On this day, Yooka-Laylee was released by Playtonic Games. On their website, they state:
Yooka-Laylee is an all-new open-world platformer from key creative talent behind the Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country games!
Yooka-Laylee was brought to life via kickstarter with a budget of a staggering £2.1 mil and the help of roughly 80,000 backers. So far, it’s Playtonic Games’ only game with a score of 76 on Metacritic and a user rating of 6.5. Not that bad for a first!
Let’s take a look at how social media perceives Banjo-Kazooie’s spiritual successor. Fans of Banjo-Kazooie are celebrating the title on Twitter on its release day:
It could not, however, persuade everyone:
What’s going on here?
The mood about Yooka-Laylee seems to be mixed. This also applies to the title’s steam reviews, which I took the time to dig more into.
I later decided to write an article about it because some of my “bullshit sensors” were tingling – let me explain why.
Here’s a few red flags you should watch out for when buying games on Steam, using the example of Yooka-Laylee.
- Appeal to emotions (like nostalgia) rather than features or quality.
- Inconsistency. Look at how people judge the reviews. If they aren’t sure whether they are helpful or not, there is a chance a game isn’t what the devs say it is.
- A surge on positive steam reviews on release date. In the first screen, I took two screenshots of their steam page approximately an hour apart (9:50pm and 10:50pm CEST) and composed this tweet, recording a surge of 37 additional mostly positive reviews in only one hour. If this happens to a larger scale, one must question the integrity of these reviews.
- Reviews with substance have heavier weight. A review with substance is a review that explains why and how the game is good or bad, and what exactly makes it good or bad. If a review fails to do so and just bases its argumentation on appeals to emotion or nostalgia, it shouldn’t be considered to make a purchase decision (unless you’re buying it for the nostalgia and know what you’re getting). The examples below are such hot-air-reviews.
- The review is the only review written by the person and only has a very short playtime. How do they know the game is any good if they haven’t played it for more than an hour? This is a red flag the review or account may be fake. If these kind of reviews are frequent on a game title, you can bet something is not going right here.
This shouldn’t discourage you from buying this game if you’re a fan of Banjo-Kazooie – it’s okay if you buy this for nostalgia – Just know what you’re getting yourself into!