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

WVW69jcdc8cgCkXukW

*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.

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Wii U review

 

WVW69iwy8OggcjBg4m

When it comes to sports I’m not exactly a fan,  and although I find tennis very boring to watch there is something about it that I love when it comes to Tennis games. I guess it almost makes you feel like the worlds best tennis player without putting in all the practise and partaking in all that  excerise which I could do with. I have enjoyed tennis games through all the computer game generations and as well as fun to play the realism is getting better and better and there’s no finer example of Virtual tennis, which I play on the Playstation Vita. Having said that Nintendo always has a way of not only making tennis games fun, but also a great family bonding experience as their games appeal to people of all ages. Wii sports tennis is hours of fun but you do admittedly forget about Wii sports as a game in it’s own right and more of a showcase game for what the Wii and Wii U was capable of.

WVW69iwy9Bomt-GWDuMario has starred in a variety of genres and nearly all are a fantastic time to be had. Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is not the first tennis game for Mario and pals, but it does do a lot. Within 30 minutes you’ll be pounding tennis balls against great opponents (staple Nintendo characters) feeling like a Pro, and what’s more you will be doing it in stlye and having a great time doing it. Though the controls can seem a lot to take in, you will master them in no time at all and see yourself fire back special shots and getting through opponents quicker than eating a tube of Pringles.

There’s a wealth of game modes available to suit all playing styles and to harness your skills.
WVW69iwy-dA1D4aj6BMega Battle: This can perhaps be considered the Main game. You can play either a singles or doubles match. There is 12 playable Characters and four unlockable characters. There is a possibility with these games that there may be hidden unlockable chatacters too. Chose your player and your opponent and play! It’s Tennis with a Mario Twist, as you play there are chances to get to colour highlighted areas for special Smash moves, These can seem a bit tricky to do but getting used to the colour code and button positions will have you returning shots like Andy Murray. For extra fun Giant mushrooms are thrown into the mix.

Mega Ball Rally: Is as it suggests simply a rally game but with a Mega Tennis ball. The better your score the better your return of coins you will recieve to purchase things.

WVW69iwy9z8ayOTKeVKnockout Challenge: A fast paced mode where it’s first to score 7 points. Work your way through all the available characters with your newly aquired Tennis moves.

Online: As usual with Online modes you play against Local and Worldwide people in a singles or doubles mode. Test yourself when once you have mastered the game and beat every computer opponent.

Classic Tennis: A refined version of Mega Battle and Tennis as we know it. No special abilities just good old fashioned stuff.

WVW69iwy_dQtvzG_KeIn the game modes you can chose how the game is presented on screen wether it be on TV, Gamepad or both, also with cool Reverse and Dynamic mode.

You can also work your way through all the rewards you can achieve by completed specific tasks.

WVW69iwzAMIgh7wuyW

Some press reviews from Gaming sites are giving this game a bit of a tough time, but they are catering for a more mature audience and aren’t really looking at it from a family point of view. But as not only a Family man AND a mature gamer, I love this game!!!

Chibi Robo Ziplash 3DS review

  • WVW69ij88Eot4ULoe4 (1)*These are my own Images captured using Miiverse screenshot feature

How do you win the heart of a man who hasn’t completely grown-up, loves his video games and is a geek. Get him Chibi Robo (and a 2/3DS if he doesn’t have one) for Christmas. After all he most likely loves robots.

 

If I’m honest I was not completely aware of this game… and that it’s a series.


 

WVW69ij8-AoZXY8slyThe plot of Chibi Robo Zip Lash :
Chibi Robo is working as hard as ever scrubbing the space station that orbits the earth clean. TV (a hovering Conputer…why not!) can see just how hard Chibi Robo works, he recommends he takes a minute to watch his screen. A news flash reports Aliens are invading and are stealing all of the earth’s natural resources.
Three aliens happen to pass Chibi and TV as they head towards earth to join in with the removal of resources. TV & Chibi being the righteous duo are in pursuit of the invaders in an attempt to stop them.

The Game

WVW69ij97gg-495XjuThe first game was produced by Nintendo’s favourite son, the Godly Shirgeru Miyamoto, so it’s not surprising to see small similarities in the Star coins, map and level design of Super Mario. Every ounce of this game down to the last pixel oozes charm, from it’s cheerful catchy music, level design, enemies and Chibi Robo itself, in the way it walks and swings his plug chord like a lasso, or a propeller, or to strike it’s enemies and gripping to physical objects.
The 3D effect for this game is glorious, a giant hand in this is the New 3DS 3D effect being the most stable it has been yet.

WVW69imNGzQpdjrOoWThe scenery in Chibi Robo are beautifully crafted with a bold arrangement of wonderful colours and textures.
It has all the elements of a great platformer, collectables, upgrades, level scoring, hard to reach heights and hidden areas.

Chibi Robo is perhaps the most kind natured robot imagined (not surprising with Mr Miyamoto’s ethics in videogames) It’s not hellbent on destroying it’s creator, It collects waste left by the worlds inhabitants and generates that into power in the form of watts which is used as your timer on each level.

WVW69imNHyY_qLDLgeOnce you have completed the first level, at the world level map there will be a spinning destination wheel with numbers giving the level selection a board game feel. Depending on the end of level spaceship you destroy will determine the amount of spins you can have. When you spin the wheel you will land on a number, 1-3, which is how many moves you will do around the levels on the map. This being the case levels aren’t played in order and you can also land back on a completed level, BUT, you are rewarded when you go back to completed levels as there will be an extra thing or two to do the next time round. Plus you have to chance to go for all the collectables, beat your level time and try not to take any damage. The end of each level will show a score and badge screen to let you know how you performed.

Not only will you be tasked with saving mini robots on each level, but you will also come across child aliens who are lost. Aliens are invading stealing the resources, but we are tasked with saving their offspring?….
The World maps are based on the earth’s continent, The first being Oceania. Once you work your way through the Oceania levels you then move onto North Africa and so on.

WVW69ij97OUEvjftZ0 (1)Much like the Mario series there will be levels that are slow paced and you can explore quite a lot. Then there’s levels where the screen side scrolls where you are being chased by enemies, so you have to get a move on. The automatic side scolling screen also lends a hand to some fun different themed levels that are slightly more challenging than your platform style levels. You will have to try to collect your collectables in one run as there is no back tracking on some of them.
You will also come across mini game coin attack areas hidden in some levels where you will have a count down to get all the coins on the level.

 

WVW69ij-MRM6x4xxEUWVW69ij-Kzs7hsV-xWAs you progress through the levels not only does it become more challenging, but you also will come across obstacles blocking your way. A quick bit of exploration will make it apparent on what you need to do and you will see some
fun temporary power ups, speed is key here if you wish to get all the levels collectables.
You’ll also notice the reach of your plug cord will increase and it also gets more cool upgrades helping you reach those higher areas and items and helping you out of a spot of trouble.
If a level does become too challenging you can always buy your way past it which is handy for the younger audience or impatient people. However sometimes repeat and rinsing is the best learning curve for games.

If your as charmed by Chibi Robo as I am, you’ll be pleased to know that there is a great Amiibo of him available and he has multiple uses for the game.

I have really enjoyed my time with Chibi Robo so far, its been one of my favourite games to come out before the end of 2015, and I’m looking forward to delving further into it.
I can’t recommend this game enough.

Super Mario Maker

mario maker

Since I first played Super Mario Bros on the NES, (my second console that would lead to an obsession and lead me to lose interest and unplug my Commodore 64.. only to desperately want to own a C64 again 24 years later) I always dreamed of levels that could be added to what was already a great platformer, and making levels for it. Since then, I fantasised about becoming a game developer for many years to come, (school never gave me the guidance or path I wanted to take, and also explain the importance of my hatred of Maths would have to do with physics in video game development). Which regrettably, I never fulfilled.

24 years on, the Mario franchise is an unbelievable 30 years old. Spanning over 20 games on more than 11 platforms. Mario, is undoubtfully Nintendo’s most recognised mascot.

September 2015 brought my wildest childhood dreams to life in ways far greater than I could have imagined possible. Nintendo hands the level creator to YOU, the player. It has been a painful wait over nearly 3 years since the announcement of my most anticipated game ever. But the updates, extra features and content have been so worth holding out for.
Super Mario Maker allows you to create your OWN levels of Super Mario, on not just 1, but 4 Super Mario games
Super Mario Bros
Super Mario Bros 3
Super Mario World
New Super Mario Bros
This is not exactly new news to anyone that has followed the progress and updates from Nintendo on Super Mario Maker, but perhaps the most mind-blowing feature is that you can switch between the 4 Level modes at the push of a button (or 3). Just take a moment to think about that. It’s incredible!
So far there is no sign of Super Mario Bros 2 being added to the concoction (and it’s something I’m desperate to see added), but I wouldn’t rule it out with DLC being a possible gateway in the future.

So what we have with Super Mario Maker is a tool Palette full of wonderful items.
Originally it’s purpose was an interface tool for Shigeru Miyaoto and Takashi Tezuka. Preloaded with items, they could quickly select an Icon they required to make the level creation process quicker and easier for themselves. They quickly realised what they had created could be a tool, Anyone could use, to make a Super Mario game… So that’s exactly what they did!
You start with a blank canvas level and you need to fill it. The world is your oyster. (making this a haven for Trolling users with extremely difficult, but intuitive and ingenious levels. But worry not! Not every level will be a gargantuan task, and there are level ratings to suit your pace ). Taking full advantage of the Wii U pad’s touchscreen and stylus, you touch and drag items to position on screen. These items can be made bigger, wider and taller. You can double items up and give special abilities to them. While touching and dragging an item, be sure to give it a shake by rubbing the stylus back and forth on the touchscreen. There are many surprises and variants to be discovered for most items. Some items keep on giving the more times you shake them.
Some items (enemies included) available in the tool palette were not present in some of the games, though very cleverly they have been reimagined to how they would have looked on the games, had they been in them.. at the time.
You will find a lot of items can be mixed, and playing around will lead to a wide variety of discovery. For example without giving the game away too much, dropping a mushroom on an enemy will make them grow, just like it would with Mario. Enemies can also be dropped into question boxes to trick your friends and family when they attempt your creations.
On the level creation, you will be able to choose from not only your chosen Mario game mode, but also level mode. Whether it be the standard land-based levels, to underground, underwater, Lava levels, ghost house, airship and so on.
Throughout level design, you can test the levels. This is handy for calculating jumps and avoidance of obstacles. Mario will be replicated many times as a ghost image so you can perfect your landings, or alternatively, give players a feeling of doom with near misses. Again alternatively you can also encourage players to blind jump/leap of faith onto hidden platforms.

The key to making your masterpiece level… will be down to practice, discovery, and playing other users levels for inspiration. Your first level is unlikely to represent anything near what you always imagined it being, but don’t be deterred and don’t be too harsh on yourself.
One huge thing I was hoping for was the world map level hub of each game, and World hub creation tool, to actually add your levels too.
While this does exist, it’s nothing like I had hoped. There is nothing more satisfying on the games than roaming the world maps avoiding or facing sub-bosses and going into bonus areas.
Mario 10 challenge and the 100 challenges are interesting options. As the name suggests, you have the option of 10 or 100 lives to try to beat a set of levels.
Amiibo compatibility
Amiibo’s being a function for unlocks on many Wii U games now, makes an exception to Super Mario Maker. On my last count, over 70 Amiibo characters have compatibility to Super Mario Maker. That is a lot of fun and surprise to be had. Be sure to do your home work and see if any Amiibo can do more than one function.
Amiibo collector’s cards
Amiibo Collector’s cards, is a fantastic idea for a few reasons. Like many collectables, the price varies, depending on, age of the item, the amount of each figure in this case, is made. And the popularity. These reasons can rocket the price of a figure as they become highly sought after for collectors.
Quite possibly as a clever retalliation to an aftermarket Amiibo clone, (which is a common occurence in the video game market when unknown companies want to cash-in on the next big thing) that has a pretty hefty price tag nearly equalling nearly the cost of 4 regular Amiibo, the Amiibo Collector’s cards were announced. They will be released in waves similar to it’s brother version and will include uncommon to rare amiibo figures, as well as the more common.
The Amiibo cards will still have the NFC fucntion that is found in the figures. They will not only save you a good few pounds on even the most affordable Amiibo’s but will create a new wave of card collecting again. They will look great in card holder walletts, while keeping their condition and all Amiibo verions will be to hand. I also predict that well kept Amiibo card collections will grow in value in the next couple of decades.