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User Rating: 10 | Banjo to Kazooie no Daibouken N64
Super Mario 64 set an incredably high standard for games on the Nintendo 64, it set a bar so high that few games actully managed to jump over it in the consoles life cycle. It had done what few people would have dremt of, taken the 2D Mario games (Already fantastic Games) and turn them 3D into a brillant game with outstanding presenation and gameplay and ofcourse value. Now here comes Banjo-Kazooie, a game that in many people's eyes is a clone of Super Mario 64. The game also has very little to fall back on as the main character only appeared as a playable character in Diddy Kong Racing and he wasn't much liked in that game either. So they decided that he for some reason needed his own game, they gave him a bird and stuck her in his backapcak for the adventure too. So is Banjo-Kazooie going to jump over the bar that Super Mario 64 set, or will it fall over before it even gets there?

What already is diffrent is that Banjo-Kazooie has a deeper story, ok not deep enough to put your weillies on fooor but deeper than Super Mario 64's. Gruntillda the Witch (Grunty) is brewing a new potion over her caldron named Dingpot, (Yes in this game most things have names) Then Dingpot begins to speak. (Yes ALL things in this game talk, get used to it) Grunty told Dingpot that she was the prettyest thing in the world, and clearly from her bony fingers to her fat body to her long green chin this is not the case. Dingpot tells her that Tooty is the fairest of them all, Grunty then storms out with her broomstick in toe and sets off to catch her.

Tooty is on her way to her big brothers house, she stops right outside and has a chat with one of her friends Bottles. Bottles spots somthing in the sky coming down towards her, and it's not her brother, it's a big green thing swooping down to take away her beauty. Banjo is asleep in his house when is woken up by his best friend Kazooie, Banjo wake's up and then outside Bottles screems for help. Banjo and Kazooie set of outside, they discover that Grunty has kidnapped Tooty and has set up a machine that is going to swap Gruntys bad looks for Tootys good looks. The machine needs time to set up (How conveniant) so Bottles teachs the Bear and Bird some moves to get started and then there set off into the castle to go and as Kazooie pust it "Peck some Witch Butt!"

So the story may not be as deep as most games but it is a big step up from Super Mario 64, and the main diffrence is the humor and cast of characters. In Super Mario 64 Humor was non exsistant and the characters were hard to care about. In Banjo-Kazooie however every single character has there own unqiue personalty. Banjo is the dumb but peacfull bear while Kazooie is the short tempered and sarcastic bregull. But in each world there is a cast of funny and original things to talk to like Gobi the Camel, Clanker the Mechanical Fish, Mumbo Jumbo the local Shamen and even a talking toilet. Rare has certainly captured British humor so if your not British you will still laugh, just not get some of the jokes.

Again at a glance the gameplay is simmilar to Super Mario 64, there is to collect and worlds to collect them in. In each world there are 10 Jiggsaw pieces (Jigges) which are used to open more worlds, these act as the power stars so to speak. In each world there are 5 Jingo's to collect (Little creatures which need rescuing) and when you collect them all you get a Jiggy, these act as Red Coins. But thats where Super Mario 64 Stops, and Banjo-Kazooie keeps going.

In each world also there are 100 musical notes, musical notes are used to open note doors which are scattered around the overworld Grunty's Castle. The overworld is much bigger than Super Mario 64 and requires you to explore it more as there are Jiggies located aropund the castle. In each world you will also come across empty Honeycomb pieces, collect 6 of these are Banjo's health increases by an extra HoneyComb. Honeycombs represent Banjo's life, you start of with 5 but that with some more exploration that will increase. THere are also Mumbo Tokens scattered in each leval, these are small silver skulls which must be traded into Mumbo Jumbo for his services.

Mumbo Jumbo is the local Shamen and is found in about half of the levals, in exchange for a certain amount of Mumbo Tokens he will transform you into a animal. This is needed in certain levals to obtain stuff which could not be obtained otherwise. Also in theb leval you will come across Grunty Pads, stomp on one of these and a Jiggie will appear in the overworld, it is not shown how you get there though so some exploration is needed. So you see it goes alot further than Super Mario 64 was willing to go, there isn't however 120 Jiggies to collect but it still will take along time since most of them are well hidden, while others are right front of you.

In Super Mario 64 Mario had a vary of moves given to him at the beggining of the game, Banjo and Kazooie were taught by Bottles the short sighted mole there first moves at Spiral Mountin. (Banjo's House area) But you will also learn new moves throught the game, in some levals you will be told by Bottles that he has some more moves for you to learn, so you must track down his mole hill hidden in the leval and then he will teach you it. Most molehills are eay to find, however some are tricky to locate. (Bubblegloop Swap is very clever indeed) Banjo and Kazooie will learn loads of new moves and most of them are needed to progreess in the game. these including learning how to fly, fire eggs, become invuarable, go super fast and many more. So yet again it does more than what Super Mario 64 offers.

With these new moves comes some more things to collect, Red Feathers are needed to fly, Gold Feathers are needed to become invunarable and eggs are needee to well, fire eggs! This makes the game more challenging because you need to save Gold Feathers for when yoy really need them as they are scarese to come across. However all this collecting never feels like a big issue, you never feel like your managing to much so it adds a nice layer of gameplay here. One that far suppases Super Mario 64 in terms of fun and accsessablity because this game is has excerlent control. Just good all around.

Graphically Banjo-Kazooie adapts it's onw cartoonish feel, all of the enviroments give or a unqiye feel and they make you feel what they want you to. When your in Mad Monster Mansion everything is all dark and the walls are covered in ivy and the moon is shining down brightly. While were as if your in a beach location the sun is beeming down and the water is crystal clear and the sand is a yellow as can be. As were on this topic the enviroments are very well varied and not one leval is the same as the next, each leval has its own theme such as A oil tanker like ship to a winter wonderland to a swamp. Each leval also has fantastic design and a hats off to the last leval as that is pretty much 4 levals in one as it has everchanging seasons and in order to progress you muts travel back and forth between seasons.

On the issue of music nothing ever topped the soundtrack given out of this game in the consoles history, from the music at Spiral Mountin to the music in Mumbo's Mountin its all just top notch. The voice acting or sound effects as we should more rightly call them is great and at times makes you laugh. You see the N64 had limited space and only a couple of gaes managed to have voice acting, well instead of voice acting each character has there own sound. Its hard to explain but say for instance Banjo says this Blaur blu blah blu blah over and over again, and thats his voice pretty much as the rest comes up in text. This can provide lots of humor as some characters make there noises by burping and farting, I mean how else would a toilet talk?

The value of the game is questionable, it will take a very long time to get 100% (About 10-15 hours) in the game and that includes all Jiggies, Notes, Empty Honeycomb pieces (And in some people's mind the stop and swap eggs and key) but once you've done that there is nothing to do. But while your doing it you'll have a hell load of fun.

Banjo-Kazooie at first glance may look like a Super Mario 64 Clone, but look a little closer and you'll find much more.

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