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Yoshi’s Crafted World Tries To Pull Its Wool Over My Eyes

I remember how inventive and trippy Super Mario Bros World 2: Yoshi’s Island was back in 1995. The awesome art style, the inventive gameplay where Yoshi can morph into different things, the fact that only lose if you get Baby Mario kidnapped, leading to Yoshi himself being invincible except to pitfalls and spikes. Fun times.

How was that “blast to the past” relevant to now? Well, upon playing through every portion of Yoshi’s Crafted World, the latest Nintendo Switch 2D platformer inspired by that SNES relic, it seems that time stood still for our green enemy-eating hover-jumping saurian friend. He has little to no new tricks to offer in this competently-made Nintendo venture, which isn’t a bad thing if it’s your first time playing such a title.

Eating Paste

And let me tell you, it does feel a bit different for newcomers. Unlike Nintendo’s mascot plumber, Yoshi can eat enemies to create eggs, fire eggs at targets, and perform that cute hovering jump that extends his airtime for a second or so to reach platforms. But like most of Nintendo’s second-tier 2D games, the levels are designed by committee.

yoshicw_05

The only major difference? The game gets a graphical makeover in the form of arts and crafts. Cardboard, sequins, cotton, foldable paper, and paper mache are the order of the day as Yoshi travels from island to island, collecting Sunflowers to unlock new levels, find secrets hidden in the background and foreground, and participate in a destruction-focused minigame or two using a cardboard Yoshi mecha.

The only new trick this game has is letting Yoshi walk to the background and foreground to open up new sections of the map. Oh, and you can chuck your eggs at background targets now. It’s cool and dandy the first few levels, but as you go through more and more islands, it starts to become a slightly tedious treasure hunt for goods and hidden treasure which aren’t laid out well.

Stringing You Along

Heck, some levels have a creative hook but ultimately do not pay off much like your Donkey Kong Country games that test the heck out of your reflexes and reactions in a level’s third act. To say that the entire game lacks any form of challenge is like saying Sekiro is a mite difficult. The game’s regular mode isn’t even that tricky and devious like its Yoshi platforming predecessors.

I get that Yoshi’s Crafted World is an all-ages game that’s supposed to be on the accomodating side. But when you reach near the end of the game and you still face the same kind of challenge curve save for a few Sunflowers you missed or if you get killed by a boss by accident, you start feeling a little empty and unfulfilled inside.

Just like how this platformer is like a shapely-looking cotton candy display, the insides start to look and taste a little hollow (and familiar) after that initial sugar rush. You’re not satisfied in the long run.

yoshicw_03

No Glittered Star For You

Yoshi’s Crafted World is a pretty decent 2D platformer with some nice tricks and mechanics. And the Unreal Engine 4 makes the arts-and-crafts trash look endearing and charming. But underneath it all is a game we’ve seen time and again from the Yoshi platforming franchise, and frankly, it’s been done better since the SNES days.

If this is your very first Yoshi-steered experience, go nuts and have fun. You might even enjoy the co-op mode with your friends and family in the same room. But for everyone else expecting to be tested even a teensy bit: you can do better than this fluff.

Pros

  • Beautiful graphics & mellow soundtrack
  • Tight controls
  • Fun and creative at times with its levels…

Cons

  • …except when it leads to nowhere
  • Too repetitive and formulaic for 2D platforming veterans

Final Score: 60/100

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