Banjo Kazooie is a platformer game that was developed by the notorious Rare company and released on the Nintendo 64. It hit the shelves in North America in June of 1998 and in Europe in July of the same year. This was not the first time we had met Banjo however, he made an appearance in Rares 1997 racing game, Diddy Kong Racing. Banjo was part of the roster alongside another of Rares famous characters, Conker from Conkers Bad Fur Day. So, back to the bear and the bird, the story begins with the evil and not so easy on the eyes witch Gruntilda. Gruntilda kidnaps Banjos younger sister Tootie, using a machine she has built, she plans to steal Tooties youth and beauty, transferring it over to herself. Banjo and Kazooie hear from Tooties friend Bottles the mole that Tooty has been kidnapped and they set out on an adventure to rescue her.
At the start of the game, Bottles teaches you the basic moves and controls of the game from the different attacks, high jumps and eventually how to fly. The starting area is a nice intro to the game-play and lets you figure out the games mechanics really well.
Banjo and Kazooie must make their way Gruntildas lair, collecting the golden jigsaw pieces or Jiggies as they are called in the game and the golden music notes which unlock the different areas and levels of the game. There are 9 different levels to explore, each with its own unique style from the snow mountains of Freezeezy Peak to the scorching desert of Gobi’s Valley.
Along with the beautiful visuals of the game in an absolutely outstanding soundtrack. The music in each level really helps create the mood and atmosphere of the different areas you are exploring.
Each level has a variety of different enemies you will have to defeat, to do so you will have to use the various different abilities you and attacks you learn during the game, flying being my personal favorite. There are also some very clever puzzles in each level, some of which can be quite challenging but still fun and satisfying when you do eventually solve them.
You get some help along the way from the shaman Mumbo Jumbo who transforms you into a variety of different animals depending on what level you are in. Each one of these animals has certain abilities which you must use in certain levels to solve puzzles and collect Jiggies.
Banjo and Kazooie are a great team and this game has it all, a great story line with outstanding visuals and a fantastic music to help create the atmosphere and bring it to life. There is so much to do and so many areas to explore in the game which means after you finish the story you will still have unfinished business to tend to.
I would highly recommend Banjo Kazooie to gamers young and old. I have quite a nostalgic attachment to the game as it was one I played as a kid but even for new comers this game will delight.
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