Yooka Laylee — Review

Today going to be talking about a game that had some issues starting out but since has gotten a lot of love from its parent company. This game is no other than Yooka-Laylee the hit project. Yooka-Laylee launched earlier this year for every system but the Nintendo switch. It was immediately met with two sides of criticism people who loved it and people hated it. We are here to give you our opinion on the game since its parent company has released the latest update with this review.

What is Yooka Laylee?

Yooka-Laylee is considered to be the spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie. It came about on Kickstarter after most of the original team behind the company Rare founded a new game studio called Playtonic games. For the Studio’s first project they wanted to make the charm they had with the Banjo Kazooie series. The only problem with this is that Microsoft still has the rights to this franchise causing Playtonic to have to look to their former fans for some help. From these circumstances, the Kickstarter was born and quickly funded by excited fans who originally supported Rare.

This game has been a pretty big deal in the gaming community since the idea went public. For years fans had been fighting with Microsoft to see Banjo Kazooie get a proper sequel. The only things fans had gotten was the disappointing game title Nuts and Bolts. This took away all the aspects that made the original game loved by fans and replaced it with vehicle building and racing. Of course, this went over about as well as you would expect it to and since then we haven’t heard anything from the series. This caused the announcement of a Kickstarter to literally drum up excitement from the time it began to the time the game was released onto store shelves.

The Story

First, off it should be noted that this is not a story heavy game. That means that most of the meat of the game is going to be for its innovative gameplay. We do however have reasons for Our Heroes embarking on their Adventure. The game starts off with the bang Duo Yooka and Laylee lounging around at their home. According to them, they had just finished Remodeling and are taking a break. this is when the bat Laylee mentions that she found an old looking book while cleaning. Yooka Suggest that the book may be worth a bunch of money and the two decide that they are going to sell it to get rich.

This is quickly ruined by the game’s villain Capital B. and yes he is, in fact, a giant bee. He decides that he is looking for the same book that Laylee found. This brings him to get his mad scientist to invent a machine to suck up all the books in the land. This, of course, picks up our heroes book as well, and the adventure begins when they decide to chase it down. The story then starts to revolve around them trying to put the book back together in order to make some cash at the end of the day. They also tend to help out a lot of people along the way but, it’s very much only when it favors the Duo.

Gameplay

so how does one play this game? The game at centers heavily around platforming and puzzle-solving just Banjo Kazooie. This means that there’s going to be a lot of jumping and timing involved in order to Progress through levels. There are also quite a few points where you have to figure out a few puzzles or have to collect items in order to get your reward. Another big point is that this game is known collect-a-thon which means there will be items to collect scattered all throughout every level. Each of these items is various things in the game and you are encouraged to get as many as you can or even be a completionist and collect them all.

Let’s get down to the basics though shall we, you are looking for pagies. Pagies are the pages from the book that have escaped and will help you open up new worlds to explore. These papers are acquired by doing events or winning challenges within each world. Each world will have one expansion that you will have to gather a set number of pagies to access. There are five worlds in all each with their own expansion that you can unlock. To do this though you will have to unlock some special moves to be able to gain access to all of the areas where they may be hiding.

Moves are learned by finding Trowzer. Trowzer is a snake who wears pants and is more than a little bit Shady. For a fee, he will teach our heroes new moves that can help them gain access to even more areas. in order to pay Trowzer, you will need to collect quills throughout the levels. There are a ton of quills lying around each area for you to grab. As you go up in levels it will cost even more quills to acquire a new move. Make sure to look around everywhere you can explore and check your totals from your pause menu to see how many you have acquired. Some of the moves you learn include the ability to breathe underwater and the ability to curl into a ball and roll at high speeds. In order to keep these moves up, you will need to consume butterflies that will refill your stamina bar.

Fighting in this game isn’t necessarily anything special. There’s an attack button that you can press to hit enemies with your tail and a few enemies take more than a couple of hits to defeat. In order to keep your health up be sure to find and eat butterflies. The only real Challenge you’re going to face when it comes to combat is a few of the bosses you’ll encounter. The most notorious boss for you will more than likely be found in the first area. This boss has got an easier since updates but at the beginning of the game, he was known for being one of the most irritating boss battles ever made. Luckily for you, most bosses have butterflies near them that you can either eat to restore your health or run into to restore your stamina to keep you going.

The last thing we really need to go over our the transformations. In each level, you will find a Dr. Puzz who has a DNA gun that can turn you into one extra form per level. To do this you simply have to find the Mollycools hidden in each level. these Transformations will allow you to access Parts the levels that you previously couldn’t and open new paths. Generally, they all revolve around the theme of the level you are in, like for example in the snow level you will be transformed into a snow plow. It is up to you to figure out how to best use the transformations to progress in the game.

Difficulty Spike

now we are going to talk about one of the most debated issues with Yooka Laylee. this issue is the numerous spikes in difficulties found throughout the game. Well, most of the game is fun and only moderately challenging to play at times. There are a few areas where the difficulty becomes questionable within the game. These areas are unfairly frustrating at times and left many players with a bad taste in their mouth. The spikes will come pretty much out of nowhere and be connected to some of the most random activities you can find to do. While most of the updates move some of these issues out of the game, there are still a few issues left.

One of the biggest problems I found while playing the game was the cart segments. In each level, you will find an anamorphic Minecart named Kartos. He will ask you to play a minigame in which you have to collect a certain number of gems to win a Pagie. This is a done by avoiding obstacles and jumping into the gems when they come up on the track. Sounds simple right, well until you figure out that this minigame is not well put together. The big problem is obstacles are closely put together and the timing of the carts jump is off. The Speed also goes up and down and can be hard to manage at times or even predict. Many players gave up with playing the Kartos segments because of just how difficult and annoying they were.

Other times simple missions will turn out to be more of a headache than they’re worth. These challenges are ones that usually revolve around anything that can give you a time limit. The time limits come way too close to being missed in most of these cases and are barely passable. This can make running a difficult track way more frustrating than it should be. While I enjoy challenges in every game it’s not fun to come within milliseconds of failing every challenge you come across. Of course, there are some that are perfectly okay but most of the ones I have come across were just plain frustrating.

Updates

Luckily for us, Playtonic has been working pretty hard to put in some new updates. These updates have made several portions the game more tolerable as well as fixed the horrible camera controls that were first put into place. At first, it was hard to even be able to look at the map or get the complicated camera to work with you during certain parts games. This is all been updated to make the game controls a more easy and pleasurable experience. There is also an option for a new manual camera mode that lets you personally have control over what you see.

In addition to this, a new first person aiming controls have been put in the game to make challenges easier. The kart mini-game has also had several improvements to make it easier And transformation controls have been smoothed over. There are also signpost placed around to help you find your way to the next world which helps you navigate the previously convoluted map. My favorite improvement is the addition of a retry button to the mini-games that make going back into them a lot less frustrating. Best of all Playtonic team went as far as to fix the Infamous first boss in the game to be more tolerable.

Jessica has been working with the gaming industry for about two years now. She enjoys playing quirky Japanese games and learning about the newest trivia in the industry. When not working with games you may find her chilling with her naked cat Prince Noko... he's pretty cool we guess.
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