With Yooka-Laylee, Playtonic’s team of Banjo and Kazooie originals faithfully recreates the first generation of N64-era 3D platformers. That is simultaneously a good thing and an awful thing. Like, I need to give it Schrödinger’s review score.
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It starts fairly strong, bringing back a flood of positive memories of my Super Mario 64 days, first dipping my toes into the new dimension. The game can’t hold onto that magic though. After the nostalgia wears off, a few levels in, you’re left with a game that is too true to its roots, frustrating, outdated design and all.
The key to a great nostalgic revival, in my opinion, is pinpointing exactly what made a game feel like it felt, but then building on top of that with some of the lessons developers have learned in the past couple of decades.
If you’ve played Mario 64, Banjo and Kazooie or the like recently, and enjoyed it… you will love Yooka-Laylee. But be careful buying it just for a trip down memory lane, because some things are better left forgotten.
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I played it for a while the other day, and I feel like the biggest problem they had is the automatic camera movement. If you could simply lock it in-place, then press a button to bring it back behind the character once again, it would improve the game by leaps and bounds, but instead it at times tries to pan and scan around to where it thinks you want to go, or where you’re facing. That’s good if YOU’RE the one moving, for example, but it did so while on a moving platform, facing the way the platform was moving… Read more »
Which is my #1 beef with almost every game made recently, even those that should have no such nonsense seem to have a horrid infection of Console-itis.
Mario64 STILL holds up
For an excellent discussion of what exactly needs to go in to a nostalgic revival, I highly recommend this Game Maker’s Toolkit video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHhX5GtWNr8
The TL:DW is exactly what Tim said: you need to capture what it felt like at its best, as well as scaling the controls, aesthetics, and mechanics up to match modern standards of good design.
I deleted my cache the other day, but now it just auto loads the JRPG comic. I’m viewing from mobile, if that affects anything.
I like the little hard-on happy guy has
“If you’d stop talking I would have done it already!”
IS THAT A BLACK MAGE
A Hat in Time on the PC