More Reviews
REVIEWS Dark Souls II: Crown of the Sunk Review
I was confident in my Dark Souls abilities. Then From Software released new Dark Souls II DLC.

The Swapper Review
One of 2013's best indie games swaps its way to Sony platforms.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Pillars of Eternity Preview
For Obsidian's crowdfunded love letter to Infinity Engine games like Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate, I was impressed by its willingness to pull back the curtain and let me see the machinery behind it.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES CounterSpy
Release date: 08/19/14

Tales of Xillia 2
Release date: 08/19/14

Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Release date: 08/19/14

Madden NFL 15
Release date: 08/26/14


LATEST FEATURES Interview: Forging the Rings of Power in Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Tolkien fans may now either squeal with glee at getting to play interactive fanfiction... or condemn it to the watery grave of Numenor.

How Bioware Creates Romances
Bioware's games have romances where you might save the world, on the side of course.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Picking Your Gender: 5 Industry Professionals Discuss Queer Identity in Gaming
Women from Naughty Dog, ArenaNet, Harmonix, and Gamespot unite to talk about what they want from games in terms of diversity.
 
Coming Soon

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP Kakulukia
Why Sunset Overdrive Can Go Suck A Lemon
By Kakulukia
Posted on 07/14/14
Yesterday, while cleaning up my media center, I found my copy of Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus, which I bought sometime before Christmas last year. I had been pretty excited about this game pre-release, what with it being the first "traditional", albeit shorter than usual,...

Banjo-Kazooie Review

Colin By:
Colin
07/01/98
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE  
PLAYERS  
PUBLISHER Nintendo 
DEVELOPER  
RELEASE DATE Out Now
E Contains No Descriptors

What do these ratings mean?

And their brother, Ukulele-Ocarina!

What do you get when you cross a bear with a bird? Give up? Aw, c'mon, you haven't even tried any freaky genetic experiments yet . . . okay, what if the bear just wore a backpack that contained the bird in it? More acceptable than the idea of a romantic bird/bear relationship? I figured as much. And so did the folks at Nintendo, who have once again ventured into the realm of 3D platform gaming with Banjo-Kazooie.

The object of Banjo-Kazooie is simple - rescue your sister from the hands of the evil witch before the witch steals her youth and good looks. Sound easy? Not likely. In order to accomplish this feat of daring-do, you have to storm the witch's castle, travel to various magical lands, solve puzzles, kill monsters, turn into various creatures, and be back in time for the 2:30 Country Bear Jamboree at Disneyland. So hop to it, you lazy good-for-nothing.

Every time someone says that people aren't using the N64 to its highest graphical capability, Nintendo comes along with a game like this and shakes it all up. The graphics in the game are no less than stunning. Everything is incredibly smooth and well-defined. Droplets of water that fly through the air as you're running through a puddle each leave their own concentric circles across the glassy surface. There are no noticeable polygonal errors. Truly one of the best graphical displays I have ever seen on a console system.

So the graphics are good, what about the gameplay? Never fear, gentle readers, nobody slacked on gameplay this time. There is a central world around which the action revolves, the witch's castle. From there, you collect puzzle pieces to open more worlds, to get more puzzle pieces, to open more worlds, etc. Each level has a different theme, from the deserts of Egypt (very hot) to the ice caps of a glacier (very cold). Each level is fairly big and adds to the immense scope of the game.

As you progress through the different levels, you learn new moves that are crucial to your ability to win the game. Once you have all the moves, every button on the N64 controller gets used (except for the L button, because none of us have three arms). Though the control can get a bit confusing at times, and younger gamers might have a problem remembering what does what, you get used to it pretty quickly.

Being a platform game, there is a lot of jumping. As a rule, I genuinely dislike jumping as I'm just not very good at it. But even though the game is jumping intensive, the jumps are easy to gauge due to the beautiful graphics. Though there are some parts where the jumping becomes a hassle, there are usually ways around it if you are creative enough.

With a bird strapped to your back, you'd imagine that you might fly. Indeed, at points you will have to use your feathered friend to reach new heights. The flight is more like falling with style, and it allows you to get a great view of each level.

The sound and music help establish the overall mood of the game nicely. The cartridge format leaves voices out of the mix, but background sounds and other effects are well-done. With the incessant (but delightful) variations of the 'Teddy Bear Picnic,' you really begin to feel like you're wandering around in Bear Country.

The only real problem with Banjo-Kazooie lies in the auto-camera. Though the camera is one of the best that's out on the market, it still has some problems. Some areas confine the camera to a specific point, sometimes obscuring a crucial enemy. Other times, the camera will not be in the right position to gauge a jump properly. I'm happy that they included a button that places the camera directly behind the bear. Without that button, players would have been lost. Although you get used to some bizarre camera angles as you play the game, it still can be quite annoying.

All in all, this is the best platform game that I have played in a long time. Of course, it follows the basic formula of a platformer - kidnapped female, evil castle, jump on enemies, etc. But the reason the formula still exists is due to the fact that, occasionally, it works really well. Banjo-Kazooie is a case where the cliche works to perfection. Although we question Nintendo's blatant violation of the genetic cloning ban put in place by the president, they did so for a good cause, and a damn good game.

A- Revolution report card
More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Banjo-Kazooie
Also known as: Banjo Kazooie


More On GameRevolution