Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Discussion and feedback for Playtonic's debut game, platformer adventure game Yooka-Laylee!
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Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby Scrubber » Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:41 pm

Forget the "professional critics" let's leave our own reviews in this thread. When you have completed the game ofcourse.

Include pros, cons, whether or not it was what you expected, personal highlights, a final verdict, a score out of 10 and anything else you want to include.

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby Natsu » Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:52 pm

I don't really believe in numerical scores. It's really hard to use the same metrics for every game experience,especially since the number doesn't change but you as a player will.

I went into YL expecting just another collectathon in the Banjo Kazooie format and I was not disappointed. I'm a huge Rare fan and I absolutely adore BK, BT, DK64, JFG, Blast Corps, Perfect Dark, Conker, KI, DKC series, and let's also throw in SM64. I'm not much of a fan of modern games. I think the only other games in recent years that I fell in love with were Ori and the Blind Forest and Alien: Isolation. I haven't played Shovel Knight or Snake Pass yet but they are on my backlog.

That's just some background so you know if my tastes might align with yours. In terms of Banjo Kazooie specifically, I preferred the larger worlds of Tooie even though I prefer the aesthetics of the original. I guess the collectathon genre can't do anything wrong to me, I love it no matter how much "shameless padding" there is, because that just means more to do and more to explore. I'm also personally the type to never rage at a single player game. I beat "I wanna be the guy" with a straight, calm face the entire time. I pretty much can't get angry at video games.

As for what I thought of YL, I was pleasantly surprised. These worlds are cram-packed with so much variety. Whether that's slot machines, hoop races, wind-based platforming, racing, fighting, puzzle solving, and physics based gauntlets, there's always something new to do. Every pagie is its own story and none of them feel too similar to the other 144. This is great from a replayability standpoint. I've 100%ed YL but I am already very eager to get back in and do it again.

I also like how dynamically you can engage the worlds. This game is a speedrunner's playground. There are all sorts of skips you can do just by being clever about the environment, and it's at times hard to tell what is designed and what isn't. For instance, you can just jump to the first Rextro coin, but is it intended for you to swim to it when you flood that cavern? Are you supposed to clear up the water in world 3 before fighting the boss, or are you supposed to scale the mountains around the D.N.Ray to get there? There are tons of scenarios like that where you can either choose to come back later with better abilities or tough it out and use your skills, I love that. The game really encourages you to explore anywhere and everywhere. In fact, some items like the mysterious skulls are literally out of bounds in the most obscure places.

It took me about 30-35 hours to 100% the game completely blind, but I would say it would take most people longer unless they used walkthroughs. I just had so much passion for this game once I got my feet wet that I didn't mind scouring empty worlds for hours looking for that last quill or skull.

The minigames and puzzles are all over the place in terms of difficulty. Some are made for babies to complete, and some are reminiscent of Super Meat Boy. One Pagie in particular towards the end of the game reminded me of an homage to the Battletoad's Turbo Tunnel. I really loved that, but this may come down to how skilled you are at this genre of game. I have seen people complain about the difficulty of the dark gem area in world 2, or that turbo tunnel, but I personally had zero trouble with the former, and enjoyed learning how to beat the latter. This is Blast Corp.or JFG Floyd mission kinds of stuff. Time trials are a huge staple of Rare games and some of us love them while some gamers hate them.

The soundtrack is much better than I anticipated. Just listening to the world 1 and 2 songs before the game launched left me a little disappointed. But after spending hours in these worlds, the music really started to grow on me. It was easily like this with Banjo games as well. Something about letting the songs sit and marinate in the background makes them much better. There were also some songs that were extremely catchy right off the bat, most notably the boss music. Some of my favorite songs right now are:
-All boss music
-All variations of world 4
-All variations of world 5
-World 3 main theme
-A few Rextro games
-Ending credits
-A few minecart themes

My biggest criticism of this game is that the ending is rather anti-climactic. I won't spoil the story here because I have remained spoiler-free up to this point, but I will say that the ending cutscene just felt like the budget was spent and they had to drop things immediately. I did not expect that ending at all and it was quite a let-down. The final boss fight itself was not particularly fun either. I would say on average it was a better boss fight than Tooie's Hag1, but it doesn't hold a candle to memorable final boss fights like Grunty from BK or Mizar from JFG.

A few other minor nitpicks I have:

-5 worlds isn't quite enough variety, but it's expected from it being a small team with a limited budget.

-I wish the chameleon power items like ice/fire/water/grenade berries or cannonballs were just all over the place rather than in designated areas. It becomes obvious what you need to do when you see honey or a cannonball in a certain place, or water in a certain place. But if there was a huge batch of items in each "nest" then you would not be given the answer so easily.

-The basic spin-attack is quite boring to use. I would have preferred the skirmishes with corplets was a little more interesting. At least a basic rock, paper, scissors system would have been a nice deviation. It would also be nice to be forced to use the environment to kill some enemies. There were times where I rolled golf balls down slopes into enemies to kill them. It would be nice if stuff like that was required in some instances.

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby Yavga » Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:21 pm

My final verdict (shared on Steam as well)

Bottom line: As a 3D platformer it is a great game that will keep you occupied for many hours.

- Controls are really dynamic and easy to use.
- Challenges will test your platforming skills to the n'th degree
- Graphics are really pretty and colorful
- Lighthearted setting
- No long-winded tutorials
- Plenty collectibles
- Great music
- Minigames

Possible Cons:
- Scope of worlds may startle some, they are big and mostly horizontal huge.
- Worlds and main hub may feel like a labyrinth more than a world for some
- Some challenges are downright frustrating (about 2/25 pagies each level)
- Some challenges are jokingly easy
- Some collectables may be very difficult to find
- Character dialogue can be really stupid sometimes
- Minigames

Depending on your expectations from a Banjo Kazooie/Tooie era revival, this game is either one of your favorites or you are left dissapointed and feeling like something is off, the biggest culprit of this being nostalgia.

When putting nostalgia glasses away and looking at this game as a new 3D platformer it is simply one of the best you can get on Steam. Do not expect to be baffled with new mechanics though! It was never really meant to innovate.

As for my own personal opinion as an early backer would be that this game is not exactly what I have hoped for, for me Banjo Kazooie and Banjo Tooie as a kid were always about the experience of exploring, which was really interesting because the environmental variety, the characters, level design, secrets and music were a joy to dive into. Yooka Laylee on the other hand may feel "rushed" and "systematically" approached at times, the worlds do not feel like the fairy tale that past rare games felt like. "There is something missing" There were some very interesting moments but they failed to maintain for me, maybe this is a budget thing? I DID enjoy the game for sure but I feel like more could have been achieved if there was some more world building and if exploring was somehow a little more rewarding... I stumbled upon some great spots only to either not find anything there or being backfired by an invisible wall. In the end it was a quick enjoyable one way trip for me that I probably won't replay very soon.

Stop picking your nose

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby djfuts » Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:59 am

This game does exactly what it says on the tin. Banjo Threeie and the Rare style 3D plat former I have yearned for. There are minor issues but these are outweighed by the fact that this was released in a decent timeframe and delivered its promise to be Banjo Threeie.

9.0/10 for me.

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby Scrubber » Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:41 pm

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby Natsu » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:24 pm

How can you complain about the size of the worlds when they aren't much larger than BT's or DK64's? In fact, you move so much faster than Banjo or the Kongs so it cancels out anyways.
Man, if I had to give this game a numerical score it would be a 9 out of 10. I'm perplexed that a lot of so-called Rare fans are disliking things that are parts of all the other Rare games.

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby yooka-dragon » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:34 pm

Thank you Scrubber !! =D

Exclusive Website on Yooka-Laylee, News rumors and complete wiki and walkthrough on Yooka-Laylee.

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby yooka-dragon » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:38 pm

Exclusive Website on Yooka-Laylee, News rumors and complete wiki and walkthrough on Yooka-Laylee.

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby Yavga » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:41 am

Stop picking your nose

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby PandaLover » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:16 am

-A good variety of tasks and problems to solve to get pagies.
-Tasks were mostly enjoyable.
-Good difficulty being in a place where kids can play but not so easy that adults cant enjoy it.
-Nice graphics
-Good moveset
-Beautiful worlds.
-Decent music.
-Decent amount of content

-Worlds too large. You spend enough time on a world that it starts to become stale after awhile.
-Too few worlds, makes for less variety
-Backtracking caused by Pagies being "locked" behind moves you do not yet have.
-Expansion mechanic is bad, large amount of world is not available to you at the start.
-Lack of story or character development.
-Rextros arcade is worse than AIDs.
-Minecart wasnt anywhere near as fun as it could/should have been.
-The grunting sounds were annoying, wereas they were not annoying in the original BK games.
-Combat is too basic and dull
-Some bosses were not good like on worlds 1/2 and capital B wasnt as good as a final boss should bee.
-Camera wasnt good, mainly because of the automatic camera that would kick in, which was almost always bad.
-Little to no options/customization - could not change my control settings atleast on Xbox.
-Performance slowed down a bit at times, although it was relatively uncommon. Still not good though.

Ill give it a 8/10. I know i listed alot of Cons, but the core gameplay is most important and I enjoyed that for the most part. I am of course a fan of 3d platformers so it is better to me than it would be for most people, I can understand the 7/10 that this game typically gets from reviewers and most gamers.

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby Pgcrooner » Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:18 am

Overall I liked Yooka-Laylee as its own thing however it's not quite the experience I was expecting, which is fine as there is a lot of room to grow. It's not quite 1:1 Banjo-Kazooie but it comes pretty close. It feel more Like a banjo-Kazooie game than Banjo-kazooie:nuts&bolts ever did.

(Xbone version)

-The gameplay feel good. the characters control great

-The graphic are beautiful

-The charm of the Characters and the dialogue is classic B-K

-The music while stylistically different from B-K is very ambient, cinematic, and beautiful

-Plenty of different ways to explore worlds (some which can allow a bit of sequence breaking)

-Unlike Nuts&bolts you feel like you are on an adventure

-Play Tonics modifiers can help with your adventure ( I found the hunter one particularly useful for rare items and lingering quills

-Feels pretty close to a more classic rare title ( I would say rareware circa 2000-2002 at the tail end of it's partnership with ninty)

-Worlds are big and give you lots to explore

-great supporting cast and villains

-Sets up future stories in interesting ways (V.I.L.E)


-Not enough worlds

-Perhaps the worlds can feel TOO big at times and can give the illusion of emptiness.
B-K and particularly B-T did have big worlds but the were somewhat segmented which mad thing less overwhelming and made it easier to balance items, enemies, NPCs,etc.

-The worlds with the exception of 2 feel somewhat bland in design.

everything looks too similar to each other in said worlds and it is easy to get lost in these worlds especially if you are hunting for your last pagie and missing quills.

-Not enough enemy variety.

The base corplet minions get a themed design foe each world which is a nice touch but tother than that it is the same enemies in every world: Corplet Minions, Googly eyes, corplet drones, Corplet bruisers, jellyfish, and security bots. Revisiting the Banjo series will show you that (with a few exceptions) every world had different themed enemies themed to a specific world. This help these far off lands feel lived in and the lack of this in Y-L does make the worlds feel more artificial.

-Not enough world NPCs.

A similar problem Yooka-Laylee has with Banjo-Kazooie: nut&bolts was that supporting and secondary characters appear in every world. Support characters like Trowzer and Dr.Puzz are necessary for moves/transformations but other characters like Rextro,Shovel knight,the knights of hamelot, clara and her pot, and nimbus all make multiple appearances in every world. The game has SOME world themed NPCs in it but not many. Just like with the baddies you need should have a lot of NPCs that appear in these worlds to make them feel lived in. It also help you feel like you are visiting vast far off lands.


The framerate can drop if things get hectic. I was playing it on Xbox one where the problem i hear is the most frequent. I didnt encounter it too much, but it was particularly bad on Rextro's minigames and it interfered with my ability to play those at times. speaking of which...


Rextro's minigames and Karto's challenges can and WILL frustrate some players, just a heads up.

-Story is somewhat weaker than B-K's

The characters motivations for going on the adventure could have been fleshed out more. Essentially their adventure begins due to laylee's greed. Later it mentions that the villains can rewrite reality but it is presented in such a nonchalant way that there doesn't feel like there is any weight to the adventure, that all of reality hinges on the heroes succeeding. You don't feel like the stakes are all that high, though it does tease a future threat. The ending while not bad per se doesn't feel entirely satisfying either.

If you are a fan of 3d open world collect-a-thon games, Banjo-Kazooie, Rareware, you'll likely love this game but also feel as though it missed a few beats. It's still a fun ride from beginning to end and with some improvement it will leave its mark and fill the void left by Banjo-Kazooie.

Last edited by Pgcrooner on Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby thashock » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:58 pm

Having played the BK franchise once when I was younger and now more recently as a way to bond with my 5 year old son. Yooka Laylee has fit the perfect mix of the old N64 platformer with polished graphics and refined controls. The team at playtonic really has created a new origin story with Yooka Laylee which has my son laughing out loud when i read him some of the dialogue. We have been playing roughly a half hour each day from launch and have enjoyed working through the puzzles together and meeting each of the new characters. Well done and look forward to a YL2 on any platform that it could be made available on.

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby Scrubber » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:42 pm

•Beautifully Coloured world's full of life
•Gameplay is very enjoyable, characters control to my satisfaction in the running, rolling, jumping and gliding side of things
•Plenty of collectibles.
•Tonics are a nice addition

•Incredibly bad Story
•Lack of Worlds
•Forgetful Characters
•Samey Dialogue
•Annoying voices
•Kartos and Rextros games are bad.
•Bland repetitive enemies
•Key character's left in the open against our requests
•Npcs recycled
•Poor Bosses
•Lack of Stop n Swop

Booting up the game with incredible excitement I couldn't help being massively underwhelmed with the opening Cutscene and story within. This along with the fact that Yooka and Capital B have the most annoying voices I've ever heard (or so I thought before I met Trowzer) made me feel quite sad. The team have definitely lost their touch in this area (but this was evident with nuts and bolts).
One thing I made clear on this forum since the beginning was my need for a charismatic story brought together by a gripping cinematic cutscene like in the first 2 banjo games. As this was not what they delivered It wasn't the best start.

Getting into the game I quite liked how Yooka and Laylee controled and was looking forward to learning new moves.
The Hubworld is pretty cool and the first world looked great so the team still had 'it' in other areas. Each and every world is great In it's own way. I only wish the world's were smaller and there were more of them. 5 world's isn't enough places to visit before beating the boss.
Now As much as I may like the world's and the simple platforming that takes part there are things in these world's that I cannot stand. I'll start with Rextro, Not only is that music annoying enough to make me avoid the area but the minigames are some of the worst most unpolished and frustrating minigames I've ever played. This needs scrapping for the next game. Sorry Rextro but your gonna need a new roll in the next game. Next would be Kartos. I'm absolutely gutted that this didn't work out. I LOVE a good minecart section (DKC1,2,3,R,TF) but this was done so so wrong. Being able to (badly) alter speed, badly places enemies and hazards, losing too much from a collision and gravity with a mind of its own all contribute to this being a painful experience. Kartos, I don't see you in the next game, see ya.
Now although i enjoyed the majority of the tasks that the NPCs would set me, I can't help but feel empty seeing the same NPCs keep appearing over and over to set me these tasks. It can't be that hard creating a few new characters can it?
Another thing I was sick of the site of? Enemies. There were essentially 3 different enemies in the entire game which sucks. The Corplets appeared in every single level simply wearing a different skin. All with the same sound effects, all with the same attack pattern, all bunched together doing the same old thing. The other 2 enemies are the big fellas that are hard to beat and the wasps. Very unimaginative.

Now let's tackle the Key Npcs. Rextro and Kartos I've expressed my feelings on already. Trowzer, though i like the character design i can't stand his voice so I have to rush through his dialogue. Vendi is a strange one, I like her purpose and love the idea of tonics, I also love how little in game achievements need to be got to unlock the tonics, but the character design is the weirdest thing I've seen. It doesn't resemble a vending machine in the slightest bit. I absolutely want tonics and In game challenges to return but I wouldn't miss Vendi. Dr Puzz is another weird one. I kind of like her but the character design looks stupid. The tentacles that come from under her bowl don't look right at all. I'd like to see what she looked like before her magic spell accident. Also, if the octopuss features are a scientific experiment gone wrong and not her original form then why is she called Dr. Puzz?
Another thing I'd like to discuss regarding NPCs is the fact that they have nowhere to reside and just hang about in the open. The only one that has a decent hang out spot is Rextro. He can be spotted from a distance, the rest cannot. We begged and pleaded on here for them to include homes for the Key NPCs, we were ignored. Several times I have walked right by kartos and Trowzer because they are so hard to spot.

The quizzes were also something I feel were executed wrong. Banjo-Kazooie had a giant board game of death. Banjo-Tooie had a panel game show with weights above your heads. Yooka Laylee has... a plain room with questions given to you in a boring fashion. Not dissimilar to Nuts and Bolts.
The quiz should have been ONE quiz at the end not three identical quizzes in intervals. Having said all that I really like Dr Quack. I hope he plays a bigger role next time.

Bosses were another disappointment in Yooka Laylee. When you compare them to the edge of your seat, sh## your pants bosses in Banjo Tooie you kinda feel very underwhelmed with the bosses here. They seem completely uninspired and would not look out of place in a Mario game.
End boss was also very underwhelming. I felt no fear fighting him like I did with Grunty. Some parts really dragged and when you do beat him the game looks like it glitches back into his office rather than him falling all the way back down there. A very bad transition.

Stop n swop was not implemented or even hinted at so that's gone it seems. Would have been nice seeing as though it's a banjo Kazooie successor.

My verdict is that although the core gameplay is great and the world's look beautiful there is just so much about the game that is rushed and needed much more work. For the next game I suggest the current team work on the core gameplay and the world's but they NEED to bring someone else in to take control of the Story, The Cinematics, the minigames and the minecarts.


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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby Pgcrooner » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:16 pm

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby Brutalikus » Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:09 am

So I'm fairly angry right now because I had a very elaborate review typed up and tried to post it, but the forums forced me to re-login, erasing everything. I really should have saved a draft. :evil:

Anyways, disappointed as I am, I'll see if I can recount all of my thoughts on Yooka Laylee, an overall very enjoyable game.

- The Story -
Like most people, I thought the story left something to be desired as YL's motivation feels fairly weak when compared to other 3D platformers. Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie and Donkey Kong 64 all had very imminent threats of danger pushing the players to feel engaged in the story;

*BK had Grunty personally come down and kidnap the main characters sister with her fate hanging over your head the whole game.
*BT had Grunty actually kill your characters' best friend and a, "Meanwhile..." cutscene established that she was intending to zap the life out of the whole island.
*DK64 had K.Rool kidnap the Kongs and charge a death laser to blow up the whole island, a catastrophic possibility that hung over the whole game for the player, even if Donkey himself didn't know about it.
*Super Mario 64 for that matter had the disappearance of Princess Peach and Bowser taking over the castle to motivate you.

I guess that my point is that YL's story feels very impersonal and it doesn't feel like there is truly danger looming on the horizon. Yes, the game does have you gradually learn more about the nature of Capital B.'s organization and the nature of the magical book to some extent. Having a progression like that can be really good to unravel the mystery as you go, but I would have liked to see Capital B. make the whole matter personal right at the beginning of the game to get you invested as a viewer.

For example, I would have loved to see Capital B's grunt army show up on YL's doorstep and take the book themselves (maybe trashing their home) with Capital B. being present via a floating monitor or something to clearly explain to YL why he is taking the book. This would have established a connection to the main characters and a reason that they should hate him. Even just having Capital B. expose why he wanted that particular book in the opening cutscene would have made that object feel much more important.

That said, I really like how this first game already started creating intrigue for future installments (I'll try to refrain from spoilers). This made it feel more like a prologue to a greater story than a standalone great.

I'd also like to note that I really enjoyed Capital B. and Dr. Quack as villains... though Capital B. especially just lacked that connection to the main characters for most of the game that could have made it a classic rivalry. Capital B.'s boss fight was enjoyable for the most part, but I was slightly put off by how each phase was fairly long and the fight didn't really give accurate feedback to tell the player that they were doing it right (I spent a long time on the first phase, not sure if ground-pounding was even doing anything). As far as Quack goes, his quiz shows would have been fine if they didn't rely on knowledge that some players wouldn't necessarily know (example; the enemy name questions). That gave the impression that Quack's quizzes could potentially unfairly hinder progress to the more exciting parts of the game, which makes me think they could have been better utilized somewhere else in the game.

I'd also like to give a shout-out to the protagonists for how much potential they have if the series progresses. They felt like a mashup of Banjo-Kazooie and Gex (which is a good thing) and I really enjoyed how they took classic moves found in other platformers and gave them a spin that made them feel very much there own. I'm really hoping this game sells well enough to warrant a sequel because I'm already looking forward to their next adventure. :D

- The Expanding World Mechanic -
I personally found the expanding world mechanic to be a stroke of genius! However, I think it could have been implemented a bit more efficiently. I definitely enjoyed having big open worlds to explore, but they were almost TOO big right from the outset. I think it would have been more effective to have the levels start smaller and have 2-4 expansions that add one or two pieces at a time because, as it stands, the levels had a tendency to overwhelm me. That way, you could emphasize every new piece to make them feel more special and significant rather than throwing a ton out at a time and expecting the player to remember where everything is.

On that note, if this mechanic is ever used again, I would suggest having the new pieces' visibly fade into the scene with a magical particle effect when you enter an expanded book to make it clear to the player which parts they should be familiar with and which ones are new. As it stands, you get a glimpse of the new pieces, but since most things look similar in each level, it is really hard to tell what/where everything is and was. Building familiarity over time would probably be a lot more successful than immediately giving the player more than they know what to do with. Then again, some people probably prefer having the less focused nature, so your mileage probably varies on this one.

- Level Designs -
*HUB World: Like everything else I've mentioned, everything taking place in Hivory Towers came with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Thematically, it totally made sense for the majority of the game to take place in this factory-like setting, which in itself had more than its share of cool technology and neat environments. The double-edged sword here is that the HUB world couldn't naturally foreshadow the environments in the primarily nature-based book worlds as effectively as Grunty's Lair or Isle O' Hags from the BK series. I definitely still enjoyed it, but it definitely seemed like it made it harder to differentiate the HUB world environments in meaningful ways.

*Book Levels: Overall, I really liked the 5 levels and their expansiveness despite a little confusion here and there from their immense size. One of the good things about having 25 pagies/level was that it felt like the developers had ample room to explore how much they could do with each level concept. That allowed an interesting mix of having common pagies between each level (Rextro, minecarts, transformations, ghost writers and pagies) while still having plenty of pagies unique to each book's environment.

The hard part to judge is whether or not having 5 big levels to expand is better than the approach that YL's predecessors had. DK64 had 7 core levels, BT had 8 and BK had 9, so really this transition from more numerous smaller levels to fewer big ones is neither new not that different from what we've seen in years past. I guess the biggest challenge each of YL's levels has is making a connection to the player because regardless of whether or not you like each level, you are probably going to spend a lot of time there. Banjo-Kazooie was much more forgiving as if you didn't like one level, there were still eight others that you probably did like. Having 9 levels also gave Banjo-Kazooie to really diversify the level selections, which was a luxury that only goes so far with any fewer.

*Another thing I probably should have mentioned earlier is that being based around the book theme, I wish Yooka Laylee would have done more to make the book environments feel like they were in books. Most of the supporting cast can apparently travel from one book world to another, which is fine, though I would have liked to see each book get a set of characters that treated the book environments as if they were the edge of their universe. I remember watching old Gumby cartoons where Gumby would travel into a book world and the characters were seemingly unaware that they existed within a book. Star Trek: The Next Generation had a handful of holodeck episodes too where the crew inserted themselves into a story that ran with no knowledge that they were fictional characters in the Star Trek universe. I wish YL would have made the book world seem more like that to help the immersion factor. Not that it matters, but it would also have been cool if the story of Yooka Laylee was implied in the opening cutscene to all exist within a book to bring the whole concept full-circle, complete with a narrator like the one in the opening cutscene for Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.

- Side Characters and Mini Games -
*sigh* I know a lot of people have been attacking the Rextro arcade games and Kartos sections and sadly, to some extent I have to agree. I generally didn't have a problem with Rextro, though it is easy to understand why hiding essential collectibles like pagies in his games made people angry. By diverting the game play into a new set of controls that the player may or may not like for these arcade games, you're bound to give at least some people a frustrating experience. This is why I kinda wish that Rextro would have given away play tonics instead for beating his game... or maybe unlockable multiplayer characters or something. You know, something where his arcade games didn't feel required, but also rewarded those who enjoyed or were otherwise willing to play Rextro's game with something that wasn't completely necessary.

Kartos was the one that did frustrate me, particularly in Capital Cashino. The sad thing is that the Kartos minigame problem probably could be solved by mapping the boost button to a different button instead of forward on the joystick. Because it is mapped to the forward joystick, there was a lot of times where I unintentionally triggered the boost and got them killed. Mapping the boost to a different button could have made it so that you'd have to deliberately trigger it. I like Kartos as a character and I do think the minigames could be polished up later in the series to make players not hate them (at least as much.)

On the more positive side, I want to give props to the creative re-imagining of level-based transformations for this game. The transformations were slightly difficult to control at times, but they were very inventive and kept me intrigued to find what the next one would be. While I'm generally fine with the 5-level format, it did feel like the transformation mechanic was one that got stunted right as it was getting good because the game was already over.

Another character that I thoroughly enjoyed was Trowser on account of him feeling(insert innuendos here) like he had the most personality of all the supporting cast. He was very much like the Mumbo or Bottles of this game and I expect that we'll see him again eventually.

On the additional supporting cast, I really liked the Knights of Hamelot, Shovel Knight, Clara and Duke (though he only appeared once). Most of them showed up 2-3 times, which was perfect as they were kind of second-string NPC's that didn't need to be in every level and actually made me fonder of them. They were like the Gobi of this game. Like the transformations, I was just disappointed by the fact that my adventures with them were already over by the time I got to the last level.

- Collectibles -
I really liked the character of the pagies. They had a lot more personality than just about every other collectable ever which led to some genuinely funny situations later in the game.

On the subject of the quills, I don't think they did a very good job leading the players and felt like they were more scattered than the pagies on most occasions. If there is a next time, I'd prefer that the quills spend more time leading you to areas of interest because it took considerably more effort to find missing quills then it did to find the primary collectible, pagies.

- Final Thoughts: That response was long-winded. I hope my criticisms and desires for the series came off well because I wouldn't type a response this long twice in a row if I didn't care. It's hard to articulate just how I feel about Yooka Laylee because it isn't Banjo-Kazooie, which isn't a bad thing at all, but those are big shoes to fill/be-compared-to regardless. Overall, I really enjoyed Yooka Laylee to the point where I already want to play it a second time. On a personal level, Yooka Laylee has also helped me understand what the Unity engine is capable of as I am pursuing a game development career... seeing what Playtonic accomplished here has helped me realize what I might be able to achieve with the tools within my grasp.

I'm hoping this is the start of a bright future for the Yooka Laylee series. I have every confidence that the series will only get better from here and if a Two-ka Laylee is ever announced, you can bet I'll be looking forward to it.

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby Pgcrooner » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:08 am

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby FailureFactory » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:58 am

Yooka-Laylee left me a tad disappointed. The game lacks polish and generally appears like it's only half finished. Things that contribute to this sentiment are the lack of variety in enemy and other npc characters, the small number of levels, and the fact that some levels are basically the same assets plastered all over the place. World 1 and 2 are especially guilty of this, and luckily it gets better over the course of the game. Furthermore, the game lacks a lot of the options and rewards previous Rare titles made me expect. Neither can you replay previously beat bosses or kart sections, nor can you skip dialogue and cutscenes, not even those you already saw. There is no noteworthy reward for beating the game 100%, and the story itself ends with an anticlimactic cliffhanger and a promise for another game instead of an actual ending. Also, there are bugs which you shouldn't have to deal with in a finished game.

Besides this major point of critizism, there are secondary issues I had. In line with their levels, the first two bosses of the game are much worse designs than the rest. Kart sections are basically another type of collecting minigame and are hardly different from Rextro's, conceptually. Talking about minigames, some had relatively poor controls, most noticeably Hurdle Hijinx and, as an in-the-main-game example, a slide section in the HUB. You cannot restart minigames either, and have to beat each of Rextro's twice, even if you already fulfilled the requirements for the second on the first try. As a last note, there are often situations where it's hard to impossible to see which move you are supposed to use. Glass and ice can hardly be told apart, and even glass itself can be destroyed by only one of two moves depending on nothing but the designers intent for the specific instance.
Obviously it's not all bad. The game has bosses, nice music, creative moves and is far less redundant than e.g. the collection of bananas in DK64. It's the lack of variety however that's a dealbreaker to me. Being a Unity developer myself, I know that creating assets takes time, but variety really is what makes a game feel alive in the first place, imo. Maybe they should have expanded their team a little more?
Last edited by FailureFactory on Thu May 04, 2017 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby Pang_Tong » Wed May 03, 2017 7:22 pm

I recently just completed the game and honestly, I didn't find it that fun. The game is well-made, but it just felt like I was going through the motions rather than actually enjoying the gameplay and challenges. Although the points I make here are mostly negative, overall the game is still a somewhat enjoyable experience. I'm just hoping that Playtonic can maybe use some of these criticisms to improve on the design for updates or a potential sequel.

Firstly, the worlds are way too big. You could easily shrink them by 50-70% and still comfortably fit all the game's actual challenge content in them. And even though there's lots of collectibles, they are still very spread out because the worlds are so big. You'll often jump into a hidden or high place which feels like it should have a special item, only for it to have a single quill or, more often, nothing at all. The game actually has a lot less to do than its size suggests, simply because the worlds are so overinflated. Getting the last missing collectibles in a world can be an absolute nightmare even with the Hunter tonic, because there's just so much ground to cover.

The backtracking is also annoying. I didn't mind it back in Tooie because the worlds connected to each other, and most stuff was still obtainable without backtracking. There are loads of points in the game where you are prevented from getting or doing something that's right in front of you because you need an ability from a later level. Of course, the game doesn't tell you this, so you'll often end up wasting time trying many different things to overcome an obstacle you have no hope of clearing. The world expansion mechanic also feels like a cheap way of extending the game's assets and preventing you from getting everything in a single visit. I think the game would have been greatly improved if there were a larger number of small worlds, rather than a small number of massive worlds.

On the other side of the coin, if you hold back on completing challenges until you progress far enough to unlock the flight move, you can trivialize a huge amount of the game's intended platforming by simply flying over it. Unlike the Banjo games, there's no restrictions as to where or when you can fly. For a game billed as a platformer this feels like a pretty big oversight.

The puzzle/platforming challenges are either ridiculously simple, or frustrating due to poor/restricted controls, particularly the minecart sections. It feels downright unfair at times, when you take damage or fail a challenge only because your character didn't move the way you wanted him to, or because you wanted to do something but could not for arbitrary reasons. Turning capabilities while flying, rolling or in certain transformations and minigames are poor, which is extremely frustrating when the game expects you to deftly avoid a ton of incoming attacks/obstacles or turn around on a dime. There are lots of little controls issues like this which can add up to a lot of frustration.

There are also multiple combat sections where you'll end up taking damage just for trying to do what the fight wants you to do. You'll set an enemy on fire, but then take damage from the fire you just set. You'll hit an enemy with a sonar ring so it can be damaged, only for its spikes to regenerate just as you go to attack it, causing you to take damage. You'll attack an enemy/boss, and then as part of its pattern it will move, only for it to randomly move right through you, causing you to take damage. All these are very annoying and bad game design.

The rules of the game are not always clear or consistent. Some openings (such as pipes) can be entered, while others cannot. There are multiple challenges which require you to break cracked glass, but even though there are multiple moves which do this, only the intended one ever works. This results in silly situations where instead of intuitively being able to overcome obstacles, you instead just throw out your entire repetoire of moves until you land on the correct answer. Some steep surfaces will make you slip, some won't, even ones with similar textures. Some are super-slippy and also require the sticky honey buff to traverse, but again it's not clear which surfaces do this until you actually test it for yourself.

How do you think you are meant to traverse this slope?:
Walk right up it? Well, actually this is actually a supper-slippy slope and you need the sticky honey effect to even roll up it.
How about this slope?:
As it turns out, this slope has no slip effect at all and you can walk up and down it normally. It just doesn't really make intuitive sense.

This sort of thing can be particularly annoying if you accidentally stand on a slippery surface, because you can't do ANYTHING while sliding. You can't jump or roll up (to try and stop sliding) or anything else, until you hit the bottom and finish sliding. All you can do is move side-to-side and brake/accelerate. This is obviously so that sliding challenges can't be easily cheesed, or so you can't simply jump up slippery surfaces that you're supposed to use a special move for, but it means that if for whatever reason you stand on a slippery surface that you should have rolled on, you have no recourse but to wait for yooka to hit the bottom of the slope, which sometimes results in you falling straight into a damage/death pit. All control is effectively taken away from you, and it sucks.

The game sometimes forgets to inform the player of useful information such as auxilliary controls or special functions of moves. For example you're never told you can hold RT to cancel a transformation without having to return to the transformation pad. You're never told that Yooka can redirect light/lasers by crouching while invisible, and this ability is required for several challenges.

The power bar system is a good idea, and it beats having loads of different collectibles for every type of special ability like in the Banjo games. I especially like that there's only one real non-collectible pickup (butterflies), which restores either health or power depending on how you collect it. Although since they are quite small and flap around, it can be hard picking them up when you need it most. However it is annoying when you need to use a power frequently and there are no butterflies to pick up, so you just have to wait for the power bar to start regenerating on its own, which takes several seconds. This isn't a big deal most of the time, but causes a huge issue on the final boss.

The final boss is a long, multiple phase fight. In the very last phase you have to redirect homing missiles he shoots at you by using the flight move to make them fly into the boss. Not only does the flight move cost power, but everything you can possibly do to avoid these missiles (such as rolling or using the invincibility move) also costs power, which will stop it from regenerating. If you don't use any of these moves, the missiles WILL catch up with you and damage you. There are absolutely NO butterfly power pickups for the whole boss fight, so once you've used up your power on flying, you have to wait for it to regenerate. The problem is that the game doesn't give you enough time for your power to regenerate before the next set of missiles will hit you, so you have NO choice but to take damage, so that you can regenerate enough power to attack the boss again. If you end up dying, you get thrown all the way back to the start of the fight and have to do the whole thing again. It's an extremely frustrating design oversight.

The game is put together quite well, but it lacks polish. Even simple things like the lack of a victory dance/jingle for picking up a pagie, or how some pagies don't even appear in the world to pick up and are simply added directly to your pagie count, make an overall big impact on the general feel and enjoyability of the game. When I saw the Archive room in the hub with the brightly lit empty corners, I thought maybe there would be some kind of trophies that appeared there when you 100% completed certain worlds, but it ended up just being part of the room.

There's also lots of little QoL issues which could have been avoided if there had been just a little more attention to detail. Like how when you view the totals screen, instead of showing the totals for the world you're currently in, it opens at the start of the list, and you have to scroll through all the other worlds to get to the one you want. Or how you have to beat all of Rextro's arcade games twice to get both pagies, even if you fulfilled the conditions for the second pagie (getting the high score) on your first attempt. There's some dialogue and cutscenes which can't be skipped, even if you've seen them before. Many of the game's extra features such as the minecart levels, quiz segments, arcade games and transformations feel tacked on and barebones, like they were just checking off boxes on their list of stretch goals rather than fleshing them out and trying to integrate them into a seamless whole.

As meager as the story and characterization usually are in these games, in Yooka-Laylee it's almost nonexistent, so it's hard to really appreciate the various characters despite plenty of classic Rare humour. The game also ends on an unsatisfying sort of cliffhanger while strongly implying a sequel instead of just having a proper ending.

Kirkhope's music for the game sounds like a more slow, depressed retread of the Banjo games' music, and lacks the upbeat flair and lively, memorable melodies of the N64 originals. Compare Glitterglaze Glacier to Freezeezy Peak:
Or Moodymaze Marsh to Bubblegloop Swamp:
David Wise's contribution to the game is a treat as expected (although strongly reminiscent of his work on Tropical Freeze), but sadly his tracks show up comparatively much less often, being reserved only for short challenges and bosses.

The basic platforming is still decent, and the variety of moves is good. The game is virtually bug free and clearly a lot of work and thought was put into the design of the worlds and challenges. But the game just feels like it lacks the same detail and passion of the Banjo games and even DK64. All-in-all, it feels more like a showcase of classic 3D platforming tropes rather than a cohesive experience, as if it's trying to say "remember this sort of thing?" (and to be fair, that was kinda the original point of the game). I hope if they ever do a sequel they can work on some of the issues.

Overall, 3/5 stars. It's not bad, but also not really good.

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby Flo13 » Thu May 04, 2017 7:56 pm

I honestly believe this game is great! I am a HUGE fan of the BK series and I still play them today. I definitely give this game a 8/10. However, there are some pros and cons.

- Great design of characters
- Love the feel and noises of the characters (classic)
- Colouring and visually appealing (worlds)

- Worlds are WAY too big
- Poor story line (needs to be a bit stronger)
- obvious camera controls (but to be expected)

Another note that I would like to add, is what I really enjoyed throughout the BK series is that every world intertwined with each other. There was a SOLID fluidity between them, I would LOVE to see that brought back.

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby bobthegiraffemonkey » Sun May 07, 2017 2:35 pm

It's taken me a while to get through most of the game since I don't have much free time, but it's nice for chilling out a little at the end of the day. Most of what I think has been said already, so I'll focus on the points I feel most strongly about that haven't been done to death (from what I've seen anyway). I mostly had fun, but I do have a few criticisms. It might be relevant to note that I backed day 1.

-Expandable worlds seems like a really good idea in theory, but was very underwhelming in practice. The Nimbo/riverbed thing was hyped up a lot before release to show how the expansion would affect the world. Not only is it pretty much the only real interaction between the pre- and post-expanded worlds, there is only one collectable from it: the ice race which we already knew about. The ice has no other purpose, and the rain has no use at all. I'd like to see expandable worlds in the future, but only if it actually does something exciting and useful. Also, taking some effort to get to where post-expansion content is to find nothing there is very disappointing and bad level design; if there's nothing to do there yet then shut it off completely or people are just wasting their time getting there.

-Pirate treasure is a terrible collectable. I'm honestly surprised I've not seen this mentioned before. If I've done everything else, it seems I'm "supposed" to go find the remaining treasure, but there's a few issues with that. Basically, I need to search through a barren level (everything else has been done) to look for something which I might have already collected and forgetten about (it's not on the totals screen), the hunter tonic apparently doesn't help any, and once I have it I can't use it for anything. It actually seems like a bad idea to spend time looking, and right now I don't plan to. It's strange, since Playtonic hammered home the idea of designing collectables well, which leads on to my last point ...

-Collectables were supposed to be useful, but it seems you end the game with loads of pagies and quills to spare, and they are therefore kinda useless. Maybe they help unlock a tonic or something, I've not checked, but the motivation for doing it could be better. I was always going to go for collecting them all anyway, but that's not the point. BK did this better, with extra stuff to unlock at the end if you had more collectables (larger ammo capacity, more health), and I really feel that YL should have had something similar.

Rating: 8/10. Good game, but definitely fell short of its potential in a few ways, and had some questionable design choices sometimes. I also disappointed to say that I don't think it's better than BK, which it should have been, so hopefully the sequel gets it right.

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