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Yoshi spins an adorable yarn

Oct 20, 2015

By Daniel Barron - G4 Canada

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Yoshi's Woolly WorldAs silly as this may sound, it's the truth - video games can be really stressful. Whether you're grinding away for hours to take on a tough boss in an RPG, trying to keep your skills sharp in the latest online shooter, or making your hundredth attempt at finishing a game on the toughest difficulty, there's no shortage of challenges.

Which is why the perpetually adorable Yoshi's Woolly World is a godsend for anyone who plays video games, regardless of gender, age, or skill level.

The latest Yoshi adventure features all the hallmarks of past games starring the hungry little dinosaur, but wraps it all around one of the cutest aesthetics to ever grace a console.

Yoshi's Woolly WorldYoshi and his dino friends populate the colourful Craft Island, living in what I imagine to be some sort of peaceful, yarn-covered nirvana. One day, the evil wizard Kamek comes and turns most of the island's inhabitants into clumps of wool. It's up to Yoshi to save his friends by traversing the numerous levels in each of the six worlds.

At its most basic level, Yoshi's Woolly World is admittedly a fairly standard Nintendo side-scrolling platformer. You jump on - and eat, and throw - enemies, acquire items, and take on huge bosses, with each level becoming more difficult than the last.

What sets this platformer apart from the others is its spectacular design. Virtually everything is made up of yarn, felt, cloth, and cotton, and it's not an exaggeration to say this looks less like a video game and more like an interactive diorama.

Yoshi's Woolly WorldJust like in past Yoshi games, the protagonist swallows objects and shoots them back at enemies, although instead of eggs, Yoshi instead takes aim with balls of yarn. He also has his famous "flutter jump," which I've always thought was a brilliant take on the regular jumps that other side-scrolling stars perform. It opens up a whole different set of opportunities within levels, and can be as helpful as it is a hindrance.

On the surface, the game has two difficult levels - easy, and very easy. Developer Good-Feel purposely added a "Mellow Mode," which permanently adds wings to Yoshi's back to make for easier platforming, while health is more generously given out throughout each level.

There are also badges that players can buy before starting each level to make things even easier. Badges can be bought using the gems you accumulate throughout each level, and can do everything from expose hidden items and make Yoshi move faster, to give him higher defence and even skip levels altogether.

It would be lazy to say Yoshi's Woolly World is too easy, because it's simply untrue. Though it may not have numerous difficulty settings to choose from when starting up a new campaign, the game is as easy or challenging as the player decides.

Yoshi's Woolly WorldThe levels do become tougher to beat as you progress, and choosing to forego Mellow Mode and the use of badges, all while finding every hidden item, makes for a worthy challenge for even seasoned platforming veterans. There are also hidden levels that will test players further.

There isn't a whole lot of content beyond the story mode, but considering how much stuff is hidden within each level, and the fact that two-player co-op is available, I find it tough to complain about the length of Yoshi's Woolly World.

In a video game world where punishing difficulty is all the rage, it's beyond refreshing to be able to kick back with something as chill as Yoshi's Woolly World. The challenge is there for those who seek it, but it can - and probably should - be best enjoyed as a casual, yarn-filled adventure, and nothing more.

 

Yoshi's Woolly World
Format: Nintendo Wii U
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Good-Feel
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Official Site: http://yoshiswoollyworld.nintendo.com/

Rating: 8.5 / 10

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.