Alright, I'm afraid I'll have to chime in on some of the criticism on YL.
- First of all, I expected them to learn from the mistakes in DK64. The levels there were huge, often monotonous and confusing. I love BK because its levels, while smaller, have a lot of variety. YL didn't learn. They made huge, often monotonous and confusing levels like in DK64.
- What makes this worse is that they ran out of steam halfway through and so we got stuck with only 5 of them. Man, the same effort could have given us about 8 unique worlds, but no, they tried to go DK64 and didn't make it.
- Oh, and did I mention that the assets (like rocks) often feel arbitrarily/randomly placed because while an area might be hard to reach, there'll often be absolutely no reward there? This adds to the feeling of the worlds being "empty" a lot.
- Fourth, Rextro. People often defend the game as being not a platformer, but a "collectathon". Yeah, well, "platformer" is what it said on their kickstarter page. Those minigames leave a bad taste in my mouth. It doesn't help that most are not that greatly implemented, either, or that you necessarily HAVE to play them to finish the game.
- The bosses are worse than in BT or DK64, though of course BK didn't even have bosses for each level (though honestly, some of the bigger baddies in BK make at least as good bosses as the first two of YL). I really enjoyed the boss of MMM, and it was practically my main highlight of the game. Ranpo on the other hand is just awful, with the camera, the fact you might hit more than one log on your way down, and of course...
- The awful controls for some of the moves. Seriously, reptile roll, flying, the snow plow... Also, there were challenges about pushing a ball to a target, which will never go where you want it. Or that one timed slope challenge at the cliff in the hub, where you barely controlled anything. Just terrible.
- Returning to the boss topic, how come you can play Rextro's games from the main menu, but not the bosses?
- Another one? Unskippable dialogue/cutscenes. Maybe I just didn't find a way to do it, but I read the same dialogue between Dr Quack and Capital B about five times during the final battle. Just why?
-Minecarts have been a letdown. I'm not actually such a fan of DK64 (as you probably figured out by now), and even if I was, I'd still prefer the original DKC series minecart sections to DK64's. Retro Studios did some things to the DKC series I can't agree to wehen reviving the franchise, but damn did they nail the minecart sections. They were easy to control, but challenging because every mistake meant death (or half-death) and because you had to react fast. In YL, you have too many controls, and quick reactions are basically useless. You have to go slow, or speed up, and if you do the latter, don't hope to react fast enough. You basically have to already know the track. And then it's not about making it through, but about collecting these annoying gems. Did I get hit? Who cares? The thrill of evading pits and dangers is lost, and kartos becomes another minigame host.
- Bugs! In the casino, for example. Even with a walkthrough, I can't find the last Casino Token. And believe me, I collected every single banana (not only gold bananas, I'm talking the five colored ones for every monkey) in DK64. I know how to look for stuff.
- The move system. Well, some people might like this, but personally I found it sad to have only one Trowzer to find per stage, and then be able to just buy all of the moves at once. And related...
- The interaction logic. In the sense that ice blocks and glass blocks look so similar that, if other people hadn't already mentioned glass blocks, I wouldn't even be sure there are two kinds of blocks. And glass windows can at least once be broken with Sonar 'splosion, but at other times HAVE TO be destroyed with Reptile Rush. But there is no way to tell except trying, and if you - like me - encountered a glass window BEFORE learning Reptile Rush even existed, you'll attempt to break it countless times with Sonar 'splosion, just to wonder what the heck you're doing wrong.
I think that YL took a lot less time to create than the other games, and I don't exactly know the budget or team size, so I'll give it a little bonus. It still can't keep up, for even DK64, which I liked least of the classic N64 games, had a lot of great moments. YL has only a handfull. That's not enough.