Tear Down That Fourth Wall: A Look At Yooka-Laylee’s Writing
I’ve said again and again in my reviews of platformers that these types games usually don’t have good stories. In general, the writing in platformers is anywhere from “well, its a fun game” to “cringe, cringe, cringe”. There are exceptions to that rule though, such as Ratchet & Clank and Super Paper Mario. And awhile Yooka-Laylee for Nintendo Switch doesn’t have as good a story as Ratchet & Clank or Super Paper Mario, it does have excellent dialogue!
Warning: there are spoilers for Yooka-Laylee’s story and dialogue in this article. Don’t read any further if you don’t want any spoilers!
Yooka and Laylee are on a fetch quest and the game’s story lays that out at the beginning. There may be a plot twist later on, I’m not done with the game yet, but right now, Yooka-Laylee’s story is just alright. But the dialogue in this game is perfect. I’d put the dialogue in this game up there with Ratchet & Clank and Super Paper Mario. Whoever wrote this game did a fantastic job with the dialogue!
What makes the dialogue so fantastic? Well, one of the reasons its so great is because it breaks the fourth wall!
Here is the definition of Breaking the Fourth Wall in case you don’t know it:
” The thin line that exists between a story and reality. When a character in a story tells the reader in some way that they know that they are a character in a story, that is called ‘breaking the fourth wall’.”
Yooka-Laylee breaks “the fourth wall” all the time.
Yooka and Laylee talk about being in a video game, so do the bad guys, and so do the non-playable (NPCs) characters that the dynamic duo meet!
For instance, when Yooka and Laylee meet Shovel Knight (!!!), he mentions that he is in the the wrong game. He also mentions that he hasn’t gotten use to three dimensions yet (He is from a 2D game).
Need another example? One of the bad guys in Yooka-Laylee, a talking duck, mentions that he’ll have his revenge “in this game or the next!”
Oh and that same talking duck will give you a pop quiz every so often about whats going on in the game. So pay attention class!
The fourth wall breaking in this game is really funny. Its so much better then I’m describing it. The characters, from the bosses to the main characters to the NPCS are all funny and you just never know what they will say.
And Yooka and Laylee are not always really nice to the NPCs they run into, so you’ll find yourself going “Wait. What?” every so often.
I look forward to reading what new NPCs and the baddies have to say. The only downside to the dialogue is that if you leave a quest before finishing it and then come back to the quest, the NPC who gave you the quest will be asking if you want to take on the quest and they will have the same dialogue. So yes, while the dialogue in this game is great, the repetition of said dialogue isn’t so great.
I am really impressed with the dialogue though. The story, well, I suppose it could be worse. Hey, the game is fun!
Yooka-Laylee is out today for the Nintendo Switch eShop. I will try to have a review of this game next week!