Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

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

Postby GigiFusc » Mon May 08, 2017 2:20 pm

Ok, so I’m about 3 to 4 hours in. I’ve opened up the first level (Tribal) and have made a start on level 2 (Ice).

I’m enjoying it, so that’s good. It’s definitely a game that gives you what it states on the tin. And I think that might be the problem as to why a decent number of reviews have been negative. I described YL to my friends as basically an N64 game with HD graphics. There is no evolution of the genre, no new mechanics, no new features. If there was a mod to change the two main characters into Banjo Kazooie, I reckon I could easily convince someone that this was an unreleased N64 BK3 rom enhanced with emulator filters.

Anyway, I’m going to focus on the things I don’t like rather than the things I do mostly because they are the things that I would like to see either fixed or done better in a YL sequel. Besides, I like the base premise of running around, exploring and collecting stuff, so there’s not much to say about that tbh other than, good job! 
For me, the major problems with YL are it’s characters, pacing, story and by extension, the motivations that are given to the player.
Yooka is decent enough as a character. I don’t dislike him in any way (other than his voice which is quite irritating). But then, I’m not sure I have any feelings towards him. He’s no Banjo, that’s for sure. I loved banjo. He looked funny, he was quirky, he walked and ran in a funny way and he was generally just a really likeable player character. Yooka is just the character I control in the game and not much more. I first clocked this about him when I saw the original concept art and I did think at that time that maybe he wasn’t strong enough and as it turns out, for me at least, he isn’t.

Laylee fairs slightly better for me. I like the look of her and think she’s a really good side kick. She doesn’t do quite enough for me as Kazooie did for Banjo, but that might change as I unlock more abilities. Regardless, I’m quite happy with her.

Capital B. Erm. Ok. Let’s just lay it on the line. I don’t like him. I haven’t liked him since the first moment I saw him. He’s a really weak, cheap knock off character and he has no interest for me. He just reminds me way too much of Gru from Despicable me and I can’t get over that. He’s not a candle to Grunty who was an awesome main bad gal.

Trowzer. Yeh, he’s good. I like him. I wish he had more animations and I wish he was a bit more engaging – I don’t like that he sells you abilities, I would have preferred him to teach them to you like Bottles did but that’s a design thing. As a character, like.

Although I like the look of Dr Quack, he again feels like a cheap knock off of Grunty from Nuts ‘n Bolts meets Daffy Duck. I’m ok with him, but again, just wish he was more engaging than he is.

So, the characters are a mixed bag in general. But one thing that isn’t helping them is their dialogue as a direct result of the weak storyline. In BK, it’s a clichéd but very clear plot – Banjo’s sister gets kidnapped by Grunty and you have to rescue her. Whilst I’m not advocating a repeat of that plot (although tbh, I wouldn’t have minded) the plot here is pretty bland and uninteresting. You have to run around the offices of Captial B’s business in order to stop him sucking in the worlds books. It’s not personal, it’s not that relevant, it’s not very relatable and frankly, I’m not sure I really care. This weak plot has major knock on effects. It means that many of the characters you meet don’t really have much interesting to say as they can’t really motivate you much. It also means that you are in the Capital B’s offices and this jars with the notion of different themed levels. So whilst you’re jumping into the books to access the levels, there is no real relevance there. You don’t know what the book is, the concept of that book plays no part other than as a portal. I wish they had thought more about this story theme. It would have been great to work my way through this office/factory, finding books, entering the stories, meeting the characters and solving/playing through the narrative in order to reach the ending and ‘save’ it. But, none of that context is offered so again, there’s very little motivation – I’m just entering a differently themed level, fighting slightly different versions of the base enemies, collecting gold quills and pagies that have nothing to do with the book I’ve jumped into.

There just doesn’t seem much of a point to anything and I think this is the games’ biggest flaw – the gameplay is to collect gold quills and rescue pagies and really, the only motivation is your desire to collect gold quills and rescue pagies for no reason other than they’re there. This is highlighted by the way in which the game lacks well designed pacing to how you come across characters and challenges – they are literally there, in-your-face, from the minute you enter the game. I think within 5 minutes of starting I met a character who just told me to do something. No reason why, just do it. Then I met a retro coin op character who wanted me to play his coin op. No reason why, just play it. These characters and their challenges had no pacing and the fact this was the beginning of the game jarred with their lack of context (had they been met later, I think that would have been fine).

All in all, I’ll keep playing and maybe some of the things I’m not enjoying will get better. We’ll see. I intend to update this review as I get further into the game.

Regards Y’all!

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Matt Rogers
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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby Matt Rogers » Mon May 22, 2017 8:24 pm

Hey guys, just posted a Video Review for Yooka-Laylee on my YouTube Channel and thought it might be appropriate to share on this thread. Love the game and would be interested in hearing some feedback in regards to what anyone thinks of my analysis.

PRESENTATION - The best thing Yooka-Laylee has going for it is nostalgia. Vibrant worlds and fun characters reminds the average player of how much we love classic platformers, but you can have too much of a good thing. The gibberish dialogue does become annoying, but it somehow manages to at times be acceptable by implementing a number of pop-culture references and the occasional bits of adult humor.

CREATIVITY - 100% of your game progress is based off of collectibles, which in theory sounds boring, but in reality takes advantage of a lot of gameplay features that make exploring each of the 5 worlds and winning your occasional boss fight loads of fun.

LONGEVITY - I did run into a huge problem after defeating Capital B when realizing there's absolutely no "end-game." However, considering the fact that i spent over 36 hours to complete it, in comparison to your average 8 hour campaign, that's pretty impressive.

FINAL SCORE - See video for details

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Re: Your PERSONAL Yooka-Laylee reviews

Postby KingAlex » Sun May 28, 2017 4:25 pm

My background:

I casually speedrun games including Kazooie/Tooie. I've held WRs in other games such as Mario Kart Wii. Over the years I've become very good at games and quickly adapting to them. I generally never listen to "critic" reviews before trying games as most critics have ridiculous opinions and are simply just bad at games to begin with. But for some reason, I did for YL. And once again, they were wrong.


Let me just start by saying thank you Playtonic. I thoroughly enjoyed the game and it brought back a ton of great memories. I beat the game 100% without a guide and will likely play it again in the future. Some thoughts (good and bad) from an actual gamer:

Worlds: great, all 5. Critic reviews stated something like "there's only 5 levels and one of them is a casino, so that means right away only 80% of the levels MIGHT be good." The casino ended up being one of my favourite levels. Though I'd have preferred more variety, the expansion idea was kind of cool and a good new twist.

Collectables: unique and a good variety. I enjoyed the fact that each ghost had to be caught differently. I wish the pirate treasure had some immediate use but I guess we'll see its purpose in the future. Some pirate treasure was a bit too hard to find. I mean, the worlds were massive and you could literally jump on/fly to almost anything.

Gameplay/Controls: very good, lots of freedom. I enjoyed the fact that you could jump on SO many things (rocks slightly sticking out, weird angles, etc.)

Move set: very good. I was skeptical of the flying move at first as it devalued the need to search for collectables by foot, scale obstacles to reach rare items, made some challenges MUCH easier, etc., but the convenience grew on me. I think they should've released it a bit closer to the end of the game in terms of total progress, but all-in-all, I enjoyed the variety of moves.

Tonics: were a very good inclusion. At first I liked the fact that you could only equip one at a time and you had to chose what you preferred most without making yourself too OP, but later I realized the majority of tonics were very useless. I really only ever used the "hunter" and "pants".

Pause menu: I like to check my progress frequently and when you pause, it should automatically pull up the stats for the level you are CURRENTLY in. I really shouldn't have to constantly scroll to the right.

Camera: was NOT an issue for me after my first five minutes of gameplay. I actually thought it was quite good.

Music: good, not great. A lot of tracks tended to be very generic, uninspired, and not memorable at all, unlike BK/BT tracks.

Characters: some good, some bad. No real complaints. Character voices were fun and not annoying at all. Some people found them annoying? The fk? Did you even play BK/BT with the sound on?

Challenges: many were FAR too easy. I understand BK/BT had easy challenges but some of these in YL were beyond easy. Many Pagies were handed out like candy. Kartos challenges were frustrating at first but by the end were cake walks. Rextro challenges ranged from very easy to actually kind of challenging. However, not a single Rextro game was actually fun. Some were quite awful.

Quizzes: a good idea but were a bit too easy. Also, the animations/dialogue during them were slow/frustrating AF

Costs: move and book expansions cost far too little. When buying moves & expansions I always had way more than required with nothing else to spend my extra quills/pagies on.

Returning to levels: I disliked the idea and needing to return to levels with new moves in BT and disliked it in YL. Knowing BT, I was able to immediately recognize in YL when a challenge would need a new move to complete it. MANY gamers would not be able to recognize this and would get frustrated trying to complete these challenges early on. I also don't like to write things down and it stressed me trying to remember all these challenges that I needed to return to some days/weeks later when I had time to play again.

Story: was a bit lackluster, cutscene/conclusion after defeating the final boss was lame (and the music never changed when it transitioned from the final blow to the final cutscene, I had no idea if the fight was actually over or not), final party cutscene was not hype at all. However, the gameplay more than made up for the flat story. The credit roll was cool and it was cool of Playtonic to mention all their backers.

Overall: 9/10

I gave a lot of negative feedback but they were all minor problems. The gameplay, nostalgia, and overall experience greatly outweighed them. Looking forward to YL2!

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