The adventure of Bear and Bird still holds up fine over ten years after it's original release!
The story opens with Banjo's sister, Tooty, talking with Bottles, the short-sighted mole, while an evil witch, Gruntilda, makes a plan to kidnap Tooty for being the prettiest person in the land. The witch leaves her tower.
She flies above Tooty and Bottles, swoops down and takes her. Bottles rushes to Banjo's house to tell Banjo and Kazooie,who, coincidentally, just woke up. The game begins.
The gameplay in Banjo-Kazooie is simple but fun. You run around the witch's lair using Jiggies, golden puzzle pieces, to open new levels to find more jiggies and using music notes, found in each level, to progress through the lair.
In each level there are one hundred music notes, ten jiggies, a witch switch which reveals a jiggy in the witch's lair, and most of the levels have at least one new move for you to learn. These moves are used to fight your enemies, make traveling easier, or to acquire some jiggies, and I think they make the game stand out. The controls feel great on the Xbox despite being made for the Nintendo 64 and the gameplay is as fun as it was back then. You can expect 6-10 hours from this one.
The audio of the game is excellent. The music for each level is a perfect fit for the level's theme and the music for the witch's lair changes to reflect the level when near the level's entrance. When you enter an area with different music, the music doesn't stop, it keeps going like it was supposed to change at that exact time. The characters talk in nonsense but that adds to the charm.
The presentation for the game also hasn't lost any of it's charm either. The game has been updated visually, from it's N64 original but it's hard to notice. The game is still really attractive for a downloadable game that doesn't even reach 100 MBs. The worlds are colorful and fun to look at and that makes them really fun to run around in. None of the characters act any different when they are talking but Banjo will look like he's listening and nod while Kazooie is popped out of his backpack.
So in closure, the game is one of the greats. It ranks up there with Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time and, I think, the game surpasses both of them. The music, the characters, the worlds, everything is neat and a real joy to play. For 800 Microsoft points and not even a tenth of a gig of space, you can't go wrong. Even if you grew up with the game and still have the N64 cartridge, there's reason to get the XBLA version; new controls, upgraded graphics, achievements, and Stop 'N Swap is finally realized...