Cody “Kingblunkers” Allison here. And today I wanted to talk about a game that I am so excited about while reminiscing on some older ones. Last post I talked about being a maker, which is just the general concept that as creative types we need to make things to be fulfilled. And I hope that you all get the chance to be makers, whether you get famous and make millions or are just sitting at a desk like I am right now. Keep on making.
In my post “Calling all makers” I mentioned being a backer for a few projects on Kickstarter. One project that I backed almost two years ago is finally coming out this month. And that would be the release of studio, Playtonic’s debut game of Yooka-Laylee. Now with video games, I often am wary about backing them or preordering for fear of getting a less than expected result. And I think we’ve all been there. But when I heard the story behind Yooka-Laylee I knew that I could trust this game.
Yooka-Laylee is a 3D platformer staring a Lizard named “Yooka” and a sassy bat named “Laylee” and they team up together with buddy attacks and moves to stop corporate greed from taking the world’s books and converting them into profit. This game has a very similar concept as “Banjo-Kazooie” The bear and bird team from the Nintendo 64 days. That’s because Playtonic is basically a 2.0 version of the Rare development team that made the game.
Blast from the past!
When I was a kid, I didn’t pay much attention to game studios and things of that nature, but looking back. Rare made A LOT of games that I spent hours playing. Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong 64, Battletoads, Diddy Kong Racing, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Perfect Dark, Golden Eye 007 and many others. That’s a freaking all star line up. And now Playtonic is taking some of the best devs from those games and mashing them up with some other talents in the industry to make the Rare-Revival.
To draw from my childhood there are things I remember from the Rare games and expect to see in this game, which only makes waiting these last couple days that much more exciting.
The DK and banjo games had amazing music that still get stuck in my head. The theme from Donkey Kong Country for SNES set a stage for a weird combination of hip-hop and monkeys. And I loved that in the Click Clock Woods the music changed based on which season you entered in.
Banjo Kazooie was one of the first games that drove me to 100% every level. It had music notes to collect, Jinjos, Puzzle peaces, and much more. I’ve already seen some game play of Yooka-Laylee so I know this element will be there, but I always appreciate “Side quests” or anything that makes a fun game last a bit longer. Sometimes with modern days there are collectibles that are either too difficult, or just not rewarding. So here’s to hoping Playtonic can recreate that.
Interesting side characters
In the original Banjo, you had lovely supporting characters. Bottles, Mumbo Jumbo, Boggy, Captain Blubbers to name a few. These characters all came in and had witty text and fun personality. And from what I’ve seen of Yooka I think we have certainly upgraded. I can’t wait to meet Trowzer a snake wearing pants and Rextro Sixtyfourus a 64-bit style T-Rex.
Nostalgia can be tricky. It can make us glorify things that weren’t that great, or belittle things that were really okay. I’ve read some reviews and I’ve heard mostly positive things and hope you all get to share in this with me. But all that being said. I love that a team that clearly works well together was able to reunite. After Rare was acquired by Microsoft, I feel they lost a lot of charm that used to be the key points in a Rare game. But here’s to second chances and a small passionate group of people who left the comfort of what many probably considered dream jobs to follow their heart.
I will update you all when I’ve gotten my hands, if you haven’t played the older games I referenced Banjo is one of the best games I’ve ever played. and Donkey Kong series is also amazing. even the newer games on the Wii and Wii U did well (which not all franchises can say that… RIP Mario Party)
But for now, Until then… I’m going to be playing Breath of the Wild on my switch… which is also… amazing.