Yoshi and his games have a very interesting place in Nintendo history. On one hand, the original Yoshi’s Island is considered one of the all-time classic games. But then, a lot of his other titles are considered “too easy”. Or are meant to be “cute” and not much else. Well, as I hope this Yoshi’s Crafted World Review shows you, this new Yoshi title is anything but cute and easy. It’s actually got a lot going for it.
Game Name: Yoshi’s Crafted World
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 3/29/2019
True to form, the story of Yoshi’s Crafted World is as simple as simple can be. On Yoshi’s Island (get it?), the family of Yoshi’s are protecting a sacred relic and its magical stones. Enter Kamek Koopa and Baby Bowser (not Bowser Jr., Baby Bowser), who in their attempt to steal the magic for themselves accidentally send the stones flying across the world. So, you choose a Yoshi (Whatever color you want!) and make your way throughout the land to get the stones and save the day.
While the story is simple, the world is not. I truly applaud Yoshi’s Crafted World in regards to just how different each of the levels are in the worlds that you go to. And sure, this seems like something you’d expect, but the variety and elegance of these levels is truly amazing. For example, in a Ninja world, there’s one that the action is mostly concealed behind screens, and you have to be careful about what you do so that you don’t get caught in an exposed section. While in another, you have to use trap doors and levels to manipulate the world to get where you need to go.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg (which ironically they didn’t have in Yoshi’s Crafted World) of all the gimmicks and gags that they use to make the game fun and unique. Sure, some levels play a lot alike. But the level design is truly what sells this game, and it really should be appreciated.
Which of course brings me to one of the best parts of the game, the search for flowers. In the game, you have to get flowers in order to pay off certain characters to “activate” the worlds around you. If you think that they’re just lying around the world waiting for you to find them…think again. These flowers are often very well hidden. Or attached to certain mini-games that you have to complete to win and get the flower.
This may seem tedious, and at times it is I’ll admit. However, it also forces you to slow down and explore the world. Because if you race through a level, you’re going to miss something, and that’ll cost you in the long run. I’ll admit, some of the mini-games are really frustrating, and you have to be pinpoint accurate to win at times, but a majority of the time they’re very obtainable if you keep a level head.
Now, as you might know from the original demos of the game, one of the biggest hooks of Yoshi’s Crafted World is that the game has a “reverse” feature in that you can play the levels backward at times. Mainly, this is to catch the Poochy Pups and earn flowers for finding them and getting them home before a certain time. So it’s actually quite different from when we were first shown the game and Yoshi had the ability to do this himself.
Still, when you’re running low on flowers, it can be an easy way to stock up. But, I do feel that they are too frequent in how often they show up. At first, it’s a bit scarce, and then all of a sudden it’s every other level, and that makes it feel less impressive great game design or not.
Let’s talk about the looks of the game for a bit, ok? Unlike Wooly World, Yoshi’s Crafted World feels a little more toned down, and yet, it’s still lively and vibrant, especially when it comes to the many ways the world unfolds before your eyes.
The game was made in the Unreal Engine 4, and it shows. Though it does sometimes look like it has an odd “film” going over it, maybe that was just my eyes playing tricks on me. Regardless, all the areas look crisp and clean, and sometimes, downright terrifying in regards to certain axe-wielding enemies.
The boss fights of the game are a joy, and while they follow the Mario Model of hitting them three times and then winning, the game does make each boss unique and fun to mess with. A personal favorite of mine was a certain gator train you face later on in the title. And the arrival of “Bowser” adds to the final boss fight too.
One of the things that the game likes to highlight is the costumes for Yoshi. And while they are adorable at times, I never really felt the need to use them. I think I might have wielded them once or twice, but it didn’t make me feel any more powerful or protected. Then again, that may have just been the levels I was in at the time.
Finally, the difficulty. Let me be clear, this is not an easy game if you play in Classic Mode. It’s hardly Dark Souls, but surviving certain levels with all your hearts AND getting all the flowers is a severe challenge. Especially in levels where you can’t backtrack because of the nature of them. And the further you go, and the more the level design shifts, the more you need to be ready for anything…and I do mean anything.
No matter what though, I hope you get one thing from this Yoshi’s Crafted World Review, and that this is a really fun title that will make you have fun on your Switch as you wait for the next big game to come out. This game is full of charm and life as you beat enemies, toss eggs, and try to find the hidden mysteries of the world.
Review Disclosure Statement: Copy of Yoshi’s Crafted World was provided to us by Nintendo for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
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Yoshi's Crafted World Review
Yoshi’s Crafted World proves that Yoshi can have a deep and fun title that everyone can enjoy. If you have a Nintendo Switch, this should be in your library.