There are many of gaming genres that are on the rise some of which have sky rocketed such as First Person Shooters while the Platform/action-adventure genre has become more in decline. Banjo Kazooie is an example of classic 3D platform/action-adventure.
The main protagonists of this highly lovable game are a duo named Banjo (The Bear) and Kazooie (The Female Bird). The story within Banjo Kaoozie is rather simple with no real depth to it. Basically Banjo and Kazooie live within a fictional world called Spiral Mountain and one day Gruntilda the main antagonist of the series learns that Tooty (Banjo’s sister) is the most beautiful girl of all. Upon learning this Gruntilda kidnaps Tooty taking her to Gruntidlda’s mountain lair, where Gruntilda plans on using a machine created by her minion Klungo to swap her level of beauty for Tooty’s, as a result will make Gruntidlda young and beautiful while Tooty becomes an ugly beast. Naturally as you would expect it is up to Banjo and Kazooie to rescue Tooty and defeat the evil Gruntilda.
Now that Rare is owned by Microsoft and Banjo Kazooie is an XBLA only game all properties of Nintendo have been removed throughout the game. Such as the animated Nintendo 64 logo is absent from the opening sequence, in addition the Nintendo Company logo on Mumbo’s xylophone in the introduction has been replaced by the Microsoft Game Studios logo. The only reference to Nintendo that still remains is the Game Boy that Banjo plays in the file select menu although the classic Game Boy start-up sound that plays when the file is highlighted has been removed, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is obviously playing a Game Boy. I’m pretty sure that if Microsoft did release a gaming handle before this game came out that they would have slapped it in instead of the classic Game Boy.
Back on the N64 this was one of the best looking games. Today the game still holds up pretty well compared to a lot of other classic games. The game mainly uses simple models, shapes and textures, in addition a few improvements have been made from a graphical stand point such as the fact the game is now presented in widescreen and the graphics have been improved slightly. From Freezeezy Peak too rusty bucket bay all the levels have their own graphical unique look to their environments.
If you’ve never played any of the early Banjo games and have only played Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts then you will surprised at how different the games are from each other. Long story short the original Banjo Kazooie games had players learn new moves in order to move forward in the game, whilst Nuts and Bolts has players build vehicles to complete challenges. In Banjo Kazooie Gruntidlda’s mountain lair acts as the main hub world connected to other sub worlds. If that little formula sounds familiar then it should as this game uses the same formula as the classic N64 game Mario 64, but rather then collecting Stars and Coins you’ll be collecting Jiggys and Notes.
The game will have players take control of Banjo and Kazooie through nine different 3D themed worlds. Within each world the player must gather Jiggys which are jigsaw pieces needed to complete jigsaw puzzles which open new worlds to progress within the game. Within each world there are ten Jiggys, nine can be found by simple exploration, completing challenges or puzzles and the tenth Jiggy can be found by collecting all five Jinjos on each world. However Jiggys aren’t the only items a player needs to collect to advance, players will also need to collect Musical Notes which will allow Banjo and Kazooie to further advance in Gruntilda’s lair. The duo is also aided by Bottles who teaches the duo new moves and abilities throughout the game. In addition there is also Mumbo who uses his magical powers to transform the duo into different creatures throughout the game, such as a termite or crocodile etc.
The controls have been mapped to the Xbox 360 controller without any problems. The game is simple to control with the left analogue stick controlling Banjo and right analogue stick controlling the camera. ‘A’ allows Banjo to jump, ‘X’ will allow Banjo to attack when standing still and roll when running. You will also learn new moves throughout the game which will require the use of the other available buttons on the controller too.
The mysterious Stop N Swap feature of the N64 Was never fully implemented. However the XBLA version has reinstated this feature, finally allowing players to collect those mysterious items that they couldn’t reach before for use in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.
Banjo Kazooie will last players a good number of hours but unfortunately the games replay value isn’t what it used to be. You’ll be collecting Jiggys, Musical Notes and Jinjos and beyond that there isn’t much else apart from a couple of other items to collect.