Yooka-Laylee review by Tyson
I spent most of my mid to late teens happily playing many 3D platforming games on the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation consoles. I was really happy to have Yooka-Laylee come a long since 3D platforming games are not as widely made as they once were. After finishing Yooka-Laylee I found the game to have some great moments but also some really awful moments as well.
Yooka-Laylee starts off with our lizard and bat duo Yooka and Laylee hanging out at their house when suddenly this book they found starts flying in the sky. Laylee decides its best to chase after it since its a flying book and that will make it be worth more money. Chasing after the book then turns into this bigger story of them trying to stop this Hivory Corporation from taking over the world. The games story is decent but what really shines is the dialog and various characters you meet throughout the game. I found myself chuckling a lot at the character to character dialog which was nice. Plus who doesn't love crazy characters such as a hot tub named Tubbz.
Yooka-Laylee borrows a lot of concepts from the mid to late 90s 3D platforming games. You will explore various worlds, learn new abilities, and collect various collectibles needed to advance throughout the game. Thankfully Yooka-Laylee never takes its collectibles too far like other 3D platforming games have. The main collectibles you get through the games five worlds and the connecting hub world are Pagies which are used for unlocking levels and Quills which are used to buy new abilities. There are a few other collectibles like a butterfly heart gem that increases your life or a lightning bolt icon that gives you more power. Each world may also have a unique collectible used for acquiring a Pagie as well.
Collecting Pagies for the most part is an enjoyable experience. Each world will require you to do various activities to acquire them but many activities are repeated in each level. These repeated ones are generally the least enjoyable activities. Doing a mine cart race or flying through hoops in each level isn't really fun but when you get to do various activities that require you to use your abilities to collect Pagies it ends up being enjoyable.
Another really great aspect of Yooka-Laylee is that you are constantly learning new abilities as you play through the game. You will start out with basic stuff like jumping and a spin attack but then learn new moves like a roll, being able to fly, or becoming invisible. Each world also won't be accessible until you learn a specific ability. Even certain Pagies in each world will require an ability from later in the game to acquire. This means that there is a Pagie from each world that you can collect later as you progress through the game which is nice but having to constantly backtrack is also a pain.
Sadly Yooka-Laylee can't do everything right with its design and the stuff that it doesn't do right really hurts the game. There are times where the camera is super horrible and makes some tasks way harder then they should be. Several of the games boss fights drag on and become very unenjoyable. While the game has a cool feature of being able to expand each world to increase its size it also messes up with that. You never know how many Pagies you can acquire in each world before you need to expand it. Each world is fairly large and gets larger as you expand it but there is no map to help you explore the worlds which is dumb. There is also no kind of tracking system on what Pagies you have and have not acquired which sucks.
For the most part I really had no issues with control setup. My main complaint though is that it uses so many different combinations of buttons to perform various abilities. Holding down the LB or RB button and then pressing one of the face buttons would do a specific move and there were times where I would hit the wrong order of button which sucked. And sure that is on me but I wonder if there was a better way to design that.
I have to say that overall I enjoyed the graphics in Yooka-Laylee. I really liked all the goofy character designs. The world environments were colorful and enjoyable to look at. I did get a few hiccups in the frame rate here and there but nothing that would cause gameplay problems.
The games music brought back a lot of that 90s platforming nostalgia which I liked. The characters gibberish voices can get a bit annoying for a lot of people but I didn't find it all that bad. The sound effects from using items to interacting with them sounded great as well.