Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World 3DS Review

I’ve been so wrapped up in news of upcoming The Nintendo Switch, *the revolutionary home and portable console hybrid. March the 3rd is so close now that I can almost feel it in my hands, which I should have got hands-on with until the weather decided to have it’s way and prevent me from getting to London. If you want to bag yourself one… then good luck! As it stands right now I may not be able to get one myself as foolishly expecting it to be the estimated and only educational guesses at that price range, the actual price range for now, while not outrageous is a little out of my grasp…. there I go again getting carried away with the Switch.. focus.* that I completely overlooked Poochy and Yoshi’s Wooly World. Sure, I knew it was on it’s way to 3DS but I assumed it was going to be a sequel to a game you just wouldn’t think could get any ‘yarn’ cuter than it already was.

I get the feeling they may have had the help from the shreddies knitting nannies here. A sequel it is not! And is actually a port of the excellent Wii U title which we were fortunate enough to have reviewed.
Ports of existing games is no new thing with Nintendo, it is something they have done since the launch of my all-time favorite console the Super Nintendo with Mario All-Stars and have continued to do so with every consoles since and will continue to do so with GameCube and potentially DS as a series ports coming to The Switch.

The game follows the same story of it’s Wii U counter part with Kamek turning the Yoshi clan into balls of yarn and scattering them throughout the islands as he makes his escape. It’s up to Yoshi  a staple character arguably as famous as his best friend to save his kin… not the princess.

Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World opts for the more traditional hub/level layout of the Mario series unlike the Mario 3D hub of the Wii U version.
Oddly, although named in the title, I’m yet to encounter Poochy and perhaps he is hidden in a power badge. Instead you are faithfully accompanied by three Poochy pups, which means Poochy is a Mom… Or a Dad, which I don’t believe is disclosed. The pup’s really are a person’s best friend as your loyal minions.. I mean lovable and loyal friends,are not afraid to get stuck right into the action. Just like Poochy and Yoshi.. they just knit sew well together.

In Mellow mode you once again don a pair of wing’s that can help you float and land to safety and you have your trio of pet’s, because one is simply just not enough at your disposal. They act as the eggs you would usually collect from the boxes, which in Mellow mode, will not jump out when you hit it. Instead the pups fire in the direction of baddies, blocks and obstacles and will run straight back to you even after the act of launching them into harms way. They are essentially unlimited cannon fodder that are not to be sniffed at, as these helpful pooches also come to your aid helping you to discover invisible Or not so obvious secrets throughout the game.
Of course turning off Mellow mode will provide more challenge without a safety blanket for more avid than casual players. But Mellow mode is excellent for the younger audience as they will get a feeling of accomplishment and reward for finding and completing the levels with the many collectibles throughout the game, and with just a little help.

Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World, while a port, bring’s a host of new features including an adorable knitted Poochy Amiibo. For those that still love to collect Amiibo like myself.


A subtle change in the main games hub is the addition of Pooch’s hut. Additional challenges are found here and if you successfully land on a flower when you jump through the end of level hoop, you are rewarded a Gold rush token. Poochy’ hut is a great collect-0-thon mode allowing you to play a level where you need to meet three level objectives and collect your three pooches along the way, and then Gold rush mode where you chase after Lakitu as he throws out Gold gems for you to try to collect in one go.

All these aspects make this version/port of Yoshi’s Woolly World the definitive version. It is perfect for the 3DS and I’m sorry I can’t shut up about it would also be a perfect addition to The Switch… while they are at it.. Super Princess Peach 2 for The Switch please Mr Miyamoto san.

At risk of repeating myself here, one thing that I love about the series is that it has always been consistently faithful to the original games mechanics which always makes it feel familiar under the surface with an always fresh skin.

For a full game review please head on over to the original review http://justchelseam.com/yoshis-woolly-world-wii-u-review/

Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic games Wii U review

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*all images are created by myself using the Miiverse screenshot feature

The Rio 2016 Olympics are soon to be underway and its time for Mario and Sonic and friends to dust of their running shoes and for you to purchase an ample supply of AA batteries for your WiiUmotes for some friendship rivalry with your pals.

There are 14 events to practise and compete in for glory.

WVW69jcddhAAgXxbLcIn the main HUB of the game which is a white sanded beach, you will encounter CPU characters that represent your options, and Mii characters from around the world. As there is usually a sticker/stamp collection theme in Mario games it is here swapped out for country stickers where the Mii characters reside. Being a video game fan is world renown and more often than not like-minded folk like to interact with friends from around the globe. After competing in events will will be awarded coin and stars, and for medal events you also unlock items for your Mii character for customisation.

WVW69jcdegcYlETjA2One of the highlight events of the game for me is the Archery event. It controls smoothly and particularly well with the WiiUmote. No characters stats are the same for any two events encouraging you to swap and try the different characters and their abilities. There is a chance in the third heat to hit star targets which will trigger the targets to become star targets for insanely high scores.

WVW69jcdgR87Ntt3FtI am no fan of football but this event doesn’t feel like such a chore to endure due to its back to basics style and smooth controls akin to the likes of ISS for the Super Nintendo.

Similar to the football event, rugby has smooth controls and a simple style with extra robot CPU players that is a pleasure to play making it another highlight event for me.

WVW69jcdhoUNqtvwmh (1)I can’t help but feel a trick or two were missed with the events though. For a start the table the Table Tennis event is tiny, and although this may be accurate to life it makes what could be a great smash tennis style event tedious. A bigger size table could have gone a long way to enhancing the experience and the smash style mechanics.
If all the elements were right a Mario smash table tennis game with optional motion controls to me would be a very appealing idea.
Maybe I just missed it, which I don’t think I did, but I also feel a motion control option for the Wii U pad for Archery could have also made a big difference and would have allowed a smooth and responsive target domination.

WVW69jcdlsokslN9cxMario Nintendo games are often well known for mini games and game modes, I feel this is also missing from this title as there seems to be considerably less events compared to the M & S Winter Olympic games Sochi and extra events to appear to be unlocked throughout your play.

WVW69jcdk_IllV3bDNThe HUB is certainly a missed opportunity in the form of mini games where walking upto the shore line could have activated options to surf on the sea, wake board or paragliding. Aswell as options to enter a sandcastle building competition, metal detecting, rock pooling etc. Maybe i’m rambling on a bit but you can’t deny these little touches would make great additions.

WVW69jcdjD4593WeZYMaybe as Nintendo are aware of their younger audience, the control scheme seems to have been revised from the previous winter Olympics game and less technical. More children friendly if you like. Events such as Equestrian and Gymnastics are still rhythm based and require combinations of button pressing and holds and feel easier to negotiate. These changes do make the game more appealing to younger gamers and less inclined to get frustrated and give up too easily.

If you do feel the events are a breeze for you and you want more challenge, the CPU have 3 difficulty settings to chose from.

One thing I don’t like is the automatic return on a couple of the events in table tennis and beach volley ball, or at least the option to use automatic return or not as the option to have it is good for your average or occasional gamer.

While there doesn’t seem to be unlockable characters from the Mario and Sonic universes to use as a playable character, they do at least appear to compete against you in events.

The events for this game is a mixed bag of good and mediocre. For me personally, I feel this game while a solid effort, is not a scratch on the previous game which my family and I still love to play.
Overall I get the feeling that due to the newer control scheme and the events available that perhaps the 3DS version would suit its style better and will be the game to buy and get more play time from.

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer 3/2DS review

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On Nintendo 3DS

You can be forgiven to think that Animal Crossing happy home designer is not a fully fledged Animal Crossing game, but it certainly is.

It also may not be the full Animal Crossing experience you have been waiting for and have come to know and love over the years, but this game oozes charm and is packed with familiar faces aswell as new ones. In fact, from what I have read regarding the Animal crossing Amiibo cards which we will cover later, there is 100 characters involved with this game one way or another.

The funny thing about the Animal Crossing games, is that you think it’s odd as an adult to enjoy and get into. Fact is my wife and I spent A LOT of time playing Wild World. And my daughter and I spent A LOT of time, playing New Leaf. (We have not spent near enough time playing Let’s go to the city, and I would have to sell a kidney for the Population: Growing! game). There is a surprising amount of Adult gamers that play and love the series, No matter their online status, and here I’m talking especially, The Nintendo life team (also seen to be Tomodachi Life fans :-)).

As a fully fledged villager having dabbled in stocking a museum, being a Mayor, there’s also a crucial role existing in the games.

The introduction to the game introduces you to the Happy home designer team as well as preparing your character. What’s this, Tom Nook again!?? Everyone’s favourite ludicrous business man is your new employer, as you will be working for Nook’s homes.


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There is quite a generous Body feature palette to use to get your desired look.

Once you have constructed your character, reminding Tom and his vague memory of who you are, it’s time to meet your fellow colleagues, Lyle, Digby and Lottie.HNI_0034

The ability to transfer your New Leaf character/s here would have been a great touch, but you are starting from scratch.

Lottie will train you in your role and get’s you straight onto an assignment. But first you need to get into uniform. As well as the changing room being on the next floor, you will also notice a barber chair which you will be able to use to change your appearance when you want to change things up. Your work uniform is supposedly able to be accessorized in the changing room also.

Your first clients home will be immediately recognisable if you are a fan of the series. It’s a basic starter house. The client has a few prized possessions in a box that they would like you to incorporate in the design of the home. The rest of the items is upto to you. Using the items tool you will have a small selection of items. In this design you will learn all the basics you need to know about how to place, move, rotate and discard items. You may want to find out those spare stylus’ you have digging around for a mishap, as using one will certainly make thing’s easier.

When you feel that you have finished the room design, speak to the client who lingers near the door. they will give you hints if the job is not quite finished, and r, you may not have noticed that there are now other items and tabs now available in the toolbox.

Once you have the seal of approval from the client, your work on this home is done.

The previous games have had a different way to save your progress. (And be badgered by  Resseti the Mole if you haven’t saved the next time) So it’s no surprise that the save feature has changed once again. This time around you will need to go to your desk at Nook’s homes and start your  notes. Saving is also automatic after each job you finish.

A mere ten minutes into trying this game, my Daughter is desperate to get on this and try it out. Though she’s wanting a girl character, not a male character and playing as Daddy. So we need to restart the game, or, I would have thought, exit the game and choose a new character at the menu. Creating a new character is not as straight forward as it was on New Leaf. The option to restart your game is somewhat hidden and you are restricted to just one character profile. To create a new character you will need to press and hold YXAB at the same time as soon as the Nintendo 3DS logo appears and before the title screen, a box will pop up asking you if you are sure you want to delete. All of this information will be in the games manual and I do highly recommend you read it prior to playing. If you have the digital game, there is a manual option at the games menu.

Watching my daughter nurturing her budding interior design was eye-opening. Placing objects in a way that at first glance I thought was wrong, but on closer inspection, ways I wouldn’t have thought of that also makes sense as it creates an illusion of freeing up more space while looking like a natural position. I feel this has been more of a learning curve to watch my daughter work away than what I would have learned from filling out the rooms in my own way.

Here’s some of my favourite picks of her creations

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The game may be called Happy Home Designer, but you will be asked to design an array of building’s, not just homes. A face you should certainly remember is the hard-working Isabelle. she will be handling requests for public facilities to be built.

What is a nice touch is that aswell as designing homes for people, you will also be responsible for where the homes will be positioned on the village map. The clients will give you some preferences as to the area and surroundings they feel will be ideal for them, however i get the feeling they are quite easily pleased. Other factors that will be included in the clients needs will be thing’s such as a play area if they have children, amenities a garden and a variety of other things. You will also be s for the design and layout of these so your work will be both indoors and outdoors.HNI_0052

Along the way you will unlock expressions your character can use to interact with other animals. They are accessible on the touch screen by tapping the happy cat icon.

Your main hub will be a town area around your office. Any boarded  will be upcoming projects for you which you can start by talking to Isabelle.

From what I have played you will not be able to quite roam the village, but you will be able to visit existing clients houses. After all, like the weather their taste and needs will change.

I can honestly say, the home design aspect of A C New Leaf was not my strong point, and something I did not care much for. But having playedthis, and in the short space of time seeing my daughters imagination take hold and learn valuableidea’s of her furnishing positioning. It would make me return to New Leaf (and hopefully future A C games) with a new fondness and understanding of layout and design.

12063864_426594980870460_2907434017134793815_n11214145_426594984203793_2819898708684815309_nOn the Super Mario Maker review I touched upon how Amiibo card collecting was a great idea and throw back to yester-year. If this is your cup of tea an you’re an A C fan then you will be delighted to know that A C will have its own range of Amiibo cards, and as mentioned earlier, 100 ofthem so far and a special Animal Crossing Amiibo cards collectors book to keep them in.

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer Amiibo collectors cards are to play quite a big role in the game. You can use them to invite other villagers to a clients home, the animals will interact with each other and should the visiting animal take preference to a piece of furniture they have seen, this will be ‘stored’ on the system memory when you touch the Amiibo card to the NFC, which will be the touch screen on the ‘new’ 3DS, and by using an NFC portal (purchased separately) with the 3 & 2DS systems. The furniture the animal remembers will be added to your catalogue and can be accessed by using the Amiibo phone, located in the Nook Homes offices. The Amiibo phone will also allow you to call clients to offer any further help with their home design. You can also get the visiting animal to remember any furniture you like to be used on future projects.

As usual with a lot of games you can screen shot (take photo’s) pressing L and R shoulder buttons together, be sure to take photos of your projects and whatever catches your eye. Your images will be saved to your SD card so you can put them on your Computer and share via fan sites and social media, and create projects of your favourite moment’s or memories of the Animal crossing series. There is also the option to share to the Miiverse by tapping the icon on the touchscreen.

Cut The Rope Triple Treat 3DS

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The trilogy of the Android and iOS classic Cut The Rope, by Zeptolab has landed on 3DS.

Being a huge hit, it’s not surprising it has been snapped up by game developer giants activision.
The charming and brilliant physics swiping of these games brought new innovative ways to play games on android and iOS devices.

A world set inside cardboard boxes with plenty of levels in each one. The idea as is the title, is to ‘cut the rope.’ Using a swipe motion across the screen to (Being a touch devices worst nightmare of grubby finger prints and swipe smudges all over it, it is only right it made it’s way onto the Nintendo DS with it’s touch screen secondary screen.) Cut ropes that dangle pieces of candy (perhaps this is an android and iOS exclusive feature, but on the app the candy can be changed to different objects such as a doughnut) anywhere on the screen. At the bottom of the screen is a creature known as Om Nom. You need to get the piece of candy to Nom to eat, while at the same time collecting three stars on your way. The more stars you collect the better the score.
The beauty of this game is the clever and evolving physics you use to get the candy to Nom, and it’s clever combination of physics and item’s to solve the level. It is a great brain exerciser and problem solver.
With the centre of gravity and no floor in this game, the only way for the candy pieces to go is down. Whereas Nom and his friends can be placed anywhere on the level. On a typical level there will be multiple rope’s and up to two candy pieces. You have to predetermin the fall of the candy piece with the angle the rope is fixed and the position of Nom. Cutting the wrong rope first, or bad timing can lead to failing the level or wanting to restart, which can be slightly frustrating but a feeling of reward when you solve the physics. a sinlge candy can be attached to 1 to 5 ropes at any one time, and you may need to cut in order to navigate obstacles and hazards that also move and collect the stars. You can also cut multiple ropes in one swipe, and a timed swipe.
On some levels there with be pivots with a dashed circle around it. When the candy feels the pull of gravity and it drops after swiping a rope, a new rope will appear on the pivot and catch the candy, these ropes also give the candy a swinging momentum and also at times have spiders appear on them, as they climb the rope you need to react quickly otherwise they will eat the candy ended the level. Some ropes also have bubbles attached to them, or a star inside them. Once you swipe the rope the bubble or a piece of candy collides into it, it with levitate. If you are not quick enough to pop the bubble by tapping it, it will float off screen ending the level.

As you unlock the next box, another physic is unlocked too. There are air pouches selotaped to the level. You use a tapping motion to pump them to create gusts of air which can be used to redirect the flight of a bubble, and to swing candy pieces on a rope. As you progress more Physics and obstacles are thrown your way.

Cut the rope experiments is also included. One if the cardboard box worlds falls of a delivery truck whilst passing a science laboratory. All of the classic elements of the first installment are present with added attributes, physics and obstacles.

The third game is cut the rope time travel. A time travel device appears in front of Om Nom and draws in a piece of candy he is about to eat. Of course he isn’t going to let it escape so he hurls himself into the gateway the time machine has created. Landing on different level’s through time, Nom meets Viking’s, his future self get’s special powers.

The game has some great animated cut scene’s and is also bought to life on short cartoons spread over two seasons, also available to watch on the game.

Over 650 level’s spread over three games without the need to download content, put up with promotional adverts and for your phone to ‘unrespond’.
It boasts 50 hours worth of gameplay so that is enough satisfaction for all.

When you finally prise it out of your child’s hands and may want to give the screen a clean as it will no doubt have sweet and chocolate residue on it.
If you are purchasing this game for yourself, it may be better suited to a 3ds xl as the 3ds screen at points makes it difficult to swipe (if you have lost your stylus and you are using your finger like me)

A great follow up and twist to this and it’s dynamic, could be Cut the rope anti gravity. Where you would be based in space or on a rocket ship with anti gravity. Remember, you read it here first!

New Yoshi’s Island Review

Conveniently Yoshi using egg’s and with it nearing Easter, Nintendo UK also provided an awesome white chocolate Yoshi easter egg with a surprise inside. Which as exciting as receiving new Yoshi’s island to review is, I doubt I would have an easter egg otherwise. Now to see if I am a good adult and wait until easter to open the egg, stuff myself silly and see what surprise is inside, or act like a rebellious child smash open the egg eat till i’m sick and see what surprise is waiting. What would you do?

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Shown on Nintendo Direct on the 13 Feb 2014, i’m sure there was a national wave of excitement to see a sequel to the 1995 Snes classic, a whopping 19 years later. So what do we already know?

Yoshi can use new giant eggs, mega egg-dozers. These can be used to access secret area’s, blocked area’s and to smash through objects like pipes and bricks. They can ricochet off angled walls and will collect coins that are in their line of fire in unreachable areas.

Metal egg dozers can be rolled across the ground and even taken underwater.

Yoshi’s has more transformation types or mini-games is you like, which ingeniously use the 3DS’ giroscope to navigate them, though you have to be quick, they are timed. Special stars will make Yoshi able to runs up walls and across ceilings, and then shoot through the air. These thing’s giving more access to different heights and otherwise impossible areas on certain levels.

It uses the same story line as the original.

A stork is escorting two babies to their expected parents. The stork stops off at the wrong house, it takes to the sky’s again only to be met by Kamek and some of his flying toady minions. Kamek grabs baby Luigi, seperating the twins, while baby Mario plummets towards the sea. Luckily Baby Mario’s fall is broken by his nappie, that becomes a parachute and safely lands on Yoshi island. Although the Yoshi’s have enough worry with baby Bowser who is wanting to take over their island, as baby Mario attempts to crawl off in search of Baby Luigi, Yoshi, cannot stand by and watch. He decides he is going to protect and escort Baby Mario, and the rest of the Yoshi clan agree to spread all over the island to take it in turns to help.

As my 3DS has reached it’s memory limit I have had to play the game on 2DS. So unfortunately I cannot comment on how it looks using the 3D effect. But I did read a review by the popular YouTubers, tweeters and all round great guys, The Games Shed, they say that the 3D effect isn’t intrusive and you don’t a headache from the 3D effect. So I have all faith in that being gospel.

Yoshi’s new island is a lovely looking game. From a side by side comparison of screen shots from both games, it is clear how much sharper it looks. Going from the rather eye catching sketchy cartoon effect on the snes original, to a more fuller computer graphic pastel look, that still holds some of the hand sketched effect with it.

Most of the original components are still there. Yoshi still uses egg’s as weapons which can still be obtained through the egg blocks, egg plants or swallowing an enemy and pressing down, use x to aim and fire them to hit enemies, question mark clouds with wings, buckets that are hanging in mid-air, to collect coins and flowers from the air or that hover below the ground and platforms. I can’t help but smirk every time Yoshi swallows a giant shy guy beyond belief and it pops out the other end as a giant egg. Some of the same enemies are back as well as the same collectables, including the small cluster of stars that disperse from the question mark clouds with wings, *and from certain enemies, that jump along the floor in different directions and keep going for a brief time until they vanish or you have collected them. The happy flowers, there are 5 to find and collect on each level, and then the red coins hidden in enemies, buckets, secret area’s, disguised as gold coins etc, and there are 20 to find and collect on each level.

It is wonderful to see a return to the Yoshi spin off and it is very suited to the 3DS era.

Though I can’t help but wonder about the capability’s it could have had, had it been released on the home console Wii U and using the touch screen. But you never know what Nintendo have up their sleeve.

As much fun as New Yoshi’s Island is, I can’t help but think it has been 19 years since Yoshi’s Island, and with all the varied Mario games there has been since it, using some of those elements could have made it so much more.

But it really is very good and will charm the socks off both fans and people new to the Mario series.