Poochy Makes Yoshi's Woolly World For 3DS Cuter, But Less Hardcore

Today, Nintendo added saccharine platformer Yoshi's Woolly World to its already plush 3DS lineup. In case you hadn't heard, this time, it has puppies.

Poochy and Yoshi's Woolly World

Poochy and Yoshi's Woolly World is fucked-up cute. I don't even like dogs, but the Poochy Pups slay me. That said, they're not just in the game to melt cat-lovers' frosty hearts — they're your canine assistants throughout the game's "Mellow Mode". And, in that capacity, they hurt a little more than they help.

Released mid-2015, the Wii U's Yoshi's Woolly World fits like a knit cosy atop the time-tried platform formulae Nintendo has mastered for handheld consoles. Despite its appearance, Yoshi's Woolly World pulled no punches. It rewarded good resource management, quick reflexes and a completionist mindset. If you didn't have all three, you'd fail at some of the game's most basic objectives.

Playing on the 3DS, I wondered why the game was even released first on the Wii U. The immediacy of your inputs on a handheld's screen brings a kind of tension I want in platformers. For me, Yoshi's Woolly World works better when the game's display is attached to my controller. Unfortunately, on handheld, the game's knitted and crocheted fabrics aren't as impressive. On the Wii U, I could see every knot finalising a stitch and even the little fuzzy fibres on top of them.

It's hard not to call Poochy and Yoshi's Woolly World a re-release. Essentially, it is. There are a few new features like the "Poochy Hut's" infinite runner bonus stages, where you can collect beads. Those can be traded in for power-ups in the main game. It's mildly rewarding in the same way Miitomo is: Doing nothing really, but still accumulating pretty little prizes paired with reward sounds scientifically-engineered to make me feel awesome.

The Poochy Pups' true purpose in Poochy and Yoshi's Woolly World are as thinking bumpers. Yes, like the kind children use when they bowl. In "Mellow Mode", you can opt into pup support. Throughout each level, three Poochy Pups on your tail will "Help you find secrets, act as your yarn balls, and help you breeze through courses," the game explains.


Basically, you have an infinite supply of yarn-pups you can toss at enemies, platforms that need to be knit-up or any other object. Also, if there's a string you'd pull to access a zone, a Poochy Pup will glom onto it. If there's a hidden area inside a yarn wall, a Poochy Pup will enter it and start barking.

The pups actually neuter (ha ha) what I liked about Yoshi's Woolly World for the Wii U. Despite its sugar sweetness, that game was not messing around. Its boss fights were tough and its level design was, at points, punishing. There, I played a lot of "Mellow Mode", which gave Yoshi wings so he could float over pits and other dangers. But I still had to get yarn balls from baskets or by farting out enemies. And I still had to plan ahead, managing them for future challenges. Hidden zones were still tough to suss out and, often, I found myself running into random walls to investigate. In fact, in Yoshi's Woolly World, it's difficult to get all of the secret items and objectives done on the first play-through.

Essentially, Yoshi's Woolly World's "Mellow Mode" still required quite a few gears turning in your head to get the job done.

There's no problem with taking it easy. And, in Poochy and Yoshi's Woolly World's "Mellow Mode", you still have wings. But right when you enter a new zone and begin to fathom what's ahead, a Poochy Pup will break off, attach themselves to a loose string and bark. It isn't annoying, but it can kill your flow. It's a little mindless. I liked the Wii U version's contrast between stupid adorable aesthetics and hardcore level design.

Also, in this Poochy-rich "Mellow Mode", there are sad, empty yarn baskets scattered across stages. The mechanics to get you to them are still in place, though. I've excitedly ridden a monster to the top of a level only to meet a barren yarn basket. In the original, the colourful little yarn balls pouring out of baskets made the game feel more bountiful, if possible, and lush. Without that, the new "Mellow Mode" is missing out on one of the original's greatest joys.

It's arguable that a good "Mellow Mode" will let players know they're missing out on the game's real fun. But if Poochy and Yoshi's Woolly World's new, daily stop-animation Poochy movies are a clue, maybe the 3DS port's target audience is a significantly lower than the Wii U version's. In the first short, Yoshi throws yarn balls for Poochy in the hope he'll play fetch. At the end, I was quizzed on whether Yoshi used one hand, two or his feet to throw the ball. Then, a prize!

Don't get me wrong — I love this port. It's relaxing to play before I went to bed. Its stage design absolutely thrives on a handheld. The "Poochy Theatre" is like a watching a mini Pixar short. I'll even admit the dogs are cute. The only thing is that, well, the 3DS port's "Mellow Mode" is, perhaps, just too mellow.


    Poochy you say? Radical, to the extreme!

    Last edited 04/02/17 10:22 am

      Note: Poochie died on the way back to his home planet

        And thanks to a loop hole in Crusty's contract, I'm able to bring him back as my own series of Web-isodes.


      I'm old, so my thoughts turned to Mattel's Poochie.

      That thing still haunts my nightmares to this day...or night as the case may be.

    What's that I keep saying about Nintendo phoning it in?
    Hopefully the Switch is the end of this shit.

    Is it wrong for me to just want that Amiibo to sit on my desk next to my Yarn Yoshi?

      Not in the slightest!

      @scree and @dudeface; thanks you two.

      No joke, some people just look at me foal if they get a hint that the cartoons I'm carrying are for me. I don't know why but I seem to be a magnet for people who think once one turns 12, one stops watching cartoons.

        Make them watch Grave of the Fireflies, and see their minds do the quickest 180 ever.

          Let me put it this way; I've never watched that movie but after reading the Wikipedia page I almost had to put my keyboard in a bucket of rice.

          Besides, if I wanted to do that, I'd use Watership Down. Only remember the snippet I saw as a kid but it is the scene where a rabbit is choking and bleeding from its face.

            Oh, watership down was marketed to kids. Some with the Creatures of farthing wood (I think that's the name). The creatures all died on their way to find new homes after humans destroyed their old wood. I watched this as a kid.

              It was actually called Animals of Farthing Wood but yes, that is in the same vein. Especially in the first season near the end when the Hedgehogs curled into balls and got run over by a truck.

              Or in the second season when Fox and Vixen's cub, Bold, got shot in the leg and eventually dies getting his mate back to White Deer Park.

              Truth be told though, the series wore off on me but I put in a lot of effort to find Colin Dann's books which the series was based on.

              Anyhow, I've gone far enough off topic. But thanks for the chat.


                Oh right. Oops.

                There's always tay for off topic chats

            You should see Grave of the Fireflies, despite its tragic content. Roger Ebert called it one of the most powerful war films of all time.

              I'll take his word for it.

              Call me spineless but I watch those sort of things to momentarily escape the harsh realities of life. And this is too (if I may use the term) realistic.

              It's also the reason why I won't play the game That Dragon, Cancer; I've had enough loved owns die from it. Can't even watch Markiplier play the thing.

      I don't even collect Amiibo's yet I bought the Yarn Yoshi & Poochy for my work desk.

      Last edited 06/02/17 6:22 pm

    Playing on the 3DS, I wondered why the game was even released first on the Wii U. The immediacy of your inputs on a handheld's screen brings a kind of tension I want in platformersUhh what? Unless you're trying to say your TV suffers from some terrible input lag.

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