Do the devs still check this topic? Or topics on this forum in general?
I have no idea if Playtonic will read this message and given they already helped me with my problems due to BackerKit allowing me to play the game despite the freaky difficulties I ran into, I wouldn't be upset if they never did notice this message.
Some of these are variations on already discussed ones. Others are new ones. I'll class them by how difficult I believe they would be to implement.
Points about late game elements will be in spoiler tags, out of respect to fellow fans who did not beat the game yet.
-Idle animations. While those we got were nice and the Emotes is an absolutely fantastic idea, the game lack a low HP idle animation (which can affect gameplay negatively) and doesn't have enough idle animations in particular. Given they help give life to the characters and in the case of the low HP animation, has gameplay uses, I think it might be worthwhile to think about more of them.
-Exploit fixes. There's many obstacles that can be cheesed in ways that I bet weren't intended, such as the railings in Shipwreck Creek's slope not being slippery like the slope itself, allowing players to skip a small part of the stage. This is a minor point but such exploits are plentiful and end up making a lot of the game's obstacles cheeseable in ways that are kind of jarring.
-New Game + and/or selecting a Tonic at game start. Given Tonics are unlocked universally among all files, I think it would be nice if you weren't forced to wait until the middle of World 1 to use those that you have already unlocked.
-Make combo attacks actually do more damage or ignore invincibility frames on most foes. Combo attacks are difficult to execute but flashy, with a longer range. That is good. Except they don't deal more damage. Given the timing is quite tricky, this give little incentive to use them.
-Skip dialogue function. Note that I'm apparently in the minority who enjoyed the game's story despite its shortcomings... but even taking this into account, having to mash A to get through long conversations I already saw isn't much fun. So I think that if this isn't your first time viewing a cutscene or boss intro, that you should be able to skip it. Hopefully, the game is designed in a way that adding such a function wouldn't add crashes.
-When viewing totals in the pause screen, have it default to the totals of whatever world you are currently in instead of the game's totals. I feel it would save time when exploring worlds and making sure you have everything.
-Have a manual saving option. Seriously, I know it sounds like a nitpick but I like being able to save whenever I want instead of relying on the auto-save exclusively.
-A Game Over animation when quitting the game. Seriously, the elaborate game over animation of the games that inspired Yooka-Laylee was one of their most memorable aspects. If lives are implemented as an option in some manner, have variations based on the method by which the player lose would be a very nice touch (and add an incentive to experiment ; many players will experiment with failure to see how many game over sequences there are, especially if they're humorous and/or very elaborate).
-I'd like to see more dialogue. Not more jokes but rather, dialogue. Yooka and Laylee do have some neat differences compared to their inspiration source but those differences do not show enough because almost all of the dialogue is jokes and jokes that don't allow them to shine at that.
-I actually like the Yooka-Laylee setting and the idea of basing it off books, rewriting, and general genre crossing is incredibly fascinating. It's also not used well enough by far. While a complete rewrite is not a realistic idea, I do think that getting more cutscenes to flesh out the conflict and characters would be good. In particular, I'd like to see Capital B's reactions when you unlock each World for the first time or having Yooka and Laylee commenting on the events when you enter new sections of the Hivory Towers for the first time.
-A proper Hard Mode. The Butterthree tonic is a start but reducing player HP alone is lame, ultimately. It's better than nothing but I think that having more (and faster) enemies and bosses, having increased fall damage (no longer capped to 3), having butterflies no longer spawn when beating enemies (and potentially not respawn unless you leave a World altogether or die), and other such changes would go a long way.
-A lives system. Don't start booing yet! Notably, make it optional. Have the option to use extra lives or not so that players who want an old-school challenge can use it while those who think that they're "relics from arcade days" can do without.
-General improvements to enemies. In particular, I think that Corplets could become more aggressive as the game progress and/or occasionaly get projectile attacks. Corplet Punishers, in particular, need more than just one attack. Having enemies change more than just visually between worlds would help a lot in preventing the enemy line-up from growing stale.
-Buffed World 2 boss. Why do he have only one attack? He could use some variation in his pattern, other than just in his movement. This is a shame given how fantastic the level he is in, as a whole.
-On the lives system... one of my ideas was for a hybrid system. Namely, when you first hit zero, you get a game over... but you can choose to ignore it and keep playing with your lives going into the negative. From this point on, so long as your lives are in the negative, Yooka and Laylee will be "in debt", causing a grim reaper-like character to spawn at respawn points, complaining about his job and voicing his dislike of the duo.
At any point, the player may choose to actually have a game over, which will wipe the debt. So what's the effect of the debt? Well... if you clear the game while in debt, it will add an extra scene during the ending with the grim reaper still hounding the duo and trying them to repay their debt, preventing them from enjoying their vacation.
Basically, the point is that it play on the "optional" point from my simpler suggestion, give a chance for game over animations to be in, and has an effect (namely, on the ending) without actually forcing backtracking/gameplay repetition in the game proper. It also add an extra NPC who could be a source of humor, being an opportunity to mock the concept of death in video games or how modern players are so allergic to failure in gaming nowadays.
-It is really silly that Laylee's echolocation can't be used to find one's way in the dark given this is the big feature of bats' echolocation in real life (and as a whole in fiction too). So I think it would be nice if either the sonar could be used to do just that, instead of having to rely on Yooka glowing... or if the game included dialogue mocking the fact that Laylee, despite being a bat, can't find her way through dark areas using echolocation (may be followed by Laylee countering Yooka's comments on her echolocation by mocking him for being unable to swap colors without being told to despite this being the chameleon's species big famous ability).
Overall, I am unsure if this will be read or if any of my ideas sound good (given they were not repeated a thousand times) but well, I decided I might as well share them.