Yooka-Laylee review

Review Yooka-Laylee | I was so happy with Playtonic’s announcement for Yooka-Laylee and the response from gamers. All this time I was confident that the group of former Rare employers would create something brilliant. Let’s take a look in this review if my confidence was right or wrong. 

THE GOOD

  • Yooka-Laylee brings a new fresh wave in the platform genre, something that other studios should have done years ago. Playtonic created an interesting duo that people can easily like and love, hopefully sparkling the platform genre for other developers. (I’m looking at you Microsoft for a new Conker or Banjo Kazooie)
  • Gameplay is pretty varied and fun, the dynamic duo learns new moves and abilities while advancing through the story. While running around you’ll always be on the look out for gems, the levels are full with stuff-to-collect. You’ll be solving some easy quests and battling some easy to defeat enemies, it’s dangerously close for being too easy but Playtonic has found a sweet spot so all ages can play Yooka-Laylee.
  • Character design is really remarkable, the same can be said about the level design. Seeing new characters for the first time will provide a smile on your face and the level design makes sure that you’ll have some pure platforming fun.

Mixed Feelings

  • Yooka is a beautiful game, on screenshots. In motion things become less impressive, while the game has a colorful and detailed level environment thing go wrong technically. Frame rate stutters happen frequently and pop up happens very often.
  • Dialogue is questionable, you won’t have spoken conversations but (annoying) sorts-of-grunts. Most of it is skippable and I recommend doing so, the random grunts don’t make much sense and will break down some otherwise pretty decent and funny conversations between characters.
  • I love and hate that Yooka-Laylee plays like a decade old game. It has a very high nostalgia-factor but at the same time some new ideas and gameplay elements would have been welcome.

THE BAD

  • The times I wanted to scream and utterly destroy my Xbox for the horrible camera … I don’t understand that developer Playtonic didn’t do anything about this. It’s simply awful and will frustrate many players. It continues to jumps all over the place, but never were it should be. Resulting in difficult platforming jumps and cheap unfortunate deaths.
  • You would think that after so many years a developer would understand that precision controls are extreme important for a game like this. Guess again .. Yooka-Laylee has some sluggish controls, especially in some mini-games that cause some unnecessary frustration.

Score: 61% | Fundamentally Yooka-Laylee is a good game, but it’s a shame that Playtonic failed to bring an undeniable great game. The potential was extremely high but they left me a little disappointed. Wonky controls, bad camera work, annoying voice dialogue and issues with performance make Yooka-Laylee nothing more than an average game. It could have been so much more …

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