Back in 1998, there were some harsh debate about it being as good or not as the other poster boy for the N64 3D platformer games. And that is saying something as this other game basically defined the genre for the years to come.
So Rareware gives us at the time one of the best games for the N64 console, and today, this XBLA re release offers slightly better graphics and achievements. How great is that ? Anyway, let's review it a bit.Graphics :
It was beautiful back in the day, really. Everything is colorful and all, the environments are diverse enough to not be boring, including Grunty's Lair
. This XBLA version gets a minor update, but it isn't really noticeable other than character faces. You are playing a retro game and you know it by how it looks. Perfect Dark HD gets a much better upgrade in comparison, so it could have been better and that's too bad.
Wonderfull soundtrack making all of its scores an Ear Worm
. Grant Kirkhope is a really good composer as every Rare title from the late 90's get great music, and Banjo-Kazooie is no exception. Sound effects are well-done and funny, and contribute to the fun atmosphere of the game. Back throwing an egg in a Mad Monster Mansion flower pot and getting a Thaaaank Youuuu from beyond is a great experience by itself.
Here is the frustrating one. The game is classic 3D platformer at its finest and you spend most of your time running around collecting Goodies
. The controls are great, even if some button combination seems odd because of the 360 pad, like the use of the golden feathers. Banjo and Kazooie respond quite well and have a nice and diverse move set, making the whole experience pleasant and never repetitive. But there are two real flaws. First, the camera really is outdated, hard to control and you will find yourself falling or running into enemies from time to time because of it. And second, the underwater controls are just awful and the camera issues just makes it worse. The second to last level in the game is largely considered the hardest just because of its aquatic parts.
Pretty good list IMO, most of them just require to play the game and are really hard to miss, some ask a Hundred Percent Completion
and some other are completely skippable if you don't know what you're doing. They are pretty easy anyway and you don't have to force you out to get this, you will just have to enjoy this great game.
Banjo Kazooie was a great game back in the day, and it still is if you enjoy the 3D platformer genre. The camera is a bit frustrating at time, but it will not ruin an otherwise great experience.