3D mascot platformers, retroactively re-named “collect-a-thons” as of late, are a lot like Invader Zim. All the kids were doing it, the internet was abuzz with talk of the latest installments, until one day all that was taken away from us. Video game publishers decided the core audience had grown up, and no longer wanted or needed the likes of Jak & Daxter or Crash Bandicoot. The genre, just like Zim, was taken to a farm where they could “live” in “happiness” alongside stealth and adventure games, and Street Sharks.
Baring a few (mostly mediocre) exceptions, that’s where these games have stayed in the triple-A videogame landscape. But this is Cliqist, and we don’t give a rootin-tootin golly-gee-willikers about them. We want to know how the genre is fairing in the world of crowdfunding.
In our latest Crowdfunding Analysis Time, we take a look at one of these resurgent attempts to bring 3D platformers back – Yooka-Laylee. Brought to us by former developers at Rare, this particular game is a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie.
In this episode I poke fun at these kinds of spiritual successors made by the original game’s developers, but go back and re-read this article’s opening paragraph and tell me I’m any different. We’re all yearning for something from our past, only with a new coat of paint. However, some of us might be pushing it a bit far, such as those former developers, now with Playtonic Games.
In an effort to capture some of that nostalgia, Playtonic mentions Banjo-Kazooie around a dozen times in the initial Kickstarter page alone, not counting the pitch video. The Nintendo 64, Donkey Kong and other former Rare properties are also mentioned plenty of times. Normally this is the kind of campaign you’d accuse of propping itself up on nostalgia alone, and while that’s still true to some degree, Playtonic does have one thing up it’s sleeve.
There’s a lot on offer with this Kickstarter campaign. Concept art and screenshots are aplenty, as are the behind the scenes interviews. But what seals the deal on this being a genuine campaign and not a nostalgia fueled cash grab is the gameplay. Using their own money, Playtonic created an entire level complete with characters and enemies before the Kickstarter went live to demonstrate the game.
You can hear about that, and much more in our latest episode of Crowdfunding Analysis Time.
If you allow me to interject about the video, let me say that this is a special episode. While previous CAT’s always felt more like glorified slideshows, we put more effort into this one to make it feel more alive. Taking a cue from the site’s redesign, we’ve overhauled how we do videos here on Cliqist. Let us know what you think about these changes in the comments below, we’re always open for feedback. Especially the positive kind.