Another Wii U hit comes to Nintendo 3DS
Going by Nintendo’s recent 3DS releases, it seems like the powers that be are rooting through the Wii U library to pick out games deserving of a second chance at life. First we had Super Mario Maker, and now it’s Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World‘s turn.
Porting some of the very best Wii U games to Nintendo 3DS is a great idea. Let’s face it, the Wii U hasn’t exactly been a huge hit for Nintendo, whereas the 3DS has: it’s sold 5x as many units. That means millions of more gamers will have the opportunity to play these excellent games, and that’s a good thing.
Poochy & Yoshi – a handicraft adventure
Poochy & Yoshi is, of course, a 3DS port of the Wii U’s superb 2D platformer Yoshi’s Woolly World. This wonderful, fabric-inspired Yoshi game is a spiritual successor of sorts to Feel-Good’s Wii game, Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Both games share a beautiful and charming art style that look as if they were hand-knitted with loving care.
In Poochy & Yoshi, you’ll get all six worlds from the original game, totaling more than 50 stages in all. Not only that, on new Nintendo 3DS consoles the game runs at a fast 60 frames per second, the same as Wii U version. Older model 3DS systems limit the frame rate to 30, but from my testing it still felt very smooth.
For a very thorough run-down of the main Yoshi content, I encourage you to read my Wii U review from last year. For the remainder of my review of Poochy & Yoshi, I’ll be focusing on what’s new.
As the name Poochy & Yoshi implies, the 3DS version places much greater emphasis on Yoshi’s canine pal, Poochy. This mainly comes in the form of the all-new Poochy Hut where you can play auto-running Poochy Dash levels. Think Super Mario Run, with Poochy. These fun bonus stages challenge you to jump, bounce, and slide to collect beads, while also grabbing Poochy Pups along the way.
Once you clear a Poochy Dash stage, you’ll be given three “missions” that challenge you to replay and complete them. Doing so will net you even more bonuses. Grab a Smiley Flower at the end of a regular Yoshi level and you’ll unlock Gold Rush Poochy Dash levels. These let you snag even more goodies.
As you can probably tell, the Poochy Hut is your go-to place to hop on the bead gravy train. But what are beads you ask? Well, it’s the in-game currency used to purchase power-ups for Yoshi in the main game. These include making your yarn balls bigger, and letting you fall into pits without dying.
With beads being much easier to come by compare to the original, you can more liberally spend to purchase power-ups. This is great news for younger players, as these items help you complete levels easier and faster.
Improved Mellow Mode
The original game featured an easy “Mellow Mode,” and in Poochy & Yoshi it gets even better. In addition to giving Yoshi wings for unlimited flying, Mellow Mode now includes helpful Poochy Pups. These adorable pups will actively seek out secrets, and even spring ahead to take out enemies for you.
This is very helpful for new and younger players as the game contains a lot of secrets. Every level has five Smiley Flowers, five spools of Wonder Wool, and 20 crafting parts hidden away. Mellow Mode will help you find these secrets, but if you prefer to go hunting on your own the mode can be turned off.
Design your own Yoshi
Another fun addition is the ability to get creative and design your own Yoshi. Visit the Yoshi Hut and inside you can start with pre-made templates, or build from scratch. It’s a lot of fun to design your own Yoshi, including all key parts like his head, shell, and body. Once you’re satisfied with your creation, you can share it with friends using 3DS StreetPass. Neat!
Poochy & Yoshi stop-motion
As if that weren’t enough, Poochy & Yoshi also contains 31 brand new stop-motion animations from Dwarf Animation Studio. This endearing videos show Poochy and Yoshi in their everyday life, and they’re sure to melt your heart. As a bonus, after watching videos you’re asked a question about what you’ve seen, and a successful answer earns you 500 beads. Now that’s a good reason to pay attention.
Finally, the amiibo Hut returns, and this time it’s compatible with more amiibo. The biggest addition is the new Poochy amiibo, which you can also get in the Poochy & Yoshi’s game Bundle. Scanning Poochy will make him appear in-game, and he can help Yoshi pass dangerous terrain, or fetch hard-to-reach collectables. Did I mention that the Poochy amiibo is made out of real yarn? He is, and it’s so, so cute.
Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World is a fantastic port, and in many ways better than the Wii U version. The all-new Poochy Dash runner levels spice up the gameplay and the easier Mellow Mode makes the game even more accessible than before. I also love the all-new stop-motion videos showing Poochy and Yoshi interacting in their daily lives. Welcome too is the ability to create custom patterns for Yoshi and share them with friends via StreetPass. In all ways this port makes the “cut,” what more could you ask for?
+ The Woolly World is utterly charming
+ Gameplay and visuals adapted well to 3DS
+ Everyone can enjoy regardless of experience or age
+ The addition of Poochy Dash levels
+ Poochy & Yoshi stop-motion videos are a real treat
+ Fun to create custom Yoshi patterns and share via StreetPass
– Challenge might be low for experienced players
– No multiplayer in this version
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.25/5 (85%)