Yooka-Laylee: be wary! Or how to make grounded Purchase Decisions

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.

 

  1. Appeal to emotions (like nostalgia) rather than features or quality.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

     

  4. 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.
  5. 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!

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