Two things I need to say, Banjo – Tooie is original from the Nintendo 64 and is a 64-bit game from the golden ‘bit’ years also that it was made by Rare, two fantastic combinations for a nostalgia trip down banjo lane. With its goofy humour from the bear and sometimes harsh humour from the bird, Banjo Tooie keeps the same fun and happy feel as the first title, with its square visuals, minimal robot like sounds and in-fact nice flat colour you really will be thrown back in time to experience some bird and bear antics.
Banjo Kazooie was the first game to put Rare on the map, to think we wouldn’t have the likes of Perfect Dark Zero and Viva Piñata without it, so the second game was highly anticipated and with talk of features like stop and swap, being able to port over the eggs you collected in the first Banjo Kazooie, sounded ground breaking at the time but sadly was never possible on the Nintendo 64 but the power of the 360 can easily make this possible, so for you gamers out there who found the secret eggs back in the day (I did) can now finally use them if you have downloaded Banjo Kazooie on Xbox live and have found them again, rejoice!
Last time on Banjo Kazooie…
Banjo and Kazooie confront Gruntilda at the top of her tower for a final showdown. With the aid of the Jinjo’s they rescued, the two defeat Gruntilda and make her fall into a hole in the ground below, which is covered by a boulder. Banjo and Kazooie return home and visit the beach with their friends, anticipating their next game. Gruntilda, with Klungo attempting to move the rock covering her, swears revenge!!
The starting intro video will show Banjo, Kazooie, Mumbo and Bottle’s enjoying a good game of poker at Banjo’s house and Klungo is still trying to free Gruntilda outside. The four experience a rumbling like earthquake and outside a giant drilling machine emerges from a wall, Gruntilda’s sisters stumble out of it. As some wise cracks are being made by Kazooie at Banjo’s house, mumbo goes to investigate only to see Gruntilda’s sisters freeing Gruntilda. As he run’s back to warn the others, Gruntilda who is now a funny skeleton, spots him and gives chase. She throws a magic spell at Banjo’s house as Mumbo just gets back to warn the others, but sadly Bottle’s doesnt get out in time getting caught by the blast. After more humour from Kazooie, Bottle’s stumbles out and passes away and appears in ghost form, from here out you will get to play and get used to all the original moves and special ability’s from the first game in the original starting area, Spiral Mountain.
You can view any moves you can’t remember or just for a recap at the start of the game, by going into the menu and selecting ‘Help & Options’ then ‘Controls’, this should give you any info you need just scroll through the different layouts, it will tell you what controls you’re looking at, at the top of the screen, but If you’re new to Banjo and Kazooie, Bottles (the ghost) can still help you if you search around the molehills at Spiral Mountain.
One bad theme that runs throughout again is the bad CPU controlled camera, you will be fighting a lot with it especially if you want to look up or down, left and right are normally fine but otherwise a few awkward camera angles, it doesn’t spoil the game as Banjo Tooie has a lot more to offer in the way of game play. The game is so well pieced together the overall feeling you get by playing this is satisfying: swimming, flying, dual attacks and moves all work brilliantly and haven’t aged bad, you still get that warm feeling from collecting those jiggy’s and won’t be frustrated by the overall movements of Banjo.
You won’t actually start playing the game properly for awhile as it has a long cut scene bringing you up to speed, which is a pain when you can’t skip the dialogue and repetitive talking noises, but there is some amusing dialogue to be had, setting you up for that Jiggy hunting fun. Also beware after you visit King Jingaling when Gruntilda zap’s him, she turns him into a zombie and he can hurt you, after that go straight forward into Bottle’s house to meet Mr’s B, after meeting Mr’s B and caught up with relevant story events, you can start to get a feel of the game when you reach the first level called Mayahem Temple, after this you get to explore the game properly.
The game follows the first title in most areas, collect notes and complete challenges for jiggy’s but majorly expands on this, with huge colourful levels and a staggering amount of things to find and do, each of the nine levels have: 10 jiggy’s, 100 musical notes, 3 honeycomb pieces (for extra life), 5 stranded jinjo characters, missing pages of Cheato’s cheat book (find 5 to unlock a new cheat) and new abilities and magic spells to be learned, that’s for every level, that’s more than some full titles have. This will keep you occupied for a while, with too many arcade games coming out you’d only play once, Banjo Tooie will have a good long life and is the best platform/adventure game out on XBLA to date. This is perfect for kids too, with a child friendly story and enough features and game play to keep you adults happy, this title appeals too many because of its fan base and game play.
Its colourful, vibrant and copes with the high res well, with a few 360 friendly changes and up scaled resolution, actually looks really good for a arcade game and you can feel and see that Rare magic shinning through, which I was a little worried about with it being a N64 cartridge originally as they didn’t hold as much data other formats of game at the time. I do especially like the characters, all of them have their little quirks and are quite amusing in a light hearted way and detail in the levels is impressive for a cartridge. Sound is Robotic at times especially the way its gets repeated, but this game is from the ‘64 bit era’, it just adds to the comedic value the pairing have together.
We are lucky the relationship between Microsoft and Rare is firm and sound, as we have been given one of the biggest releases on N64 and an absolute classic to boot. It’s not to be missed out on if you’re a fan but also gives enough features and fun to keep newcomers happy and enjoying it as an arcade title, also the potential for this for children is great too with the Bird & Bear combination, bright vibrant colours, easy movement and entertaining attacks can keep the little ones busy. So if you want to be entertained by a clumsy Bear & amusing Bird plus massive amounts of puzzles and collectable this could be yours for only 1.200 MS points, a good deal for what you’re getting but is still a expensive arcade game, I don’t have any doubt that it will become cheaper in time to come, maybe even the two Banjo titles being bundled together but is still definitely worth a look, try the demo for free today!
Gamer Rating: 8.3
Buy or Pass: Buy
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: 4JStudios Rare
Originally posted at www.xboxliveaddicts.co.uk