When Yooka-Laylee first came out, I got it for PS4 and played it a lot. About 15 hours or so. Then I stopped once I heard it was coming to Switch since that's always my platform of choice. Well once it hit Switch, I got a copy from Limited Run (gotta have it physical) and I played a few levels and really enjoyed it. Now I'm playing through the game in its entirety with my boyfriend and I gotta say I love it.
I love the worlds, I love the level design, I love the different moves you learn and I love the platforming challenges. I love the music too. And while the characters aren't as charming as the ones in Banjo-Kazooie, I still found them pretty fun and charming.
In particular I love the size of the levels and the expansion mechanic. The best way to play the levels in my opinion is to play the small version first and get as many pages as you can get and then expand the level. This makes it easier to explore the expanded version without getting lost or overwhelmed.
Also the Switch version has recieved all of the patches of the base game right out of the gate. So the camera controls are great now. I have had no camera issues whatsoever. Having a smooth manual camera feels great and really sucks you into the worlds in my opinion.
There's also quite a lot of content. Rather than 10 worlds, there's 5 huge worlds, but instead of 10 jiggies, each world has 25 pagies. Each level is chock-full of stuff to do.
There's a lot of interesting level design ideas too. I really like absorbing properties with Yooka's tongue in order to complete puzzles and different challenges. There's a dark platforming section in the second level where you need to keep absorbing glow in the dark goop in order to see where the platforms are and get to the end and I thought this was a really fun and interesting mechanic. There's also an isometric section in the second level that has various platforming challenges and changes up the gameplay feel in an interesting way.
Here's a big one too. The levels are large, but easy to navigate in my opinion. Every level has landmarks that make it easy to figure out where you need to go and where you have already been. This is handled much better than Banjo-Tooie in my opinion, since I often got horribly lost in that game.
My main complaint isn't even a big one. There's not even characters in the game. Enemies and side characters were lacking for sure. That's a fair complaint, but it's hardly a deal-breaker for me.
I know I will get a lot of hate for this, but this game was more fun to play than Banjo-Tooie for me. Obviously Banjo-Kazooie will always be king, but Tooie to me felt too large and interconnected and confusing. I got lost in the levels all the time and it was hard to figure out what I needed to do, especially since a lot of the jiggies required you to use new moves from later levels and it wasn't clear what move you needed or if you could or couldn't get the jiggy yet. Progress in Tooie for me was very slow. It seriously took me 50 hours to 100% the game. Now I'm always slow at games so that's probably why, but I still feel the game's levels are disorienting and progress in the game is too cryptic. The levels also didn't have a lot of landmarks to help guide you so that led to me getting confused as to where I already went and where I needed to go. Some levels had interesting landmarks, like the last level, but most didn't. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed my time with Banjo-Tooie a lot. It was really fun, but also pretty frustrating at times. I'm happy I played it though and I really like it.
But Yooka-Laylee feels so much better to play in my opinion. The pagies are more straight-forward, exploration is still satisfying, and progress has been much faster for me. The game is also no slouch in content. HLTB has the game listed at around 20 – 25 hours to complete the entire game. That's a fantastic amount of content in my opinion. Sure some levels are better than others, but the game is really fun overall, despite it's flaws. I'm enjoying it more than Banjo-Tooie and I'm certainly enjoying it more than that shitty Balan Wonderworld demo.
If you want something that actually deserves the hate, play Balan Wonderworld. I was so excited for that game and it ended up being hot garbage. Everything Balan fails at, Yooka-Laylee excels at in my opinion.
This game has brought me so much joy and it has filled in the void that I felt after 100%ing Super Mario Odyssey. I just wanted more excellent 3D platformers and thus game absolutely delivered for me. I'm really sad to hear so many people didn't like it.
It's not the most innovative 3D platformer by any means. That's what people complained the most about. Ya it's not that much different from Banjo-Kazooie, but that's the point. I wasn't looking for a revolutionary 3D platformer. Super Mario Odyssey already gave me that and Bowser's Fury seems to take that even further in some regards. For Yooka-Laylee, I was just looking for a fun game and I certainly got that. A game doesn't have to be revolutionary to be fun and enjoyable.
If you haven't played it because of the negative press, I urge you to give the Switch version a shot. It's really fun and a great game overall. As long as you're not expecting super innovative and revolutionary gameplay and just want a fun game, you'll enjoy it. The patches have really helped improve the game too in small ways that really add up. This game deserved so much better. It makes me sad to see such a fun game get such negative feedback. Try it out for yourself and you might just love it as much as I do. 😁
- Banjo Tooie released 20 years ago today.
- Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts isn’t all that bad
- Compilation of the best ROM hacks from various franchises.
More about Gaming NewsPost: "I don’t care what people say about Yooka-Laylee. I love it and here’s why:" specifically for the game Gaming News. Other useful information about this game:
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