When Banjo-Kazooie first released in 1998 audio technology had not reached the advanced state that it is today. To compensate for the lack of having actual voiced dialogue, developer Rare opted to have their characters grunt, groan, and make generally weird noises to convey the concept of speaking. At this time is was charming and made sense for the period in which the game was created. Flash forward to 2017 and the newest 3D platformer Yooka-Laylee decided to carry this tradition over but sadly it did not age well.
In an industry that is full of talented voice actors that can convey and breathe life into the various characters, having lines reduced to nothing more than grunts is annoying. While the actual dialogue is cute and funny enough, this idea is undermined by the obnoxious sounds that every person makes in Yooka-Laylee. It’s not an especially nostalgic idea and when one reminisces on what made 90s platformers so much fun, this is surely not the first thing to come to mind. Where games like Ratchet and Clank provide solid performances for the entire cast, Yooka-Laylee clings to the past and offers nothing more than guttural sounds attempting to convey some semblance of emotion.