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GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:41 pm
by EekumBokum202
First of all, I'm aware that there's some negative stigma against GameXplain here, particularly by one certain user. I should probably not that the GameXplain person within this discussion is Andre Segers and not Ash Paulsen, the person who did the Yooka-Laylee review. Either way, you're free to not listen to this discussion at all, even though I'd still recommend you hear them out.

Second, I'm about to say some not-so-nice things about not only Yooka-Laylee but also Banjo-Tooie. I realize that some of you might disagree with me with some of the points I make and therefore I'd like to make note that everything I'm about to say are based only around my experiences with both Yooka-Laylee and Super Mario Odyssey, as well as a few interactions with fans of Yooka-Laylee and Banjo-Kazooie.

Third, I apologize if some of what I'm saying doesn't make sense. I wrote most of this during a "stream of consciousness" moment and didn't really have time to really iron out certain details and points. Regardless, I hope what I'm saying will at least be understandable to most of you.

Alright, with that out of the way, here's the GameXplain discussion in question, and below it is my general response to them bringing up Yooka-Laylee midway int the discussion:

What I'm about to say is something I'm saying as someone who enjoyed Yooka-Laylee, thinks it's not nearly as bad as some made it out to be, and has to continuously defend the game whenever it's brought up these days: Yooka-Laylee was definitely flawed in its execution, and having played Super Mario Odyssey quite a bit, I can in fact say that there are a lot of things in Yooka-Laylee that Odyssey did better. The transformations are the most notable mechanic in that regard; in Yooka-Laylee, the majority of the transformations felt arbitrary, held off for a certain location, and/or weren't all that fun to control in general, even if I did find some of them fun in theory or unique. Compare that to Odyssey, where even Capturing something like a Goomba or a Bullet Bill can have it's own advantages and simple pleasures. Granted not all of them are great, I find the frog can be rather difficult to control sometimes, but given how many things you can Capture, especially compared to the five transformations in Yooka-Laylee, the ration of fun-to-not-so-fun things to Capture and control definitely weighs in favor of the more fun aspect.

The worlds are also better in Odyssey and not just because there are a lot more of them (though that IS one thing I was disappointed by in Yooka-Laylee); as these three mentioned, it felt like Yooka-Laylee had grand ambitions but couldn't quite meet them, and like they said about Banjo-Tooie (which I didn't like as much as Banjo-Kazooie, IMO), they made the worlds bigger without exactly making them fun to navigate around. Obviously not everyone agrees with this notion and there are plenty of people who loved the bigger worlds in Banjo-Tooie, but there was something about the compact nature in Banjo-Kazooie and even Super Mario 64 that I found more appealing. Even when Yooka-Laylee tried to balance things out buy controlling how big the worlds can be still didn't really work out, since I always felt like I was missing out on something regardless of how big I made the world. Odyssey struck a better balance buy actually having smaller worlds to explore along with the bigger ones, and I honestly ended up having more fun with the Cascade Kingdom and New Donk City than with the Sand Kingdom and the Luncheon Kingdom, even though they all have their fun bits in them. Not to mention, I didn't even realize this until it was pointed out in this discussion, but this game does the whole "make a world bigger" thing like Yooka-Laylee as well, only they do it through story progression instead of getting enough Pagies and saying "okay, make the world bigger". I don't know if one is necessarily better than the other, but that's kind of interesting...

And then there's how Yooka & Laylee controls compared to Mario; I think their basic controls are just fine, but when it comes to their new moves, they're a little clunky and awkward and more often then not, I feel like using them out of obligation of getting a certain collectable rather than because makes the worlds fun to explore. In particular, I HATE the Flight mechanic on Yooka-Laylee, it's so hard to control and go where you want to go, and sometimes I forgot I had certain moves because they either a.) there aren't enough situations where using them would be useful or b.) when a situation arises when they ARE useful, I don't think to use them because I forgot I had them or the game didn't telegraph probably that now would be a good time to use that ability (I remember getting REALLY angry during the final boss fight and not knowing about a few things that made the fight much more manageable). With Super Mario Odyssey, though, almost all of Mario's moves enhance his mobility and ability to get from point A to point B, including his use of Cappy. Even something as basic as tossing Cappy then jumping off of him can turn into some pretty epic last-minute saves if you know what you're doing.

Overall, though, I think what it comes down to is polish; Yooka-Laylee had the makings of something great that if Playtonic Games did a bit more fine-tuning it would probably come off better than was. Even though I still like the game, the writing is on the wall when it comes to what people think of it; even the members of Playtonic's own forums are pretty dissatisfied with it. At the very least, I hope they take the criticism into consideration for the eventual "Twoka-Laylee" (that so-called "ending" definitely made it clear that there's more to come with Yooka-Laylee). In fact, I hope the blokes at Playtonics Games take a lot of inspiration from Super Mario Odyssey, because I can definitely see a lot of inspiration from the original Banjo-Kazooie as well as Super Mario 64 with this game!

Re: GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:58 am
by baker_boy0017
Are you referring to me with that Gamexplain stigma? Because I actually love them: I just know that they complained like crazy about Gloomy Gem Grotto and now it's been horribly gutted and dumbed down :(

But I only know about that because Gamexplain is my go to gaming news channel on Youtube :D

To be honest, Odyssey has been forcing me to rethink Yooka Laylee as well. Shockingly, I JUST finished watching that video before coming here! I guess what they said about the game prompted to visit the forum.

I think the transformations, overly large worlds, and arbitrary 25 pagies per world are the game's biggest offenders. There are other things, like general polish being bad (I sincerely think they should have delayed the game...) and charm missing throughout the game, despite some enjoyable jokes, but I think the biggest strikes for Yooka Laylee came from the first three things I mentioned above.

Now don't get me wrong: I love Yooka Laylee. I love it for what it is: the spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie I have been waiting YEARS for. To me, it was like wandering the desert dehydrated and then someone offers their crab juice to you: in that moment, the crab juice is utterly wonderful. But Odyssey shows how much more Yooka Laylee could have been, and just by polish. The games - for me - compare this way: Odyssey was a complete labor of love resulting from culminating experiences of various Mario games, while Yooka Laylee was (maybe?) a labor of love by people who have been out of the business for a while, and were still getting their bearings.

I guess since we opened up with a big post, I won't try so hard to trim mine: Yooka Laylee suffers mostly from arbitrary "we have to do x because of y," while Odyssey proved that this isn't the case. I don't know that any of the Odyssey worlds have the same number of moons: Nintendo simply put all the moons they could think of for a given world, and when they ran out they essentially said "OK, guess we're done putting moons into that one." Moons ranged from laughably easy, to incredibly difficult. As a result, it was hard to feel like they were running out of ideas because moons could come from ANYWHERE and ANYTHING, which provided some of the fun.

In contrast, Yooka Laylee stuck to this idea that each world needs 25 pagies. Right off the bat, some of those 25 are earmarked, meaning you will be effectively doing the same thing over and over again.
1. The Ghost Writers
2. Rextro
3. Rextro High Score (Hated this)
4. Quills
5. Kartos

Already, one fifth of the pagies are used up on every world for these: you know they are coming, and it takes a big chunk out of the exploration theme. Then, these actual challenges range from frustrating to I WANT TO SEE REXTRO DIE in difficulty.

But, another problem is that within a single world, there were repeats! Or at least, pagies that - for me - were too similar to other pagies. You have two races with Nimble, two swamp platforming obstacles with your tongue, tons of slot machines, and so forth. With how homogeneous the worlds were aesthetically, this problem felt even worse. It honestly felt like they ran out of ideas, but needed to get to their magical 25 pagies number, and so that just started putting stuff in that was either ridiculous (You basically get 2 pagies for beating boss 2... and I just don't know why) or had already been done.

As for the size of the worlds, I'm a bit iffy here. I think a FAR bigger issue is how "samey" every part of every world looks. Imagine if New Donk City were three to five times as large as it currently is: it would be nearly impossible to find your way around with the combination of size and similar aesthetic. And at least you'd still have a map! The only map in Yooka Laylee is the one you make in your brain! Yooka Laylee has the problem of "sameness" in spades, and it made spending time in any given world that much worse. By the time I was done with any world, I was sick of it because I had been staring at the exact same stuff for hours. Banjo and Odyssey fix this with a greater variety of smaller worlds that aren't quite so big. I know Tooie has its haters and I'm not one of them, but I won't deny that Tooie suffered some of the large, super "same" issue as well.

I could go on and on, but I won't. In the end, I still love Yooka Laylee, but I'm starting to see that I don't have to drink crab juice now that I'm out of the desert: I can have sparkle water! (Odyssey reference). I used to hail Yooka Laylee - despite knowing its faults - as absolutely wonderful, because I thought everyone else had given up on this genre. But Odyssey... well, it has shown me wrong. I won't be forced to play linear platformers for the rest of my days, and as a result Yooka Laylee just isn't as wonderful. Do I still love the game? I think you'll always look back fondly at your first drink after spending to much time in the desert. But I can't defend it quite as well now that we have Odyssey. Is it still great in my mind for being a kickstarter, and not some major publisher like Nintendo's game? Absolutely. But that's quickly becoming all I can lean on for a defense.

Yooka Laylee's biggest problem? It came out too soon. Can you imagine if the game were still in development? What kinds of changes might have been done to it after seeing the masterpiece of Odyssey? Heck, even without Odyssey, extra game development could have been a huge help to Yooka Laylee.

I'm in the place now where I think "Playtonic needs to really polish up the Switch version or else the game actually might be in trouble." They have so much time to work on things right now while they deal with bugs... I just hope that's a big part of what they are doing.

Re: GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:48 pm
by EekumBokum202

Re: GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:52 pm
by Piet
I agree with both of you.
In the end YL should have been delayed, AFTER good communication and a clear statement towards the fanbase, including predictions (release year, game info update timeframes, etc.).

Odyssey is a masterpiece. Seriously. It's sublime. <3

Ps. I love GameXplain. :)

Re: GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:54 pm
by Gorjo
Time is an important factor. If I understand right, Super Mario Odyssey was made in 4-5 years, in an eviroment where the people involved knew what to expect and could afford taking risks.
Yooka Layle was done in two years, with bakers that were players wanting to play a game rather than professional producers willing to wait for profit, and as Playtonic's first game as a company with everything that comes with it.
Can you imagine having to wait until 2020 for YL? Or SMO being released in 2015?
Constructive criticism is great and all, but I think people are being unfair and unrealistic with a comparison like this. YL was Playtonic's testing ground, they proved themselves, and have shown they are willing to listen to criticism.
I'm waiting for them to make a game at their own pace after they finish setting themselves up.

Re: GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:15 am
by FailureFactory
I'm really not interested in Mario games as much, as they have often disappointed me with their low difficulty (and also the Mario universe is kinda silly to me). So I'm not sure what my opinion on Odysee will be if I get to play it. Either way, I agree to the critizism that YL feels very unpolished and artificially bloated. Worlds are huge and bland, there are too few different characters (including enemies), challenges are repetitious and the storytelling is subpar. Also, objects don't clearly show you which move you need to use and the first two bosses are just awful designs. I'm not mad over this, but I think the fact that I never once felt the desire to touch YL after finishing it three months ago speaks for itself. Heck, I didn't even care about the update.

Either way, is Odysee really that good? I really disliked Super Mario Bros U, and Galaxy 2 wasn't all that convincing either. Is it challenging for somebody who prefers Donkey Kong Country levels of difficulty?

Re: GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:48 am
by EekumBokum202

Re: GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:58 am
by Piet

Re: GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:46 am
by Rueckkoppler
If we use a spark to describe creativity and effort, Mario Odyssee is a nuclear explosion. I’m not in the slightest bothered by the lower difficulty, too: It’s just too much fun traversing these worlds. And it’s seriously mind blowing how much they put in them.

Playtonic certainly don’t have the capacities Nintendo has, but with the right approach, they can make amazing things writhing their limitations (which always induced creativity if you’re conscious about them). I wish them luck to prove themselves.

Re: GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:56 pm
by baker_boy0017
I too must agree that Odyssey is "easy," but ridiculously fun. I'm just a sucker for immersive games like it, 64, Sunshine, and (obviously) Banjo. It's part of why I loved the first Kingdom Hearts so much too.

If you choose to not use the internet, some of those moons are ridiculous to find the first time through. I still haven't collected every single moon! Unfortunately there are some moons I absolutely hated, and dread having to get moving forward... but with so many moons, I think a very small handful of terrible/difficult ones are ok: gives the completionist something to really do. I enjoy Mario Bros. games, and I liked Galaxy 1 and was OK with the parts of Galaxy 2 I played. I utterly loved DKCTF, but the games don't quite compare: they are such different beasts. But take my tastes for what you can. If you're on these forums and AREN'T just troll-pissing all over YL, I imagine you'll love Odyssey.

As for Yooka Laylee, I agree that it can be considered silly to compare it to a first-party juggernaut game like Odyssey. Unfortunately, the average consumer won't care too much. And clearly LOTS of reviewers didn't care either. I was overall happy with what I got, and I still greatly look forward to playing in on Switch. But I can no longer praise it as the great return to my childhood after playing Odyssey.

I'm mostly hopeful for a sequel game. I REALLY think Playtonic could make a sequel great. I think they've had tons of feedback on this one, and now that Odyssey is out they have something else to compare with. Is anyone else REALLY hoping that the Switch release sees another major game patch? I think Switch may be their opportunity to turn around perspectives about Yooka Laylee,which would certainly help a sequel come to fruition...

Re: GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:23 pm
by Piet

Re: GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:03 am
by bigfanofoldrare

Re: GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:16 am
by Meinhard1
The comparisons are useful but not quite fair.

Mario Odyssey is a AAA game with over two hundred (200!) devs working for nearly 4 years on an practically unlimited budget.

Yooka Laylee was made by an average of like 12 people over 2 years.

That’s not to say Yooka couldn’t have been a better game, but comparisobs are tricky for obvious reasons

Re: GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:03 am
by LancerEagle

Re: GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:06 pm
by Rueckkoppler

Re: GameXplain: Super Mario Odyssey Discussion Brings Up Yooka-Laylee

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:16 pm
by Meinhard1
It is very interesting how Mario Odyssey is more Banjo-like in some ways and I agree that Mario Odyssey has basically set a new standard.

The approach to characters is a bit different, as Nintendo seems more focused on developing the different cultures in the game, as opposed to specific characters. Most characters are unnamed, and even like the fashion sisters from the Lake Kingdom seem to be there more to highlight their cultures interest in fashion.

The most Banjo-like characters are maybe the Spinx (interestingly, awesomely), Pauline, and Captain Toad. Cappy is also uncannily Banjo team in name and look ... through he feels very much like a Nintendo sidekick, who brings voice and personality to a silent.

Also worlds themselves remain primarily showcases for gameplay ideas. Rare was more incline to lock tantalizing areas of the level behind quest chains. In Odyssey most quests give you a moon, as opposed to opening doors. Also most interior areas / doors you go through lead to abstract gameplay concepts, vs rooms to explore. The underground snow seal village is charming as can be, it’s also basically a small hub with a shop and branching challenges. We’re not going to enter some quirky characters home or visit their deity’s cursed temple or anything

(I refer to Rare not Playtonic as I am choosing to wait for the Switch version to actually finally play Yooka!! I’m much more knowledgeable about Banjo at this point)