The last Friday of March came with the release of Yoshi’s Crafted World. A game I have been waiting for since the release of the Switch. The excitement that I built up inside for this game was huge! And I’m so glad I got to play this game on release day.
I’ve played Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island on the SNES, and Yoshi’s Island on the N64, so I’m not new to the series, I never got the pleasure of playing Yoshi’s Woolly World on the Wii U though.
From the start, fans of the previous games will be very familiar with the basics of Yoshi’s Crafted World. The player still traverse levels, the player still collects flowers, the player still launches eggs at enemies. Which is slightly irritating. After best part of 30 years the franchise has never seemed to progress very far other than the setting. But, can Yoshi’s Crafted World bring something new and interesting to the table? The answer is…
That’s not to say it’s a bad game, it’s just very boring slog through uninspired level design.
There isn’t much story, Yoshi must recover some Sundream stones before Baby Bowser gets hold of them with the aid of Kamek. Whoever possesses the stones has the power to make dreams come true. That’s all there is, there are a few sections where Yoshi will get a choice of dialogue, but you’ll soon find out no matter the choice you make it has zero consequences on the story.
Crafted World is a simplistic platformer at heart with the player needing to get to the end of the level. New in the game is the ability to go inside certain areas such as a cardboard house, or a tube or even select a certain path. But generally, every level is a linear affair.
First thing to be said here is crafting eggs has been made automatic, rather than having to press down on the D-pad in the pervious games. Also, the player now has greater control over where they fire eggs now by moving the thumb stick in the direction the want. Eggs call also be thrown at objects in the foreground or background.
Yoshi’s Crafted World takes on a very Littlebig Planet feel in this latest outing. Each level looks like they could be made from household items, and of cause, that’s the point of it being called Crafted World. The colours are vibrant, the textures look realistic on items made from card or fabric, the 3D graphics are pretty blocky though. Everything in this game is made to look cute. The Shyguys are one of my favourite visuals, they change appearance with he levels, some are ninjas, some raise from the ground like zombies, it’s a funny little addition. In handheld mode, the visuals look very pixeled around the edges but in docked mode it looks much smoother, though, I had issues in docked mode, which I’ll detail later.
With about 40 levels there is always something new to discover. Every few levels a new mechanic is introduced, which in most cases is used very rarely throughout the game, such as a magnet the player can use as a platform. Every level is full to the brim with platforming, obstacles and enemies. A massive drawback is repeating the levels, over and over and over again. Once a level is complete and all flowers, red coins, hearts and 100 coins have been collected the player then gets to play the ‘Flip side’ which Nintendo pushed on reveal. Which disappoints, the flipped level is just that, play the level again but backwords to find 3 poochies, as simple as that. After that, the player may then get requests to go find certain items in the level, such as seagulls, ice-cream etc, hit them with an egg and the level is done. The design of the levels make nothing a challenge, with sluggish enemies, or even enemies that are sleeping, easy jumps, and not many areas to die is where the game fails.
This game is best played with no sound. There are about twenty tracks, which are all very cheesy and irritating. Yoshi also gets very annoying, I swear he only makes three sounds and after hearing them a few hundred times it just makes you wish you were deaf. Seriously, it’s so annoying that I’d rather listen to this on repeat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDFBTdToRmw
Yoshi has many costumes to collect in Crafted World, these can be bought from gumball machines throughout the overworld for coins. Each costume aims to make Yoshi cuter than he already is. The costumes act like armour and come in the form of normal, rare and super rare, each with different strengths. The strength is the amount of times you can be hit by an enemy, super rare for example allows five hits. The costumes are pretty much a useless addition and just there to flesh out the game. You’ll get hit very rarely, and I don’t think I’ve been hit more than once in a level so a super rare is overkill.
I enjoyed the visual look of the game, but as a platformer it lacked the fun of traditional Nintendo games. Even though each level looked visually different or had a brand-new mechanic it just lacked any fun. And where there was fun, it was very short lived. There was never any true moment where I had to take my time to plan my moves or time my jumps because a section was difficult, the whole game is easily achievable with a run and gun attitude. The bosses of the game are generic too, I’d be very surprised if anyone has died trying to defeat a boss on this game.
Docked mode was difficult to play, for some reason my right Joycon would regularly not work. It didn’t cut off, it was just unresponsive, which, when jumping or trying to time jumps in a platforming game is F****** annoying. Now, I understand this may not be a game issue, but I decided to mention it here as it’s only ever happened on this game.
Good looking levels.
A few good levels later.
Too much repetition in replaying same levels.
Platforming is too easy.