When my time comes to pass from this plane of existence unto the next, I can take my eternal rest content in knowing that ‘I was there’ during the golden years of Rare on the N64, circa 1997-2001. It was the heyday of the 3D Platformer, with Rare championing the genre by way of such joyous offerings as Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64 and Conker’s Bad Fur Day. It was one of the fondest, most cheery gaming epochs of my life and, judging by the £2 million-plus funding that the self-declared ‘Rare-vival’ 3D platformer Yooka-Laylee received, many people feel the same way.
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Yooka-Laylee reassembles much of the old Rare team under Playtonic Games, including director Chris Sutherland, several designers, and N64 soundtrack legend, Grant Kirkhope. Within minutes of you starting, it’s evident how zealously it attempts to recapture the particular flavour of 3D platforming that Banjo-Kazooie represented.