Considering i’ve just created a new banner with Banjo and Kazooie on it I thought i’d mark this day with a review of the classic Nintendo 64 game Banjo-Tooie. Now unless you were born recently you should have played, or at least heard about this game, if not – you have now! By the end of the review you’d want to grab a Nintendo 64 or an emulator and play it straight away. Being published in 2000 it was a game that was focused on it’s storyline and game play rather than what today’s companies pump out and call games, primarily for money.
I’m getting into the habit of adding games soundtracks to listen to while reading through the reviews, so scroll to the bottom and click play then continue to read through the review.
The storyline in Banjo-Tooie starts off two years after Gruntilda (The Villain) was defeated in Banjo-Kazooie and continues to the epic battle at the end of the game. The player opens doors to new worlds by collecting Jiggies (Gold jigsaw pieces) much like the previous game and finding more jiggies in the new worlds to open additional worlds. Each of the worlds have a rich landscape and brilliantly composed music to bring life to them and so you can hum along while collecting many of each worlds objects which range from feathers to Jinjo’s. Along your journey you can collect note nests which allow you to learn new moves from Jamjars when enough are collected, there are around 2-3 moves you can learn in each world that greatly increase your accessibility to new areas.
Multiple rocks, gates and various other objects are blocking your passages around the maps which you use your new moves to unblock, even to the extent of opening a new passage to another level. I found the cross-map mini quests to be brilliant as people and objects from different regions interact to complete tasks in other worlds. An example of this being in the last world “Cloud Cookooland” you can empty a lake of water into the map below giving water to a thirsty creature who in return gives you a jiggy for your assistance. Alongside the main quest to get revenge on Grunty you have what I call miniquests you can complete for extra items such as jiggies and pages from Cheato – The magic cheating book which give you an edge during the game, while not feel like it’s too easy. Even rarer than those two you can find objects called eggs, well except much rarer than all the common ones. These eggs have question marks on the sides and can be hatched by heggy the hen located near Mayhem Temple, and would unlock various cool features which I won’t spoil for you.
The challenges throughout the game got increasingly harder and harder the further you progressed. In fact getting into one of these levels is a challenge in itself for the level “Grunty Industries” located in Quagmire. At the beginning of the game you were basically given Jiggies for doing minor tasks such as climbing to the highest point of the map and another such as finding a gold relic. In the last few levels you had more puzzles to solve if a Jiggy was in a hard to reach location, such as in boiling water which you have to do a few other things to be able to reach it, or even more complex you had to switch between levels to be able to reach it. These tasks made Jiggy hunting fun as well as having to stop and think how to complete a level which I find is always good to have in a game.
The game ended as I hoped it would and didn’t disappoint me, as there was a big battle and lots of funny cut-scenes as well as a quiz which I really enjoyed in Banjo-Kazooie, so i’m glad they brought that back. The biggest feature I loved in the game was the fact the game didn’t have to end there, you were able to return to every map you’ve previously been on and collect any items you have missed and truly complete the game. Alongside this you could reply the main bosses in each level in the replay thingy located on the main menu, because as we know those bosses were heaps of fun, especially the Hailfire Peaks dragons.
I loved the music and sound effects to no end, they were so brilliantly composed that i’ve downloaded the soundtrack and listen to them often just for old sake’s times. The music I particularly loved was from the level Jolly Roger’s Lagoon “Seaweed Sanctum” and “Atlantis” but also being my least favourite level mainly because it’s mostly underwater, we all hated the Super Mario Bros underwater levels right? The boss level music also sounded intensly epic and heart-poundingly intense, two notable ones include the Old King Coal boss and the Lord Woo Fak Fak boss although a bit repetitive if listened to over and over.
The graphics in Banjo-Tooie could have been a little more spiced up but got the job done well along with keeping a consistent theme throughout the game even when the levels changed diversely, for example having a level set in prehistoric times and another set in a large modern factory. By “spiced up” as I said above I mean how the textures were applies to objects like the scenery, throughout the game there were a few stretched textures on mountains and various other large objects which i’m sure could have been fixed with specifically made textures where it looks the worst. The animations however were splendidly done as well as fluid for it’s time and made the cut-scenes look funny and charming. I remember seeing Klungo crying after I whupped his butt in that first cave all those years ago, ah memories.
Banjo-Tooie like its predecessor had absolutely no game play errors on the Nintendo 64 console, obviously there are errors when emulating it on pc due to many different variables such as graphics, ram and cpu. But purely on the console you won’t be able to find any. If you don’t believe me, play though it and try to find some, common places to find errors in games are the edge of maps, doing interactions with objects that haven’t been tested and button mashing during cut-scenes. This is one of the reasons I absolutely love this game, I just know I won’t get stuck somewhere or a save game won’t load, I don’t know about you but i’m sure somewhere in your life something wouldn’t save and you had to do the whole thing again, not necessarily in games though.
The multiplayer aspect is the best thing to happen to Banjo-Tooie as you could choose from a huge variety of games in the menu and play up to 4 people in a battle to the death. Although only the three first person shooter maps were chosen 90% of the time it was a great laugh to be able to hide mine-eggs and “tube” or shoot grenade eggs at the opponents. Unlocking characters by playing through the main game was another brilliant feature, as I enjoyed playing with Jamjars and Jinjo the most due to each character having different speed and health.
Well that’s all for Banjo-Tooie apart from this conclusion. This is a brilliant game suited for pretty much every age to ever come out, and it’s bright lovable graphics and characters leave kids wanting more. The music is brilliant along with the game play and story and it contains no errors if your on a Nintendo console. Sadly however their wasn’t another sequel for the Nintendo 64, I would have absolutely loved another Banjo, nuts and bolts is on Nintendo DS which I’m not buying. If you haven’t played this game to the end your missing out!
Here’s the final score out of 100%:
Fun Rating: 100%
0% – 24% = Hopeless Game, Definitely not worth buying! if you have it sell it now while its worth something!
25% – 49% = Terrible Game, This game will not prove to be very enjoyable, and may only be played once and forgotten.
50% – 59% = Average Game, A very mediocre game that you may play occasionally to pass time but doesn’t prove to be very enjoyable.
60% – 69% = Nice Game, A game you would play once or twice to see how it is, but ultimately lacks replay-ability and immersion.
70% – 79% = Brilliant Game, This game would satisfy your gaming needs for a very long time but would eventually be forgotten over time.
80% – 89% = Fantastic Game, A very fun game that proves time and time again to be enjoyable and addictive.
90% – 99% = Amazing Game, Extremely Enjoyable and has lots of replay-ability content, as well aspushing the boundaries for future games.
100% = Epic Game, Go and buy 20 copies right now! (In-case there’s a nuclear war and they get destroyed)