Banjo Kazooie Series Overview

The N64 probably had the greatest graphics engine at the time, so any game that was made even more powerful would make gamers eyes pop out. Super Mario 64 revolutionized gaming to the extreme. Rare now develops a game that lives off the Super Mario 64 name, and makes a fortune off of it. Why you might ask? Rare has been one of the top developers for video games for a long time, and them and Nintendo made a great team. Sure Nintendo had the hardware to support many of the ideas Rare had in mind, so it worked out for them as well, but Banjo Kazooie is one of those games you just have to love. In fact Banjo Kazooie has a better graphics base then Mario in a way. The textures in the game are very nice, and you would think with textures being improved, the gameplay would suffer. That is not the case, the game moves very smoothly, and there aren’t many if any bugs in the game.

The storyline makes Banjo Kazooie what it is today. It is very cute, and appropriate. Banjo’s sister Tooty is kidnapped by an evil witch named Gruntilda. Grunty who is older then the dinosaurs decides she wants to steal Tooty’s youth so she can look younger. Banjo the Bear, and Kazooie the Bird must team up and rescue Banjo’s sister. Grunty’s lair consists of 9 huge worlds that kind of remind you of Mario 64. Instead of stars you will collect jiggies, which are jigsaw pieces, that are used to open other worlds. Coins have been replaced by Notes, which you’ll need a certain amount of those to process throughout the overworld. Each level contains 10 jiggies, and they are widely scattered throughout the vast levels, 100 notes, and 5 birds. One thing you will notice about the Banjo Kazooie levels are that they are three times the size of Mario’s levels, so that gives you a much bigger area to explore, and 9 levels with that much area is a lot of gaming. Believe me when you are looking for the pieces needed to open up other levels, they won’t come easy. They are scattered and hidden very well, so the difficulty is not so easy.

The gameplay and graphics follow Super Mario 64, with a little edge in the graphics because of the expansion pack. Mario only had a certain amount of moves, Banjo and Kazooie can do twice as many moves, and can transform into different forms. Since there are so many different moves Banjo and Kazooie can do, there is a tutorial at the beginning of the game, that will help you understand the different moves they can do.

Visually Banjo Kazooie wins the battle over Mario 64. Mario 64 had sweet graphics, but the amount of polygons uses weren’t as dedicated as Banjo Kazooie is. The camera angles are very nice in Banjo Kazooie, and have a big edge over the camera angles in Mario 64. In Banjo Tooie the same is done, so there are no changes involved with that. The only thing most cameras lack is closed area support, where the camera can’t get in close enough to view some parts of the area. That is not only a problem is Mario and Banjo Kazooie, but in most 3D games. The soundtrack for the Banjo series is nicely made and choreographed, as it gives you that kid feeling inside of you when you hear Banjo and Kazooie speak. The music is also orchestrated very nice too. Very Banjo Kazooie like!

The second game in the series, Banjo Tooie follows Banjo Kazooie in many ways. Not only being the sequel to Banjo Kazooie, it uses the same graphics engine, and adds a little spice to the gameplay. Banjo Tooie is also one of the not so many games that actually follows the last game very well. This is a true sequel to Banjo Kazooie. Beware there will be some spoilers ahead. Banjo Kazooie ended with the Jinjonator showing it’s true strength and you planting the boulder on Grunty the old hag. Her sisters show up to rescue her, and Grunty takes revenge by dusting this spell on Bottles, Banjo and Kazooies buddy. Banjo and Kazooie soon find out about there buddy being taken under Grunty’s control so once again they spring into action to save there pal, and take down the old hag once again. The plot in Banjo Tooie is probably even better then that of Banjo Kazooie, because there were many secrets in Banjo Kazooie that couldn’t be accessed. In Banjo Tooie all of the secrets are revealed, and you can access all of the secret doors, etc. The Banjo series is one of those series that will probably keep on going, and never get old, because they just answer all of the questions that were in the last game.

In the last game there were many moves that Banjo and Kazooie could learn, now in Banjo Tooie, there are over 40 different moves you can learn, so it will take some getting used to. JamJars a military type being hides throughout each level to teach you the different moves you can learn, so listen carefully to each lesson he teaches you. Banjo can now venture out by himself with Kazooie, while they both can learn there own moves. Mumbo Jumbo who was a transformation wizard back in Banjo Kazooie has left the business to meet a girl named Wumba Jumba. Wumba can transform Banjo and Kazooie into things unimaginable, like a clothes washer, and a T-Rex to name some. Each transformation will be allowed to access certain areas, so you will need these transformations to move throughout the game. The only way to get through the entire game is to learn every move from JamJars so make sure you learn them all, otherwise you will be playing the same levels over and over again.

Visually Banjo Tooie is exactly like Banjo Kazooie, and of course the advantage you have with 3D platformers is that you can move around so freely, it is like you are walking around in real life. There weren’t any major improvements in the graphics engine, seeing that is was already perfect to begin with.

Overall Banjo Tooie makes out to be one of the best sequels any game can wish for, so for the Banjo series to get any better than this, they would have to relive off of Banjo Tooie, which will be hard. Banjo Threeie which is scheduled to be released for yes… The XBox 360, unfortunately. I say that because in my eyes Nintendo brought these characters to life with there system, and it would only be fair to include them once again on Nintendo, but Microsoft are the lucky lads that get the privilege to hosting the Bear and Bird. There are still so many questions to be answered from Banjo Tooie, and even Banjo Kazooie, so Banjo Threeie will probably answer them all for us.

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