Unraveling Yarn Yoshi

We break down what we know about Yoshi’s Wii U adventure and what we hope to see from the title in the future!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 01/13/2014 09:00 1 Comment     ShareThis

Nintendo has quite a few plates spinning for 2014. Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8, Kirby: Triple Deluxe, and more lie in wait for players, but it’s the mysterious titles that have my interest piqued. Fire Emblem X Shin Megami, Zelda Wii U, and X are all announced but veritable enigmas to fans, along with a certain green dinosaur’s solo return to a Nintendo home console: Yarn Yoshi. Other than a brief trailer shown during Nintendo’s E3 Nintendo Direct broadcast, not much else has been revealed about the game. I’m not a fan of being strung (sorry, couldn’t help it) along, so let’s try to figure out what Nintendo might be planning for Yarn Yoshi!

The Graphics

The most immediate thing to note about Yarn Yoshi is the game’s unmistakeable use of Kirby’s Epic Yarn‘s visual style. The yarn and gems featured in the trailer are ripped straight from that beloved Wii title. The cutesy yarn motif is a good fit for the adorable dino’s adventures, though it doesn’t appear that Nintendo will be sticking strictly to Epic Yarn‘s graphical stylings. Nestled away towards the end of the trailer, Yoshi is rendered three-dimensionally (albeit, still made of yarn) and running on what appear to be large cushions. While it seems reasonable that Nintendo wants to intentionally nudge fans to form a connection between Epic Yarn and Yarn Yoshi, there’s definitely more than meets the eye going on here.

I really hope that Nintendo goes all out with the graphics here, as the power of Wii U will really allow the company to show off what it couldn’t do with the visuals in Epic Yarn. Don’t get me wrong, Epic Yarn looked awesome on Wii, but the horsepower of Wii U will let Yarn Yoshi show off some things that might have been shelved back in the day. It’s definitely going to stand out once it finally hits store shelves, that’s for sure!

The Gameplay

Gameplay-wise, that’s an even bigger mystery when it comes to Yarn Yoshi. The glimpse of play control on display showed Yoshi inhaling a yarn Shy Guy and running, and not much else. Epic Yarn featured a lasso mechanic where Kirby could unfurl his foes, so it’s possible that something similar might be in store for players here, possibly using Yoshi’s tongue instead. Still, I can’t imagine Nintendo simply swapping Kirby with Yoshi; Nintendo can be derivative at times, sure, but it would be pretty unusual for the company to make such a simplistic alteration and leave it at that.

The gems imply to me that Yarn Yoshi will also be foregoing a traditional life system much like Epic Yarn did. In that game, the gems helped pump up your final score, but damage would send the jewels flying, stoking the player into a frenzy trying to reclaim them all. It was an interesting alternative to dying and restarting at checkpoints, and given the decidedly all-ages look of the game, Yarn Yoshi might be embracing this gentler punishment system. If Nintendo is trying to make the game more approachable, hopefully it’s not at the cost of challenge. Yoshi’s Island games are usually pretty tough; hopefully, Yarn Yoshi will be, too.

The more I think about Yarn Yoshi in comparison to Epic Yarn, the more I think about how natural a mixture the two are. Case in point: transformations. Anyone who has played Yoshi’s Island fondly remembers seeing Yoshi turn into a car, a helicopter, a submarine, and many other things. Considering Kirby did the exact same sort of thing in Epic Yarn, I think it’s safe to assume that it won’t be long before Nintendo reveals Yarn Yoshi will be bringing a similar batch of transformations along. How they’ll factor into gameplay is another question, though. I think to help spice things up, it might be nice to see a shift to 3D as opposed to the 2D we’ve seen so often when Yoshi’s altered his shape.

The Music

Am I the only one who loves Yoshi’s Island‘s soundtrack? It’s one of composer Koji Kondo’s best, and I’d love for Nintendo to grace Yarn Yoshi with something similar. Maybe even do a Donkey Kong Country Returns type of remixing of those classic tunes. What I don’t want is something along the lines of Yoshi’s Island DS. It skewed way too young and just wasn’t very catchy. Yarn Yoshi can be all-ages, but that doesn’t mean the music needs to be a snoozer!

Whatever Yarn Yoshi ultimately becomes, one thing is for certain; the game is in good hands. Longtime Yoshi mastermind Takashi Tezuka is handling producer duties, so hopefully his expert touch will lead the development team in the right direction. The small preview we’ve been given has my hopes high, and Nintendojo will be here to give more insight into Yarn Yoshi as we move into 2014!

One Response to “Unraveling Yarn Yoshi

  • 819 points
    Toadlord says...

    Now that Yoshi’s New Island has a release date, I don’t think it’s long before we hear more about Yarn Yoshi in a Nintendo Direct. Actually, they could feature Yoshi in three ways, considering that the character hasn’t been revealed for the new Smash Bros yet.

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