Evan Slead ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Head Movies Editor
Despite a highly lackluster announcement during E3, Nintendo still went to great lengths to provide a solid experience for the visitors to their exhibit. Amiibo’s galore, live interviews with developers, even a constant tournament for best creator in Super Mario Maker. Among the playable demos was the new Star Fox Zero, Super Smash Bros. Wii U, and Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam. The most coveted demo went to Yoshi’s Woolly World though due to its freshness compared to all of the other games offered. Two players could even go head to head to see who could win a special woolly patch exclusive to E3 (spoilers, I won the patch). Thankfully the demo lived past the hype and gave a great look at the beautiful textures, smooth gameplay, and intriguing mechanics.
The demo offered three stages all with varied difficulty levels. My competitor and I chose the middle difficulty level which took place in a cave very similar to a classic Mario Bros. level. Immediately the textures of the stage jumped out at us. Deep blues and blacks comprised the walls, while a muted yarn orange comprised the floors Yoshi walked on. Yoshi himself was vibrant and beautifully textured. When jumping in mid air to wiggle his feet, Yoshi’s legs disappear and the yarn detangles to form a semi-helicopter. Instead of eggs, balls of yarn are Yoshi’s arsenal and he can even eat up the other player to turn into a ball of yarn. The controls were identical to Yoshi’s Island, but being on the Wii U brought different combinations depending on if the player had the Wii Pad or Wii-mote.
The environment interacts well with the yarn motif as Yoshi can hurl a ball of yarn at a blank platform to create an area of yarn for him to stand on. In case it hasn’t been clear yet, yarn is the major player here. The medium difficulty level of this stage specifically was telling as my competitor and I had trouble just traversing certain parts of the cave. The game seems to be forgiving in certain aspects, such as allowing a slightly longer jump, but doesn’t skimp on forcing the player to really analyze the best route. Overall, the demo for Yoshi’s Woolly World was a fantastic time. It’s adorable, addictive, and just the kind of imaginative content that Nintendo needs to push.
Yoshi’s Woolly World releases on October 16th, 2015 for Wii U.