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Reviewed by Drew In spite of its obvious appeal to a younger audience, Banjo-Kazooie proves to be an amazingly fun and challenging game to all ages. It has the same sort of gameplay as Donkey Kong Country (also by Rare) because you don't beat the game entirely by defeating the big boss, you still have to collect a certain amount of items (DK Coins, Puzzle Pieces etc.). If you liked Mario 64, you will love Banjo-Kazooie even better.

Graphics 10 out of 10

Mario 64 was the first game that allowed players to explore a 3-D environment. However the camera angles were flawed slightly, thus causing the rendering to be more difficult. The graphics in Banjo are flawless as well as amazing. Obviously the settings look perfect and realistic (come on this is the 64, what do you expect). But the objects in each level such as "Clanker" in "Clanker's Cavern," the Alligator in "Bubblegloop Swamp," the Sphinx in "Gobi's Valley," and the Ship in "Rusty Bucket Bay" only make the graphics more impressive.

Music and Sound 9 out of 10

The soundtrack to Banjo-Kazooie is not an array of annoying tunes that you can't get out of your head. It is catchy, likeable and creative. In the witch's tower, the same music plays throughout. However when you are near a level, the way the music sounds changes to fit the level. Before you enter "Treasure Trove Cove," the same music from the tower is played in a pirate melody. Also, before "Mad Monster Mansion," the melody changes to that of a scary organ. Audio cues from the enemies before they attack is another helpful aspect of this game. Unfortunately, they tend to sound robotic after awhile.

Game Challenge 9.5 out of 10

Don't be fooled by it's childish look. This is quite a challenging game that even the best video game players can't beat right away. It took me 32:07:02 over a 2 week time span to beat the game, not even to its entirety. Gruntilda, the final boss, is one of the hardest final bosses of all time. During the battle, as well as the game, you need to master all the skills you learn. This isn't one of those games where you can just slide by using half your moves.

Game Play-Fun 10 out of 10

The #1 reason that this game is so fun is that nothing in it repeats itself. No 2 Puzzle pieces/Jinjos/Honeycomb pieces are found in the same way. Also, each level offers new characters, settings, and unique objectives. The first and even next time(s) you play it, you are always finding new things that interest and excite you.


In all levels, finding certain items can be very frustrating. You may find yourself getting 90-99 musical notes, and end up dying before you can collect the last few. Or, you might look all over a level for a jinjo/puzzlepiece/honeycomb and not be able to find it.

Replayability 10 out of 10

Because everything isn't always collected the first run, a second game is necessary to tie up the loose ends.

Game Value 10 out of 10

Even if the game cost $79.99, it would still be worth buying. The game can be played without boredom for months. The $59.99 price makes this game have great value.

Probability of Sequel(s)? 10 out of 10

When you see the ending, you'll understand why. Also, in last month's issue of GamePro, Rare said they would make a sequel if the game was successful. Since Banjo-Kazooie has received excellent reviews, was named Game of the Month in EGM, and has broad appeal, the game's success looks promising.

Overall 72 out of 80

Banjo-Kazooie is the best Nintendo 64 game to date. Even though the 64 doesn't produce games as quickly as Playstation and the release dates are postponed, the final result is always good (GoldenEye, Mario 64, Starfox 64). This game follows the trend as Zelda 64 The Ocarina of Time will most likely do also. Buy this game whenever possible because it is a true classic.

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