Forgotten Gems: Yoshi’s Woolly World and Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze

yarn yoshi amiibo

The Wii U is a very forgettable console for a lot of people. Though the system has its flaws, it still has an amazing library of games worth playing.

Is the GamePad kind of useless as a controller? Yeah, it mostly is. But there is a wonderful amount of platformers on the system. If anything, Nintendo will always deliver a plethora of classic platformers every generation. The Wii had amazing games such as Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and even Sonic Colors.

Two games worth pointing out for the system are Yoshi’s Woolly World (which just got a price drop to $40) and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (which just got a price drop to $20).

Woolly World is essentially a collect-a-thon platformer. It is pretty hard to actually die in the game and the whole point of the game is to collect as much as possible to unlock new Yoshi’s and Badges. I think the collecting aspect sets it apart from most platformers because it has a different focus. Most platformers will have collecting as part of its game, but it will not be the main focus. You can collect if you want to. Woolly World forces the player to join in on this collect-a-thon and have a blast. Although, you still don’t technically have to join in on it, but it wouldn’t make the game anywhere near as exciting as it should be.

If anything, Woolly World is one of the most relaxing games I’ve played in a very long time. It won’t really stress you out too much (it might a little bit if you decide to play it on co-op with your girlfriend and she decides it is funny to turn you into a yarn egg and throw you, it isn’t funny and I hate you, Carolyn). The game is one of the prettiest games I’ve played this generation (including PS4 and Xbone games) and is absolutely wonderful to look at. The platforming is fluent and works perfectly. The yarn ball mechanic is super great and the giant yarn balls are wonderful.

I’m only actually on World 2 of the game so far but I feel justified in already talking about it and highly recommending it. The game has already added new mechanics with things such as a watermelon power-up that allows the player to spit out tons of watermelon seeds and is essentially the yarn ball on speed. (Should I be making drug references while talking about Nintendo games for children? Probably not.)

Woolly World is a wonderful investment of $40 in my eyes. The game contains 6 worlds, which is plenty of content especially because one will probably want to go back through levels in order to collect more things. If anything, Woolly World is one of the prettiest platformers I have ever played, which only proves the point that you don’t need the best hardware to make one hell of a good-looking game.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze won’t always blow someone away in the visual department, but it certainly will as a platformer. If anybody has played Donkey Kong Country Returns, Tropical Freeze is basically a better version of that game (which was already one of my favorite games of the last generation). The game adds more unique platforming elements and gives the player options to have more sidekicks (including Cranky and Dixie Kong. AND CRANKY KONG HAS THE SCROOGE MCDUCK POWER-UP, WHICH MAKES THIS THE BEST GAME EVER MADE).

The boss battles are a blast to play through and always add something new to the game. I am currently on World 4 of Tropical Freeze and I feel like it is shaping up to be one of the best platformers I have ever played. I was shocked when I found out that Destructoid gave this game a 10 but I am starting to see for myself why they did. It is a game I might be willing to give a 10 myself.

The thing is, I hate hard games. Tropical Freeze is a very hard game yet it doesn’t frustrate me that much. I feel like it’s always my fault for losing and not the developer’s fault. That is a good feeling to know that I need to improve something or try my best to really memorize patterns in the game in order to become better at it. That shows signs of a great game. If a game pushes me to want to play it more and retry that level over and over again then I feel like they’ve done a good job.

Retro Studios deserves a huge round of applause for these two Donkey Kong games. I’m genuinely worried that we won’t get another Donkey Kong Country game for quite some time, nor will we get another Yoshi game for awhile. Both games barely sold over a million copies. Part of the problem is obviously that the Wii U only has sold over 12 million units, which is pretty awful. When one actually puts it in that perspective, 1/12th of Wii U owners actually bought both games, which is actually kind of impressive and not too bad. Nintendo seems to have the unfortunate habit of shelving franchises that don’t sell well. We are just getting another Star Fox game (and I mean a real one this time). F-Zero has been shelved for ages. Pikmin was shelved throughout the entire Wii lifespan (the GameCube ports don’t really count). I would hope Nintendo doesn’t do that to Donkey Kong Country and Yoshi.

What do you think of Yoshi’s Woolly World and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze? Do the price drops entice you to buy them? They truly are two wonderful games that everyone should play. The Wii U isn’t an awful console by any means when it has wonderful (forgotten) gems such as these. Let us know in the comments below what you think of these games!

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