Game review: Yookya-Laylee is a unaccepted lapse of Banjo-Kazooie

Game review: Yookya-Laylee is a unaccepted lapse of Banjo-Kazooie
Yooka-Laylee (PS4) – height like it’s 1998!

A group of Rareware veterans have combined a devout supplement to Banjo-Kazooie, yet is it usually a tiny bit too retro?

If we favourite Banjo-Kazooie afterwards you’re going to adore Yooka-Laylee. That’s a arrange of prosaic selling pronounce you’d routinely find on a behind of a diversion box, if diversion boxes were something people still paid courtesy to. But it’s a simplest approach to summarize a diversion that sets out with a singular purpose and achieves it with unerring proficiency. If you’re one of a people who corroborated a Kickstarter, yet a devout supplement to Rare’s classical 3D platformers, afterwards we will not be disappointed. And if you’ve no thought what any of those things are you’re expected to be agreeably surprised, and usually spasmodic frustrated.

UK developer Playtonic are staffed by a series of Rare veterans, quite those endangered with 1998’s Banjo-Kazooie and a 2000 supplement (both of that are accessible as backwards-compatible Xbox 360 titles and in a Xbox One gathering Rare Replay). The games were Rare’s take on Super Mario 64, and together with Nintendo’s diversion not usually changed a normal platformer into 3 measure yet experimented with what would currently be recognized as open universe hubs filled with sandbox impression gameplay.

As successful as they were such games don’t unequivocally exist anymore, and personification Yooka-Laylee now is a somewhat surreal knowledge because, detached from a legally compulsory change in characters, it’s accurately what you’d pattern Banjo-Kazooie 3 to demeanour and play like (Nuts Bolts doesn’t count). So usually like a originals Kazooie Laylee a inexplicably bold bird bat sits on a shoulders of Banjo Yooka a personality-free bear chameleon. Except around some singular commune options, a dual control as one impression – as they try to improved a obscure skeleton of Gruntilda and Kungo Captial B and Dr Quack.

If your usually knowledge with 3D platformers is Ratchet Clank or Super Mario Galaxy afterwards Yooka-Laylee will warn we in usually how opposite a diversion it is. It requires many some-more technical ability than any of Insomniac’s games, while a open universe inlet now seems closer to Zelda than Mario (in terms of a non-linearity, not size). That’s all to a good, nonetheless it means usually one tiny mistake can cost we prolonged mins of progress. Especially given Yooka-Laylee has no checkpoint complement other than restarting we during whatever doorway we final walked through.

If this was a routinely saved diversion afterwards we’re certain Playtonic would’ve looked during smoothing out some of a game’s severe edges, yet many of them are partial and parcel of a retro cultured that fans were so unfortunate to see recreated. And that really includes a game’s standing as a collectathon, with a purposefully outrageous operation of opposite equipment to collect – from elementary tokens to boost a distance of your energy bar (used to fuel certain moves) to coins that extend we entrance to N64-esque mini-games, and many some-more besides.

The dual many critical collectables yet are musical notes quills and Jiggies Pagies. Quills are a banking used to buy new moves from Trowzer a lizard (geddit?), that in another proof of a game’s non-linearity can be bought in any order. Pagies are used to open adult any of a 5 worlds, yet they can also be spent on expanding already open ones. In a initial universe this simply increases a distance to ring new areas, yet this can change – with a ice universe unlocking some isometric sections suggestive of Ultimate Play a Games titles like Knight Lore.

Yooka-Laylee (PS4) - a Rare treat
Yooka-Laylee (PS4) – a Rare treat

The worlds are filled with engaging and singular sum like that, with a charming visuals and perplexing theatre designs being one of a game’s many considerable achievements. There’s also a outrageous accumulation of opposite mini-games and extras, nonetheless some infer some-more interesting than others. Like Banjo-Tooie, we get to renovate into a opposite animal, plant, or car in any world; while there are a lot of fun competition hurdles and 5 opposite ‘Ghost Writers’ to learn in any environment.

The unavoidable minecart sections are horribly frustrating though, and a fight and bosses generally uninteresting. That goes doubly so for a trivia quizzes that cocktail up, that seem to be positioned as a semi-ironic critique on how everybody hated them in a originals. Or during slightest we insincere it wasn’t usually us that didn’t like them – now we’re not so sure.

The line between irony and blind nostalgia also blurs when it comes to a dialogue, that many of a time is painfully unfunny. We consider it’s arrange of meant to be, nonetheless it gets treacherous when there’s a honestly good fun (there’s a quite spiny one about complicated standards of bug-testing) that creates we wish a whole diversion was like that. We don’t caring what anyone says about a gobbledegook voiceovers though, they were awful behind in 1998 and usually hardly tolerated afterwards as an apparent reduction of cartridge storage. Listening to them now is like marker on a blackboard.

Speaking of QA, there are a series of technical issues in Yooka-Laylee, that while away are of tiny effect do supplement adult to a some-more estimable complaint. The many apparent is a camera, that has a sold problem with enclosed spaces. It’s improved than many camera systems from a ‘90s yet it’s not adult to complicated standards, and even manages to perplex with a over-the-shoulder perspective used for aiming projectiles. The support rate can also be reduction than fast on a normal PlayStation 4, and we would assume a Xbox One, nonetheless it’s mostly excellent on a PS4 Pro.

We have to contend we also found a tangible transformation a tiny too frictionless for a liking, and had to spin a demeanour attraction of a camera right down to get anywhere. Again, it’s usually a diversion perplexing to be like a aged ones, and we fast get used to it, yet we found it all a tiny easy and unsatisfying. We don’t wish to be too down on a diversion though, since as we pronounced during a start this is clearly accurately what fans wanted. And nonetheless it doesn’t allege a genre in any suggestive approach it is filled with smashing details, from a enemies that are usually googly eyes, that afterwards insert themselves to formerly unfeeling objects, to a stately David Wise soundtrack.

If that final judgment meant zero to we afterwards we competence wish to be a tiny discreet about what you’re removing into with Yooka-Laylee. Nothing in a diversion is broken, and many of it is a lot of fun, yet it’s a backwards-looking diversion that is some-more endangered with recreating a past than forging a future. That’s not a critique it might sound like, yet it does meant a diversion has to extent itself to being a ultimate nostalgia outing rather than a ultimate 3D platformer.


In Short: It ideally fulfils a brief of being a new Banjo-Kazooie diversion in all yet name, yet Yooka-Laylee’s faith on nostalgia might onslaught to find new fans.

Pros: The universe and art pattern is gloriously ‘90s and a operation of moves and abilities is really impressive. Non-linear course and a nearby forever of dark secrets. Great music.

Cons: The camera, and to a grade a transformation system, are a tiny too retro. As are a awful voices and mostly awful jokes. Some support rate issues and frustrating checkpointing.

Score: 7/10

Formats: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC
Price: £34.99
Publisher: Team 17
Developer: Playtonic Games
Release Date: 11th Apr 2017 (Switch TBA)
Age Rating: 7

Email, leave a critique below, and follow us on Twitter