By Dylan Del-Rio
Ever since his introduction in the 1990s, the character of Yoshi from Super Mario World cemented himself as a staple of the Mario series and became a fan favorite among the Mario cast.
His popularity led to Yoshi leading his own series of spinoff games starting with Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. In 2015, the Yoshi series went through major visual changes with Yoshi’s Woolly World, which was set in a world where all the characters are composed of yarn and cloth.
The game was lauded for it’s visual style and as a result the game’s sequel Yoshi’s Crafted World was made to feature a similar style of gameplay and visuals.
Like most games in the Mario Franchise, the story of Yoshi’s crafted world is simple. The game starts with the Yoshi’s lazing around a magical stone, Baby Bowser and his caretaker Kamek try to steal the stone, but in the struggle the stone scatters into several pieces and are sent flying to various locations across the land.
The Yoshis set off to recover the pieces of the stone while dealing with whatever Baby Bowser and Kamek throw at them.
The gameplay is similar to Woolly World, where you control one of the Yoshis on a 2D plane and have to make it to the end of each level. Along the way, you can get eggs from spitting flowers, polka dot boxes, and eating enemies.
One new feature in this game is that Yoshi has the ability to throw eggs into the background at items and enemies, which is needed to get all the red coins and smiley flowers. Some levels also add a mechanic that shakes things up.
For example, there are several levels where Yoshi is aided by his pet Poochie, who can be used as a platform and plow through otherwise invincible. One level has Yoshi pilot a giant robot of himself, another has Yoshi on a plane and he has to stand on different parts of a plane to elevate or descend. These more unique levels are sprinkled throughout the game and it helps keep things interesting.
The most notable thing about the game is its presentation. The whole game is presented like a cardboard diorama. Clouds are held up with strings, platforms are made out of tin cans, and boxes of cookies and bosses are introduced via a stop motion animation that shows them being formed. It really sticks to this gimmick throughout and it gives the game a very unique charm.
The only main sticking point in the audio/visual department is the music, some of level themes have this really high pitch flute playing in the background and it’s quite unpleasant to listen to.
The game itself is pretty easy-going. Getting to the end of most levels is a relatively easy task and you have unlimited lives so you never have to worry about a game over. The real challenge of the game is finishing every level with 100 percent completion, in which you have to find every smiley flower, all 20 red coins, and finish the whole level with full health.
Normally this isn’t a problem since you’ll naturally find enough flowers to progress if you keep your eyes open. When it comes to unlocking the secret levels, that is when you will struggle to collect these flowers.
The most infuriating ones to get are located at the end of a level that involve using your eggs to hit a bunch of enemies in the background. If you make a mistake, you don’t get a second chance and will have to redo the whole level for another shot.
Another annoyance are the levels featuring Poochie. Throughout these levels, you use the “dog” as a makeshift platform to ride across lava and poison lakes. The problem is when he is carrying you he is always on the move and you have to position yourself on his head to get him to move in different directions.
As a result, it is really easy to fall off and if your trying to get to the end of the level with full health it can be very stressful.
While going for 100 percent is difficult at times, the rest of the game is a very mellow, charming experience. In fact, it can be an excellent game for kids who are interested in the Mario series but are intimidated by the challenge of some of the older games.
Photo By Nintendo