Sorry I was missing last week, I was floating through this swirling void and being talked to by a Mr. Magnus on why the space wolves are the cause of all the horrors in the universe.
Anyway let’s look at something cute, creative and what I’d probably say is a genuine work of art. Yoshi’s Crafted World.
Yoshi started out as Mario’s steed in Super Mario World. This little dino however soon became a star in his own right, with spin off games and one of the top games in the later years of the SNES Yoshi’s Island Super Mario World 2 (to be honest probably should have reviewed that one first). Oddly after Kirby got turned into yarn, a sort of sequel to the game was announced but instead it was a Yoshi game, with him made out of wool. I never did get that game. I heard it was good.
Now a Canadian friend of mine pointed out something. If you treat the core Yoshi games as Yoshi’s Island, Yoshi’s Story, Woolly World and now Crafted World, each game uses a different art style. Yoshi’s Island was crayon,Yoshi’s Story was a pop up book, Woolly World is well, wool and now Crafted World is made out of stuff a child threw together out of whatever they could find (and trust me, give a child a box and a whole bunch of random stuff they will come up with something amazing).
The whole world looks like that, like inventive children were let loose to make a world out of whatever was lying around. The levels are thus a sight to behold; everything seems so fun and inventive. Forget your dull brown shooters, your battle royals, you have never seen a game look like this.
Each level has you controlling Yoshi (you get to pick the colour this time) as you travel through these inventive levels. Now the levels may not be too hard until post game, (well ok there is one level near the end that’s like you’re in some sort of slasher movie… no idea why that’s in this game) but there is a snag. in each level much like the original Yoshi’s Island there are things to collect. 20 red coins hidden as normal coins, several flowers and you need to complete the level with 100 coins and full HP do all these to fully complete a level. But wait there’s more, after a few levels you will find Poochy, his puppies will run through the level backwards and you have to chase after them. Now normally this would be dull but this is Crafted World, you get to see everything from the other angle, and it doesn’t disappoint. You see a world where kids only put the majority of attention to one side of the world, so you see box labels and incomplete paint on the other side
Still think that’s not much. Well one of the wee box robot tenants will then ask you for some items you maybe saw on the way around, say those giant crabs you saw in the underwater themed level. He will ask you for an item and it’s scavenger hunt time, completing these grants more flowers, which are used for opening up more levels. Get all the flowers in a set region and suddenly the area explodes in confetti’s as big flowers land showing you completed that world (a nice touch to see on the world map).
Coins you get in this game have a purpose. In each world you will find a little ball crank thing. Put coins into it and balls will come out containing armour that Yoshi can wear. These make beating a level without losing health very easy especially if you go for a super rare which gives you 5 hits that resupply when you reach a checkpoint. Certain amiibos will also give you armour of the super rare level so the moment you can – pop on your Yoshi amiibo and get that cute egg armour.
Now that can be more time consuming than difficult, but then you get to the post game stuff. Suddenly those bosses you thought weren’t hard become a pain (especially if you were using armour) and now have to be completed in pixel perfect timing, or maybe using a trick you didn’t even know about, or without being hit once. And that’s before you get to the bonus levels. No forgiveness there, mess up and you’re dead, and then… well I’ll leave you to find that little sweet surprise.
While I would easily compare this to the excellent Yoshi’s Island, Yoshi controlling basically identically, I would say this game is a lot more forgiving and easier and this was me playing on the normal mode – there is a casual mode (it warns you when flowers are nearby and red coins are no longer disguised). You don’t need to get all the collectibles in one go unlike Island so you’re not as annoyed when you missed that one red coin. The bonus levels do not go anywhere near as evil as those in Island so you won’t hate Poochy. Sadly also the music seems to be much more limited, nowhere near as many tracks as Island.
Yoshi’s Crafted World is a wonderful relaxing and cute game that I do recommend to people for its creativity alone – it’s just so soothing and really restores your faith that creativity in games is not dead, well at least not at Nintendo but then that’s never been in doubt… unless you think all Mario games are the same but if you think that you deserve your brown shooters that are filled with micro transactions.