After a year-long period of waiting, with the occasional character or soundtrack reveal here and there, Playtonic Games have finally come out from the shadows to reveal exactly what the heck’s been going on with their Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor, Yooka-Laylee.
This is gonna be one doozy of a post, so let’s get started with the most interesting reveals out of all, the characters and plot.
The game’s story revolves around the exploits of the titular duo – a well-meaning chameleon named Yooka and his best friend Laylee, a slightly unhinged bat, as they must traverse throughout several worlds and collect mystical pages called Pagies, amongst other items, if they hope to put an end to the evil schemes of businessman-er, bug, Capital B, the owner of the corporation Hivory Towers, and his henchduck Dr. Quack, the owner of the recently-acquired Quack Corp, who plan to take all of the word’s literature and use it for their own greedy purposes. Along the way, they’ll be aided by a cast of colorful characters such as Trowzer, a salesman snake who can teach Yooka and Laylee many types of abilities, Rextro Sixtyfourous, a dinosaur that resides in arcade cabinets that hold several mini-games, and Dr. Puzz, a pink squid inventor and Quack’s former partner, who can help turn Yooka and Laylee into various forms.
Hey, I didn’t know they were shooting Frozen 2 around here!
It’s a wacky premise, not dissimilar to that of the Banjo series, which is definetely a good thing. Capital B himself looks like he could be a threatening but hilarious adversary to Yooka and Laylee, as well as a worthy successor to Gruntilda (who’s one of my all-time favorite video game villains, by the way). Playtonic have also revealed that July will be the intended month of release for the backers-only Toy Box, which will serve as a basic demonstration of how the game’s overall style will be like when the final product is released. The release date for the final product, however, is still yet to be determined, although Playtonic have stated that they are “getting close”.
I do think that this does have a lot of potential. While recent 2D and 2.5D platformers have been getting plenty of attention lately, 3D platformers on the other hand just haven’t been as frequent, although several fledging developers have been working to revive the genre. And while I am not exactly a diehard Rareware fan, I absolutely love the Banjo-Kazooie series, and consider it to be their highest achievement along with Killer Instinct. Let’s just hope that this turns out to be hugely successful, unlike certain other Kickstarted spiritual successors.
What are your impressions of Yooka-Laylee so far? Be sure to post them in the comments section, and join me tomorrow as I take on a game that thinks it’s educational, when in reality it’s anything but.