If you are familiar with my inexplicable infatuation with the Bear & Bird duo, You knew this was coming. You watched me gleefully collect all 190 Jiggies, 90 Jinjos and 1,800 Musical notes that are scattered all throughout the various worlds present in Banjo-Kazooie and it’s sequel, Banjo-Tooie. You watched as I damn near dragged myself through the endless slog of repeating missions and mandatory vehicles until I had collected all 131 Jiggies in the hell that was personally made for me that we know as Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.
But finally. After 16 years of waiting. Yooka-Laylee is here.
Yooka-Laylee is an action adventure, platforming game with a heavy emphasis on item collection. Developed by Playtonic Games and published by Team 17 for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Linux, Mac and PC (the version we’re using to LP the game!) released on the 11th of April this year. The Switch version was originally intended for release on Wii U but due to multiple complications, development for the Wii U version was moved over to the Switch and is due to release later this year though the date is as of yet unconfirmed.
Watching the development of Yooka-Laylee has been one hell of a roller-coaster. From initial plans to make a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie from a Twitter account named “Mingy Jongo” in 2012, to the apparent cancellation of the project announced in a Reddit thread in 2014, to the reveal of Playtonic Games as a studio and their developer showcase in 2015 where I asked them a very hard question, It’s been quite the emotional journey for anyone who really wanted to see another one of them 3D Platformer games with the animals that talk funny.
The highs of the kickstarter for the game reaching over two million pounds. The lows of the backlash as YouTube funnyman Jonathan Tronathan was removed from the game. The confusion as mixed reviews came in where some people had misunderstood that this is in fact a game like an old game and not a new game, which is exactly what had been pitched since the beginning of the project.
It’s been quite a time to be a fan of Banjo-Kazooie and see all of this unfold over the last 4 years. But now finally, the game has been released. I have spent a considerable amount of time playing and 100% completing it and am here to tell you my thoughts and feelings. This game is not perfect, not by any measure. In fact, it is plagued by the same issues that we repeatedly saw and fought against in games as young impressionable children growing up with the millennium looming on the horizon. The agony of “wheres that last thing I need to finish this level WHERE IS IT”, The frustration of repeatedly trying to complete that one task/mini-game, and the old fashioned camera that is seemingly controlled by another player who is laughing as you attempt to make a difficult jump.
But even with those grievances, comes endearment. The world is charming, cheery, bright and colourful. The music is excellent. The characters are distinctly Rare characters, and the puns are unbearable. It’s familiar, but not too familiar.
It’s almost exactly the game I’ve been hoping for over the last 16 years. And honestly I’m very happy with what I got.
It’s time to sit down and play the best replacement for the sequel that never was
Let’s Play Yooka-Laylee.
Part 1: Intro, Shipwreck Creek, & Hivory Towers
Part 2: Tribalstack Tropics Act 1 Part 1
Part 3: Tribalstack Tropics Act 1 Part 2
Part 4: Glitterglaze Glacier Act 1 Part 1
Part 5: Glitterglaze Glacier Act 1 Part 2
Part 6: Moodymaze Marsh Act 1 Part 1
Part 7: Moodymaze Marsh Act 1 Part 2
Part 8: Capital Cashino Act 1 Part 1
Part 9: Capital Cashino Act 1 Part 2
Part 10: Galleon Galaxy Act 1
Part 11: Tribalstack Tropics Act 2
Part 12: Glitterglaze Glacier Act 2 Part 1
Part 13: Glitterglaze Glacier Act 2 Part 2
Part 14: Moodymaze Marsh Act 2
Part 15: Capital Cashino Act 2
Part 16: Galleon Galaxy Act 2 Part 1
Part 17: Galleon Galaxy Act 2 Part 2
Part 18: The Final Boss Encounter: Capital B