Yoshi's Woolly World (Hands-On) (Wii U) Preview

By Adam Riley 27.09.2014

Review for Yoshi

Disappointment after disappointment; that is what fans of the Yoshi's Island on the Super Nintendo have faced over the years, up to and including the decidedly average Yoshi's New Island. What can be expected for the next entry, though? This time Artoon/Arzest is on the sidelines and the team behind Kirby's Epic Yarn and Wario Land: The Shake Dimension has been drafted in. Cubed3 recently got chance to sample the E3 build at EGX 2014 for this hands-on special.

Yoshi's Woolly World is, for all intents and purposes, a cross between the visual aesthetics of Kirby's Epic Yarn and the delightful nostalgic goodness of the SNES classic, technically known as Super Mario World 2. Rather than a string feel, though, graphically the team at Good Feel has made it feel, as it says in the game's name, Woolly. It all feels so soft, and yet controls-wise it is as tight as expected. This is not a walk in the park or aimed at young children. Sure, the early stage tested in this hands-on was clearly an entry-level trek, but more challenge is promised than in the Kirby outing and everything is already feeling so refreshing.

The usual mechanics are all present and correct, meaning it will feel familiar to older fans, yet prove easy to pick-up-and-play for newcomers. There are some fun little elements included, such as creating platforms by firing balls of wool at them and watching as they are knitted together, and a multitude of hidden '?' blocks are waiting to be discovered, plus all manner of other bits and bobs that make working through stages a complete joy. The phrase 'a labour of love' may be overused at times, but it definitely applies here, from current evidence.

Screenshot for Yoshi's Woolly World (Hands-On) on Wii U

This time round there are no 'eggs,' as such, with Yoshi instead laying up to six balls of wool after consuming enemies and swallowing them completely. Rather than always digest them, though, there is the usual option to spit them out as projectiles as well. This early stage did not reveal anything particularly new for fans of previous entries, but the mechanic of swallow-digest-create-eggs is still as smooth as ever, just like the method of firing at enemies, bringing up the well known trajectory line that moves up and down in a limited arc, with players needing to stop it at the right time to fire off to clear the path of danger.

Trundling through stages that are not against the clock allows for full exploration of all the nooks and crannies that house special balls of wool, flowers, and energy stars, before reaching the conclusion of a level. Tug on pieces of wool with Yoshi's extendable tongue and magically new areas open up, and aim to garner all secrets before the end of a level. This all feels so much more 'Yoshi' than recent attempts at living up to the SNES classic, and seems to be the finished product, so hopefully it will not be too long before it lands on store shelves.

Screenshot for Yoshi's Woolly World (Hands-On) on Wii U

Final Thoughts

From this short time with Yoshi's Woolly World it already looks like some of the recent tarnished memories will be brushed to one side. Could it be true? The game fans of Yoshi's Island have been waiting for all these years? The combination of Nintendo's in-house team and Good Feel appears to be working just as well as it did for Kirby's Epic Yarn, and it looks like Wii U owners are in for a fantastic 2D platform treat in early 2015.

Developer

Good Feel

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (3 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

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