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Yooka-Laylee--PlayTonic's spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie
News reported by 
February 10, 2015, 21:29:02
UPDATE: Kickstarter is live, funded, and up until Tuesday, June 16th! Let's hit some stretch goals!

PlayTonic site link

Go check it out! There's only a couple nuggets of info (and a mysterious piece of art), but apparently Edge will be releasing a new issue on Thursday with the first look at this new game, "Project Ukelele." My guess is some sort of Hawaiian-themed 3D platformer? I'm down.

If you’ve made it this far towards our fine internet abode, then you’ve probably worked out that we’re a new game developer, formed by some blokes who did those games you may or may not have liked as a nipper.

However, if you’ve stumbled here by accident in search of non-sexual relationship advice, allow us to explain what on Earth is going on…

Playtonic’s the name, and fun games, unique characters and absolutely-frickin-amazing worlds to explore are our game. Or at least they will be, once we eventually get around to releasing our first project instead of faffing around on WordPress.

Ahem. Currently we’re a sextet of artists, programmers and designers – sort of like The Pussycat Dolls with computer science degress – with one thing in common; we were all once core member of famous UK studio Rare, where we helmed franchises such as Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong Country and Viva Piñata.

We’ve got the bloke who programmed Donkey Kong Country, the character designer behind Banjo and Kazooie, and the artist who made your console fit to burst with lavish environments across a decade’s worth of adventure games.

Together, our all-star ensemble is aiming to build its debut game, ‘Project Ukulele’, into a worthy spiritual successor to those fondly remembered platforming adventures we built in the past.

By now, you might be thinking, ‘hold on mate, didn’t you make similar claims after drinking too many shandies in the pub in 2012, you muppet?’ Perhaps. But this time it’s real! We’re making a real, proper, actual game. Look: we even managed to trick convince Edge magazine to do us some pages!

You can read all about our venture and see the first artwork for our game in Edge issue 277, which is on sale from February 12.

So what’s next? Well first of all you need to know that our journey is at an early stage – we’ve barely left the Shire and Sean Bean’s still an alright guy.

Over the coming months we’ll reveal more about our project and future growth plans, and we very much intend to get you involved and listen to your views on our game’s direction. You’ll ultimately shape the destination of our project and we plan to continue exchanging sweet glances across cyberspace at you until we get there.

So go on then – follow us on Twitter, slap your thumbs up on our Facebook and sign up for updates. ‘ Cos it’s time to get this wagon rolling…

(well, it definitely has Rare's quirky sense of humor and unusual vernacular)

What do you think?

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Posted: 02/10/15, 21:29:02  - Edited by 
 on: 04/05/17, 22:56:13    
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I haven't read too many reviews, but it seems like if you think N64-era platformers are just the best in spite of all their foibles you should like Yooka Laylee

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 00:29:18
Yeah. Sounds like there may be some technical issues, but the game underneath it all is solid.

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 02:25:26

Agreed. Tooie doesn't hold up as well for me these days as it did back then, but I still love pulling out Kazooie for a replay. I used to do it about once a year, but I think I've probably gone two or three since my last playthrough now.

The only thing that the reviews have done for me is make me think this game may end up playing a bit closer to Tooie than Kazooie, which is a little disappointing, but I still loved Tooie even if I thought it was a bit much at times. The fact that this game doesn't have interconnected worlds (or at least it doesn't seem that way) solves my biggest complaint with Tooie though, so I think it'll be fine.

(In theory interconnected worlds sounds great, but it required a little too much backtracking, and gave way to a few too many obtuse puzzles for my liking in Tooie.)

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 04:35:14
@Mop it up I think the difference is when people think "retro 2D" they often think polished SNES-level games, not clunky NES-level games. "But Zero, don't a lot of new retro games use 8-bit aesthetics?" Yeah, but they often cover everything in 8-bit graphics and sounds to trick you into not realizing that the gameplay itself isn't really a direct throwback to that era. There are a few exceptions but a lot of the current "retro" throwback stuff is a bit more modern.

But the N64 is the 3D equivalent of the NES in 2D... a lot of stuff that was great at the time, but feels clunky now. The equivalent to the SNES era would be something like the Gamecube / PS2 / Xbox era, but no one really has nostalgia for that era, do they?!

I'm not saying Banjo-Kazooie isn't still a great game, but I wonder how many would really like it if they were trying it out for the first time?

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 05:05:41  - Edited by 
 on: 04/05/17, 05:09:04
Here's a review roundup from NintendoLife. It should be noted, NintendoLife sometimes goes a little overboard on skewing positive (which don't get me wrong, I like, but it's clearly a bias) and even WITH that fact this roundup does not sound so hot.

I dunno. After the mess of cancelling the Wii U version and then delaying the Switch one to "Who Knows When" along with the fact that they moved my Wii U preorder over to PC even though I asked for Switch (too late now, apparently, even though I didn't use the PC code) it looks like this just might be something I end up ignoring in the end. Which is crazy, since BK is such a huge forever-favorite to me and when this was announced I was bouncing off the walls with excitement.

I almost feel like BotW has taught me something that I didn't quite realize: Game/genre evolution is extremely important.* YL, pretty much every review agrees, is stuck in the past. And while the past was, and still IS in the case of retro games, fun... we need more from today's games than that. I'm not saying change everything, but fix what's broken and highlight what isn't. Like Zelda. Man... BotW is going to ruin so many games for me, lol.

EDIT: *That said, you can go too far. Example, the Tony Hawk series was near perfect around the THPS3 days, and then they tried to keep going past near perfection and pretty much ruined the series. Same with Super Monkey Ball. SMB2 was genius on top of genius, then they tried to push on and it was a disaster. And Katamari they got right the FIRST time. It didn't need changed, ha ha. Most people agree Harvest Moon 64 was the ultimate HM (even if I like the SNES classic more myself). So I'm not asking for always constant improvements, just find that sweet spot and then make it work well.

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 05:08:00  - Edited by 
 on: 04/05/17, 05:12:42
@Zero I don't really agree with that second assessment, but I s'pose this isn't the place to get into that. Point being, good gameplay is good gameplay.

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 05:33:51
I just came here to say "Fuck Jim Sterling".

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 08:07:20
If that's the case I should be fine with Yooka-Laylee. The whole reason I was excited about it was the promise of an N64 styled platformer.

Jim's alright. He's just got shit taste in games from time to time. Most of the time. Nearly always. But I like the guy.

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 14:32:04  - Edited by 
 on: 04/05/17, 15:26:21
carlosrox said:
I just came here to say "Fuck Jim Sterling".

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 16:29:58

Wouldn't the N64 actually be the equivalent of an early Atari? Not trying to be pedantic here; I just want to point out how there was almost no frame of reference for how to make a 3D game, much less a good 3D game. At least the NES had a couple years of 2D games to learn from.

Also, I'm super nostalgic for Gamecube and PS2 era games. At least, the early games on those consoles. Probably because that generation started when I was 5.


What did he do?

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 18:43:07  - Edited by 
 on: 04/05/17, 18:56:08
He gave Yooka-Laylee 2/10 in a review on the Jimquisition, apparently.

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 18:58:50

Fuck him for... having an opinion?

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 19:16:49  - Edited by 
 on: 04/05/17, 19:17:03
@Hero_Of_Hyrule I would say that mode 7 scaling and the Super FX chip on SNES are the Atari equivalent of 3D games, hee hee. But yeah, I find it quite amazing how well Nintendo nailed their first 3D games, even something like Star Fox has some really smart design decisions.

I was going to say something about how the GCN / PS2 / Xbox are getting old enough to be nostalgic, they've been around long enough now that some people have grown up with them and are now in their 20s, and want to buy back their childhoods. Probably why prices for those systems and games are on the rise, especially GameCube.

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 19:27:54  - Edited by 
 on: 04/05/17, 19:29:41
Maybe Carlos has some other beef with Jim, so I won't speak for him or anything. I know many people dislike Jim for various reasons (most of which are reasons why I like the man), so this could be about something else or something bigger.

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 19:35:11

You want to have an opinion someone disagrees with, get your butt to a Communist country!

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 22:46:02
Kinda hate how this game is right around the corner, and my excitement is muted. Not because of the mixed reviews, in fact, but because there's no release in sight for the Switch. Kinda takes the wind out of the whole retro-revival!

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 22:55:47
Jim's review was well stated I thought. He covers quite clearly why he dislikes the game so much. He even sums it up in his closing statement:

Jim Sterling said:
Yooka-Laylee is a game out of time, clinging so desperately to past glories it doesn’t seem to understand the Earth kept spinning after the N64 was discontinued. It’s everything wrong about the formative years of 3D platforming and it somehow retained none of what made the genre’s highlights endure.

He also mentions he was a backer and when the game's kickstarter was a success he put out this video:

It seems to me if he was being disingenuous it would be in the other direction. He wants more high profile indie games, he seems to like the idea of an updated 3D platformer. It just seems like that Yooka Laylee missed the mark, and that isn't a Jim Sterling exclusive opinion. Furthermore, you have to remember that when he scores based on his scale of 5 being average any game he feels doesn't measure up is going to be some degree below that.

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 23:04:59
TriforceBun said:
Kinda hate how this game is right around the corner, and my excitement is muted. Not because of the mixed reviews, in fact, but because there's no release in sight for the Switch. Kinda takes the wind out of the whole retro-revival!

Agreed, though the mixed reviews don't help, surely.

Good gracious, could they not even give us a HINT at the Switch release?! BK was a "Nintendo game!" Sigh. Well, at least I still have five areas that haven't even been mapped in Zelda, Lego City is waiting when that's done, and Puyo-Tetris is already preordered..

Posted by 
 on: 04/05/17, 23:19:06
Ah the old "hurr hurr games have progressed" bullshit. Cuz old games are SOOOOOOOO AWFUL, I GET IT. I hate when people act like it's some fucking fact that old games "didn't age well".

So he wants more games like this (in this genre) but gives the game a 2. Real helpful. Making the game out to be unplayable and just awful is really gonna help this game sell! 2/10 is a shitty hyperbolic score and he knows it.

And other people have given the game an 8 or a 9, so it's not in line with everyone's scores. But Mr.Critic, hard to impress Jim Sterling (THANK GOD FOR JIM LOL, HE IS SO BRAVE!) makes the game out to be without merit! Why not just give it a 0 while he's at it?

And BOTW is just an AIGHT game because the weapons break. Okay. Mr.Critic wasn't impressed.

Posted by 
 on: 04/07/17, 18:54:59
My take away from Retronauts dude Bob Mackey's review is that the game is fine, as long as you don't strive to go for 100% completion, which I never planned on doing.

Still looking forward to it.

Posted by 
 on: 04/07/17, 19:30:02
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