Those of us who pre-ordered Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts have been playing this for a couple of weeks, but now the Arcade release of the N64 classic Banjo-Kazooie is unleashed upon the masses. So, playing as Banjo it’s time to strap on your bird-filled backpack and head up Spiral Mountain to tackle Gruntilda before she turns your sister into a gruesome beast, solving a variety of clever puzzles and negotiating some clever platforming action. You really should buy it. Honestly.

I love Banjo-Kazooie with a passion. It’s one of my all-time favourite games and, along with the sequel Banjo-Tooie (heading to XBLA next year, fact fans) has occupied a little too much of my gaming time. It captures everything that made a Rare game really good – it’s funny, challenging enough to keep you occupied and gorgeous to look at.

Almost nothing has changed since the original release. Playing the game, which debuted in 1998, you can’t help but think that it’s a lot better than a lot of the “next-gen” crap we get nowadays. The graphics have been given a bit of spit and polish to bring them up to HD goodness, but that’s the only really concesion to modern gaming. The game is still the same as it always was, which means if you can remember where all those jiggies were you’re onto a winner. It’s funny though, for something I spent a long time playing several years ago, it all felt really fresh and new and while I did remember odds-and-sods from my last Banjo dalliance, a lot of it came back to me with a chuckle as I played.

That’s what this game is all about. It’s funny. The dialogue is genuinely funny, with Kazooie providing much of the sarcastic banter and Gruntilda’s excellent habit of speaking in rhymes which, once or twice, will leave you wondering what is coming next! Playing this game is also an excellent way to understand a lot of the in-jokes that are scattered around Nuts and Bolts. If you’ve not experienced a Banjo game prior to the newest one, you really should give this a look in as you’ll appreciate the little things in Nuts and Bolts a whole lot more.

The main addition to this release of Banjo-Kazooie is the Stop and Swap feature – collect a few bits and bobs scattered throughout the game and you’re able to acquire new crates in Nuts & Bolts. These don’t contain anything hugely vital, but do allow you customise your vehicles a little bit more with daft Rare-related items.

Banjo-Kazooie is purely a single player affair, although there are the customary leaderboards which will let you see how quickly your Live friends have gathered up all their jiggies. Having said that, the game looses nothing for being single player – that’s how we used to play games back then, after all. And there’s still nothing better than being able to taunt a friend who hasn’t managed to find one of the jiggies that you proudly own!








4 responses to “Banjo-Kazooie”

  1. George avatar

    Banjo you’re the reason one of my thumbs is a lot shorter then the other but i still loves ya

  2. Chris avatar

    I was looking forward to this re-release since the inital anoucement being a fan a platformers- possibly the poorest supported genre of this console generation- But was generally disapointed and stopped playing 5-6 levels in. The game feels like working through a shopping list (a fairly odd one prehaps) With jiggys; music notes; mumbo skulls and more needing to be harvested, Not to mention finding the 5 birds and various amount of mole hills on each level. A shame.

  3. Jonathan Grier avatar
    Jonathan Grier

    Never really liked this game when it was first released.

    Nothing in comparison to good ole mario 64.

  4. Duncan Aird avatar
    Duncan Aird

    I loved this re-release, it’s brilliant fun.
    Platformers are few and far between these days so I’m not turning my nose up at one of the best of my whole childhood!

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