entirely possible, but the Wii U version took full advantage of the console’s HD visuals which made a port to the 3DS suspect. Thankfully, despite the small visual downgrade, Woolly World is still a great platformer, even on 3DS.
In a broad sense, Woolly World is unchanged from the Wii U version. Small things – like a different layout for the overworld – are present, but all the levels, controls, and general charm of a Nintendo platformer in a world made of yarn is all here on 3DS. It still looks great, too, and if you’re playing on New 3DS the framerate boosts to 60 FPS, making it a smoother experience.
Additions for Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World include a new auto-running mode starring Poochy and changes to mellow mode. Poochy’s auto-running levels are fun and give you a chance to collect gems, or complete missions like collecting certain items as you speed-run, or making sure you duck under that log. I like these new levels, but as a returning Woolly World fan, I would have liked to access them faster and without having to replay the campaign.
Mellow mode, which is geared toward younger players, gives Yoshi wings and lets him fly through levels. On 3DS, a collection of Poochy Pups now follow Yoshi to help find secrets and can be used as yarn balls so you never run out of throwable items. The pups are cute, and a mode that lets my young daughter (who hasn’t mastered platforming yet) enjoy the cute visuals without getting frustrated is welcome.
Co-op mode, a destination for many in the Wii U version, is gone for 3DS, but I didn’t miss it. On Wii U, Woolly World functioned better as a single-player game. The Yoshis are large character models, and placing more than one on the screen could sometimes get claustrophobic.
If you skipped Woolly World on Wii U, Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World offers what is essentially a straight port. It doesn’t feel downgraded, even if the visuals aren’t quite as sharp. Exchanging co-op for the dedicated Poochy auto-run levels and a better mellow mode is a worthy trade. Woolly World is still the best Yoshi’s Island game since the original, even on this less-powerful platform.
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