Review: Yooka-Laylee Game

Yooka and Laylee are back with a vengeance! The tribute duo to Banjoo and Kazooie find themselves this time in a world that is less 3D than the previous one, but manages to bring out the more originality of Playtonic. Not being faithful to, but more of a 'that's how it is!' principle. And frankly, that turns out to be very colorful for Yooka-Laylee.

Where the original functioned as a big nod to the Banjoo platformers, Yooka and Laylee failed to convince the majority of the crowd with their happy faces and a colorful world. The platforming and collecting as usual was there, but the nostalgia, which is missing. Nostalgia is not immediately an ingredient for the perfect recipe, but it does its wonders. Looking at the Spyro and Crash trilogy, we can certainly confirm this. The games are all very old, dated, but the fresh look and the memories from then complete the picture. This wasn't quite true for Yooka and Laylee, but with the Impossible Lair they know how to sweeten up the slightly sour taste completely.
Goodbye 3D platformer and hello 2D glory. A little further back in time, but not with nostalgic thoughts. A completely fresh look at 2D platforming ensures that this provides a constant challenge from Yooka-Laylee and that is because you can decide when you want to finish the game. You just have to get it done, of course.

The Impossible Lair

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair works on a very simple principle. As soon as you start the game and have gone through the short introduction you will immediately be confronted with the final boss. Obviously you won't be able to beat this one and you will lose. No worries. It's all part of it, this isn't necessarily the Dark Souls of the colorful 2D platformers, although it can be. If you want this of course. You lose the fight and end up in an overworld that you approach from an overhead perspective. Still a little bit 3D.

You will then be instructed to pass through the Impossible Lair to defeat the enemy. But that mission is quite 'impossible'. Never mind, it gets easier. By collecting bees you will always be able to survive one against the other. By collecting more bees you can end up being able to withstand more knocks in the Impossible Lair. This makes it more and more possible. You could complete the game in one go by playing the Impossible Lair directly. However, this is extremely difficult without extra lives. You are practically not allowed to get hit and this level fires at you literally anything it can fire at you. Tricky platform sections. Many enemies and so on. You also have no idea what all these dangers are and how to react to them when you see them for the first time.By playing through the rest of the game, you will become familiar with the various enemies and traps that appear in your path.
You will be able to play through the levels through the game by constantly buying new areas through a literal 'paywall'. You don't pay real money for this, but in-game coins that you can find by searching a level a little better than the average speedrunner would. Each area has a number of new levels baked into an overworld that also contains a number of secrets that you can explore.

No Playtonic without tonic

A big part of your adventure in Yooka-Laylee is manipulating just about everything around you. Both the gameplay and the appearance of the game can be customized in various ways. One of the ways to modify the world around you is through special potions called tonics. You can turn on a number of tonics at once, causing the effects to pile up. For example, a certain effect can be that the image becomes black and white. Or that the controls change and the image is upside down. There are quite a few different tonics that modify the game and certain tonics make the game more difficult, others easier. Depending on the tonics you set you will get a bonus or a penalty on your points income. By making the game more difficult you will score extra points.By making the game easier you will score less points.
The points are a bit as usual. The ultimate goal is to complete the game with as many points as possible. Outside of the tonics, there are a number of ways to manipulate the game. It is possible to completely change certain levels. A horizontal level is suddenly played vertically allowing you to collect another bee to use as an extra life point in the Impossible Lair.

Verdict

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair takes a familiar 2D platform formula. But puts in some fresh elements that give the genre a fresh look. Thanks to the way the game is built, you always have your own challenge in your hands. And you decide when you take on the dangers of the Impossible Lair. This brings you to a certain point where you have to consider playing through some levels. Or to try it one more time with the lives you have now. The colorful world and the fact that you can absurdly modify the game for fun or for personal gain or loss make for some entertaining hours of gameplay.


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