Yoshi’s Crafted World - Story Trailer - Nintendo Switch
Who it Caters to
Yoshi's Crafted World is a beautiful platforming game starring Yoshi and his friends, another Nintendo exclusive that every Switch owner must try. At this point, everyone should already know Yoshi, Mario's friend (once his pet, kind of...) and one of the most iconic characters in the Nintendo universe; in fact, if you like Super Mario games you'll find a lot of other familiar faces, from Bowser Jr. and Kamek (the game's villains) to creatures like the Shy Guys or the Piranha Plants.
Even if Mario himself is nowhere to be found, Yoshi's Crafted World is an extraordinary game to keep you busy for a good amount of time, with a lot of different gameplay mechanics and dozens of stages with gorgeous scenery. If you have kids to play with or you just fancy a game that challenges you without making you feel bad about it, then these colorful dinosaurs have something for you!
What to Expect
Every time a new Yoshi or Kirby game is announced, there's always people asking the same question: is it too easy? Well, if you go into Yoshi's Crafted World expecting it to be a walk in the park, you may be right for the most part... but finding every secret in the game is not that easy. Sure, if you're used to more complex games you may feel this game is too simple, yet every new stage you play has at least one new mechanic for you to explore.
Although every section of the island has 2 or 3 stages, completing all objectives in the same run could be a tad difficult if you don't take enough time to fully explore each level. On the other hand, you don't even need to do it all in the same run or even find all Smiley Flowers to carry on with your journey, so the amount of time and effort you put into completing the game is ultimately up to you. Simply put, Yoshi's Crafted World is one of those games that Nintendo fans need to play as soon as they can, not because it's difficult and challenging but because it's an incredibly fascinating experience.
This is where Yoshi's Crafted World truly shines! The graphics are great and the animations are on point, so it's hard not to fall in love with this cardboard world. As you travel the island and explore all the available stages, it's awesome to see how alive the world feels even though the scenery is made up of cardboard, paper, and cloth. In addition to that, every stage has its own theme, but everything you see on the screen totally makes sense.
Since there's no HUD, it's easy to navigate every stage looking for hidden coins or things to shoot eggs at, it doesn't matter if it's a cardboard cow in the background or a winged cloud in the foreground. If you look at the screenshots we took, you may also note that there aren't many objects or monsters on screen and the minimalist feeling is notorious, something that not only makes the game more visually enjoyable but easier to play too. All in all, Yoshi's Crafted World is a feast for your eyes, especially in handheld mode.
The graphics department is one of the game's highlights, but we have to say that the music in Yoshi's Crafted World is pretty subpar. Don't get us wrong, the soundtrack is good the first time you hear it, but compared to other Nintendo games... yeah, it's better not to compare it.
You see, in terms of sound effects, Yoshi's Crafted World is almost perfect, but the music in this game is so repetitive yet lackluster that you won't remember it. It's hard not to appreciate the music in old Mario classics, but in this case, you'll feel annoyed every time you have to replay some level or every time you find yourself playing a new stage that happens to have the same music theme as the others. Is the soundtrack bad? Not at all, but then again, there aren't many Nintendo games with such a generic feeling.
The story here is pretty simple and straightforward: the Yoshis were in peace until Kamek and Bowser Jr. stole the gems from the Sundream Stone, a magic figure that can grant you a wish, so now it's up to them to explore the island, recover the gems, and put an end to the malicious duo's plans. While exploring, your chosen Yoshi will find a lot of enemies and a few friendly allies, but not much is said about the Sundream Stone or the island itself. That's bad because lore is always welcome, but also because not giving us more insight into the place where the game transcurs makes the plot pretty much uninteresting and forgettable. But wait, do you really need a good, deep plot to enjoy a Yoshi game?
Besides the already mentioned graphics, the other salient part of Yoshi's Crafted World is the gameplay, because of the clear intention not to repeat how a stage feels and plays. Basically, the world map is divided into sections of 2 or 3 levels, and every level's objective is to find a set amount of Smiley Flowers, at least 100 coins, 20 hidden red coins, and also finishing the level at full health. Once you beat a level you may unlock a mirrored stage where the objective is to find 3 Poochy pups under a given time limit, and then an NPC will ask you to find some collectibles hidden in the scenery, to which you will have to throw an egg. When you collect enough coins, you can also go to the nearest vending machine and get some cardboard costumes (some of them are awful) that protect you the rarer they are.
Sometimes you're visiting a forest, sometimes you're exploring the ruins in a desert, sometimes you're in space... every stage feels unique, and that's what keeps you playing for hours on end. In terms of mechanics, it's the same: sometimes you're running from a dinosaur, sometimes you're climbing ropes, sometimes you're punching houses and trees with your mecha-Yoshi. But yeah, we know what you're thinking... why aren't we mentioning the possibility to rotate the stage to explore the back of these cardboard worlds? Well, we have some bad news for you.
From the first trailer, Yoshi's Crafted World looked like something similar to what Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker does, flipping the stage in order to access new places, but the truth is that you can't do that at will but in very specific areas, so it feels more like a gimmick than a core mechanic. Let's say you come across a flying cloud, you throw an egg to it and then you flip the stage for a timed event, like shooting special coins, some elusive Monty Moles, or a Smiley Flower hidden among the Fooly Flowers.
Since there's no clock, no punishment for dying (other than restarting the level), and no impossible segments, the co-op experience is great for those around 4-9 years old. In fact, the older players can also carry the younger ones on their back (or inside their mouth) in case things get a little complicated for a child, the same way you can activate an "Easy Mode" at any moment. You don't really need to read a lot or go through eternal FMV's to understand the plot and what's happening, so that's a plus for a kid that only wants to jump around and play as Yoshi. And when you come across a boss battle, the mechanics are so intuitive too, always relapsing into the classical 3-hit KO.
For an avid gamer, Yoshi's Crafted World will surely feel too easy or too short, but in our case, we had a blast playing in co-op mode with our kids and siblings. Yoshi's Crafted World is an enjoyable spin-off if your expectations are not very high!
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
This is not the best Nintendo game ever and not even a competitor for the GOTY award, but having that Nintendo essence is enough to give it a try. Another thing to take into account is that, just like with other spin-off games, we're probably not the target audience, and kids could enjoy it more than us. All in all, this game serves to keep Yoshi current and showcase how lovely these worlds can be, while at the same time expanding the Switch's exclusive catalog.
In our case, we believe that looking good is not enough and that the gameplay is too much of a hit-or-miss situation, so ditching the flipping mechanics (if that was ever the case, although that's what the E3 2017 trailer made us believe) ultimately hurt the game. Another thing to consider is the price tag; are you OK with spending 60 dollars on a game that will take you a weekend to complete and has almost no replay value?
Colorful and beautiful.
Fun for the whole family.
Every stage looks and feels unique, with a lot of mechanics to explore.
The music gets kind of annoying after a while.
These kind of games always leave us wanting more.
The plot is just an excuse...
Honey's Final Verdict:
We loved the game, but we are aware that it's not a game for everyone and that its price may seem too high for 10-15 hours of gameplay. In the end, we hope that this brief review can help you decide whether or not you decide to buy Yoshi's Crafted World, although you should not hesitate on borrowing/renting it and playing the hell out of it if you have a chance.
Have you tried Yoshi's Crafted World? Leave us your impressions in the comments section! And remember to stick around Honey's Anime for more video games, anime, manga, and all otaku content!
Author: Rod Locksley
Hey! I'm Rod, and when I'm not watching anime or playing video games I'm probably writing about them, but I'm also a graphic and web designer, and I even published a comic book and worked like 4 years for a well-known MMORPG. Curiously, my favorite series are quite different from each other, so I'm still trying to understand what I really like in an anime...