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Yooka-Laylee comes to Nintendo Switch on Dec. 14

Homage to Banjo-Kazooie had been promised for Wii U

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Yooka-Laylee, the 3D platforming homage to Banjo-Kazooie made by veterans of that series, will launch on Nintendo Switch on Thursday, Dec. 14.

Yooka-Laylee had been announced for the Switch back in February, and given a launch date some time this year. Playtonic, the game’s developer, originally promised a version on Wii U during Yooka-Laylee’s 2015 crowdfunding campaign. Those plans were scrapped at the end of 2016, when Playtonic announced a Switch port was coming.

Yooka-Laylee was updated in May to accommodate speedrunners’ interest in the game. The update also included improvements to the game’s third-person camera, which had been criticized in reviews of the launch version. Playtonic said the Switch version will include those tweaks and a “shed-load of polish and updates, including single-JoyCon play across all eight multiplayer games, [and] a custom Achievement system.”

Yooka-Laylee launched in April on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. Many of Playtonic’s developers came from Rare, the maker of Banjo-Kazooie. Clearly aimed at nostalgia for Banjo-Kazooie, which originated on the Nintendo 64 and whose last game was published almost a decade ago, Yooka-Laylee launched to mixed critical reception.

Polygon’s review graded it a 5.5, saying that Yooka-Laylee was rooted in ideas that were “very specific to a gameplay era that we’ve evolved past.”

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