Written on: 18/03/2001 by Squiggles.
An excellent free roaming adventure game for all the family
Banjo Kazooie is one of the best games, if not THE best, ever produced for the Nintendo 64 in my humble opinion. It is produced by Rare, one of the top names in videogame suppliers, those clever folks who brought us Donkey Kong 64 too.
The game centres around two main heroes, Banjo the bear and his feathered sidekick Kazooie, both on a quest to save Banjo's sister, Tooty, from the claws of the evil witch, Gruntilda. The game is a wonderful one for the entire family to play, and just as delightful and absorbing for adults as it is for children. In fact, when I first bought this game, my husband and I played it non-stop for five days solid; we just couldn't leave it alone!
The gameplay area itself is simply HUGE! It is a roaming adventure type game with many levels to explore, lots of items to find and collect, characters to meet and help, puzzles to solve and sub-quests to discover that you will be totally engrossed for hours!
The game boasts a wonderful range of characters, all beautifully rendered with superb colour and detail; poor Bottles the mole is the constant victim of verbal abuse from the feathered Kazooie, Mumbo the Shamen will have you laughing out loud when one of his famous spells goes awry and he ends up turning Banjo into a washing machine, Gruntilda the Witch pops up with alarming frequency driving you potty with her poor rhyming skills but the game is just so adorable, the characters so cute, that you find yourself absolutely enthralled from the minute you switch on the console.
One of the most fun parts of Banjo is that towards the end of the game, you have to cross a puzzle gameboard and answer lots of questions before you can proceed to the final showdown with Gruntilda the witch. You'll be played music from the game and have to identify the level you originally heard it, you'll be shown close ups of corners of a level and have to determine the world in which they are located, and many other fun questions and timed challenges to have a crack at. Also, Gruntilda's sister (a good fairy!) can be found hiding in many areas of the game on each and every level, and she'll spill some gossip to you about her evil sister. So, my advice, take notes as you work your way through the game, your memory is going to be severely tested!
The final showdown is the toughest part of the game, this is where you battle it out with Gruntilda and the 'fight' is in four parts. If you fail to complete any of the four stages, it's back to the beginning again to start all over from part one! Be prepared to master your egg shooting skills as you try to dislodge her from her broomstick, hone your flying skills as you take to the air and bombard her with shots to quell the infernal cackling and more! I don't want to give too much away after all!
Banjo Kazooie is a wonderful game, suitable for every member of the family and will provide hours of fun and giggles. The gameplay is challenging without being so difficult that you lose interest and the characters are all wonderful. It's a totally charming game from beginning to end. A sequel (Banjo Tooie) is to be available in the next couple of months and I for one simply can't wait! :O)