Tag Archives: Yooka-Laylee

Greg’s GOTY 2017

No one sets out to make a bad game, yet it happens anyway. Things go wrong during development, the scope out weights the team’s efforts, the fun is lost somewhere down the line, or a myriad of other issues that leads to the result of a bad game.

The honest truth of the matter is: it’s all too easy for a bad game to be made. There’s too much stacked against them, the hype from elements perceived as intriguing by consumers and journalists, the financial commitment to develop something that meets modern standards of visuals and features. I don’t think we truly appreciate just how hard it is to make a good game.

What about great games, then? What measure of developer does it take to build these? I think the groups of people that manage to deliver an experience that you cherish are remarkable developers indeed, and their success should be vigorously celebrated. With that, then, I’d like to tell you about my personal top three games of 2017.

3rd –  Yooka-Laylee

The N64 and original PlayStation consoles saw the birth of 3D platformers, and it didn’t take long for some true classics to hit those system. 2017 saw a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie release in the form of Yooka-Laylee, a love letter to the early 3D platformers with a focus on cute and quirky characters, collectathon gameplay, comical boss fights and themed worlds.

It’s a marvellous, nostalgic trip with enough collectables to keep you busy for dozens of hours, and indeed it’s that quest, that obsession to collect everything on offer, that drives the experience, further enhanced with achievements and trophies. And despite a combative camera and the occasional section of poor or obscure level design, it kept me entertained for weeks while I conquered every stage and searched every nook and cranny for shiny trinkets.

2nd –  Resident Evil 7

Over two decades after the original Resident Evil title, Resident Evil 7 comes along and drastically changes the series’ style. The third person perspective gives way to first person, zombies and genetically modified monstrosities give way to a crazed family and organic clumps of mould, and the comically campy storytelling gives way to a tense atmosphere and serious character motivation.

The puzzles hark back to the original, and the primary location strikes a nostalgic tone with its intricate design, but now the horror is more real and frightening than ever before. The visuals are so splendidly detailed and grotesque you can almost sense the damp, the blood, the sweat and the adrenaline. Stick a VR headset on and the immersion becomes that much more engrossing.

This was a completely new take on the Resident Evil formula, making bold new strides in horror and storytelling while keeping enough familiar elements to appease long-term fans. This was a special title for me, drawing me in enough to command multiple playthroughs and scaring me enough to wear me out at the end of every play session. And with smartly designed DLC side stories to draw me back in, it became a title that stuck with me throughout the year, one that I enjoyed and indeed still enjoy immensely.

GOTY 2017 – : Dungeons 3

As the release of Dungeons 3 approached I suddenly became intrigued. I’ve been after a title that approaches the greatness of Dungeon Keeper for many years, and had been left wanting. Dungeons 3 looked like it might get the formula right, that perhaps it had learned from its previous titles, as well as from similar dungeon management titles, and made the jump to something as enjoyable as the original Dungeon Keeper from the early 90s and yet featured precisely the modern refinements we all expect. Indeed, Dungeons 3 meets that hope.

Fourth wall breaking humour galore, dungeon building that’s smart and expansive thanks to a well implemented upgrade tree, and that special something to place it apart from Bullfrog’s original dungeon management marvel: RTS style gameplay in the overworld.

Indeed, Dungeons 3 nails the dungeon building and the humorous atmosphere, and while its performance is a little patchy on console it’s still hugely entertaining, with enough content to keep you engaged for countless hours, and a challenge in not only building an efficient dungeon for your creatures and to decimate any invading heroes, but also to then lead your army of creatures in combat in the world above. It’s excellent and I couldn’t stop playing it until every single achievement was mine.

I think of the aforementioned titles as great examples of the year’s best games and then I recognise that there were so many more that I haven’t had the chance to play yet, such as Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Horizon Zero Dawn, Cuphead and Super Mario Odyssey, and I’m reminded: don’t think that a small group of dedicated and thoughtful people can’t make an impact in this industry, because it’s the only thing that ever has.

Yooka-Laylee review

The much anticipated Yooka-Laylee is finally here and it has made platforming fun again. When it was first announced that Playtonic Games, made of team behind Banjo-Kazooie were beginning a kickstarter to produce a new game, the Internet lapped it up and the funds were secured within days. Despite the delay on the game I can assure you it’s been worth the wait.

Yooka, a green lizard and Laylee a purple bat begin the game relaxing and discussing what could come from a magic book they had discovered, little do they know of the adventure that awaits them.

In a suspicious looking factory not too far away are Captain B and Duck who are hatching plans to steal every book in the world, but most importantly they are after the one in Yooka-Laylee’s possession. Page by page they manage to steal the book and it’s up to our dynamic duo to get the pages back.

There are five worlds to discover, each with their own theme. To unlock them you’ll need to find ‘Paiges’ by completing tasks, solving puzzles and exploring every inch of the different worlds. Each world can be expanded, bringing new discoveries your way, again you’ll need more pagies to do this.

Each world is fantastic, you’ll have already seen plenty about Tribalstack Tropics. and some about the Glittergaze Glacier but it’s the later worlds that stand out for me, my particular favourite being Capital Cashino, a huge casino that will see you collecting tokens which can be cashed in for pagies. You’ll spend plenty of time exploring again, but this world is made up of lots of mini games for you to take part in. There is a Mini Golf game, Jackpot machines to play and plenty more. Moodymaze Marsh, Galleon Galaxy and Hivory Towers are all great too. Each world has a boss for you to try and beat too, but be prepared for a fight!

Yooka-LayleeWhat I love about each world is that if you can see an area in the distance you can explore it, you just need to work out how to get there or make use of one of your unlocked abilities to help you get there. For example, later on in the game Laylee will be able to pick Yooka up and fly him to wherever you need to go. Every ability is restricted by how much power you have available.

To unlock abilities you spend a lot of time talking to my One of my favourite characters in the game. His name is Trowzer, he is a snake and it just happens that he wears a pair of trousers. Despite his Del-Boy like attitude he is very useful to you. Every Time you open up a new world he will give you a free move that will help you progress further through the game. He’ll also be waiting for you in each world to sell you new moves for a number of quills.

Yooka-Laylee

The abilities range from being able to breath underwater, allowing you to reach new areas deep down, to giving Laylee the power to pick up Yooka and fly him for as long as the power bar lasts. Keeping your power bar full is simply a matter of eating butterflies. It’s not just abilities that you can use, a vending machine names Vendi let’s you purchase tonics that can modify various parts of the game for you. These modifiers range from giving you extra health to turning the game into a 64-bit mode. The clever bit is how you unlock them, some are simple, you may have to collect a certain amount of quills or stun a number of enemies. Some however will be unlocked through guesswork, there are a few I’m still struggling with.

Arcade fans will be pleased to hear that you’ll be able to play some games on arcade cabinets to win paigies. All you need to do is visit Rextro, a dinosaur desperate for friends, and a brain. Find a coin to play and attempt to beat the high scores. There are racing games, shooters and even runner games. Search around and you’ll find an arcade full of them to practice on.

The freedom you have in Yooka-Laylee allows you to play exactly how you want. For instance, having spoken to Greg who is reviewing for someone else (don’t read his review) we had played around the same amount of time earlier on yet I had managed to discover completely different things to him.

Yooka-LayleeI struggled to find things I didn’t like about the game, except for the camera. It’s pretty annoying, it seems to have a mind of its own at times making some more of the simple things difficult.

Really though, that was it. Yooka-Laylee is the definition of fun platforming for me. It doesn’t hold your hand, it encourages you to explore, make sure you do because you’ll discover so much. Fun characters, great puzzles and lots of great humour. It looks greats, I can’t get the soundtrack out of my head and I’m determined to find every last collectable in the game, I encourage you to do the same.

Thanks to Team 17 & Xbox for supporting TiX

Yooka-Laylee gets a brand new trailer

Team17 and Playtonic Games have released a new gameplay trailer exploring the beautiful Glitterglaze Glacier world that players will be able to delve into from 11th April when Yooka-Laylee launches.

Glitterglaze Glacier is one of five worlds that will feature within Yooka-Laylee. All five worlds are open to exploration and can even be expanded to uncover new areas to roam.

Yooka-Laylee launches on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac and Linux on the 11th April 2017 a

Yooka-Laylee multiplayer trailer

Yooka-Laylee’s release is only a few months away, and we’re getting pretty excited for this 3D platformer. And now we have a better idea of what Yooka-Laylee’s multiplayer will entail, thanks to a multiplayer reveal trailer.

Looks like the multiplayer will offer a host of mini-games for local play with up to four players, or solo competing for high scores. We can’t wait.

New guest character revealed for Yooka-Laylee

Yooka-Laylee

Kickstarter has been the starting gun sound for quite a few success stories. It looks like Team17 and Playtonic Games may have hit upon another in the form of lovable platformers, Yooka-Laylee. The pair have been introduced to the EGX crowd with a brand new trailer, highlighting some of the characters that will be available in the game when it is released in the early part of 2017.

Yooka-Laylee is the product of over 100 combined years of games developing over at Playtonic. This 3D platform adventure will use an arsenal of special abilities to explore and expand several gorgeous locations, filled with collectibles, secrets and a cast of quirky characters to meet of defeat. Listed in the new trailer, below, are the following madcap folk.

  • Capital B – Cunning bizziness executive, Capital B, is the CEO of diabolical corporation, Hivory Towers. This has recently joined forces with the ingenious tech firm, Quack Corp. Together they are about to launch their most devious scheme yet, to absorb all of the world’s books and take over the world.
  • Trowzer – The serpent salesman claims to be the most skilled and knowledgeable character in the game, though Laylee suspects he’s little more that a dodgy dealer. Throughout Yooka-Laylee, you will be able to visit Trowzer and buy advanced moves.
  • Dr. Quack – The former partner of Dr. Puzz, Quack’s increasingly wild experiments lead him down the path of corruption. Now fully clad in a not-so-hi-tech ‘biosuit’, the ‘good’ doctor uses his expertise to power up Hivory Towers’ Corplet employees.
  • Dr. Puzz – A hapless scientist who’s experienced more than her share of tentacle, erm, technical issues. Dr. Puzz will use her D.N.Ray to transform Yooka and Laylee

Also appearing in this trailer is a special guest. Playtonic have teamed up with Yacht Club Games to bring none other than Shovel Knight to Yooka-Laylee.

Have a look at the trailer below and reminisce over the 3D platforming fun. It reminds me of many titles from older platforms already.

Yooka-Laylee is due to hit Xbox early in 2017.