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Found 2 results

  1. From the crayon aesthetic of the original Yoshi's Island to the yarn style of Woolly World, Yoshi games just can't seem to keep away from putting a unique visual spin on Yoshi's solo adventures. Yoshi's Crafted World ups the ante by dumping an entire arts and crafts store into the mix, giving the entire game a Do-It-Yourself, homemade charm. And even if the gameplay hasn't seen much evolution from past Yoshi titles, the endless charm of the game is more than enough to keep players engaged. It's another peaceful day for the Yoshis of Yoshi's Island when Kamek and Bowser Jr. swoop in, intent on stealing the magical Sundream Stone, an artifact with the power to grant any wish. But before the two villains can get away with the stone, its five gems are broken off and sent flying across the world. Now the Yoshis are in a race to recover the stones before Kamek and Bowser Jr. get their claws on them. It's a cute story even if it's nothing we haven't seen from a Yoshi game before, and the short dialogue intros to boss fights are pretty charming. In the end, the story set-up doesn't matter much for a Yoshi game—the colorful scenery and trademark platformer gameplay are the stars of the show. Crafted World also treads lightly when it comes to shaking up the gameplay—very little is different here, so series veterans will quickly slide right back into the enemy-eating, egg-throwing, smiley flower-collecting action that defines Yoshi's games. Yoshi games have always had a solid mix of more laid-back platforming mechanics (compared to Mario or Donkey Kong games) combined with a wealth of collectibles to uncover which rewards a slower, more thorough exploration of its stages. None of that has changed with Crafted World. In fact, one of the few changes to the gameplay formula was in adding even more collectibles—specifically, more smiley flowers, which are now required to unlock new regions—so this game really doubles down on the franchise's position as a treasure trove of hidden items to sniff out. The gameplay may not be all that different from Yoshi's inaugural adventure in Yoshi's Island over twenty years ago, but the formula is still wonderfully addictive with a great balance between the ease of simply progressing through the game and the added challenge of collecting everything, satisfying all levels of gamers at once. The only other mildly significant addition to the gameplay is the extra dimension of exploration that Yoshi now has. Crafted World is still a side-scrolling platformer, but now Yoshi can throw eggs into the foreground or background as well as move forward or backward on that 3D plane, though only in specific areas. Ultimately it's not a huge addition—in fact the feature kind of feels like a holdover from a 3DS game—but it adds a few interesting puzzle mechanics as well as even more places to hide collectibles. The downside is that aiming into the foreground/background is a little challenging since you have to carefully aim at a specific target for the game's aiming mechanics to lock on. Granted the game is pretty good about giving you a generous "lock-on" range, but it still has a way of slowing down the gameplay and requires a bit more careful aim. It's nothing too difficult to work with, but it takes a bit of adjusting, especially for Yoshi pros that might be used to the wiggle room that aiming/jumping usually offers. Finally there's the flipping mechanic that was originally touted as a major feature in Crafted World but, in the final product, is a bit more lackluster. Every stage of the game has a flipped version, where you essentially get to play the level again but with a new objective and while seeing the back side of all of the cardboard scenery. It's a cute concept but feels woefully underutilized. Seeing the back side of every level doesn't actually add much of a fresh perspective on the gameplay, and instead the mechanic just feels like a way to pad out the game's length. Given the short length of this adventure though, maybe it makes sense to pad the game a little. If all you're interested in is reaching the end of the game and seeing the credits roll, Crafted World can be completed in as little as six hours or so. Of course, there are a lot of collectibles along the way, and not just in the flipped versions of stages, so don't worry, there's still plenty of content to occupy your time. Plus there's co-op mode, letting two players team up in local multiplayer which, like a lot of co-op platformers, can be as much of a hindrance as it is helpful, but is nevertheless a fun time. As already mentioned the DIY arts and crafts visual style of the game is absolutely adorable. Cardboard tube rocket ships, paper plate platforms, and even the characters themselves sport slightly fuzzy, felt-like features—it's a dangerously cute design style, one that the developers clearly had a lot of fun building. The graphics do a perfect job of capturing a playful sense of childhood whimsy, and manages to stay heartwarming and charming from start to finish. The music is less successful in this area, though. The songs are just as cute and whimsical, but none of them has quite the staying power as the visuals, and the soundtrack gets old fast. The main theme is somewhat overused in each region's background music, which makes the whole soundtrack seem a bit one note. As a sequel to Woolly World, Yoshi's Crafted World doesn't stray too far from the franchise's tried and true formula. The visuals get a charming upgrade from just yarn to now incorporating all kinds of adorable arts and crafts creations, but in terms of gameplay Yoshi's Crafted World feels like essentially the same game we've played before. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, as the gameplay is just as engaging and addictive as ever, and the platformer challenges are inventive even if they are rarely truly difficult. Series fans will surely appreciate the game, and the friendly, adorable aesthetic makes it a perfect introduction to a younger generation of players. Rating: 8 out of 10 Eggs
  2. If it's anything like Woolly World this should be a fun, cutesy game for the Switch. Who's interested in playing it?
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