3-Butterfly Challenge

Discussion and feedback for Playtonic's debut game, platformer adventure game Yooka-Laylee!
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3-Butterfly Challenge

Postby baker_boy0017 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:08 pm

Hey guys. I've just about finished up playing the game for the sixth time (although 2 times the game ended up erased). This run through, I decided to try out the 3-butterfly challenge using Vendi's tonic. I thought I'd give a bit of a review concerning the game's difficulty, and whether it is enough to really "give extra challenge" like they say.

First and foremost, 3 butterflies affects the game in very few ways. It is true that you'll want to keep stocked up all of the time, but that only provided a slight change to the game for me. The biggest change having only 3 butterflies presents is that if you fall from a large height (or "buddy slam" from too far up during "flappy flight") you'll die instantly. This was much more of an annoyance than anything else, but given how much of the game wasn't changed otherwise, I hesitate to complain about it.

The bosses are the one place where the butterflies definitely affect you, but I still didn't find them too challenging. I should clarify that I also played the game in the order of "Base worlds 1-5, then expanded worlds 1-5," so Rampo was especially easy to beat using Flappy Flight. Boss 2 (Breeze Blok or something?) was kind of challenging... but just in the way that I had to be more careful. Yet again, more annoying than it was hard. Trev the Tenteyeacle was also relatively easy, particularly due to the butteflies that I could eat if I were in trouble.

The last two worlds' bosses (and the final boss, which I've technically yet to beat) were the hardest, but I managed to take them down in just a few tries. I.N.E.P.T. was made much easier because of the new visual indicators for Kartos's cannon and boosts, while Planette was all about just getting in really quickly and dealing the damage ASAP. These last two bosses were definitely the least forgiving, given that there are no butterflies, and a huge part of the fight is just avoiding their sometimes difficult-to-avoid attacks, but even so it took no more than 3 times to beat either of them.

The final boss - which I've yet to beat, and refuse to try again until I'm really bored or the framerate issues are fixed - suffers the same problems of "too long, no forgiveness," but I was able to make it to the outside part of the fight without losing any butterflies, and am confident I could have won if only the framerate hadn't dropped and caused the game to stop listening to my controller.

The rest of the game was certainly easy. I think the red ghost writer - Ang-ree? - might have killed me a time or two, which was definitely annoying, but I never had problems with any of the actual Corplets. I suppose the INEPTs were occasionally super annoying, but I never really felt like I was playing on the edge. Part of the issue here is that I did the 3-butterfly challenge after they patched the game and made it easier, but the places they noticeably changed really wouldn't have affected me anyway.

My overall impression is that the game is too easy. Of course this is coming from someone who has played the Banjo games at least one each year for the last decade, and grew up on 3D platformers. But I just felt that lowering the life amount did very little to actually increase difficulty. What I think might be better is to lower butterflies and the energy meter. But they'd have to be careful because of things like Nimble's races.

Have any of you guys done the game with 3 butterflies? What were your thoughts? Do you think this particular challenge should have been more challenging?

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Re: 3-Butterfly Challenge

Postby Mew Mew Psychic » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:49 pm

The big problem is that frankly, Yooka-Laylee just plain isn't very challenging.

And that's a shame given how I'm one of the few who actually enjoyed spots like the Gloomy Gem Grotto (pre-nerf) or the Hivory Towers slide.

There just isn't much in the way of areas that actually demand you use your characters' skills with any kind of mastery or precision. Hazards are few and far between, enemies can mostly be skipped, and the game is generaly afraid to challenge the player. This is mixed with how utterly forgiving the game is (there is little incentive to not die as there are no limited lives and respawn mechanics are fairly lenient).

Then add how due to whining, the game's few difficult sections excluding its final boss got nerfed. Or how flight, even pre-buff, already completely broke every chance of anything other than the last boss offering a challenge. Or how the underwater bubble ability give you infinite air AND is spammable with no consequences (thus eventually making the air meter and swim mechanics essentially pointless).

Given all of that, I didn't expect much of 3-Butterfly Mode, frankly. It's the dumbest, easiest, laziest way to try to make the game harder. And it run into the same problem as many such modes in a lot of games: if the game is easy enough that you don't get hit anyway most of the time, then what's the point?

What's the actual effect of having to conserve health more carefully when recovery is plentiful and hazards that take it away are few and far between?

So I actually knew, coming into this mode, that it wouldn't magically fix the game's difficulty issues (since the issues are based on mechanics and lack of hazards, not on the game being stingy or generous with health).

And before the complaints of "lol go play Dark Souls" begin, I want to point out that Mario games (and in their main game, not merely the optional stuff) aren't afraid of throwing curve balls and hazards at you. Likewise, both Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie weren't afraid of throwing more dangerous stages your way (while Rusty Bucket Bay is more infamous, Click Clock Woods is bursting with hazards and missing a jump is costly. In the second game, there's the complicated puzzles and hazards gallore of Grunty Industries).

As much as I like Yooka-Laylee, it is really among the easiest 3D platformers I ever played and frankly, I am baffled at players for whining about its difficulty.

Oh and an extra note...

The final boss isn't even that hard or unforgiving. If anything, my reaction to beating it was "Huh? That's it?". Compared to the Hag-1 from Tooie, YL's final boss really isn't that hard at all (The Hag-1 started nasty and got nastier as you damaged it. YL's final boss, by contrast, has only one or two phases that have a realistic chance of killing you. Most of the phases are actually pretty trivial and simplistic).

I think the real reason it's so jarring is because, not unlike pre-nerf Gloomy Gem Grotto, it's one of the few moments where the game actually dare to throw a serious obstacle at you. In the Banjo games, where difficulty steadily climb and later worlds are uniformally more dangerous, the final boss's difficulty feel natural and fitting. But because Yooka-Laylee is so easy, the final boss come off as jarring.

This does NOT mean the solution should be to nerf the boss! I really hope that won't come next. If anything, Yooka-Laylee really could use having more hazards around or adding sections that challenge you.

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Re: 3-Butterfly Challenge

Postby baker_boy0017 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:56 pm

The Bubble Buddy move is pretty ridiculous. I think Yooka Laylee has a few problems in terms of general difficulty:

1) Platform challenges can't be very difficult because of Yooka's double jump, plus how long Laylee can glide for.

2) Baddies can't be very troublesome because they can all be completely avoided, and are easily killed. In contrast, baddies from BK and BT, like
-- The Bull
-- The stonehead dart shooters
-- The Beehives
-- The Poison Gas clouds
-- The freaking cutout characters
-- The slot machines
and so forth were constant annoyances, demanding I take care of them, or be extra careful to avoid them. YL's bad guys only ever get as hard as INEPTs because they are more of a placed obstacle.

3) Resource management can't be difficult because all of your moves use the same, automatically-replenishing resource. Air stops being a meaningful resource - as Mew said - after you get Bubble Buddy.

4) Puzzles can't be challenging because when they were everyone complained about them!.

In a game like this... I can't find anything more to present as the challenge. I really hope Playtonic learns from this, and gives the next game a better difficulty curve. If kids could beat BK and BT (and I know at least one did...) then that suggests those games aren't too difficult: why not let YL at least get to their level of difficulty?

I think the other element that bothers me is that the Tonic system is basically a cheat system to help make the game easier: so why does the game need to become easier past that? Just make better tonics or something if people really want to use those. Oh well...

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