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E3 2014: Hands-On With Yoshi's Wooly World


Marcus Estrada

There“s something about the Yoshi series that always requires it to have a distinct, cute look. Yoshi“s Wooly World on Wii U is no exception to the rule. In fact, I think it“s the best looking Yoshi game ever not due purely to graphical fidelity but just design wise. Of course, the graphics do look mighty impressive too. But let“s worry about the visuals second and go over the gameplay present in the demo.

 

Yoshi“s Wooly World is a 2D platformer as people have come to expect from the series. Yoshi is able to lick enemies, turn them into yarn balls, and then use these to shoot at things. At its core the game is very standard but has a handful of tweaks due to the yarn aesthetic. For example, when objects in the world have a little yarn bow on them you can lick the bow to undo it to reveal various things. The whole lick/eat mechanic also makes more sense. Since enemies are made of yarn it follows that Yoshi can somehow convert that into a yarn ball for shooting purposes.

 

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In any case, the game looks phenomenal. Yarn makes up every square inch of the landscape and looks about as accurate to real life yarn as possible. There are even tiny little fibers on the outer ends of each piece of yarn. The design decisions have fun with the yarn theme and makes it feel really joyous. For example, Yoshi sprouting a tiny yarn propeller on his head when fluttering is precious. Yoshi“s Wooly World appears full of such flourishes.

 

Gameplay felt solid and the demo encompassed basically all you would hope to see. There were a good deal of collectibles to grab, multiple paths around a stage, and even hidden areas and treasures to find. There didn“t seem to be much use for the GamePad“s screen though as all the action is present on a TV set.

 

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I have a feeling fans will be quite pleased with Yoshi“s Wii U debut. It both looks astonishing and plays well. Of course, this was just a sampling of the full experience so many other aspects may make the final game even better or worse than it appears. Alongside Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, it looks like Nintendo is prepped to raise the standard for platformers yet again.

 

Yoshi“s Wooly World is set to launch on Wii U sometime in 2015.

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