Just an update. Played all worlds, expanded one. Still loving it!
The game is a blast but I DO understand certain key critic points.
The gameplay feels solid but the "magic feeling" isn't really there IMO. The character conversations are a bit random and forcefully at times and that is hurting the experience a bit. The worlds feel like giant fun sandboxes but they are missing something that Banjo levels had. In that aspect I kinda liked the toybox map better than some actual levels in Yooka Laylee so far. Which are at times... Way too systematically approached and way too open. The theming and open-world approach doesn't really work out. But the toybox was meant to be systematically approached so it DOES work there. All in all a bit dissapointing as maps and theming made the Banjo games so awesome! Sometimes smaller may be better. And maybe the walls/backdrops as well? In Banjo games the world was somewhat more clustered and there were walls, these walls aren't really existing in Yooka Laylee. It's like every level in a way is a Cloud Cuckoo Land.
My favorite map so far is the one where we trade items for pagies (trying to avoid spoilering here) because the theming actually made the map feel like the legit thing. Also the first map was nice.
The moves... yeah they're "OK" but I was really dissapointed when I got that move that made it possible to traverse "anywhere", others will like it (speedrunners) but for me part of the experience is discovering ways to reach certain spots to discover secrets. That's part of the adventure! Not bouncing into invisible walls, come on! Big points lost there for sure. Feels a bit like a cheap filler that move (and some others as well, as you're basically almost never using them for anything else than puzzle solving)
So... so far the Gameplay is really solid! But the feeling of immersion or anything is really lacking for me. Worlds in a sense are indeed too shallow even if there is enough to see and do!
It's like the graphics artist did an awesome job making assets but nobody really knew how to place and arrange them well.
And the secret stuff isn't really hidden that well, which I kinda understand as this game has to appeal to newcomers as well.
I'll wait with the rest of my review but for now I'll give it a 7.5/10
Solid platforming gameplay, nice graphics and effects, fun minigames, enjoyable collectathon but definitely missing the certain sparkle that makes it spark like a fairytale like many past Rare games did. Perhaps it's a budget thing?
Oh well, it's still worth all the money!
Stop picking your nose