Reviewed by Shrykulll
Banjo-Kazooie was originally first revealed under the moniker of "Dream." Since then,
we've found out that the game really has nothing to do with dreams or even the musical
instruments from which the characters are named. Nevertheless, Banjo-Kazooie could
very well be called a "dream game." This Rare-developed title for Nintendo only goes
to show how delays can make a game distinctly better. If you've been disenchanted
with your Nintendo 64 recently, it's time to succumb to the system's magic once again.
Banjo-Kazooie, quite simply, is the evolution of Super Mario 64 and its 3D platforming
action. It takes a familiar concept to the next level. If you think Banjo-Kazooie is too
much like Super Mario 64, then you better think again. If you miss out on this game,
then you miss out on one of the best games for any system.
When you turn on Banjo-Kazooie for the first time, you're treated to the same loud,
robust, clear stereo sound that you've come to expect from Rare. If you don't touch
any buttons, you're treated to a little real-time introduction of some of the game's
characters playing musical instruments. Once you start the game, you're thrown into
the file select screen. Unlike other games that have static file select screens,
Banjo-Kazooie's save slots are picked from three different scenes inside a cabin. If
you're selecting a slot for the first time, you're then treated to the story of the game.
A summary of the story is that Gruntilda -- an old, dirty, ugly witch -- has kidnapped
Tooty, who is Banjo's little sister, because she's the "prettiest of all." Kazooie, the
wisecracking bird friend of Banjo, hears the ruckus outside and wakes Banjo up. So
the polite honey bear grabs his backpack with the Breegull in it and heads outside to
save Tooty. Bottles the mole warns Banjo and Kazooie that there is a difficult quest
ahead and offers to help them along the way. Thus begins the great adventure.
Once you're into the actual game, you come out of Banjo's house into a world that
serves as training. Bottles will help you out by teaching you techniques -- techniques
which you can't use until you're taught.
There are two equally important items that must be collected in order to progress
in the game. First is the Jigsaw Piece, or "Jiggy." They are kind of like stars from
Super Mario 64. There are 10 hidden in each world. The other item is the Musical
Note, which are like coins. There are 100 hidden in each world, and your grand total
from all worlds in the game is used to open up Doors that take you deeper into
Gruntilda's Lair. Eggs are important in Banjo-Kazooie, too. You can use these for
attacking and for completing puzzles. Red Feathers are used for flying. Finally,
there are the Golden Feathers that make you invincible.
Who can forget Mumbo Jumbo? Mumbo is a Shaman who practices voodoo magic, and
you will meet him several times in the game. In exchange for Mumbo Tokens, he'll
turn you into a native animal, such as an alligator or a termite. You can then stay
as that animal for as long as you like and use its abilities to get Jiggy pieces.
Confused about all the items and moves? Don't worry. Banjo-Kazooie takes an active
approach to teaching you about all the special moves and items.
Graphics 9.6 out of 10
Complementing the gameplay is equally incredible graphics and sound. The
graphics in Banjo-Kazooie are just phenomenal. There are an unbelievable number
of textures. Banjo-Kazooie even makes full use of the N64's ability to generate
real-time sequences. The game switches to real-time sequences when talking to
important people or when something special happens.
Music and Sound 9.4 out of 10
The sound in Banjo-Kazooie is just as remarkable. Somewhat surprisingly, the sound
effects get the nod more so than the music. There are tons of different sound effects.
The game feels almost like a cartoon. As far as the music goes, the MIDI composition
is fantastic and fits each world perfectly. While each world has its own music, there
are different parts in each where the music will change slightly. You can still tell it
still follows the same rhythm and timing pattern, but instruments might be added or
changed and it might be sped up or slowed down.
Game Challenge 7.3 out of 10
This game is very hard if you are trying to find every last music note. But it still isn't
so easy if you just want to beat it plain and simple. The reason you should keep playing?
The levels are so varied, and different, and fun in there own way, you would probably be
having to much fun to think of challenges..... If the puzzles didn't allow you to use your
brain, that is. This IS a challenging game. But anyone who loves these exploring type
games, and even regular players, should be able to figure out every puzzle, every trap,
and every impossible jump if they kept trying and thinking.
Game Play-Fun 9.8 out of 10
Gameplay-wise, the game takes the whole search-and-find concept to a new level.
Because of the tremendous variety in puzzles, it doesn't get tedious to find Jiggy
pieces. A lot of the variety can be attributed to the many special moves, and the fact
that you can be turned into different animals by Mumbo. Another important facet of
Banjo-Kazooie is its personality. Along your quest to save Tooty, you'll find many
creative characters and worlds. If you're looking for challenge, this game has plenty of it.
Rumble Pak 6.2 out of 10
I always find the Rumble Pack annoying at times. It's too bulky for my comfort, and
shakes me all around :). And I don't like it's humming sound. But those of you who DO
like the Rumble Pack will probably think it works well for this game.
I honestly have never gotten frustrated with this game. Yes, it is hard. And sometimes
I might get stuck in a certain cituation. But I always find my way out (-; or an interesting
way to lose life;-). I think that you would be having too much fun to get frustrated.... Then
again, that's just my opinion.
Replayability 8.6 out of 10
How can Rare be so good? They are truly staking their claim in the industry,
because Banjo-Kazooie rocks so unbelievably hard. The presentation is very immersive
and engrossing -- "interactive cartoon" probably fits. Banjo-Kazooie is the reason you
bought an N64 in the first place, the reason why Nintendo's systems are so loved
altogether. It stands as one of the best games for the system.
Game Value 9.5 out of 10
All the above should be enough. This game is definitely worth the price. If you don't
believe me, try it in a store display, borrow it from a friend, or rent it.
Overall 9.6 out of 10
This is a most fantastic game! I loved it the first time I popped it in the slot. Of course,
the squeaky "N" logo at the beginning was a bit mutch :). The lush graphics, awesome
sound F/X, and great gameplay go hand in hand to make this my nomination of game of
the year! Of course, the year isn't over yet. One question from me for you guys to
ponder about...... Why not call it the "Rare 64"? LOL