Sunday, December 14, 2008
Being a big Banjo-Kazooie fan, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed playing through this old favorite. It brought back plenty of childhood memories, ya know? Question is, does this upgraded Xbox Live Arcade version best the classic Nintendo 64 game?
Honestly, how much can you say about the story in this game? Your a bear and a bird trying to save your sister from being turned into a green monstrosity. Roaming from one world to the next, collecting puzzle pieces (known as Jiggy's). It might not sound like much of a plot, but I suppose it was your average story back in the Nintendo 64 days.
Banjo-Kazooie has nine levels total, each growing in difficulty the further you make it in. Each world has it's own set of challenges, each of which will earn you a Jiggy. A challenge that is similar in each world is hunting for Jinjo's (not to get confused with Jiggy's). Each world has 5 Jinjo's hidden throughout it. When all the Jinjo's are found, you earn a Jiggy (not to be confused with Jinjo). Other challenges simply jumping from one platform to another, or running through a maze. Some include puzzles, and there's a race from time to time. One of the things that I don't recall from playing this game on the 64, is how difficult some challenges get. More than once did I want to throw my controller at the television. Along with challenges, Banjo-Kazooie provides plenty of abilities for you to get your hands on. The game includes 15 or so abilities, my favorite being the ability to poop eggs (very entertaining),as well as being able to fly, and go god mode for a short period of time.
Now, Sure, new abilities are cool and all, but my all time favorite thing in Banjo-Kazooie, is the being to change into various creatures. You will occasionally find Mumbo's hut every few levels, there he will transform you into various creatures, such as an ant, walrus, bee, pumpkin, and my all time favorite, a crocodile! Just look at him! He's so cool!... Each animal that you transform into will have there own special abilities (walking through a swamp, not slipping on ice, etc). A new feature that has been added exclusively for the Arcade version, is Swap-and-Stop. Throughout the game, you will find hidden eggs (6 total). These eggs allow you to get new parts for your vehicles in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, a nifty little feature. In the end, I think that Banjo-Kazooie definitely has it's fill of gameplay options, especially for it being such an old game.
Why am I even doing a section on this? If we compare to the Nintendo 64 graphics, then I would have to say that they're pretty good. But, compared to today's standards, they suck.
Aside from there being no voice overs, I'd say they're pretty good. Banjo and the gang have this pretty freaking awesome song in the opening cut-scene, too (just thought I'd throw that out there).
Even after all these years, I'd have to say that Banjo-Kazooie is still on the top of my list. The graphics may be crap, and there's no voice overs, but the gameplay rocks. All the features that Rare has put into the game have not been dully noted. The entire game includes hours of fun,fun,fun. Challenges come at your like crazy, and if your really up for a challenge, try looking for the stop-and-swap eggs (they're not easy to find). Although the game was a lot of the same thing, it never got that repetitive feel to it (maybe it's just me). If you have never played a Banjo-Kazooie game before, I highly recommend it, I'd even go to say that it's better than Mario 64. If you have played Banjo-Kazooie before, I would still recommend it, it truly does bring back memories of your childhood, and you'll find yourself thinking "I remember this challenge!" and "Uhg, I hated this world!"
Overall Score: 8/10