Months ago, while I was streaming Goldeneye on my Twitch, I set a little goal to try and encourage getting a sub to my channel – the first person to do so would get to pick a game for me to stream for twelve whole hours. In a row. So naturally, XtA’s very own Blake popped up with a Twitch Prime sub and said those two magic words.

“Yooka-Laylee”

Now, this might sound like a random as heck game to choose but around ten minutes before this she mentioned she was playing it and I recalled how I had never played it.

WELL I’ve certainly played it now. So after twelve hours with the game, experiencing the good, the bad and the laylee while trying to keep things entertaining for the stream I can safely say without a shadow of a doubt that Yooka-Laylee as a game is okay. Not bad, not great, but okay.

What helped, especially early on, was having friends in the chat helping me get through it, despite me at times forcing them to listen to Banjo-Kazooie fan-fiction for half an hour, so shoutout to all of them because it made my life a lot easier for the twelve hours.

The game itself is fine – I’ve BEARly played Banjo-Kazooie despite owning it on the N64, the issue being that I bought an N64 about a decade too late and by that point I could not wrap my head or hands around the controller. Other than that my experience in collectathon platformers is pretty lacking outside of a couple that popped up on the PS1 like Croc. So I don’t really have a base expectation on how this game should play in comparison to its spiritual predecessor.

Yooka-Laylee is a very colourful and fun world where everything is alive and has googly eyes. This makes some things cute and other things UNWORLDLY TERRORS like Vendi – the vending machine.

The plot and characters are largely very silly and at times funny, though the writing really likes to remind you that A) this is a game and B) it’s a modern game so those outdated trends are soooooo 90s and crappy…while still putting them in a game. There’s a point in the first world where I think Laylee (the bat) says something about having to “get through a terrible course” to get a Pagie (the Jiggy equivalent). The game is trying to be meta and make fun of itself and, by extension, their old games but this kind of dialogue I always feel like it fails to be funny while just drawing attention to the fact that something is bad, even if it isn’t especially that bad. In this case they’re telling the player that this small, inoffensive task they have to do is annoying, but on the other hand, if it was actually a badly designed course then drawing attention to that fact in the game doesn’t absolve you from the decision to keep it in the game. So yeah, the meta dialogue tries to be charming but the charm never really worked on me.

Gameplay I found it to be fine, Yooka seemed to run where I wanted him to more often than not which I consider to be a success. My issue is that sometimes the camera will just go crazy and while this rarely led to an unforced error or anything, it was enough of an annoyance for me to notice even as I gradually zoned the heck out by the end of the stream.

One bad thing I found was the semi-optional arcade games. Some of them are all right but then there are some that are just BAD. The one in the Casino level especially riled me up at a time when I was already riled up due to a technical issue – more on that later – but the game is just a temple run-esque game but slow, there are many obstacles and rolling into robots only works if there is one robot there. Otherwise I found myself getting caught on the second one in a line and losing a life. It took several attempts to do and then after I beat it the game is all like “cool, now play it again and aim for the high score” and I missed that by 500 points and refused to go back in again. This was eleven hours into the stream.

Alas, about ten and a half hours into it, I went to the bathroom while keeping an hour long video of the DK Rap up for all to enjoy. When I came back OBS was just gone, it had crashed. The stream died with it. An attempt to reconnect immediately didn’t work and so I had to restart my laptop and that cost about twenty minutes of stream time. Then I had to do that mini-game again and all wind was taken out of me. I made it to midnight with my sanity mostly intact though.

Honestly, if it wasn’t for my friends being in the chat this probably would have been hellish but the twelve hours ended up flying by. I’m not a big streamer by any stretch of the imagination and no one new came by but that didn’t matter – having people I like and care about chatting away gave me the energy boost I needed. I’m running the risk of sound super cheesy but it’s true.

I never felt that tired during the stream but the next day I was a tired wreck. I also forgot Wednesday had even happened and thus missed my Film Friday deadline AGAIN (there’ll be a double-header next Friday, I promise!) but it was a lot of fun. Better yet, I met my next sub goal and thus will play the NES Mario games for 12-hours. I’m bad at Mario games. I hope this is entertaining.

Yooka-Laylee, I might go back and finish you one day (I got to World 4) but after playing you for twelve hours straight I think it’s going to take a while before I can even face you again. If you’d like to follow me on Twitch my channel is HERE and for interests of fairness Blake’s channel can be found HERE (rumours are that she might be planning a little something this week).

 

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