To me, Yooka-Laylee feels more like DK64 than the banjo games.
The worlds are needlessly big and since there's no warp pads, you easily get lost. Some challenges, like in DK64, are repetitive and really hard to do (Rextro's games and highscores). I prefer the kind of challenges in banjo games like ''find what is wrong with my three dinosaurs'' or ''hatch those eggs''. Sure, I get that some people didn't like the backtracking in Banjo-Tooie, but to me, the puzzles in that one were the best because you had just that much possibility. Also, the transformations were used for more than one task, and it was also different every level. I would honestly have preferred smaller but more levels. Comparing a level like Glittergaze Glacier to Terrydactyland, Hailfire Peaks or even Grunty Industries feel disappointing.
I know it feels like I'm shitting on the game, but I'm really not. I'm almost done 100% it and I do feel it really got better after a while, but it doesn't compare to the fun I had playing banjo. I just want the next one to be even better and that's why I'm trying to find the problem here.