- Developer: Good-Feel
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Release Date: 29/03/2019
- Price: $59.99 / £49.99
- Review code provided by Nintendo
Arts and crafts is the new knitting!!
When Yoshi’s Wooly World launched on the Wii U, I was initially drawn in due to the sheer level of amiibo support. As someone who owns every single amiibo ever (Nobody mention BoxBoy!!), having a game to use them on made them so much more than cutesy characters on my shelf.
By the time myself and Mumtendo had spent an extensive amount of time playing the game, both with our own respective save files and in co-op mode, we were smitten.
Now, almost 4 years later, the good people at Good-Feel are back with a suitably inimitable follow up.
Yoshi’s Crafted World
Yoshi’s Crafted World immediately draws you in with its mix of overwhelming cuteness paired with just how well made everything is. It’s almost disconcerting at times as seemingly household items and textures keep popping up as you peruse the various varied locales. However, once the initial adaptation period is over and you grow accustomed to seeing rockets made out of lemonade bottles, you’ll soon find yourself spotting all kinds of creative environment props.
This makes for a crucial game play element too. As well as navigating to the goal ring in every level, there are countless extra objectives and hidden secrets populating every nook and cranny within the game worlds, which makes exploring even more imperative. Being Yoshi, the main tools at your disposal are your enormous tongue, flutter jump and the ability to launch eggs with pinpoint accuracy. By combining these techniques you can explore and discover Flowers, the games main collectable as well as red coins, not to mention regular coins too. Flowers are used to traverse further through the game and on to latter worlds and can be found in each and every stage. As well as the readily available flowers; coins, red coins and even health all offer bonus flowers at the end of every level.
Multiplayer is still as hectic as ever, co-op together can be equal parts fun and frustrating. The ability to eat your fellow Yoshi and use him, essentially as an egg, can be a God send, however it can by the same token lead to frustrating your partner beyond belief. Well, that’s my hot take anyway!!
Come on over, do the twist!!
Adding even greater replay value and further cementing Good-Feel’s place as one of Nintendo’s most trusted second party studios – once you complete a stage you can play through the level in reverse, all the while trying to round up three Poochy pups who are running free. If you make it to the end (beginning) of the level within a specified time, you’ll be greeted by Mama Poochy who awards yet another flower. This is a feature available with every single level and the way in which these levels play as well in reverse, is quintessential Nintendo and just shows the care and level of attention that have gone in to crafting Yoshi’s World and bringing the vision of some truly imaginative people to life.
As anyone who knows me will testify too, and as I alluded to at the inception of this review, I own nearly every amiibo out there. Yoshi’s Woolly World was fantastic as if you tapped an amiibo to your Wii U Gamepad, you would receive a skin relating to the amiibo in question. Due to its knitted aesthetic you could literally have a Yoshi skin resembling nearly any Nintendo character. It really was something.
Yoshi’s Crafted World has a similar feature. Tapping amiibo from the Super Mario series will give you an outfit that is more akin to a vehicle in fairness, clunky and handmade yet still ridiculously cute. Unfortunately, unlike its predecessor, the amount of amiibo supported this time around is incredibly limited in comparison.
Crafting a tale for the ages
Yoshi’s Crafted World depicts a group of Yoshi’s who, one afternoon whilst meandering on a neighbouring island to their very own, discover a magic slate containing 5 Gem stones. Soon enough, Baby Bowser and Kamek show up with nefarious intent in mind and set about using the magic slate for their own gain.
Whilst the whimsical nature of the game makes for an incredibly predictable and contrived story – Baby Bowser is up to miscief; nothing particulary heinous, he’s simply being a naughty boy, the charm and humour attached to every conceivable moment make the entirety of time spent with Yoshi’s Crafted World an incandescent affair.
The game is full of ‘moments’ – from picking the colour of your Yoshi upon the quests outset (an option that can be changed at anytime), to riding a giant Yoshi robot, complete with comical boxing glove. There are just so many little thoughtful touches and things to really warm the cockles of your heart. By the end of the first world proper I was grinning from ear to ear.
Ready, aim, fire?
It’s not all lollipop sticks and sunshine though, the game has some fundamental issues. One of the major gripes that I had with Yoshi’s Crafted World is the performance of aiming into the background. In certain areas of the game there are sections that require you to throw eggs at objects under timed conditions. In theory this is all well and good, however at times it seemed as though, despite the first egg being a critical hit, the aim would simply reset for the second consecutive yeet, making the aforementioned sections become stale and frustrating incredibly quickly. Luckily there are more than enough flowers available through out the course of this whimsical adventure and so, it’s only really of note to completionists. Regardless, considering how polished Nintendo published games usually are, it feels somewhat remiss and in all honesty, a little jarring.
Sound of silence
There’s a lot to be said for a games soundtrack. It can evoke emotion, create tension and when in the hands of a master, can elevate a video game to whole new levels. After the opulence of the Woolly World Soundtrack, I was excited to get swept up in whatever Crafted World had to offer. For my first extended play through, I connected my Bluetooth headphones to the TV, eagerly awaiting the inevitability of becoming utterly absorbed in the melodies and harmonies of Yoshi’s latest adventure. Unfortunately, the soundtrack on this occasion is a major disappointment and never feels like it gets going. In all honesty it feels a little unfinished and during moments of increased activity – boss fights for example, just fails to create optimum levels of atmosphere. The sound effects stay true to Yoshi’s heritage and previous outings, it’s just a shame that the soundtrack misses the mark so spectacularly.
Yoshi’s Crafted World is one of the most creative and endearing experiences available on the Nintendo Switch today. While the soundtrack pales in comparison to the lofty heights achieved by its predecessor, this title is off the charts on the cute meter. With a whole plethora of household items on display in every level, Yoshi’s Crafted World will appeal to the whole family, and is accessible enough to be appreciated by all to boot.
- An astonishing level of creativity
- Exciting, vibrant and immersive levels
- Genuinely puts a smile on your face
- Suspect aiming on the flip-side
- Insipid soundtrack
- A little too easy at times