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About the product
- INTRODUCING OUR NEW BUDDY DUO: Yooka and Laylee boast an awesome arsenal of abilities built for platforming fun and unlocked with added freedom from the serpent salesman Trowzer.
- CARVE YOUR PATH: Purchase and unlock moves with freedom, choose to expand your favorite worlds into larger, more complex playgrounds and equip unique Tonic game play modifiers to customize your play.
- A COLLECT-EM-UP FOR THE MODERN ERA: Seek out a roster of shiny collectibles with game play progression at their core, such as the dual action Butterfly Energy or tricky Ghost Writers!
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From the manufacturer
Yooka-Laylee is an all-new open-world platformer from genre veterans Playtonic! Explore huge, beautiful worlds, meet (and beat) an unforgettable cast of characters and horde a vault-load of shiny collectibles as buddy-duo Yooka (the green one) and Laylee (the wisecracking bat with the big nose) embark on an epic adventure to thwart corporate creep Capital B and his devious scheme to absorb all the world's books. and convert them into pure profit! Using their arsenal of special moves, our heroes will tackle a huge variety of puzzles and platforming challenges in their search for Pagies, the golden bounty used to unlock - and expand - stunning new worlds, each jammed to the gills with oddball characters, hulking bosses, minecart challenges, arcade games, quiz shows, multiplayer games. and much more!
Top customer reviews
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Let’s start with the positives. First of all, the game’s atmosphere is a nostalgic trip beyond belief. Even if you’re like me and didn’t play many Rare games, but you still played a few collectathon games, you’ll feel like a little kid again. I don’t know what it is about collecting hundreds of pieces of currency or finding a pagie/jiggie/the main collectible in a game, but it is oh so satisfying. A 3D platformer’s sense of accomplishment is, in my opinion, only rivaled by something like Dark Souls, and that’s only because those games are brutal. Aside from the collectibles, the game’s music is also wonderful, as I found myself constantly humming along – in fact, the music is so good, that even when I was frustrated (which happened frequently), I still kept humming along. It is so catchy and I must give props to the composers of the game (Grant Kirkhope, David Wise, and Steve Burke); the sound was probably the best part of the game and I applaud them for it. This brings us to the negative aspects of the game.
It isn’t that the following complaints are major problems (some are nitpicky), but when you have many small problems, it starts to disrupt the entire game. The biggest problem is the camera, which is not the worst camera in a video game, but it should be much better. This genre has always had its games with bad cameras - even the best of them have their problems - but for a game in 2017, I expected a lot better. You become used to it rather quickly and it isn’t that big of a deal, but I was very disappointed when I started playing right away. The second problem I have, and this might just be a really big nitpick, is the voices. Just like Banjo-Kazooie, the characters don’t actually speak, but instead use gibberish while we read the subtitles – I can’t remember if this annoyed me in Banjo-Kazooie, but I swear it has been the most annoying part of the last week. Seriously, how did no one making this game think “Hmm, this is getting a little annoying for us, maybe the players would get annoyed to.” I don’t want to turn the game volume down because I love the music and although you can skip most conversations by tapping a button, I shouldn’t have to (plus some conversations are not skippable). Nitpicky? Maybe, but I just couldn’t stand it. Those were the two biggest complaints I had, but don’t worry, there are more.
Each world in the game (there are 5) has a place where you can get transformed, which was also another feature in Banjo-Kazooie. Again, I don’t remember much from that game, but in this game, the transformations are awful. I don’t want to play as a flower or a snow plow that is barely controllable. Transformations aren’t a huge part of the game, so they should be fun little side missions that are really enjoyable, but nope, I dreaded all of them. There’s nothing wrong with playing as a flower (well, maybe there is a little), but these transformations don’t offer much in terms of expanded gameplay – you simply use them to get a couple pagies in the level and then boom, you change back. Speaking of small parts of the game, there are also minecart challenges, which start off fun, but they become so difficult that I found myself groaning whenever I saw the opportunity to play another one. Some goals can be hard, but these are filled with problems that don’t have much to do with difficulty, including awkward boosting/braking controls, a cannon that doesn’t have a high enough rate of fire to be very useful, and an awful camera that doesn’t let you see very far ahead. These were just two minor aspects of the game, but that doesn’t matter, they should have been the highlights of the game, but instead they were some of the lowest points for me.
Then there’s the whole issue of the levels themselves; they are too overwhelming when you first get there. To some people (probably most), having big levels with multiple pathways sounds great, but in this game, I just became confused where I was supposed to go, where I had already been, and which direction was which. While I prefer smaller levels in games (10 smaller levels instead of 5 giant levels would’ve been my preference), there is an even easier solution: have a map! It wouldn’t have fixed all of the problems, but it would’ve helped immensely. Not to mention, the game requires a lot of backtracking, usually because you don’t have all the power ups to solve every challenge, but you never know when that is. I remember playing some of the Spyro games and when you got to some areas where you needed a power up that you didn’t have, it would tell you so you didn’t waste time trying to solve an insolvable puzzle – again, we’re in 2017, this is not me complaining about the game needing handholding, but just simple aspects to make the game more fun. On the positive side, one of the few unique parts of this game are the ability to expand levels. When I was playing the first level, I realized that there was so much of the world I couldn’t access yet, which seemed weird for the first level, but then I realized once I collected enough pagies, I could expand it, essentially doubling the size. This would’ve been helpful to know right away, but once I figured it out, I really enjoyed this part of the game – it was refreshing.
As a whole, this game is not, by any means, terrible. It is a decent game that has many aspects of the typical 3D platformer, but it just doesn’t add enough new to the table. Here’s the best example I can use: Shovel Knight was released a few years ago to critical acclaim, but that wasn’t solely because of nostalgia; it was not only a nostalgic game for fans of the NES/2D platformer, but it also took some of the best elements from several games and mixed it all together to make its own unique game. Yooka-Laylee has the nostalgia aspect covered in spades, but it hardly adds anything fresh. Sure, some people want exactly that, but then why not just play your original games? As of this typing, I haven’t finished the game (about 60+% done, or 13 hours), but I don’t think I want to. Playing this game just made me want to go play some Spyro, so while the game is OK, I don’t know if I would recommend it to most people – just go play some classic platformers. This game’s really only for those who only have the newest consoles to play this genre, so unfortunately, I don’t entirely recommend this. Decent game overall, but disappointing
Yooka-Laylee takes a lot of inspiration from Banjo-Kazooie. You collect two primary collectible items: quills (the equivalent of Banjo's musical notes) and "Pagies" (the equivalent of Banjo's puzzle pieces). There are other items in each world to collect as well, such as a Jinjo equivalent. It's collect-a-thon platforming, which is exactly what it was advertised to be.
You control Yooka with some help from Laylee, the bat companion, to navigate the worlds. They can obtain new moves which aid in exploration and puzzle solving. The controls are pretty good, but feel at times a little looser than they should be. For instance, there is a move where the characters can move more quickly by turning into a ball and rolling on it. While it moves faster than walking, it isn't as precise as its spiritual predecessor, Banjo-Kazooie's "Talon Trot." This lack of precision can lead to some frustrating sections of the game where otherwise easily obtainable collectibles are missed.
The other issue with the game is the camera. Most of the time it works without issue, but sometimes, it moves at just the wrong moment resulting in you falling off a platform. An example of this is in the very first area of the game. There are some small platforms leading up to a ship. As you approach the ship, the camera shifts its position which can cause you to miss the jump and land on the ground. Periodically while exploring the game's worlds, the same thing will happen, leading to unnecessary deaths. Platforming games, whether they are 2D or 3D, require a higher-than-average degree of precision, so the camera cannot be an obstacle unto itself. However, the situations in which the camera gets in the way are not excessive or so bad as to render the game unplayable.
The game consists of a hub world and five fairly large sub-worlds to explore. These sub-worlds are all pretty good (though the second world is only so-so), consisting of plenty of collectibles, platforming challenges, and rewards for exploration. There are mine cart sections, boss battles, races, and puzzles spread across the five worlds. While the total number of worlds to explore is a little light, each of them is densely packed so as to feel fulfilling.
There is a quiz show game at the end of the game challenging your knowledge of some very specific facts from the game. This is a direct throwback to an identical mechanic in the end of Banjo-Kazooie, and in fact was a Kickstarter goal if funding hit a certain level. Some people might be turned off by it as it can tend to break up the action, but it is intended to be a throwback and is (ostensibly) a reflection of what backers wanted.
Overall, Yooka-Laylee is a fun game to play and explore. It encourages exploration at every turn, and feels similar to the heyday of the 3D platformer genre on the Nintendo 64.
Yooka-Laylee is bright and colorful, just like its predecessors were. Environments are clearly defined and look quite good. Everything has a great sense of artistic style and consistency. While it does not push the hardware on the PS4 to any meaningful degree, Yooka-Laylee accomplishes exactly what it sets out to accomplish in the visuals department.
The game does not feature any voices, at least not in the traditional sense. Like the Banjo games, the characters "speak" using garbles and voice samples that mix together. While I was a fan of this style on the Nintendo 64, something about the voices in this particular game just is not quite right. The only way I can describe it is that in Banjo-Kazooie, the voices had an almost musical quality to them, whereas here, many of them just sort of sound like a bunch of garbles and never surpass that baseline starting point. I understand and appreciate the choice in using these types of voices, and it does not bother me, but the reality is I've heard the exact same style done better before.
By contrast, the music in the game is phenomenal. Grant Kirkhope, David Wise, and Steve Burke nailed the score. It sounds like it could come right out of the Nintendo 64 era in terms of composition, but it is mostly live recordings, so the sound quality is much improved. The songs fit the worlds very well, and there are variations depending on whether you are swimming, near certain locations in the world, or just in the general areas of the worlds.
I've compared Yooka-Laylee to Banjo-Kazooie a number of times in this review, but Yooka-Laylee practically begs for the comparison because it is, in a very real and unapologetic way, the sequel that Banjo-Tooie never received. As an indie-developed, Kickstarter-backed project, Yooka-Laylee is a resounding success. It could have used a little more QA testing to resolve the camera issues, and the voices will not be to everyone's satisfaction. That having been said, Yooka-Laylee wears its identity proudly. If you grew up in the era of Nintendo 64 3D platformers, this game has been tailor-made for you. It will also likely appeal to younger kids and families due to its colorful characters and largely inoffensive aesthetic (there are some very dry, British-humor jokes that push right up to, but never cross, the line, such as naming the snake character Trouser so as to create a literal "Trouser Snake"). If you do not have an appreciation for 3D exploration collect-a-thon platformers, this game will not likely change your mind. For those who do, I would urge you to pick this game up. It's not perfect, but it is an excellent and enjoyable 3D platformer with some modern sensibilities.
Most recent customer reviews
The "revamped' camera system that is still very much broken.
The number bugs and glitches, Some preventing me from finishing missions.Read more
The graphics do not stand up to current gen graphics.Read more