Details in the Fabric
The first time that Kirby got his headlining game on the Wii, people were surprised by the game’s art direction. Kirby’s Epic Yarn took the inspiration from an incredibly old Japanese Nintendo commercial for Kirby’s Adventure that featured the pink puffball trouncing around his familiar surroundings all comprised of various fluffy fabrics. When the game finally released, it was met with some concerns about the degree of difficulty, but one aspect was pretty universal: the game looked absolutely spectacular. It proved that games in this day and age did not have to aim for hyperrealism or grit, and they did not have to be in high definition to be considered beautiful.
Well, with the release of the Wii U, Nintendo is finally giving the loyal dinosaur sidekick, Yoshi, his own exclusive console game after 15 long years (the last release being the superb Yoshi’s Story on the Nintendo 64). Fittingly, the team behind that artistically innovative Kirby game is back to give Mario’s egg-tossing, prehistoric partner the same visual treatment.
The aptly named Yarn Yoshi is a 2.5D – that is, action taking place on a 2D plane, but comprised of 3D elements – side-scrolling platformer. If there is one genre that Nintendo has a lockdown on, it is platforming. The company has the genre’s mechanics down to an art form, and that legacy looks to continue with Yarn Yoshi. Unfortunately, there are just a few precious little details available concerning the exact objective of the game.
The game certainly takes advantage of the Wii U’s increased graphical capabilities. At first, Yoshi starts out as simple outline of yarn similar to the titular hero of Kirby’s Epic Yarn. However, by consuming enemies, Yoshi takes on a fuller form. The textures of the fully-crocheted Yoshi, as well as the multitude of background textiles that he traverses, really pop off of the screen.
Rest assured, though, that the gameplay is also in good hands. The supervisor for Yarn Yoshi is none other than Takashi Tezuka, the director of both Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Story. The development team, Good-Feel, has a knack for tackling dormant IPs and offering fine new takes on them. Having developed Wario Land: Shake-It! in addition to the aforementioned Kirby’s Epic Yarn, the team is also quite adept at crafting a compelling platformer.
Will the game end up being as easy to play as Kirby’s Epic Yarn? It is hard to say. However, if Yarn Yoshi manages to bring smiles to faces both young and old, Nintendo’s got another winner its library.
Writes for a few media outlets, does graphic design work for a few clients, as well as production work for a few studios (all poorly). Believes the best correlation between the words "twilight" and "sparkle" has less to do with vampires and more to do with a sarcastic pony.
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