YOSHI’S WOOLLY WORLD
Console: Wii U
Start Date: October 16, 2015
End Date: December 28, 2015
I think it was a bit of a mistake for Nintendo to put out another high-profile 2D platformer so soon after the release of Super Mario Maker. After a couple months of constantly playing really weird and innovative and unprecedented Mario levels, the traditional platforming in Yoshi’s Woolly World felt almost boring to me. Which is not to say that the game isn’t great – it’s totally great – but I often found myself playing just a couple of levels at a time before switching back over to Mario Maker. Bad timing, I think.
When I did play Yoshi’s Woolly World, I went through the same little routine I go through every time a new Mario game comes out. I started off by telling myself “You are not going to move on to a new stage until you find every single collectible in the stage you are playing” which soon turned into “Okay, you’re not going to move on to a new world until you find the collectibles in this world” and finally degraded into “Fuck it, let’s get this done and maybe one day I’ll come back to find all the collectibles.” I never actually will, of course, but it’s a sweet little lie.
When I did give up on finding a stage’s collectibles, it was sometimes out of frustration or boredom, but more often it was just because I was anxious to see what the next level had to offer. Because despite everything I said in the first paragraph, the level design in this game is extremely solid in that classic Mario way. And on top of that, the art style is simply breathtaking. The concept here is that everything is made out of arts-n-crafts supplies, and they did not half-ass it. Right up until the end of the game, I was still finding amazing new things to look at around every corner.
Another fun little touch is all the neat little “costumes” Yoshi can wear in the game. Some of these are unlocked by fulfilling certain conditions in certain stages, and others are unlocked via amiibos. This is a silly little aesthetic thing, but I really enjoyed deciding which Yoshi to bring into a stage with me. My absolute favorite was the Duck Hunt costume.
So yeah, I enjoyed Yoshi’s Woolly World quite a bit, but it took me forevvvvvver to get through it (again, mostly because I was so busy playing Mario Maker), and I thought for sure it would end up on my dreaded backlog pile. In fact, the only reason I ended up rushing through to the ending in the past few days was because I thought it would be weird and anticlimactic for Emily is Away to be the last game I played this year.
And I’m not even happy with the way I finished the game. You see, because Nintendo is always trying to pacify babies, there are these things in the game called badges which send you into a level with a certain power-up or advantage. I didn’t use a single one the entire game until I got to Bowser’s Castle, where I used a badge that made me completely resistant to fire and flames. Can you imagine what a “Bowser’s Castle” level is like when you’re completely resistant to fire and flames? It’s like playing a Dora the Explorer game or something. You walk right for a while, jump over some pits, hit Bowser’s stupid face with some eggs, and then you’re done.
I am not proud of the compromises I made to beat this game, but beat it I did, and that picture of mentally challenged dinosaurs dancing with each is the perfect reward for a year spent doing inane bullshit! Happy New Year everyone, and please stay tuned for my Year-End Nintendo Resolution Wrap-Up!