Read Stuart’s column every week in The Scottish Sun, where he shares his reviews, news and podcasts with the 99.3% of the World’s population not fortunate enough to be able to buy a physical copy of the paper. The following appeared originally in The Scottish Sun on Sunday 12th February 2017.
Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World (3DS, £34.99)
THERE are plenty of pretty patterns in Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World but make sure it doesn’t tie you in knots. You have to rescue your Yoshi friends who have been turned in balls of wool by evil Magikoopa Kamek. If you are thinking this has shades of the 2015 Wii U game Yoshi’s Woolly World then full marks. This new version adds a Poochy and a Mellow Mode, but is scaled down to the 3DS. The result is a great adventure set over six worlds each with a different theme.
You can start in Mellow Mode, which makes you almost invincible and you also get Poochy pups. They give you an infinite supply of objects to throw and can help you find the collectables in each level. This mode is clearly aimed at younger gamers and is a great way to keep kids entertained rather than frustrated. Then there is Classic Mode. That’s where most players will go and it is a direct lift of the original game. You have to get the collectables yourself and beat every level. And that is a tough ask.
The game is a solid platformer which will see you run, jump and roll your way to victory while collecting everything from pencil stamps — to unlock new patterns to build a custom Yoshi — to balls of wool — to unlock new Yoshis. That all adds up to a great deal of replay fun. There are also Poochy-only stages, where you take control of the mad mutt as he runs amok. The other addition to the game is the Yoshi Theatre which unlocks short videos each day for the first few weeks. You can bag extra bonuses if you answer a question correctly before watching them. That’s a nice add on for fans.
The Wii U version had an epic look, but the 3DS can’t quite match that. The graphics have taken a bit of a hit but that doesn’t mean this is an ugly game — the material theme is still clear to see even if a few of the textures have been flattened. And it has that typical Nintendo feel as every stage is bursting with colour and an upbeat soundtrack. Nintendo has done a great job in porting the game but it has lost the co-op mode which is a shame. Fans of the Wii U version will love this. Gamers of all ages will have a blast on the move.
CHECK out the special edition Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World which comes with a cute and cuddly Poochy woolly Amiibo, adds a time attack mode to the Poochy levels AND unlocks special Poochy skins. If you use him during a Yoshi level he’ll join in the game and help you. It’s all yours for £44.99.
Rise & Shine (Xbox One and PC, £11.99)
YOU really can’t disappoint when you are part of the Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team — so the pressure was on with Rise And Shine. It is a 2D shooter with a heavy dash of puzzling and a splash of bullet hell gameplay. You play as Rise, a young boy who lives on Game Earth — a planet built on and around games. Rise sees the world being invaded by a group called the next-gens — and that’s just the start of the puns. This is a game built by gamers who love gaming.
It’s down to you and your talking gun, Shine, to save the day. Over 10 levels you’ll blast enemies, take cover and use your little grey cells to solve puzzles using Shine’s different ammo types. Some of the gameplay is really good, but other bits are held up by the core mechanics. For instance, the bullet hell-style section needs to fast but you can’t fire your gun without aiming. It just holds everything up.
I felt the puzzles are a little too easy at times but the think-and-blink style of the game comes out well as you get new unlocks for Shine or face off against huge bosses. You also feel that each time you die will lead to an improvement. The game has a lovely arty comic book feel which is helped by the animated cut scenes that fills out the story between levels. The sound neatly frames Rise’s adventure. Rise And Shine is a fun and testing game but the patchy gameplay may leave you wanting a little more.
Focus Home Interactive What’s Next Event
IT was all go in Paris last week as week Focus Home Interactive held its What’s Next event, below, to showcase their latest productions. Over the next few weeks we’ll be spotlighting the games we got hands-on time with as well as bringing you chats with the developers.
We’ll start with a world exclusive reveal from Spiders, the team behind the Technomancer. Their new game will be Greed Fall. It’s still in the very early stages of development, but it is inspired by Baroque art from the 17th Century. It will have a strong RPG gameplay focus with you on an island searching for a cure to an outbreak that is killing your people. You’ll face off against settlers, mercenaries and treasure hunters and there is a magical element. The combat system Spiders uses is an upgrade on Technomancer because the development team reckon that was too random at times. I can’t wait to see the next stage, but there is no release date pencilled in yet.
Moving on, Vampyr was on show at E3 but the trail seemed to have gone quiet. Not any more. The team behind Remember Me and Life Is Strange has set Vampyr in 20th Century London. You are a newbie vampire and it’s up to you to use your powers for good or evil as you uncover the struggles in London’s dark under-belly. The team revealed that you will have to feed on the innocent to boost your powers but you don’t have to kill! Let’s see how that works out. Vampyr is set to land on Xbox One, PC and PS4 towards the end of the year.
SARAH Chalk — aka Octav1us Kitten — is a relative newcomer but she is making a huge impression. She has had her channel for just six months and her main focus is her love of gaming and to share the weirdest or most utterly rubbish video games out there.
“There’s a beauty in dreadful or weird games that I find appealing. Also they make for funny reviews. And Octavius is meant to be cute, funny, flirty and creative – everything I’m not. The thing we share is our mad love for video games while highlighting the crimes of gaming’s past.”
This is a real labour of love and she is building quite a following. Search Octav1usKitten on YouTube to check it out.
Rainbow Six: Siege Tournament
THERE was Rainbow Six: Siege frenzy last week. Montreal Ubisoft held Six Invitational, a tournament but to see the top Rainbow Six: Siege teams in the world face off in an epic celebration of the game’s first anniversary. Six PC-based teams and six console-based teams from across the globe battled it out for the coveted trophy. On the Xbox side, Team Vitality beat Elevate to take the title comfortably. The PC fight saw Continuum and Era go head to head in a thrilling final with Continuum took the honours. There were some epic battles though.
Kudos to the winners.
I’ll be back next week with more from North of the Border, catch ye’s…