Banjo-Tooie Reviews

Br00tal Bowser
170,708 (95,201)
Br00tal Bowser
TA Score for this game: 308
Posted on 15 May 09 at 12:09
This review has 18 positive votes and 5 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Banjo Tooie was a great game back when i was 10 or 11, but the truth is when i replayed it all these years later, it was good but it lacked everything i had remembered from before.
Dont get me wrong its a great game but i felt a little let down but thats what i get for having my hopes too high.
Ultimately i preferred the port of Banjo Kazooie to this, one thing i really enjoyed from this was the music, one thing i hated was the FPS parts the controls were so bad.
Overall a great game, but it let me personally down for a reason i cant put my finger on.

Audio 8/10 - The music for this game is amazing, grant kirkhope did a great job on this, the sound effects are what you would expect from a game of this age also the noise each character makes gets a little annoying after a while.

Visual 7/10 - The worlds look amazing and are huge for a game from this era i just have a gripe with what is the differance from the N64 version, i read in previews it was supposed to be different but i am at a loss to what is different except things look perhaps a bit sharper.
The dialogue in this game is great, i love the banjo humour with its breaking the fourth wall and whatnot is quite funny.

Gameplay 7/10 - The control system is overall a great transition to the Xbox 360 controller the only thing i dislike is using the right stick for some of the moves because it also controls the camera, talking of the camera it can get extremely annoying at times but fortunately not too much.

Achievements 10/10 - i found the achivements quite a treat to unlock none were all that challenging but none the less alot of fun to achieve.

Overall 8/10
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124,020 (74,695)
TA Score for this game: 287
Posted on 30 January 11 at 19:48, Edited on 30 January 11 at 23:31
This review has 12 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Warning [Spoilers] Follow (skip italic sentences to avoid)

Banjo Tooie is the sequel to the game Banjo Kazooie, get it... "TOOIE," laugh, sighroll, 90s Nintendo humor.

Both Banjo Kazooie, and Tooie, were originally released in the golden years of the Nintendo 64. Set in the Isle o' Hags, the story takes Banjo and Kazooie to numerous exotic locals in their quest to once again defeat the evil witch Gruntilda and her two sisters, all in the name of vengeance for their deceased friend Bottles the mole, who is summarily executed by a newly revived Gruntilda,who was defeated in the original Banjo and Kazooie game.

As a port from the N64, the first thing many will notice is the graphics. By modern standards, they are substandard. But, keep in mind that the game is simply a port from a console two generations old, so this should be expected. Fortunately, this game is also very colorful, which is in sharp contrast to most modern games, and the levels themselves, while somewhat limited by modern standards, are large enough that the player can be drawn into them anyways, and you will likely stop noticing the game's graphical drawback after the first hour, once the story sucks you in... note though that the game does start fairly slowly, so the impatient may wish to avoid this one.

In terms of story, playing the original Banjo Kazooie first certainly makes it more enthralling, but is not a necessity. This game was developed with a mind to allowing new gamers to jump in without prior knowledge of the world, which is exactly what I myself did when it was originally released on the N64. The game starts out with a cut-scene showing the revival of our antagonist Gruntilda, or Grunty for short, by her sisters. After being revived, Grunty wants revenge upon Banjo and Kazooie, and as she was killed a mere hundred or so feet from our protagonist, Banjo and Kazooie's, house she flings a spell in our hero's direction, killing Bottles the mole. After a standoff with Grunty's crony Klungo, the player reaches the village of the Jinjo people. Seeking assistance with their quest, Banjo and Kazooie seek King Jingaling, King of the Jinjos, who sends our heroes to meet with Lord Jiggywiggy, king of the Jiggies. The player soon learns that Grunty plans to restore herself to her former glory by the use of the Big O'Blaster, and find themselves searching far and wide for Jiggies, jigsaw pieces needed to unlock more worlds with more Jiggies, collectibles, and upgrades for our heroes to collect.

The game ultimately boils down to collecting enough Jiggies to unlock the next world, by solving a simple jig-saw puzzle, locating enough musical notes to earn that level's new power-ups, then repeating the cycle until enough Jiggies have been collected to get to Grunty's tower, The Cauldron Keep, and take her on.

The saving grace of the game is the numerous interactions between Banjo, Kazooie, and the other characters of the game, and the simplistic style of the gameplay that is very easy to pick up and play. If you've played the original, some buttons have been remapped and you may have trouble adjusting, but again, it is simple and will come to everyone eventually.

musicAs far as audio is concerned, the game sticks pretty well to the standards of N64 times, and suffices enough that it isn't usually a problem and can be enjoyable at times. One large issue that should be noted is that the N64 games of the time did not have much in terms of voice acting. Instead, dialog is displayed at the bottom of the screen, and grunts and squeaks are meant to represent speaking. This can get old fast, but again, it comes with the territory.

The achievements for the port are very simple and make for a quick 200/200GS. Most of the achievements are either main story related, or side quest related and should come without much trouble. The rest are mini-game based within some of the side quests, and should come with a few extra tries if you don't get them immediately, where the player has to surpass a set number of markers reached, such as getting 66 points from popping 3, 2 and 1 point balloons within a set time. Ultimately, the style of the game-play is very endearing and will remind veteran players of their time playing on the N64., and may confuse some younger players who have grown up with shooters, as to why the veterans liked it so much.

My main problem with Banjo Tooie is that I played the game out of nostalgia, to relive a game that was great when I was younger. If you also find that this is your reason for wanting to play this, as I'm sure many will, be warned, it WILL NOT hold your attention the way it did when you were a child. I got up to roughly the Grunty Industries Level and stopped because I lost interest, and later picked it up and, again, stopped one level short of finishing the game. It is simply not as action oriented as most modern games, and thus is harder to stay interested in.

One positive that Rare is finally able to integrate into the game is a fully realized multiplayer. Whereas the original was limited to split-screen multiplayer and grew old pretty quick, Xbox live allows you to get on and play with anyone else who owns the game, so players of the original will have some new connectivity to appreciate as well. The game is also able to fully realize the "stop and swop" features meant to be in the originals, so some trinkets from Banjo Kazooie can carry into Banjo Tooie to learn special moves and unlock extra goodies, and collectibles from both Banjo Kazooie and Tooie will carry into Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts.

+Endearing N64 style gameplay
-Lackluster Music
+Humorous Story
-N64 Graphics true to the original
+Better Multiplayer connectivity from the original

= 7.5/10
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Madknight 64
328,441 (187,526)
Madknight 64
TA Score for this game: 308
Posted on 17 July 18 at 18:58, Edited on 10 September 18 at 22:35
This review has 2 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
Banjo-Tooie is a vibrant, playful, witty adventure that is worth a play through if you enjoyed games from the N64 era. The game overall has aged well over the years, not many of the mechanics feel out of data, and it's still a good time. It's important while playing through the game to remember that it is older, so some of the niceties that we are used to in modern games didn't exists yet when the game was released.

The thing I like most about this game is how they handle the fact that it is a sequel. When you start the game up, you have every move you had in Banjo-Kazooie, and you don't have to relearn them if you don't need to (the option is there for people who haven't played the original, but it's not required). Then they add moves on top of them, making it so that you have an arsenal of moves by the end of the game.

In terms of story, the game is pretty simplistic, classic villain does something bad, and the heroes have to go out and save the day. The charm from the game comes from the puns and whit that was made into the dialog of the characters. Kazooie is always talking trash, and every character will try to be punny at least once or twice when you interact with them.

Game Play
The game play for the most part has held up really well over time, and updated controls really work well. It's nice to be able to use a control stick to maneuver the camera rather than the C buttons of old. That being said, there are still some camera issues when it comes to tight spaces (you can lose your character behind a wall when the camera can't figure out where to go). Another mechanic in the game that hasn't aged well are the button mashing sections. There were controllers on the N64 that could help out with these, that don't exist now and it's an older mechanic that doesn't translate well to modern games. The first person flying/swimming sections can also be tricky due to the mechanics of the time, but with a little practice you can get through those sections without too much trouble.

If you are interested in collecting everything, this game feels metroid-vania-ish because there is a lot of backtracking to older levels with new moves that you have unlocked in later levels in order to get all of the collectibles. Just be aware that the game doesn't really tell you where things are, or what to do in order to get them, so it's a lot of trial and error (or looking them up in a guide).

Last Thoughts
Overall, some of my views may be tainted by some nostalgia from when I was a kid and played this game, however I still really enjoyed my experience replaying the game. I think the game is worth a play if you want a fun, goofy adventure, or if you are a fan of Rare as a developer.

This review is my own opinion of the game and mine alone, and doesn't reflect the opinions of my employer.
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