Banjo Kazooie is a revolutionary game that evolved the standard platformer to what it is now.
System: Nintendo 64 (N64)
Total Score: 93/100
Value Score: 9.3/10
• Story: 10/10
o Banjo Kazooie's story is quite simple yet fascinating at how it progresses through from the experiences that the player go through in the different worlds. The main storyline is there was a witch named Gruntilda who wants to be known as the most fairest looking woman in the world however her cauldron Dingpot refuses to acknowledge that fact to her instead proclaims another by the name of Tooty is the fairest one of them all. Gruntilda kidnaps Tooty right in front of the protagonists' house and plans to suck out her youth and transfer it to Gruntilda. Our heroes Banjo and Kazooie must now travel through Gruntilda's lair and get through all the traps and worlds that she has placed in order to rescue Tooty. Players will go through all sorts of worlds such as a village upon a hill, a island surrounded by sharks, a halloween town, a snow mountain and more.
• Characters: 10/10
o Banjo Kazooie's characters are vibrant and colorful characters mixed up with stereotypical humor that is often seen and were seen back in its time. The main protagonists of the game include Banjo the honey bear who is clearly a typical Joe who just wants the best out of the world and his partner/best friend female bird Kazooie who's mouth is more trouble than all the dangers in their world combined. Their antagonist includes Gruntilda who has placed all sorts of traps and obstacles to prevent the heroes from rescuing Banjo's sister Tooty who ends up being the damsel in distress in this game. The game also includes several supporting characters such as Bottles the friendly mole who assists the heroes in learning new skills which help them get through the lair, Brentilda who is Gruntilda's good will sister who helps the heroes by healing them or telling them interesting facts about her sister, Mumbo who is a shaman with magical powers to transform the heroes with the cost of a few tokens that look like him and a whole bunch of miscellaneous characters who you will often encounter throughout the game more than one occasion in one form or another.
• GamePlay: 10/10
o Banjo Kazooie is a platformer adventure game that plays more like Super Mario 64 but a bit more free in its gameplay controls overall. You have your basic jump and attack moves but you also get a array of additional support moves and attack moves as you progress through the game. Along the way you will need to collect notes to open note doors which provide as the main obstacle, puzzle pieces which are used as a item to open up worlds, Mumbo tokens for transformation with Mumbo, Jinjos which 5 in each world will give you a puzzle in return if you find all 5 along with a multitude of misc items you may find which may be exclusive to each specific world. There are 10 puzzle pieces in each world along with 100 notes - not all of the worlds have a Mumbo's hut (which is where you go in to transform), some worlds may have 1 move you will learn while others will have 2 or even 3. The camera controls are actually far better than any other platformer at its time (even better than Super Mario 64's cameras).
• Graphics: 10/10
o Banjo Kazooie is possibly one of the biggest and detailed N64 games ever created. The game literally is a mixture of a immense world with a beautiful artistic design added to it with vibrant colors. There are its dark moments and the lightest of moments based upon the environment and architecture of the overall design. You will not get better graphics in terms of detail (unless you try its sequel) elsewhere on the N64.
• Sound: 10/10
o Banjo Kazooie uses a unique voice effects instead of actual voice overs - this was due to the fact that the game was so immersive and it would of been too much for the cartridge's limit on memory. Banjo Kazooie uses a certain style of voice effects that give each character a unique style or sound but keeps to a point where it isnt words they are saying but more than likely just grunts or somehow if they were speaking under their breath. There are also instances where the characters make all sorts of emotional noises such as crying, being afraid, etc and they were all very well done. The game uses several unique effects not seen anywhere else in a platformer at its time and marked the beginning of a transition where sound effects eventually go to a whole new level in the next generation.
• Music: 10/10
o Banjo Kazooie's OST uses tracks that usually repeat over time but fits well with each world and location in the game. The game uses a certain number of tracks however the tracks are remixed several times depending on the location you are in a certain world. Overall the entire OST is composed of orchestral tracks that do not go into another genre and keeps its unique style and charm throughout the entire game.
• Length: 8/10
o Banjo Kazooie is composed of Nine distinct worlds not including Spiral Mountain and Gruntilda's Lair which plays more into the main plot of the game however brings its own dimension and weight to the game. Each world will take you at least 30 minutes to a hour to complete and as you progress through the game each world becomes more difficult and may even take you 2 hours. Overall the whole game should take you no more than 10-15 hours to complete in its entirety.
• Replay Value: 5/10
o Compared to other Rareware games, Banjo Kazooie offers little to no replay value however you are free to enter back into each world, go into exploration and even play a little mini game at Banjo's house once you get through at least half of the game. There are no additional endings unless you collect all of the puzzle pieces and have "Quit and Saved the game" before rescuing Tooty. Other than that not much is imposed into this game.
• Player Value: 10/10
o Banjo Kazooie is one of the best platformers of its time and even to this day. Offering a unique storyline that has several humorous twists, revolutionizing gameplay, incredible sound track, and amazing graphical display - Banjo Kazooie is bound to take you away from the usual adventure platforming that you were used to from playing Super Mario if you were interested in platforms before or will introduce you to a whole new world of a gaming experience which to this day proves that there are better platformers out there than Mario. Enjoy Nine distinct worlds and a even bigger outerworld as you journey through the world of Banjo Kazooie!