Banjo-Kazooie Missions is a disappointingly simple game with a minimal relationship to the license.
- You can see Banjo and Kazooie
- A lot of scoreboards.
- The minigames are boring
- There are three minigames total
- Not enough relationship to the license.
Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge Missions pays homage to the GBA game of almost the same name, but as the title would indicate, it merely features a number of minigame "missions" instead of the action-platforming that is traditional in Banjo-Kazooie games. The result is a disappointingly simple game with a minimal relationship to the license. The redeeming quality of Missions is its scoreboard, as you can compete for the top spot on a worldwide leaderboard for a number of different minigames. But, sadly, none of them are very fun in the first place.
The original Grunty's Revenge surfaced on the GBA in 2003, and it picked up where the story of the N64 Banjo-Kazooie left off, which was when the evil witch Gruntilda (reincarnated as a robot) captures Kazooie. Missions begins with the same story as its GBA predecessor, except that the purpose of the game is to relocate Kazooie, so it's played only from Banjo's perspective. The gameplay consists of two modes. The first is "rescue Kazooie," where you play eight minigames to unlock "jiggys," puzzle pieces that should be familiar to you if you've played previous Banjo games. You need eight jiggys to form a traditional slide puzzle, which, once solved, will free Kazooie from her imprisonment. The minigames all involve a collection of some sort, whether you're picking up items as you free-fall down a slide, or using a fishing-pole mechanism to retrieve moving creatures. If you collect all of the required number of objects during the time limit, you earn a jiggy. After you complete the eight missions, defeat Gruntilda, and then solve the slide puzzle, Kazooie will be rescued and you'll win the game.
The other mode is challenge mode, where you can play the same 10 minigames under a time challenge. Each minigame is changed slightly so that you're still working against a time limit, but you can potentially play forever. Each time you collect an object, a few seconds are added to your time, so if you continually collect objects and don't "die" by falling into traps, you will be able to play the game for as long as it's physically possible. This mode is more interesting than rescue Kazooie, as you can continue to challenge yourself to attain higher scores, if you like.
Once either mode is complete, you can post your score to the worldwide leaderboard. This lends a nice bit of depth to the game and makes playing it a little more interesting. The sad truth about the gameplay, though, is that if you're not highly competitive, you'll be hard pressed to find a reason to continue. The minigames aren't even that fun, and there are only three different minigames throughout the entire game, each of which is recycled with different themes on different levels.
Fans of the franchise will be pleased to see renderings of Banjo, Kazooie, and Gruntilda on their mobile phones. And although the graphics depict the licensed characters quite clearly on the LG 535, they aren't otherwise notable. The game attempts some of the same humor of its predecessors, as each character speaks in a manner consistent with his other personality, which could be either cute or stupid, depending on your disposition. The music can be treated similarly, as it consists of an infectious Tetris-esque tune that is saccharin, but it's consistent with the cute and silly nature of the franchise.
The problems with Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge Missions are many, as the game is dramatically limited in scope and the gameplay elements aren't that much fun. The game has the tendency to bring out the competitive nature in people, however, thanks to the sheer number of minigame scoreboards. Still, it's likely that you won't be interested enough in the gameplay to check out the scoreboards.