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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    
Why not sign up for a (free) account and create your own content?
He's not going to give the game a score he doesn't feel it deserves. Yeah he's just gonna lose his entire reputation by scoring some games a number he doesn't feel the deserve. If he thinks its a two its a two what is so hard to take about that. He wants more GOOD games in this genre and giving it a two will mean more people will know what not to do. What is so hard to get about someone not liking a game and giving it a score that they feel is right.

Posted by 
 on: 04/07/17, 19:36:26
Cuz I think he's a full of shit, sensationalist, contrarian tryhard.

I don't believe he thinks for a second the game is actually worthy of what is about as low as you can score a game. 2. A TWO. That doesn't raise the bullshit detector?

As if he doesn't get off on pissing people off and doesn't revel in the "controversy".

Posted by 
 on: 04/07/17, 19:47:11  - Edited by 
 on: 04/07/17, 19:52:10
Why is it impossible for someone to think Yooka-Laylee deserves such a low score? I find it hard to believe that you've never thought a game was shit despite others feeling it was OK or even really good. Personally I don't put much stock in Jim's opinions on individual games since I think he's got pretty shit taste a lot of the time (meaning a taste that differs from my own), but that doesn't mean I see it as impossible that he would feel this game deserves a two. I think you're confusing his Jimquisition persona with his actual person here a little bit.

Posted by 
 on: 04/07/17, 20:00:09
I'd never give a game that wasn't SHOVELWARE a 2/10. His score is a mockery, and it makes a mockery of the work and passion they put into the game. It's an insulting and disrespectful score to veterans of the industry who were in part responsible for some of gaming's greatest classics. I can tell you NO ONE on NW would be stupid enough to think this game is a 2/10, let alone the vast majority of anyone else who plays it.

Like, the worst BROWSER game I ever played is perhaps a 4. In his book, he can't think of many games worse than Yooka Laylee? Is this the lowest score he ever gave a game? Come now.

I remember he reviewed some PSVR game that he sorta tore apart (it's cool to be unimpressed by everything nowadays), one that hardly has any real gameplay mind you, and I really don't recall him giving the game anything close to a 2. But here we are and Yooka Laylee is supposedly a 2 in his eyes.

I don't buy it.

Thank God for Carlos Diaz.

Posted by 
 on: 04/07/17, 20:13:01
Yeah but why are you assuming other people think the same way about scoring as you do? As we found out when we tried to create a unified scoring system on this site, everyone kind of has their own idea of how scoring should work. Some people think "you should use the full scale" and other people don't really care about that. Some people think a 5 is average and some think a 7 or 8 is average.

And he actually scores a lot of games very low he actually gave Star Fox Zero the same score lol. Not to mention that VR game... it did get a 2 from him.

Posted by 
 on: 04/07/17, 20:17:29  - Edited by 
 on: 04/07/17, 20:18:34
This site being Negative World and all, the scoring system should have had 0 as its highest mark and -10 the lowest.

Oh, the missed opportunity to mess with people…

Posted by 
 on: 04/07/17, 20:26:25
Have you yourself played the game? If not I don't think you're in any position to make any claims as to what the majority of anything will think about it. I'm not sure you (or I or anyone else for that matter) is in any position to do that regardless, but nevertheless.

Also, you're implying that work and passion put into a game translates into quality, which is not necessarily the case (although I do agree that it's pretty much required for a game to turn into something good). You're also implying that the work of someone who's previously made a classic game somehow deserves to be judged with that in mind. I really don't see the logic behind that.

Anyway, you seem to be equating your idea of what a 4 is to his idea of what constitutes a 4. A 4 according to Jim is a 'subpar game'. It hasn't even reached a low enough score where he would call it 'bad' at that point. Whether this system makes any sense or not I'll leave unsaid, but I don't necessarily see a 2 as being inconsistent with the system if he truly didn't get any enjoyment out of the game.

Posted by 
 on: 04/07/17, 20:30:08  - Edited by 
 on: 04/07/17, 20:31:53
Zero said:
Some people think a 5 is average and some are mathematically wrong.


That being said, I'm with Carlos on this one (but taken a little less Carlos-extreme). A 2 is a statement number, not an honest evaluation of the game. A 2 would be almost unplayable (a 1 would be unplayable). Is Yooka-Laylee unplayable? No. So that number is nonsense. Unless we're talking about "This is how much fun I had with the game" and then sure, it could be a 2. I probably had about a 2's worth of fun with Ocarina of Time. Simultaneously I would be a complete moron to "score" it a 2 on any reasonable scale, because the game is a masterpiece whether I LIKE it or not.

Posted by 
 on: 04/07/17, 20:52:37
@J.K. Riki

Posted by 
 on: 04/07/17, 21:02:41
@J.K. Riki Some people use a scoring system similar to the grading system at a school, where C is average and a C is usually somewhere in the 70s-80s. I really don't see why this is so confusing to so many people, but whatever.

I'm not sure that something being technically playable should guarantee it some minimum score either. Desert Bus is technically playable but I'm not sure that means it deserves a decent score.

Posted by 
 on: 04/07/17, 21:10:29
2 scores I don't need to take seriously then.


Posted by 
 on: 04/07/17, 22:12:31

That's a video review by someone who liked the game overall and probably 70% of the video is him stating flaws and caveats with the game (and he sounds like a pretty big fan of Banjo Kazooie). Why is it at all inconceivable that if you didn't like the moment to moment gameplay it could be classed as a 2/10 game especially when you are taking a 5 to be an average?

I will say though, I disagree with Jim's general approach as I do with most 5/10 being average score systems. The problem I have with 5 being average is that it assumes there are just as many bad games as there are good games and overall, sure, that may be true but videogame critics aren't wasting time reviewing the copious amount of absolute trash that gets released to balance out with the highscores most games that get coverage get and I think that skews their scores. I'm more fine with the 7 average because it kind of acknowledges that there is a whole other world of games that just don't get reviewed because no one would care. The average reviewed game is still an above average game overall. That's why to me, the letter grade system makes the most sense. You can jam all the garbage simply under F, C range for competent flawed games, B range for games that are good but not quite great, and A for the great stuff. And it still works out to a 10 point scale so there's not the absurd 100 point granularity you find in IGN reviews.

Posted by 
 on: 04/08/17, 01:21:55

For the sake of this post "good" means "what the reader likes or thinks is good"

When I say 5 is average, I don't mean that a 5/10 game is the statistical mean in terms of quality. Rather, I use the word average in a more colloquial sense. Like, it's not notably bad or good; it is unremarkable. It is unexceptional, not having a mix of good and bad parts that tend to balance things into a more neutral experience.

But even then we're hitting the issue with numbers. Because MGS2's gameplay is probably a 6 or 7 out of ten for me, but I love the story, themes, structure, and message so much that it is tied as being my favorite game. So I enjoy the latter portion of the game dispoportionately more than the majority of the experience, but can also see why the game is structured the way it is. Taking just my favorite segment of the game by itself doesn't really work unless you have those less interesting hours that precede it. It is necessary setup for the plot and the ideas the narrative tries to convey. But I still see fit to give it a 10/10 because I like MGS2 more than just about every other game I've played.

So even if a game is literally split to "half bad, half good" maybe what you like about that good half makes you appreciate the game more than another which is solid throughout. Maybe the game has one niggling fall that completely undermines an experience that you would have otherwise enjoyed (for example, the pandering in FE Conquest stops me from the enjoying it's gameplay as much as I might have otherwise).

Numbers are silly and will never be complex enough to be of much use. But I think they're fun and like to "feel" what score I'd give a game, rather than trying to rationalize it. I give games the number that feels right for me, and I have the most fun that way.

Posted by 
 on: 04/08/17, 02:11:43

I feel like though the term average is inextricably linked to the population for which it represents. Let's say we were reviewing hamburgers instead of games. We agree that an average hamburger wouldn't be particularly good nor would it be awful. But in reviewing it is the purpose not to judge it relative to other hamburgers? Otherwise, why even review it? And if we are doing that, well, when we say it is good we are calling it good relative to the general population of hamburgers. The same therefore applies to the average and bad. None of that is to say that the average hamburger would, therefore, be a 5/10. Maybe someone is super picky about their burgers so the average is really low, maybe someone is a burger fanatic so their average is really high. And sure, like you were saying maybe one place has so-so ingredients but a special sauce that makes it your favourite. Maybe some other place has superb ingredients but they insist on using cilantro and you fucking hate cilantro so it ruins it all for you.

To me, all tastes and reviews are valid as long as they are done with the proper spirit and no ulterior motivations. I think though when you say something is average that means relative to the group. I get what you're saying though but to me there are better ways of communicating that. Like a 5 is total indifference and below or above that means a degree of like/dislike respectively. And I can get that approach but I think that when you write that as average people who read it will take that to mean it's an actual average and not just an indifference to the project. And that feeds into reviews purpose being to inform people if something is worth experiencing. Money is valuable, time is valuable and people don't want to spend it on experiences they perceive to be inferior. Based on Jim's writing YL is a below average game when he has set the average to be 5/10 indicating that if you choose a game at random from every game ever made there is an equal chance it will be above it as there will be below it. (Actually, it's even worse if you assume that the median would actually be lower because it's easier to create something bad than good). Jim knows how many bad games there are. He does impression videos weekly of totally broken games that get uploaded to Steam, he got sued by a dev who had released something like 13 games in a year, he knows how much shit is out there. And if he takes all of those games and stuffs them as a 1 (because I don't think he thought YL was as bad as those) then his average is going to skew a lot lower than 5 just due to sheer amount.

To me, that is a failure of his writing that people can walk away with that impression if that is not his intention.

Posted by 
 on: 04/08/17, 03:04:53

Great review. I appreciated his opinions. Since I kickstarted this and LOVE Banjo-Kazooie, I'm already guaranteed to get it and play it, so i'll look past the flaws but now I know what to expect and perhaps for that I can have a more overall enjoyable experience.

Posted by 
 on: 04/08/17, 04:43:01
Zero said:
@J.K. Riki Some people use a scoring system similar to the grading system at a school, where C is average and a C is usually somewhere in the 70s-80s. I really don't see why this is so confusing to so many people, but whatever.

It's not confusing, it's just a bad arbitrary system. I mean, literally the school grading system continues to be used just because it has been used for so long not because it's good or makes real sense. It's bad. America not using the metric system just because they haven't for so long is bad. We should do better because the other way is better. The countries that cling to driving on the left side of the road even when they border every other country that drives on the right is a dumb decision. (There is a bridge between two of those countries that required millions of dollars just to do crazy road cloverleafs so when people crossed it they were deposited on the other-sides' "right" side of the road. Would anyone deny this is absurd?)

This is math, this isn't art or poetry or something. You have 100 points to hand out. Handing out 50 means you have given half, the average of the 100, the middle, and so should be universally described as average. If you want to change 100 for good and 0 for bad, 50 is neither good nor bad. It is the middle. If you want 75 to be mediocre/average, then make the scale 50-100, which is NOT a 100 point scale anymore so stop bloody using a 100 point scale then. The whole idea of "But look, we use this other, arbitrary, non-math system in schools that we just made up randomly and continue to perpetuate even though it's nonsense" as an excuse to make 75 the middle of 0-100 is an awful excuse and needs to be stopped because of confusion just like this we're talking about right here right now, wasting precious time on misunderstanding for no reason other than "Well, heck, we've always done it this way, why stop now?" Stop now because it makes less sense to continue it, or come up with a real reason other than "We've always done it this way."

And I guess normally I wouldn't even care, but this boils down to that idea of "We've always done it this way" and "We've always done it this way" kind of ticks me off as we live in a broken world and so maybe we shouldn't continue doing what we've always done.

Posted by 
 on: 04/08/17, 20:23:06
Couple mins in to that review and it sounds fine to me. I never see the real huge deal with "camera issues" since the N64 days, and technical issues sound like the only real problem here. Also doesn't sound like a huge deal. I see the footage and it looks great to me. I wanna move those characters around in that world. The platforming looks to be very fun. Surely the music will be solid as well.

I've read that patches are coming anyhow.

The review was fine and did nothing to deter my expectations. Performance issues I can deal with.

Posted by 
 on: 04/08/17, 20:27:39  - Edited by 
 on: 04/08/17, 20:35:13
@J.K. Riki Yeahhh but the problem with that logic when applied to school scoring systems is it doesn't make sense to say that the average student score should be 50% IE getting, for example, only half of the math questions correct on a test. The average score should be much higher. Somewhere around a 70-80%. A C grade.

Now, of course it depends on which school you're at whether or not the average student is near a C, and of course many schools arbitrarily inflate scores by giving way too easy tests / quizzes or yada yada. But there is a real reason why getting a 50% on a test is not considered anything close to what "average" should be in the educational world.

And really, this scale is what most people are used to, because we have lived it almost daily for 18+ years of our lives or whatever. We're just so used to the idea that a 5 out of 10 is actually pretty bad because the only place we have seen 5 out of 10 as a THING even is school, where a 5 out of 10 is pretty bad. If the number represents anything at all, it represents that something did only half of what it was supposed to do... whether a game, movie, or kid taking a test, that's pretty bad. It's different in different countries, but I'm not sure many countries use anything close to a 50% = average scale.

With that said, totally agree with switching to the metric system. Just have to do the transition right so stuff like this doesn't happen.

Posted by 
 on: 04/08/17, 21:33:58  - Edited by 
 on: 04/08/17, 21:42:36
The game looks pretty fun to me, even though it's getting kind of low to average scores I might buy it someday on sale, especially if they patch it a few times to improve the frame-rate.

Posted by 
 on: 04/08/17, 21:55:45

I don't really have anything new to say, but I want you to know that I have read what you've written and I think you make your point well. You're probably right in that most people understand the concept of average in that way.

This disconnect between us shows how important it is not to just look at scores if you want to understand someone's opinion.

Posted by 
 on: 04/10/17, 01:00:01
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