Meet "Yooka-Laylee" - The Spiritual Successors to Banjo-Kazooie

Meet "Yooka-Laylee" - The Spiritual Successors to Banjo-Kazooie

Playtonic games have revealed the bat-and-chameleon duo of "Yooka-Laylee" for their Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor.

Earlier in the year, a bunch of ex-Rare devs announced that they had started up their own studio (Playtonic games) and would be running a Kickstarter for a spiritual successor to fan favorite Banjo-Kazooie. Now, as Microsoft owns the rights to Banjo and his feathered friend, Playtonic had to make up some new characters. Today, together with IGN, the developer is introducing "Yooka-Laylee", who will be the stars of the upcoming title.

Check out the reveal video to the right, which shows the bat-and-chameleon due in action.

Yooka the chameleon and Laylee the bat were dreamed up by Steve Mayles, the ex-Rare character designer who brought us Banjo-Kazooie, as well as all of the modern members of the Donkey Kong family. This kind of on-the-nose design is akin to what we saw with Mighty No. 9, and shows us how developers can... creatively, get around copyright issues.

The two characters will have to use their unique abilities in-tandem to get through the game's levels, much like the original Banjo-Kazooie. Yooka, for example, can use his sticky tongue like a grappling hook, while Laylee can pick up her partner and fly for a short period of time.

Playtonic is launching a Kickstarter for the project on May 1st, with all backers able to pick up a full copy for $15 USD. If successfully funded, the game will release on Windows, Mac, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U.

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Source: Playtonic Games

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I wonder if anyone told them during the character design process that the pronunciation they're using as a pun is actually a mispronunciation of the hawaiian word for that instrument ("ukulele" was originally pronounced "oo koo ley ley").

But where's the backpack?!

Wallet... what are you doing? Don't spit-out that $15. You already went for A Hat in Time! Oh, no. That's more Super Mario Sunshine than Banjo-Kazooie by a long-shot. Ooh, and this world! AAAAAH!

*proceeds to wait for noon EST to leap on the Kickstarter*

I am disgusted and intrigued. I'm not a fan of the name, the character design, the color palette, the camera handling, or really anything about this project, but I will watch this closely. I want to see if these guys still remember what made Banjo Kazooie so special and why it remains my favorite series of the N64 generation.

You had me at Wii U...

Where do I put my wallet so that it may spit money at this potential project of a game?

I like the bat design, but the chameleon looks a bit off. Perhaps its just the colors of both combined and the overall proportions combined that looks wonky to me.

Perhaps if the chameleon had an outfit on it I'd like it more, because its head is HUGE compared to the rest of its spindly limbs. Its naked ._.

Seriously though, with no voice work yet the right outfit would go a long way to convey overall tone and personality.

Looks a little cute and sounds a little cute. Not sure about the bat, but this might just be the first kickstarter i'll back. Something is taking over my efficient shielding of cash! Save me from myself!

Oopsi. Dp.

EndlessSporadic:
Snip.
I want to see if these guys still remember what made Banjo Kazooie so special and why it remains my favorite series of the N64 generation.

And what was that? Because I replayed it a couple of weeks ago and I'm not sure I remember what made it special.

Drathnoxis:

EndlessSporadic:
Snip.
I want to see if these guys still remember what made Banjo Kazooie so special and why it remains my favorite series of the N64 generation.

And what was that? Because I replayed it a couple of weeks ago and I'm not sure I remember what made it special.

It was the music (and the risqué humour). Thankfully we know the music will be great because they have Grant Kirkhope on board! I hope the humour is there too! I too would think that the chameleon should have some sort of outfit on (a toga perhaps? Or maybe some bikini bottoms if it's a girl haha). Anyway, tomorrow I shall give them my money regardless. If only to hear those catchy tunes!

well I'll back this however I can, it looks great, a nice, colourful 3D platformer, I was more of a Spyro the Dragon guy back in the day, but I did love Banjo-Kazooie, though I don't remember being very good at it, probably why I preferred Spyro at the time, anyway, this looks like something I'm gonna love, so I'm supporting it with what I can

I loved Banjo-Kazooie, but I highly doubt that anyone could make a new one that's just as good. The game itself was just running around collecting musical notes and jigsaw puzzles. They made it interesting with puzzles and exploration, but game designers rarely put that much thought into their games anymore--ESPECIALLY if the game is targeted towards kids. I mean, you want a tip? I played that game as a kid, I loved it to death, but I never finished. It was too difficult for me to finish as a kid. There is where modern video game designing doesn't work. Modern game designers wouldn't DARE to make too difficult to where a kid gets stuck due to difficulty. The game is bound to be too easy. If it's too easy to get the jigsaws then the whole game is trash.

Not only that, but it was the writing that really gave Banjo-Kazooie its charm. I just look at today's video game industry and I don't think ANYONE could make a games that's charming, interesting, and fun. I mean, I would HAPPILY be proven wrong, but since it's SOOOO long since I've seen that kind of charm in any kind of game, I just don't think that it's possible anymore, so I'm not going to follow or support this at all.

Steve Waltz:
it's SOOOO long since I've seen that kind of charm in any kind of game, I just don't think that it's possible anymore, so I'm not going to follow or support this at all.

Have you considered the possibility that you've simply grown up?

OT: I'm not hooked yet, but I've barely seen anything of the game. They've definitely got the talent behind them, but that talent didn't save Starfox Adventures (I wasn't a huge fan of DK64 either). If they can pull out Banjo-calibre (or, dare I dream, Conker-calibere) writing this game will be amazing.

Also, MASSIVE props for not forgetting the Wii U. Good job guys.

Looks promising. Fluid animation, nice looking environments. Not ready to throw my money at it yet though, but I'll be keeping an eye on it.

We here at Oldworth Holdings & Keepings Inc. Ltd. disapprove of such attempts to be 'creative' and invite 'fun'; such things are the beholden copyrights of our Miserable Legal Department and we will pursue this with all due diligence.

BUT WILL GRANT KIRKHOPE BE INVOLVED! I need a cheeky Englishman sneaking naughty words into the dialogue or I can't cope, KIRKCOPE that is!

EDIT: I just checked his Twitter, he is involved, ONE MORE TIME WITH FEELING!

I'm interested. It would be nice to see some more Playstation esc platformers again.

That nose absolutely ruins it for me. It looks disgusting.

Holy shit! It's been less then a day and they already have more then half the funding.

SUCK IT MICROSOFT!!

edit:
[12:38] annnnnnnnnnd it funded, wow that was fast!

Less than an hour, and they're already fully funded. I knew this one was a winner, all right!

Hearing that music has sent me into nostalgia mode. Might have to put some support into this. Not backed any kickstarters before, but this may be the first.

image

hmmm, I wonder if these two are related?

A month and a half to go, and it already has 3 times the funding goal. That's pretty impressive. I'm all for them succeeding, to be honest. I hope that it hits the same note of charming as Banjo-Kazooie did, while not going too far into cutesy, tastes-like-diabetes mode.

Edit: Soundtrack by David Wise AND Grant Kirkhope. Excuse me while I change my pants. I also like the idea they have of using collectibles to not only unlock new worlds, but expand existing ones as well.

Backed it as soon as the Kickstarter page stopped crashing on me.

Made it's goal in like 40 minutes, and from then until now it's almost funded by $1 million dollars.

I just hope they make a tier for a physical release box for platform of choice. As much as I'm fine with a digital download, my Wii U is starting to get a bit stuffy (for some reason DK Tropical Freeze takes 10 GB??? Is that normal?)

pearcinator:

Drathnoxis:

EndlessSporadic:
Snip.
I want to see if these guys still remember what made Banjo Kazooie so special and why it remains my favorite series of the N64 generation.

And what was that? Because I replayed it a couple of weeks ago and I'm not sure I remember what made it special.

It was the music (and the risqué humour). Thankfully we know the music will be great because they have Grant Kirkhope on board! I hope the humour is there too!

What stuck out to me about B-K (and not its sequel) was that every corner had collectibles and landmarks, and the interesting characters usually had all-new tasks to give. The humor did spice it up, and the music was always fitting. The whole thing worked so well as a game.

Eh... And thus we come to the problem of a spiritual successor to BK. Choosing two right anthropormorphic animals will be super tricky. The bear and the bird in the backpack somehow are just... Right for each other. Their visual designs compliment and mix with each other very well for some weird reason. And I feel, choosing another two animals to have that same charm and look to them... Because yeah, I'm not feeling that gecko or the bat very much. Well, maybe the bat could work pretty well. but perhaps the gecko needs to go.

Drathnoxis:

EndlessSporadic:
Snip.
I want to see if these guys still remember what made Banjo Kazooie so special and why it remains my favorite series of the N64 generation.

And what was that? Because I replayed it a couple of weeks ago and I'm not sure I remember what made it special.

Actually,

image

Banjo-Kazooie was utterly amazing because the music was incredible, the dialogue was very charming and well-written, the moves you could do made for solid gameplay and puzzle-solving, the levels all kept to a unifying powerful theme, and the whole game just reeked of imagination and wonder.

For example, when you first step out into Click-Clock Wood, it feels like just a small part of this vast incredibly huge forest you're exploring. And the enemies, the music, the visual design, the backgrounds, all stayed true to keeping that illusion, that forest alive. Same for Mad Monster Mansion. Again, same thing. Felt like you were exploring this vast dark world in night instead of this small roped off section of something. Rusty Bucket Bay, the industrial poisoned world. Treasure Trove Cove. Just one utterly beautiful almost abandoned island in the middle of the sparkling ocean. And here you are. A charming bear and bird, just exploring all this, just lost in wonder as you trudge on and on to rescue that sister of yours...

That is why Banjo-Kazooie was something special. That is why it is so fondly remembered.

image

I immediately dislike this due to the fact that "Yooka" and "Laylee" only form a single instrument when combined...Banjo Kazooie makes for two!

pearcinator:

It was the music (and the risqué humour). Thankfully we know the music will be great because they have Grant Kirkhope on board! I hope the humour is there too! I too would think that the chameleon should have some sort of outfit on (a toga perhaps? Or maybe some bikini bottoms if it's a girl haha). Anyway, tomorrow I shall give them my money regardless. If only to hear those catchy tunes!

Arnoxthe1:
Eh... And thus we come to the problem of a spiritual successor to BK. Choosing two right anthropormorphic animals will be super tricky. The bear and the bird in the backpack somehow are just... Right for each other. Their visual designs compliment and mix with each other very well for some weird reason. And I feel, choosing another two animals to have that same charm and look to them... Because yeah, I'm not feeling that gecko or the bat very much. Well, maybe the bat could work pretty well. but perhaps the gecko needs to go.

[quote="Drathnoxis" post="7.874730.21982388"]Actually,

Banjo-Kazooie was utterly amazing because the music was incredible, the dialogue was very charming and well-written, the moves you could do made for solid gameplay and puzzle-solving, the levels all kept to a unifying powerful theme, and the whole game just reeked of imagination and wonder.

For example, when you first step out into Click-Clock Wood, it feels like just a small part of this vast incredibly huge forest you're exploring. And the enemies, the music, the visual design, the backgrounds, all stayed true to keeping that illusion, that forest alive. Same for Mad Monster Mansion. Again, same thing. Felt like you were exploring this vast dark world in night instead of this small roped off section of something. Rusty Bucket Bay, the industrial poisoned world. Treasure Trove Cove. Just one utterly beautiful almost abandoned island in the middle of the sparkling ocean. And here you are. A charming bear and bird, just exploring all this, just lost in wonder as you trudge on and on to rescue that sister of yours...

That is why Banjo-Kazooie was something special. That is why it is so fondly remembered.

Okay, I'll give you that the music was good. It took a week after I stopped playing to get the Grunty's lair theme out of my head. The platforming was really clunky though. The fact that pretty much every move had to be performed from a standstill just completely destroyed momentum. The flying controls were atrocious, knocking the hats off of those snowmen was next to impossible. The collecting got pretty tedious too, especially when I fell into the one bottomless pit in the game for the 20th time and had to start my note collecting all over again.

But I guess if I were to judge the game on everything except the gameplay, I would say it was pretty good. At least it wasn't as bad as Donkey Kong 64. Cripes, that game was a slog.

Wow. OK, I was never a huge fan of banjo-kazooie, but I'm happy to see the soul of Rare lives on in some form, even if they are circumventing licences in this weird way...

Anyway, it's been pretty obvious that whatever made Rare the amazing dev it was back in the N64 days isn't left inside of the hollow shell that Microsoft owns...

So perhaps these guys will be able to bring some of the spirit they had back.

Still, my fondest memories would have to be Conker's bad fur day...

That game was just so absurd, and used the contradiction of it's characters and artstyle really well...

There's just something about having foul-mouthed abusive, violent, bloody characters depicted as your typical cute cartoony animals...

I guess super happy tree friends covers similar ground, though leaning more towards pure gore...

Drathnoxis:
Okay, I'll give you that the music was good. It took a week after I stopped playing to get the Grunty's lair theme out of my head. The platforming was really clunky though. The fact that pretty much every move had to be performed from a standstill just completely destroyed momentum. The flying controls were atrocious, knocking the hats off of those snowmen was next to impossible. The collecting got pretty tedious too, especially when I fell into the one bottomless pit in the game for the 20th time and had to start my note collecting all over again.

But I guess if I were to judge the game on everything except the gameplay, I would say it was pretty good. At least it wasn't as bad as Donkey Kong 64. Cripes, that game was a slog.

You know what, I can actually see that. All that note collecting can get pretty nasty at times. ESPECIALLY when, if you die, you lose ALL the notes you collected and have to start over again. (They actually fixed this in the HD version of the game.) Me and my bro back in the day when we were little used to get so mad when we were so close to 100 notes but died. Ohhhh... And some puzzle pieces, when you're young and not very pro at games yet are almost impossible. So if the gameplay doesn't do anything for you, that's very understandable.

But yeah. It's actually funny too because after I played Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie and then tried DK64, it just really felt like a step back than anything.

CrystalShadow:
it's been pretty obvious that whatever made Rare the amazing dev it was back in the N64 days isn't left inside of the hollow shell that Microsoft owns...

That may be so but Microsoft still owns the IPs. And if they really wanted to, they could fill that hollow shell with new talent. I don't think there is a shortage of people who would want to work on the next BK.

Drathnoxis:
The platforming was really clunky though. The fact that pretty much every move had to be performed from a standstill just completely destroyed momentum. The flying controls were atrocious, knocking the hats off of those snowmen was next to impossible. The collecting got pretty tedious too, especially when I fell into the one bottomless pit in the game for the 20th time and had to start my note collecting all over again.

I think that was a problem with a lot of N64/PS1 (best not to mention Sonic) games to be honest, that sudden transition from 2D to 3D was a huge hurdle remember. There's not many 3D games with platforming elements I've played from that era in recent memory (bearing in mind I missed the n64 when it was current) where the controls don't feel at least /somewhat/ fustrating and clunky. Even Mario 64 has Mario randomly veer off 2 degrees and fuck up your jump pretty often. About the only one where the controls felt fluid was the original Crash Bandicoot Trilogy, but I think that counts as 2.5D more than full 3D.

Super excited, and it's payday. Well, there goes my entertainment budget.

Just remember folks. When they inevitably announce delays or problems, it's not automatically a "scam". :P

 

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