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.

Kirby: Planet Robobot 3DS review

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Playing through this game took me back to when I first encountered the pink gas ball. Who, was originally an off white on the cover of the original game on the GameBoy DMG. A big clunky portable with a green screen that could produce great sound and had 8 Bit pixel graphics just like the NES. This was also the first time I also tried Caribbean cuisine at a friends house. I wondered what on earth appealed to people about corn on the cob, having not yet acquired the taste for the delicious vegetable. And I am sure he too didn’t appreciate my butter covered fingers all over his GameBoy either.
Having said that I did not actually own my first GameBoy until about 6 years ago, (I collect old video games). I opted for at the time, the impressive Game Gear. With a colour display and an unhealthy appetite for AA batteries. Six of them at a time. As opposed to the GameBoy’s humble four. As a Nintendo fan even at that age, the GameBoy just did not seem too appealing. Perhaps I missed out, but I thoroughly enjoyed the Game Gear throughout my time of owning it and have no regrets.

WVW69jWSh9cLjrEoEjI can’t really pretend to know and have played every Kirby game that has been released.
Apart from Dream Land and up until Planet Robot, I had once sampled Triple Deluxe which was not only visually impressive.. but from what I played had all the right components of what makes a great Video Game.
Kirby has never really taken much of a break in the way of releases over the last couple of decades. Sometimes at a push a year or three without a release, but he has pretty much appeared on every system Nintendo has released. Spanning over 24 games and then some, in appearances.
Playing Planet Robobot is exactly what you would want if you asked for Kirby to be remade for a new generation. It has robots for a start! Who doesn’t like them? And when you find you can get into a Mech Body suit your inner child (or your actual child) will squeal with delight.

WVW69jWSi-g2o8hT9HFor each of the invading robots firmly rooted legs is an area that has levels, and is also an enemy base. Your job is to find code cubes which are small metallic cubes with circuits on them. You need to collect so many to progress, and, unlock levels that have no pathway to them.

There is a plethora of abilities and upgrades for not only Kirby himself, but also for the mech suits you can control.

Ability suits will see you change your appearance more times than a pantomime performer and you will grin from ear to ear when you unless the elements of the like of  electricity, flames, ice and more.

Plus your suit appearance’s based on the poor fellow you just swallowed and digested seem like a tribute to many of Nintendo’s rosta of characters. Though don’t take that for gospel, just speculation.

WVW69jWSeSA24bNMF8WVW69jWSicApaIhqRUAs with a lot of the Kirby titles, there are big stars that transport Kirby around, from taking you to different areas of the level to the background and foreground, which is a mechanic not often used in video games and looks great on 3D.

WVW69jWS3TgALrrShgThere are some levels where you won’t get all three Code cubes in one attempt, so there is some replay value to the game to keep you going. There are also stickers scattered around to find and collect to complete the whole set. Some of the stickers are rarer than others and may take some grinding to get them all. There are also various puzzle patterns to follow, which if successful, will hold one of the levels code cubes inside. And also the mechanics of the game also do a good job at challenging your mental ability and problem solving.

Though I am only currently on area 4, my only criticism is the Boss battles which are not particularly challenging… but they may turn up a couple of notches as you get past the mid way mark.

 

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I don’t think it is unfair to say this games borrows elements from many of Nintendo’s classics, from Donkey Kong to Bomberman. Or, could it be they took influence from Kirby? Either way it is all bundled into a great play style. Throughout the game Kirby will find a special power up, that will completely transform the Mech suit he’s in into a vehicle of sorts. Much like Yoshi’s transformations in his games. You will enjoy a ship shoot em up zones (shmup) to diving and driving a fast car, which is actually really enjoyable.

*All images used are screenshots done by myself and created using the Miiverse app on the Nintendo 3DS

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Wii U review

 

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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.

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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!!!

Animal Crossing Amibo Festival review, Wii U

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*All images are captured by myself using a camera and Miiverse screenshot feature

Animal Crossing makes its board game debut in Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival.

Rejoice with old friends and new

Everyone loves an Animal Crossing game, but this one isn’t getting very good press especially from journalists who cover videogames on popular sites.

But people have their own view and opinions on games and can see charm, or endearing, where others can’t.

Here’s our view and opinion.

12348025_438275363035755_8822645321890353370_nThe game has traditional roots for a board game. You can choose 1-4 Players. You have a dice to roll, which the function used here with the Amiibo figures, is not too dissimilar to how it’s done with Mario party 10. Apart from in Amiibo festival, the use of the Amiibo’s is essential to be able to play. You take it in turns to work your way around the game board, collecting cards, items or currency. In this case it is Bells, happy points, and cards, which can be won on special events.

 

 

 

WVW69ipgu-wMrUJQu7Upon starting your game and you have chosen your character from the brilliant Animal Crossing Amiibo figures currently available, (and theres more on the way!) you will get to choose any of the calender months to play through as each game playthrough is based on a month.

Each month is of course seasonal, and… have special events such as New year, Easter etc, and other events seen in The Animal Crossing series.

 

 

The aim of the game in Animal Crossing Amiibo festival is to earn the most bells as the month comes to an end.

WVW69ipgwHQcEvPDcjAs each roll the player has counts as a day in game, it feels like it rushes you a little, but I guess there is on average 30 days in a calender month. For each special day of the week comes a special visitor. You see the same characters returning, and they are restricted with text as they will use the same phrases on each week and does not seem to vary. Some of these characters are:  Katie who will give you chance you win a dice card.  Joan the turnip trader.  Redd the Antique dealer.  Katrina the Fortune teller.

Depending on the event in the calender month you will also have special visitors like Chip to host a fishing competition. The competitions are automatic and are not playable as a bonus game type feature.
WVW69ipgwjwhewPobT (1)The board consists of spaces that change throughout the days and the weeks depending on events and your luck on your turns. Spaces will give you bells or happy tokens along with mini cutscenes, aswel as spaces that will also take away bells and happy tokens. Some swap out to a visiting character which if you land on, becomes a game of chance for an item. On every Sunday of the week Joan will arrive in the village to sell turnips. Turnips only last 5 days before going rotten and non profitable and prices escalate. So one day prices could be high, then the next, low. The turnip prices will also vary on each space. With the other special visitors, every few other spaces will change to a picture of them, so if you land on them you have chance to win a prize.

 
WVW69ipgwOsguaV3fOOn the four corners of the board is a Gyroid. The each have a corner of a stamp set, which if you collect them all will earn more bells.

More variety and introduction of more traders and special events would have been ideal, as well as actually taking part in the events or at least having the option to, rather than it being automatic. The same can be said for the Computer players, having the choice to skip their turn would have been a nice option if you are rushed for time.

 

It may seem repetitive each time you play, but there is a some extra content for you to explore. From playing other game modes with Desert  island escape and the quiz show. You can also unlock mini games where you pop balloons for points, whack Rossetti and card battle. You can also add things to your board with earned Happy Tickets. Items include, characters houses you pass on the board (you add these by scanning Villager Amiibo figures or cards), and features such as fountains, benches and Windmills which the villages will interact with as you play through the board.WVW69ipgucEHaF68oF

The thing would be a great idea for a physical board game, especially for fans of the series, however sadly it won’t appeal to all as a videogame.However not all is lost. Let’s focus on the positive points…

It is extremely simple for children to understand, pick up and play. Catching fish or Butterflies can be a bit of a task for children, or take a long time getting used to how to do it, so therefore, this being automatic isn’t all that bad and still keeps the enjoyment for your young ones. In the full title games, making money is not so sraightforward, so this being a game of chance on every roll of the dice, again keeps the enjoyment for the younger audience.

In short, I feel this game may be more appealing to the under 10s.

There is a few variations of bundles, or you can buy the game on it’s own. But the amazing Amiibo figures that you get starting from an extra £5 for two plus a pack of 3 Animal Crossing Amiibo cards, is a steal… and remember the Amiibo’s are essential to play the game.