For years, fans of the platforming genre have wanted a game that hearkens back to the Nintendo 64 classics created by the team at Rare Ltd. That dream may soon be realized as we are mere days away from the spiritual successor to the iconic Nintendo 64 game Banjo-Kazooie, Yooka-Laylee. Playtonic Games, comprised of many former Rare Ltd. employees, have produced what looks like a worthy addition to the genre in no small part because of the generous backing by fans on their Kickstarter page.
There is a lot of pressure riding on Yooka-Laylee to not only succeed financially, but also to live up to and pay homage to the bear and bird team. In order to do that, here are three areas the game needs to nail to come anywhere near the original dynamic duo.
Dense and Varied Levels
Banjo-Kazooie had incredibly memorable and varied environments for players to interact with. Timeless levels such as Treasure Trove Cove and Mumbo’s Mountain are iconic not only for their design, but also for the amount of collectibles and side activities to perform. These levels were packed with Notes, Jiggies and Jinjos to find and this game needs similar items to populate their world.
Simple and Catchy Music
When someone mentions Banjo-Kazooie, you will be hard pressed to find a gamer that does not remember some of the iconic theme songs for each of the levels. Not only the level soundtracks, the first game also had the amazingly scored intro song that would play every time you loaded the game. These songs helped bring the game alive and Yooka-Laylee need that caliber of music which all signs point to with the sampling on their Kickstarter page and some of the music team returning for the game.
Great Traversal Options
From fast travel with Kazooie’s long legs, rubber boots for swamps and character transformations, Banjo-Kazooie had many different ways for the player to navigate the environments if they wanted that sweet completion. The new pair will need many varied transformations and moves in order to traverse their colorful environments and mix up game play in a satisfying way.
From everything shown so far, the team at Playtonic appears to understand how to include these three elements into the spiritual successor. The original Banjo-Kazooie and its sequel, Banjo-Tooie, are staples of a gaming generation long gone. Hopefully the team sees some success outside the incredibly funded Kickstarter campaign they started last year.
Yooka Laylee will be released April 11 for PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One. A Nintendo Switch version is in the works although there is no set release date for the system.