As someone who weathered the Yooka-Delaylee storm so that I could experience the game on Nintendo Switch, I'm at last prepared to provide my thoughts. Do I really want to? Well, not really. Reviews aren't really thing. It's why my Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney "review" is a gaggle of Miiverse screen captures. It's why my Paper Mario: Color Splash review hasn't happened and never will. But in this case...I suppose I must oblige:
|It's me! (Six paces above "Ray and the Family Dickinson".)|
And with that,
I'll start my review by actually complimenting the game, in that Moodymaze Marsh somehow manages to be the best 3D platformer level ever conceived by Rare people and that includes it including their best-ever NPCs. Yo, maybe the best NPCs in all of gaming. Forget about the rest of the level real quick and focus your attention solely on them. You have Dolly the Trolley, Jolly the Trolley, Ollie the Trolley, and Wally the Trolley -- four abandoned shopping carts who are permanent residents of this swamp, I guess because this swamp is where no-longer-used shopping carts are tossed to spend the rest of their days. This depressing scenario is reflected in a quest where the apathetic Laylee leaves Dolly trapped in Dusky Duct to forever rust (...I'm ignoring his appearance in the end-game character parade), and Ollie is just totally bent out of shape both figuratively and literally.
|Ollie the Trolley is the best Non-Playable Character ever. The best Non-Playable Character that's ever been, ever ever ever, on any platform.|
(Am I only saying this because I now identify with him?)
It's pretty impressive of Playtonic when you consider that they squeezed this into what is typically a very unimpressive game. As a contrast to the above, some things in Yooka-Laylee I made a principled effort to never touch -- such as several of Rextro Sixtyfourus's arcade machines which if at all possible I tried to never even go near. (That's based not even on the fact that they're universally reviled, but that they ruin the scenery with their blinding lights and cacophonous sounds.) I also actively avoided the minecart segments despite the facts that they're accompanied by David Wise music and are needed to encounter a particular level boss who I will now never know the identity of. Oh well!
Truly the most schizophrenic experience I've ever had with a video game, which I'm pretty sure says more bad about it than good. However, I like to think of Yooka-Laylee as "charmingly mediocre", in that despite many bad things that are legitimately bad and offensively so, Yooka-Laylee isn't a game that you can ever be too "mad" at. For instance, I still find it so fucking funny how the game took jabs at Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts in its early promotions only to end up using vehicles more randomly and senselessly than Nuts & Bolts ever did.
|A helicopter is the themed transformation for a casino.|
Also, escorting Sir Scoffsalot to his destination was as boring as you might expect. It might've even been boring and difficult at the same time.
And speaking of, the game's radiating of optimism towards Yooka and Laylee's future (though not Ollie's) is obviously supposed to be the antithesis of Nuts & Bolts' tone of self-mockery (aka gallows humor at a wake), but Yooka-Laylee becoming mired in controversy shortly before release -- combined with Nuts & Bolts sensibilities subconsciously leaking into the game anyway -- made it where the mood surrounding Yooka-Laylee was far more similar to Nuts & Bolts' manic-depression than anything resembling a rejection of it. (What a world.)
Final thoughts: Yooka-Laylee really had a way of illustrating both the familiar brilliance and familiar stupidity of its developers and I enjoyed studying it. ...But...it is half-bad, which means...it's also half-good, which theoretically should make my final score of 5/10 seem a whole lot less controversial.
Rawk's review criteria clearly isn't normal. Also, Rawk is right, this really is KoopaTV's seventh Yooka-Laylee article. ...And he's responsible for only three of those. (The hell?) This article may or may not fulfill KoopaTV's obligation to completing this request.
While Rawk will never write a review of Paper Mario: Color Splash, another author on the site has already done that. Click here to read it!
Here is the original article describing the Kickstarter's success, written by Rawk.
Rawk was later concerned about the game's JonTron influence.
Subsequently, JonTron was removed from the game, but for the wrong reason.
Yooka-Laylee was widely panned upon release.
Rawk reviewed the Nintendo Switch version, which released in December 2017.
Rawk is not the only staffer that owns Yooka-Laylee: Kamek does too, and on the Xbox One. He streamed it before.
Rawk can't separate himself from "Rare" the abstract concept, but as of Sea of Thieves he definitely has no love for the original company.
Rawk later is fascinated about Yooka and Laylee making cameo appearances in other indie games.