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Yooka-Laylee

is an all-new open-world platformer from key creative talent behind the Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country games. Newly-formed as Playtonic Games, the team is building... read more

Yooka-Laylee Review (Xbox One)

Author: Daniel Quintiliano
04-Apr-2017

Category: Review

Get ready to start a beautiful and nostalgic adventure with the most charismatic heroes. Yooka-Laylee introduces amazing friends and villains part of a series of quests that can be completed in unusual ways. The game is also filled with magic and a lot of fun dialogues with jokes that will entertain the player from beginning to end.

Yooka-Laylee Review (Xbox One)

INTRODUCTION

Yooka-Laylee is a beautiful classic adventure game created by Playtonic Games and inspired by some of the most popular Nintendo classics including Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country. If these are the type of games you have been missing, you can expect to be part of a fun and engaging adventure.

The main characters joining the fun are a friendly chameleon (Yooka) and a funny energetic bat (Laylee). In this title, they combine forces and use unique skills to defeat the most despicable enemy, Capital B who tries to steal all books in the world and execute an evil master plan.

Yooka-Laylee brings a great array of beautiful worlds, which can be explored in different ways and expandable as you move on and complete challenges. The journey is simply fun and entertaining, and allows players to meet interesting characters along the way. These friends will not only help you collect important items, but also assist you reaching your main goals in the journey.

The Yooka-Laylee heroes count with a good variety of fighting moves that will send away any enemy that attempts to stop them from gathering the precious book pages hidden along their path. There are multiple possibilities and fantastic worlds to explore, filled with intriguing challenges and new quests.

The game is available to play on single mode for the main adventure and arcade mode. In addition, you can choose to play in co-op mode, which holds up to 4 players in the arcade option.  

Yooka-Laylee was developed by Playtonic Games and will be available for Xbox One on April 10, 2017 for $39.99

Yooka-Laylee Review (Xbox One). The colorful and vibrant main adventure takes the game heroes to discover new worlds that can later be expanded.

STORY

Similarly to Banjo-Kazooie, the game will start with an introduction of the main villain's maleficent plan. In this part of the story, Capital B and Dr. Quack join forces to start a super-machine that is capable of stealing everybody’s books, including our heroes’. One of my favorite things about Yooka-Laylee game characteristics is in the dialogue style, which is filled with jokes and funny comments (mostly coming from Laylee).

Your main goal here is to locate the pages of a particular book that somehow managed to escape from Capital B and need your assistance. They refer to themselves as "Pagies" and provide very good information on how to get started. Yes, book pages and other inanimate items can talk and interact with you, which is very charming and funny.

As Yooka and Laylee begin their journey to learn more about Capital B and his plan, you will explore amazing worlds with a large cast of incredible characters. For example,  Trowzer is a very important friend who will help you unlock useful skills in exchange for some Quills (game currency).

Each character you meet will have a different story, background and most likely a request to you. Each one of these conversation can lead you to memorable mini challenges that will result in more Pagies. Gathering book pages will not only assist you to stop Capital B’s plan, but will also allow you to expand and unlock worlds in the game.

Besides that, you will have to fight bosses to collect additional pages. Some quests and battles are trickier than others, but Yooka and Laylee have a nice array of fighting moves and magical tonics, which modify or enhance your current abilities.

Finally, it is important to know that some of the moves and abilities take away some of the characters’ energy and will have to be recharged with time. In order to do so, you will need to collect butterflies to fill up your energy gauge. Besides that, eating butterflies help our heroes replenish their health stats back not notmal after taking damage from battles.

The only disadvantaged noticed in the structure of the story telling in Yooka-Laylee is that long cutscenes cannot be skipped. Because of that, if you decide to restart your adventure and already know the story, the game will force you to see the everything again.

Yooka-Laylee Review (Xbox One). Yooka and Laylee can unlock new abilities as they continue their journey to find more Pagies.

GAMEPLAY

Yooka and Laylee have an awesome arsenal of skills that fit really well with the platform structure and allow the player to have fun and rarely get bored with what they can do. Exploring the 3D worlds and meeting new characters is always fun and gives the player the feeling of being in control of Yooka and Laylee’s adventure.

There is not a specific sequence of tasks that you need to complete and it is up to you to decide whether to use your pages to expand the worlds you are currently exploring or unlock a brand new environment. For example, players can complete the adventure by following the storyline by moving from world to world, but they can also take the chance to expand worlds that were already visited. This action allows you to find new tasks to complete and face more challenging levels. In addition, players have a lot of freedom to choose and customize fighting abilities and skills enhancements.

Aside from completing the quests, you can also locate secret paths that will give Yooka and Laylee the chance to find hidden objects that turn out to be very useful as you advance. The more characters you talk to, the more side-challenges will become available.

The gameplay is certainly a unique experience for each player. However, there are a couple of things that would improve the characteristics of the heroes’ journey. Adding a miniature map on the side of the screen could assist players in the process of locating themselves in a new region. Since worlds can expand into a much larger possibility, it can be easy to forget which way to go in order to find a particular character or reaching the next challenge location.

Another detail I would recommend improvement would be on a few issues associated with the camera settings. When playing this 3D platform game, there were a few moments in which I caught myself not being able to really move and set the camera to the most efficient position. That is, having Yooka and Laylee completing quick movements in areas that have a little less space can be difficult if you can’t see your surroundings. Maybe there is an intentional reason behind this feature to make players look for a better alternative or route and complete challenges.

Finally, other fun game features include the retro arcade and multiplayer options, which will add an extra nostalgic element to the adventure. There are definitely great options on what to do outside of the main adventure.

Yooka-Laylee Review (Xbox One). There is a very large amount of game quests and challenges. Difficulty levels vary and will keep the player focused and entertained.

GRAPHICS AND AUDIO

The 3D structure of Yooka-Laylee is very well designed and filled with colors and shapes. The animation quality is so pleasant to see that you will most likely take a few moments admiring the environment around your heroes before jumping into the next challenge. The only minor issue noticed here were a few frame drops during the gameplay happening right before a longer cutscene.

The fact that this is a game that allows almost every little “thing” to talk and interact allows new players to explore worlds with an open mind. Because of that you may feel surprised to see that the next tip will come from a big cooking pot or from a racing cloud.

In terms of audio, Yooka-Laylee does a fantastic job with the combination of a fun and pleasant soundtrack selection. The results of the developer’s work in this game will be familiar to players who enjoyed the popular titles previously mentioned in this review, such as Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country.

In addition to the songs and overall music in this title, I would also mention the engaging character’s voices, which have the same concept of Banjo’s series. This element brought me back to very good gaming memories. Each character has a different personality, and therefore a unique way to express themselves. One example of a very creative detail in regards to this audio feature is the skeleton Clara, whose voice is basically the sound of bones hitting each other.

Yooka-Laylee Review (Xbox One). The game brings very creative elements in the storyline with high quality graphics that are simply beautiful to look at.

CONCLUSION

Yooka-Laylee is a fantastic game choice for fans of a great 3D Platform. It brings a nice complex structure with cute design. Most players will feel a nice comforting nostalgia as soon as they join the adventure.

Another great quality of the game is the large variety of possibilities when exploring worlds and making decisions. Expanding environments will give you more quest options while increasing the difficulty level of challenges.

Finally, using Pagies to move on to a new world, allows you to meet new characters and complete a whole different set of challenges. These features can totally impact the environment around the player and modify their experience in the game.


PROSCONS
+ Fantastic quality and design- No guiding maps in the main adventure
+ Engaging story- Very few camera issues
+ Fun music experience- Occasional frame drops
 + Expandable worlds- Cannot skip cutscenes



SCORE: 6.9/10

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