The latest Yooka-Laylee E3 trailer has revealed a lot of numerous things such as new gameplay, characters, abilities, collectibles and to top it all off, new levels and worlds.
Masterpieces like this game make me feel proud to be British (and to be living in the United Kingdom ever since I was born), which is a rare feeling to come by. See what I did there? It’s mind-blowing and mind-boggling to see how much love, effort and work Playtonic Games have put into Yooka-Laylee.
News By Wing See Li. Twitter: @xflowerstarx
And the trailer as well as the official artwork and the screenshots pretty much speaks for themselves. Thus, it’s a love letter to the fans of the cartoonish mascot 3D platforming games and gamers that grew up in a generation when video games were insanely difficult.
Figure 1: Introducing the new buddy-duo: Yooka the chameleon and Laylee the bat.
Originally, Yooka-Laylee is set to be released for Wii U, PlayStation 4, PC, XBox One and Steam in October 2016 as stated on the Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter page but it’s been pushed back to Q1 2017, according to the trailer. The reason is because Playtonic Games needed more months to polish the game and they deemed it not up to their standards since they wanted the game to be the way they and the fans desired.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with Yooka-Laylee, it’s an open world 3D platforming game developed by a British video game developing team, Playtonic Games, which consists of the former members of a legendary video game developing team, Rare (back then, it’s known as Rareware), and it’s published by Team 17. Therefore, Yooka-Laylee is the spiritual successor to the 90’s 3D platforming game for the Nintendo 64, Banjo-Kazooie.
Figure 2: This is an allusion to the front box art of Banjo-Kazooie for Nintendo 64.
Regarding the storyline, a villainous insectoid entrepreneur from Hivory Towers named Capital B is bent on stealing the world’s literature in order to convert them into pure profit. It’s all up to the green-coloured chameleon, Yooka, and his bat lady friend, Laylee, to rise up to the challenge to recover the golden quills and the Pagies (golden pages from literature) to defeat him and his loyal henchmen. Along the way, they must overcome obstacles and the constant wave of enemies Capital B sends after the main protagonists whilst they traverse from world to world in means of land and sea or water.
Figure 3: Capital B devising an evil plan with Dr. Quack and his cronies.
The trailer starts out with Yooka and Laylee are on their makeshift home called Bat Ship Crazy which is a pirate ship and they are running through their homeworld of Shipwreck Creek with the intention of setting out on their first adventure, followed by jumping from platform to platform in another world to come face-to-face with a larger-than-life cloud character called Nimbo.
Figure 4: Yooka and Laylee standing before Nimbo the cloud.
Next, we see Laylee rolling Yooka around like a ball as their method of scaling up the steep slopes in Shipwreck Creek once again. This special move is known as the Reptile Roll. Afterwards, they are in the jungle world, leaping from one platform to the next before Laylee used her wings to glide herself and her companion over a gap, all the while flying through a large white and red striped ring with sentient googly eyes.
Figure 5: Yooka and Laylee are soaring to new heights through the air.
Back in the jungle world, they hopped from an aerial, brown, moving platform above the ground while accumulating gold quills and utilising Laylee’s glide ability. Thanks to her capability, they landed safely on a tall pillar. I believe collecting the Pagies and the golden quills are one of the main forms of progression. Similar to Banjo-Kazooie, the more collectibles are gathered up, the more worlds and levels will be available to the players. Furthermore, the gold quills are currency, which can be utilised to purchase new abilities, which the duo can add to their ever-increasing moveset.
Figure 6: Yooka and Laylee on a cliff, overlooking the expansive jungle world.
In another world, Yooka took out an army of blue-tinted, mischievous foes with his fire breath, identical to Spyro the Dragon. Yooka’s stream of fire travelled in a circle or in any direction, depending on which way the fire is directed at. After that, Yooka and Laylee hopped on a mine cart called Kartos as their method of transportation. During their ride equivalent to a roller coaster ride, they leaped over platform-like obstacles and little barrels that were in their way on the mine cart track. The mine cart sections are a reference to the mine cart trend noticeably seen in the old-school games from the 90’s such as Croc 2 and Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars.
Figure 7: Mine cart rides are all the rage during the 90’s!
Subsequently, the buddy-duo bounded on to a gargantuan, oversized platform near Doctor Puzz and her transformation machine and in a blinding light, they transformed into a flower-like creature or into bush form. This transformation is exclusive to this world and it allows them to communicate with flora which refused to converse with them previously.
Figure 8: Doctor Puzz, the go-to-gal for transformations.
Later in the jungle world, they stand next to Trowzer, a trousers-wearing, red snake salesman who teaches them new skills in exchange for golden quills or collectibles.
Figure 9: As his name implies, Trowzer is a trouser snake.
Later on at a wintry world called Glitterglaze Glacier (according to the Yooka-Laylee article in Edge magazine, issue number 294 on page 87, the glacier drew inspiration from Disney’s Frozen), which is kind of similar to the Freezeezy Peak level from Banjo-Kazooie, they slide down a frigid, arctic slope and into a tunnel that is covered knee-deep in snow before they are flying towards a castle-like tower, towering over the arctic world. During their travels in the frosty, ice-cold world, Laylee took advantage of her sonar ability, which is named the Sonar Shot to knock their adversaries off their feet and blast them out of existence.
Figure 10: Yooka and Laylee approaching a frozen castle in Glitterglaze Glacier.
Back at the jungle world, as a team they ground pounded on a cannon, causing it to shoot a cannonball at their target. When they returned to Glitterglaze World, they are locked in battle with a huge, orange-hued impish creature. In the midst of their quest, they are swimming underwater in dank, dirty water filled to the brim with coloured pipes in a variety of shapes and sizes.
This particular level could remind anyone of the Clanker’s Cavern level from Banjo-Kazooie. In a different world, Yooka stuck out his long tongue in a similar fashion to Yoshi in order to turn himself into a metallic chameleon after switching on a switch or button to bypass obstacles that are spewing harmful plumes of white vapour. In a neon arcade-like level, a low polygon, retro-esque, orange dinosaur called Rextro Sixtyfourus (his name is an obvious reference to the Nintendo 64) is jumping in the centre of the room whist his legs are shifting left and right repeatedly with numerous arcade machines scattered in every corner. In a room filled with bookcases, Yooka and Laylee used their invisibility ability to avoid a security-like enemy discharging a green laser grid in their direction.
Once they successfully evaded it, they quickly sprinted through the wall. Once again at the jungle world, Yooka is shooting balls of ice from his mouth at their humongous target before they are rolling down a slope even as they pass by colossal red and white rings with googly eyes and racing against a fuchsia cloud-like character. As they raced, they collected butterflies, which restores their health and power metre (for special abilities). Back at Glitterglaze Glacier, they are rolling up a curvy, winding, frozen slope utilising the Reptile Roll special skill.
Figure 11: The Kickstarter Keyart for Glitterglaze Glacier.
Finally, Yooka break into a running jump before he leaped off a cliff or a very tall platform, resulting in Laylee to clutch on to him for dear life as they soared over the jungle world. In their perspective, they are overlooking it and it’s like a bird’s eye view of the entire world. Judging by that view, there is a lot going on and a lot to take in, in terms of their surroundings. This is followed by an updated version of the Yooka-Laylee logo and the newly-revealed tentative release date.
Figure 12: Yooka and Laylee are taking to the skies!
Towards the end of the trailer, it showed Yooka and Laylee lounging on their towels that are placed on a massive rock, conversing and taking the mickey out of Playtonic Games. In other words, the titular characters are breaking the fourth wall. Surrounding them are items and Easter Eggs such as a golden Jiggy (one of the main collectibles in Banjo-Kazooie) sitting on one of the glasses, a pants magazine (alluding to the fans and the Yooka-Laylee community on the internet) and a pair of dark shades with yellow frames.
In terms of their conversation, they were making references to the modern and mainstream dark, gritty and apocalyptic first-person or third-person shooting games (“brown level”) and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts And Bolts (“car sections”). As the whole trailer suggests, there are a myriad of references and nods to Playtonic Games’ previous games during their time at Rare. It’s hard to believe this game is created by Unity and this is by far the prettiest, shiniest and breathtakingly groundbreaking Unity game with apparent attention to detail in my opinion but this is understandable since professionals make this game.
In other words, a video game developing team with over twenty years of experience under their belts. In other related news, Yooka-Laylee is set to make an appearance at this year’s E3 along with other upcoming 3D platforming games such as Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island, which is developed by a Swedish indie developing team, Right Nice Games, and published by Grip Digital.
For more Yooka-Laylee news, updates and articles, stay tuned to GamesYouLoved.
News By Wing See Li. Twitter: @xflowerstarx
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