Modern games that are based on the retro theme of older titles can be fun to play. And I am pretty sure that everyone who is reading this review will be able to remember the good old Nintendo 64 console. If so then you all must have been blown away by the 3D platformers such as Super Mario 64, Donkey Kong 64 and Banjo Kazooie to name but a few. Team 17 and Playtonic Games bring back this nostalgia with Yooka Laylee. Can this retro styled game manage to capture this…let us find out below.
Developer: Playtonic Games
Publisher: Team 17 Digital Ltd
Genre: Adventure, Action
Release Date: 11 April 2017
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500
VGA: Nividia GTS 450 / AMD Equivalent
RAM: 8 GB
HDD: 9 GB
Thanks to the publishers for the review copy.
Yooka Laylee was a game that started out life as a Kickstarter project. The idea was to create a spiritual successor to the highly popular N64 game, Banjo Kazooie. Being a massive retro-gamer as well as a modern gamer, this did get me excited as I remember playing a lot of Banjo Kazooie in my youth. So naturally when the game was available I could not wait to load it up and have a blast on it just to see if this style of platformer could still hold up today.
When the game starts you play as the unlikely hero duo Yooka, the chameleon and Laylee, a small bat. The basic story of the game is that a magical book has been stolen and you are the only two that can retrieve it. This is when the fun starts and you begin your quest that sees you having to explore five unique to track down the bad guy and retrieve said book. Throughout the worlds you must collect quills and pagies.
The pagies can be collected by completing quests and these then will allow you to gain access to new levels, while the quills are easy to find and can be used to trade for interesting new skills. The challenges for the pagies are quite clever and very well thought out and I found them a lot of fun to complete due to the way you must use the two characters to complete them.
As you progress through the game you will find that many references to the games from the Nintendo 64 era. Not to spoil all of them for you all, but for an example you will come across a mine cart missions based on those from the Donkey Kong series. This adds a great touch of nostalgia to the game and you will definitely get a nostalgia feel when you see the reference and go ‘wow I remember that’.
The visuals on Yooka Laylee are amazing. The levels have been created to have very vibrant colours and the high res graphics of modern gaming does do this game justice, why keeping the feel of an N64 game. While there are load of positives I did encounter a few bugs and glitches, but this was due to the fact that it was a pre-release version. There will be a patch released on day one to address the issues so all should be good.
Yooka Laylee is a great platform game. It has every from the N64 Rare era and embodies everything that all gamers remembers. I was a big fan of Rare and the platformers of that day, so I would definitely recommend it. Some might be looking for too much and the magic might be lost if this is the case. Either way, you owe it to yourself to give this game a try if you are any fan of the N64 and platformers.