Yooka-Laylee: PS4 Review
Developed by Playtonic Games
There's just something endearingly cute about the bright colours and simple aesthetics of Yooka-Laylee, the charmingly retro platformer unleashed by Playtonic Games.
Easily inspired by Banjo-Kazooie, right down to its camera frustrations, this story of a Lizard and his bat friend who set off to battle a baddie overlord who's stealing books is as silly as they come.
From your hub world to exploring others within in your fight against corporate baddie Capital B (who bears more than a passing reference to the Smurfs' eternal thorn in their side Gargamel), there's much to do of colourful inconsequence within.
From collecting golden quills to trade up skills from a nearby snake salesman to collecting pagies of a ripped out book to expand the world, the simplicity of this family game couldn't be more obvious. But blighted with a poor camera realisation, the game occasionally gets frustrating when you're trying to execute some precision moves.
As it swings wildly round and pivots in the most unlikely of places, it can make executing the simplest of moves a real bind and pain in the backside. But like most of Yooka-Laylee, the game's general enthusiasm and silly characters help overcome the downsides and failings of this retro piece.
From the collective way Yooka and Laylee work together to the interactions, this is a game that feels both retro and a little meta as it mocks the conventions of the newer games and collectibles. The duo amass a series of powers throughout and while nothing's fully devastating, the silliness of what transpires is patently obvious.
Spinning to fight creatures in the various worlds, opening up other worlds, collecting things - these are all archetypes and tropes of past games and while Yooka-Laylee doesn't exactly coat them all in a fresh coat of paint, it does manage to retain a great degree of playability.
Fun, family entertainment for all ages, Yooka-Laylee's bright breezy approach to everything will help you past its failings and its occasionally archaic gameplay. For all of that, it's actually a charmingly simple and stupidly silly blast of retro-nostalgia.