released on Apr 11, 2017

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!

Reviews View More

It's required to play this before the sequel, the lore is very important.

This is the real banjo tooie, both the good and the bad.

This game is a strange mistake - because on one hand its very clearly "poorly designed". Its like a jigsaw puzzle where all of the pieces are different sizes and shapes. But on the other hand, it has this sort of fun physics sandbox thing going for it where you can break all the challenges the designers made for you and complete them in your own ingenious ways.

I first came across Yooka-Laylee when it was free on Epic Games and thought it looked fun, but when I looked more into it and saw a pretty unanimous 'meh' from the community I decided not to bother.
It went unplayed in my library for just over a year until I stumbled across Hbomberguy's video: What Modern Games Can Learn From Yooka-Laylee from around the time of the game's release. It got me hooked immediately. I was born just a little bit too late to have claimed ownership of my brother's N64 before he moved away so I never played any traditional collect-a-thon games. With that in mind, I was curious to see whether the experience would truly sate my insatiable desire to Collect Things.
The game is good. It’s nothing mind-blowing, but it’s nowhere near as mediocre as its reception made it out to be. The fact that it has an average rating of 2.6 stars (at the time of writing this) is really quite sad, especially when you consider that a whopping 28% of players on Steam haven’t even made it past the first step of the tutorial. Only 21% of players beat the boss of World 2, and only 9% have beaten the final boss. It’s not like it’s difficult, the graphics are respectable, the writing is witty… it makes me wonder what is driving people away so quickly. I can only assume people are too clouded by nostalgia for older titles to appreciate Yooka-Laylee as a separate entity.
All that aside, I found the game fun. I’m a massive completionist (and also very dumb) so I had to look up guides to pick up things I was missing, but it didn’t take away from the experience. It’s a nice game to kick back and relax playing, with some challenges sprinkled here and there. The boss fights were all interesting and unique, and I didn’t beat any of them on my first try—which I consider to be a good thing, personally. There’s not much else to say about it really. It’s a fun and engaging collectathon and a great modern take on the genre that sufficiently satisfied my hoarder urges. 6/10.

Technically well-made collect-a-thon that just doesn't do much to modernize the formula its obvious inspirations used long ago.
+ tight movement and abilities with a steady stream of upgrades
+ decent if unremarkable visuals
- immediately forgettable story and cast
- low enemy variety with often frustrating hit boxes
- mediocre world design that leaves no strong impressions
- aggressively unfunny writing particularly evident in cutscenes where dialogue can't be sped up

this is like the opposite of video games
i know it's not exactly brave to shit on this game, but i also feel like there's a lot of contrarians that come out of the woodwork to defend it, and it's shocking because this is a game that has a bunch of pieces that'd constitute an at least serviceable experience, but it's the way that it's all put together that makes it feel devoid of any meaningful or cohesive experiences
i'm just not really sure what they were going for with this one because it's not even really an homage to banjo-kazooie or even really any platformer i've ever played, and i've played a lot of them! it feels like random things and references and ideas strewn around vast environments that don't feel like they've had any conscious design put into their layout or aesthetic. i can look at a lot of shitty 3D platformers and understand where people are getting enjoyment from, but this game just feels like... nothing