Yooka-Laylee was anticipated by some fans as the triumphant return of the 3D platformer. The hope is that would help Xbox see their mistake of abandoning the bird and bear duo to sitting on the sidelines. It didn’t really work that way. Yooka-Laylee did please fans who wanted an old-school platformer but the critical response was not nearly as positive. Though Yooka-Laylee is almost a remagining of the Nintendo 64 era Banjo-Kazooie games, no one really went wild for it. The game established that 3D platformers might be beloved but it is for a very select few.
The success, or lack thereof, of Yooka-Laylee probably puts even more dirt on the grave of Banjo-Kazooie. Since acquiring Rare, Xbox hasn’t done much with the classic characters they now have access to from the 3D platformers’ heyday. Nuts and Bolts, the attempt to reboot Banjo-Kazooie for the Xbox 360, was a relatively well-received game by critics but was absolutely lambasted by Banjo-Kazooie fans. Faith in the brand of Banjo-Kazooie is at all time low, not just among fans, but probably from Xbox themselves.
This post was originally authored by Derek Stauffer.