Welcome to the official discussion thread for Banjo Kazooie on the N64!
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So I had some Microsoft Points to burn, and instead of downloading some highly-acclaimed, new LIVE ARCADE game, I opted for an old N64 favorite from back in the day. Why? I dunno. I guess I was feelin' the nostalgia bug this weekend or something. Whatever.
I was honestly kind of expecting to have buyer's remorse... I mean, the game was great, but was it the kind of game that really stands the test of time? Well, after having put in several hours last night (and unlocking a handful of achievements) I can safely say that, YES, the game is still good. Great, even.
Now I think I want to try out the sequel, Banjo-Tooie, a game I regret to admit that I've never played. I can't remember exactly why I didn't play it, considering I like the original so much. I think at the time, I was a poor college student, so I had to really cut back on my expenses. (I remember wanting buy, but not being able to afford, games like Excitebike 64, Ogre Battle 64, Perfect Dark, Conker's Bad Fur Day and others as well)
So, for those that HAVE played the sequel, is it as good? Worth downloading? It's only like, $10, I think... so either way I guess it's worth checking out, at least. Right? Or should I not even bother, and just stick with the original game and pick up something else on LIVE?
I was replaying this a few months back on XBLA whilst talking to assorted goons on Xbox Live. Upon reaching this level, I asked (without letting them know where I was) what they thought the worst level in Banjo Kazooie was. Rusty Bucket Bay was the unanimous verdict.
I still remember managing to hit that stupid button, getting through the Propellers of Doom, then making my way to the back of the ship with a good 20 seconds or so to spare in order to get the piece behind the ship engines...only for my N64 to FREEZE UP on me the second I hit the water.
Yeah, the Banjo games did have some interesting and more unique world settings. I think Mario games could learn a thing or two from them.
I really liked how the last major stage in B-K wasn't a lava or castle stage but...a forest (!?) level. Made it feel really unique and grandiose, and it helped that it had the whole weather thing going for it. B-K's worlds felt more alive than SM64's, which often felt more like disconnected islands floating in the sky.
Banjo definitely had some great world design. There's some cool stuff happening in Tooie also where you might find a secret that actually links the world's together in some way.
This is one area that Nintendo has really been slacking on. I've said it before but they've mastered the art of making puzzles that are confined to one room, and masters of making levels, but their games haven't worked as well on a macro level like they used to.
That's part of why I love Super Mario Sunshine so much. From any given level you could easily see other playable areas in the background. It's all connected with each individual area playing an important role in the island as a whole. There's a harbor, ruins, a bustling town, a residential region, a hotel for tourists, and beach with other attractions. You get a sense that this is a living and breathing island rather then a collection of geometry for players to navigate. You see artifacts from its history, where its residents live, what markets are key to its economy, and what its people do for fun. Visiting Isle Delfino feels like going on vacation because it is a fully realized tropical island.
No better example of that than Captain Toad. The tiny worlds in that game are wonderful, and there were a handful that were absolutely beautiful that made me want to live in them forever! Totally unconnected though. Not a bad thing for that game--for that game, it was perfect--but something I'd like to see more of in other games.
That's a good point. Skyward Sword was fairly disconnected, and even Galaxy 1 and 2--a couple of the most beloved games in the past decade--were also segmented similarly. But the new Zelda looks to remedy that in a big way.
There is kind of a lot of collecting, but not much more than Super Mario 64. For me, the appeal of B-K was more in its "living cartoon" style world, environment variety, quirky sense of humor, and absolutely terrific soundtrack.