The reviews for Yooka Laylee are pouring in, and, rather surprisingly, it’s not doing so well hot critically. It has something like a 63 on Metacritic as of this writing. However, a big part of this is to that Jim ‘Go to Subway but put everything on it’ Sterling giving the game a 2.
Obviously, I don’t take him entirely seriously, so I’m not entirely sure whether Yooka is a good game or not. What I am sure of, is that the game is not going to be nearly as big as a hit as it probably should have been due to a very real factor that most people are overlooking.
The game should NEVER have been a multiplat, let alone launch on PS4 and Xbox One first. It should have launched on Wii U first, with a potential multiplat release later on down the line. This isn’t something I’ve really been thinking about, because I was simply too blinded by the fact that a couple of guys from the Banjo Kazooie team were making a spiritual successor on the Wii U, but as the game’s launch approaches with NO Nintendo release in sight, I’m starting to realize that Playtonic’s biggest mistake was shafting Nintendo owners. Who are, obviously, their core demographic due to the history of 3D collectathons and Rareware in general.
The Wii U release should NEVER have been an afterthought, but the priority. And refusing delay the PS4 and Xbox One versions to ensure a simultaneously with the Switch version was an atrocious move, as it’s neglecting your core audience in favor of pandering to people who don’t care about your game at all, and in fact shit on 3D platformers all the time. Also the fact that most people who backed the game were, in fact, Wii U owners.
Yooka Laylee, if it had been a Wii U exclusive with Wii U exclusive features, would have been a lot more exciting and much more well received than what it actually turned out being. Focusing on one platform doesn’t hurt sales at all. In fact, it makes owners of that platform eager to support your project. Shovel Knight is a great example of a game that started on Nintendo platforms but then made the jump to being a multiplat later on down the line, and it is still a big deal today.
Yooka Laylee, I think, is a slightly less controversial Mighty Number 09. It tried to do too much, too fast.