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Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)


JFo
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Well, shit. I didn't need another game to play, but I'm a sucker for 2D sidescrollers and this one is getting some pretty decent reviews. IGN gave it an 8.7 (Great):

 

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Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is an excellent 2D platformer full of surprises and delights for fans nostalgic for the glory days of the genre. With some clever approaches to the final boss fight, the overworld map, and refreshing levels for repeat playthroughs, this one sits in the top tier of platformers just below the likes of modern classics like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.

 

Game Xplain also posted a glowing review, making many comparisons to Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze:

 

 

Back at GamesCom, Digital Foundry looked at an early build of the game and walked away pretty impressed with what they saw:

 

 

The game targets 60fps on all platforms, even Nintendo Switch. The version shown in the video above is from the Xbox One version. They did not do a pixel count in this video, but they do believe it is running at 4K resolution on the X as well.

 

This is due out on Monday, and is $29.99. I'll be adding it to my wish list.

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On 10/3/2019 at 8:07 PM, Romier S said:

Anything that’s compared favorably to Tropical Freeze is worth my time. Is this getting a physical release? 

 

Edit: Nevermind. It is. PS4 version ordered on Amazon.

 

Yeah, I pre-ordered mine for PS4 as well. I noticed the pre-order on PSN was on sale for $26.99 (10% off) and could not resist. I don't know if I will get to it tonight (I'm still trying to finish up Story Mode on Super Mario Maker 2), but I will probably start it in the next couple days. I can't wait. This really does look fantastic.

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1 hour ago, Romier S said:

Cancelled out my PS4 version a little after ordering as I wanted to wait to clear some games out of my queue. Glad I did as I’ll likely end up with the X version considering the lack of Pro support. 😕


Yeah, the lack of PS4 Pro support does seem odd, doesn’t it? I wonder what the reason for this is. Time? Money? Some sort of technical thing? Their statement to DIgital Foundry is pretty vague, but I insinuated that it was a technical issue.

 

I will not be cancelling my PS4 pre-order in favor of the Xbox One version though. For one, I bought the game digitally, so I’m shit out of luck on that front. Second, I still only have a 1080p screen at home. Since the game runs at 1080p60 on the Pro, that should be good enough for me.

 

Besides, I already have the first Yooka-Laylee on PS4, so it seems right to have the semi-sequel on the same console.

 

:Cruise:

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  • 3 weeks later...
12 hours ago, JFo said:

10 attempts. 74% complete. 


I watched a video of it last night and goodness yeah...it does look utterly brutal. I haven’t even started the games yet but it’s on the docket. I commend you for pushing ahead and support your endeavor of sheer madness. I’ll join you soon.:)

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1 hour ago, Romier S said:

I’ll join you soon.:)

 

Yeah, I think you're going to like it. I know I like it a lot more than Yooka-Laylee. How much more? Well, when I beat that game, I did so after collecting 100 Pagies. This happens to be the exact number you need in order to take on Capital B. and roll credits. I collected exactly what I needed and no more. I could have kept playing, but I had had enough and was ready to put it down and never touch it again.

 

With Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, I collected all 48 Beetalion bees as well as all five T.W.I.T. coins on each level and all the tonics on the overworld. In short, I may end up Platinuming this game when all is said and done. I don't have a lot of Platinums in my collection, but I will gladly go for it here.

 

Thankfully, you don't need to complete the ultimate challenge -- beat the Impossible Lair from a new save file at the very beginning of the game -- in order to get the Platinum. I'm not sure that's something I could ever hope to do, especially after watching The Completionist's video below. The fact that it took him 60 hours to actually do it -- in addition to all the time he spent beating the game proper -- means it would probably take me 600 hours, given the fact that he is a much better video game player than I.

 

 

Oh, and before I go, if you're going to try to unlock all of the tonics, you'll need a lot of quills. Here's a good way to farm them: Play through Chapter 1 (the regular version, not the variant) with the following tonics equiped:

  1. Less Checkmates (removes all but one checkpoint in a level, doubles your quills)
  2. Quillsplosion (defeating an enemy drops 5 quills)
  3. Googly Eyes (gives enemies an extra hit point, but increases your quills by fifty percent)

If you have the (real) fourth tonic slot unlocked, equip Quill Magnet as well. If you do, you can easily collect 1,500-1,600 quills in about 5 minutes 30 seconds.

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14 attempts. 75% complete.

 

That may not sound like I made much progress since last night, but it’s more than it looks at first glance. Tonight, I reached the fourth and — as far as I know — final boss fight against Capital B for the first time. Twice. Not only that, I reached the final phase of the fight both times. I just need to sharpen my skills in a few sections of the level, figure out how to avoid some of his trickier attacks in the third fight, and hopefully have enough bees to get me through the last battle and whatever lies beyond that.

 

I would love to have this game done by Thursday, in time for Luigi’s Mansion 3. If I can’t get it by then though, no worries. I know I can eventually beat this level. I just need to put in the time.

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I guess I might as well just post a screenshot.

 

1832655903_Yooka-LayleeandtheImpossibleLair_20191029215437.thumb.jpg.7d1de756f263acffed7eb42462f44cfb.jpg

 

I made it through the final section on my first try. I even had five bees to spare!

 

Oh, also there's this:

 

20191029222247.thumb.jpg.63e413dfe0a4021244dcdd2d0ea9c77a.jpg

 

It feels good to be done with this one. It's definitely one of the more satisfying games I've beaten this year.

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  • 3 months later...

I did get all 200 coins and all 48 bees, but my platformer skills have atrophied in my advanced age :p, so I’m still just shy of 50% after 11 attempts.  I want to finish it, and I do find it enormously satisfying when I improve upon previous runs, but there’s just too much else I want to play and watch to really dedicate myself to the Lair itself.

 

I wish the loading transitions acted as checkpoints so that I could restart there with however many bees I had at the time: still incentivizing cleaner runs early on without having to start all over if things go south.  It’s also a bit puzzling to put so much emphasis on collecting tonics only for them to be excluded from the Lair itself.  By the time you unlock the fourth tonic slot, you’ve done basically everything but the Lair anyway!

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  • 1 month later...

The Impossible Lair is soon to be less impossible!  Update coming on April 14th.

 

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The Impossible Lair is now split in two. The "Not So Impossible Lair" is the new standard mode, offering you the ability to save your progress at checkpoints. Each of these checkpoints registers how many bees you have in your bee shield (effectively how many hits you can take before dying), letting you practice certain sections repeatedly without having to worry about reaching the same point consistently. Playtonic notes that you can ignore checkpoints entirely too if you want to replicate the experiences from launch.

The "Impossible Lair" variant is an even tougher challenge than originally presented, with no checkpoints and no bee shield to protect you during its grueling run. That means you have to make it through the lengthy stage without taking a single fault, which should please fans itching for a new challenge.

 

 

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Interesting decision. I can't imagine Playtonic came to it lightly. The whole point of  the game was to collect as many bees for your bee shield as possible to have the best chance of bee-ting the game (sorry, I couldn't resist).

 

I suppose if they were going to offer a compromise, having checkpoints throughout the level, which remember how many hits you have left, is a decent one. You're still incentivized to retain as many hit points as possible before each checkpoint, and you can skip them altogether if you like.

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I do think it's kind of a bizarre design decision to have tonics and slots be such a heavy focus of the game only to completely abandon that for the finale.  But I dunno, not much about the Lair makes sense to me.   Pretty much every other element of the game is so generous and forgiving, and then the Impossible Lair...well, true to its name, isn't.  It doesn't feel like a culmination of everything I'd learned up to this point; it's seemingly bolted on from a completely different game.  It's not that I think the Impossible Lair should be easier, necessarily, but maybe there should've been more of an escalation in the later levels of the game?  Maybe let players start with more tonics and strip them away the further they get, like taking off training wheels?  I just can't really think of it as the ultimate test of the skills I've developed over the course of the game if it's trained me to play with particular skills/advantages and then dumps that entirely, alongside a difficulty spike worlds removed from anything else up to that point.

 

I didn't expect them to allow the use of tonics, but I'm glad to hear they seem to have gone with the approach I pitched a couple months back!  Having to replay the entirety of a gigantic level to get back to the part where I'm struggling completely stomped all over my enthusiasm for a game I otherwise loved.  Less about difficulty than time.  I'm looking forward to being able to put a bow around this one once the patch drops.

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Which is funny because my faulty memory was that I'd already gotten to the halfway point before the patch.  😛  

 

It's a tough game (for me, anyway!) to be away from for a while and jump straight into a challenge like this.  Even after sinking a couple hours into the Lair today, I feel like I'm wearing concrete gloves.  Yooka's movements aren't flowing or singing the way they did a couple months back.

 

I'm not the type to leave a game unfinished, but I feel as if I'd have to sink so many hours into something I can't honestly say I'm enjoying (although I loved everything else about this sequel) that I might have to cut my losses soon.  Too many other games to play, movies to watch, and all that.

 

Edit! 49 attempts.  55%.  Most of that was trying to improve the number of bees I finished stage 1 with.  I can now start stage 2 with 42 bees; 36 was the ceiling I just couldn’t crack before.  I had enough momentum with my last stage 1 run to get at least a little way into stage 3.  9 bees won’t get me very far :p, but I feel like I can focus on improving stage 2.  As hopeless as this seemed, I think I might be able to do this after all


Edit #2: 57 attempts; 74% complete.  If I can improve my second stage (21 bees remaining is my best in these early runs), I really think I can do this.

 

Edit #3: Somewhere around my 60th attempt, I cleared stage 2 with 26 bees. I figure a little over half the bees should be enough to carry me through the back half of the Lair.  I haven’t given stage 3 a serious run yet, but even in my “well, I’m not outta bees yet” leftovers from my stage 2 runs, I could get within one jump of the boss door.  So I feel good that I can finish this before the weekend’s out.

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Done!  I finished stage 3 with 15 bees, which I could've improved upon, but I figured as long as I had 12 or more, I was good to go.  Only took 1 try to take out the final boss and the escape sequence afterwards, although I'd lost all my bees about halfway through, and there was one nailbiter in particular where I thought I'd lost Laylee.  As frustrated as I was a few days ago, I feel great finally having knocked this out.

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