Yooka-Laylee hardly set the gaming world alight when it was released on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms back in April but now it is coming to Nintendo's Switch console, it could be symbolic of much bigger things to come.
If you can cast your mind back to the 90s you may remember that platformers were king, especially those with anthropomorphic animals and a large part of that was down to the developers Rare. Rare created some truly iconic games for the Nintendo 64 in the 90s that included such hits as Banjo-Kazooie, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Perfect Dark and 007: GoldenEye and if it was a platformer made by them you knew it was going to be good.
Skip forward to the 00s and Rare was bought out by Microsoft who put out a few of their updated greatest hits on their Xbox consoles and then essentially gutted the company so that they retained the rights to these classic properties but didn't really push anything forward in terms of further developments or games from the company and slowly, those around Rare disperse and went their separate ways or became part of the larger machinery at Microsoft. Platformers had long been on the decline at this point but it felt like a death knell for the genre.
Time passed, we all moved on and did other things with our lives but then it was announced that many former Rare members had gone on to form another company and would bringing the world a new platformer very much in the same style as their classic Banjo-Kazooie but obviously Microsoft still held the rights to that so they presented us with errr...Yooka Laylee. It spurred a bit of excitement amongst members of the gaming community of a certain age who were keen to see a return of the bright, cartoonish visuals and puzzle gameplay that became a staple of the game's on the Nintendo 64, however, this was rather tempered by the fact that the game wouldn't be released on the Wii U, the latest Nintendo system out at the time. It was initially planned to come out on it but these were soon canceled.
The game came out to middling reviews ad middling success, it was alright and captured an air of nostalgia but was far from perfect but the point was that it was a step forward to trying to rekindle the previous buzz that former Rare projects used to generate but it was also pointed out that most players on the Xbox and PlayStation systems were not the target audience and the systems did not cater specifically for them. However, it has now been announced Yooka-Laylee will be coming to Nintendo's latest console, the Switch. Undoubtedly, it will still, in essence, be the same game but for the first time since Rare was bought by Microsoft, these developers that were formerly members of the company will be working with Nintendo which could signal big things.
If Yooka-Laylee is successful enough on the Switch (which it more than likely will be given the Switch's target family audience and the family-friendly nature of the game) then we could see more games from these developers on the machine which could see the rekindling of what was once a very successful partnership. It could bring about more projects that are developed with Nintendo in mind, a company renowned for still bringing the world decent platformers. Whatever the case may be, time will only tell but this small step could be the start of something big.