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Banjo-Kazooie: A Short Review (And HD Pictures!)

Arnox

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I decided to revisit this game recently. (Tooie will be next.) Actually, I started this game like two or three weeks ago and am now just finishing it because welcome to college. But yes, I was actually kinda worried about replaying this as I didn't know if it would hold up. In my surprise, it absolutely does! It does have some problems though. For one, it seemed kinda easy. I didn't die a single time all the way up until I got to Rusty Bucket Bay. A far cry from when I played this as a kid and I was dying all the time.



Bubblegloop Swamp sucked, and I think it's definitely this game's worst level. At least Rusty Bucket Bay had a pretty cool theme to it. Otherwise they're all great. In fact, the best thing about BK is the amazing level design. It's a huge highlight of the game and its best selling point. From a tropical paradise to gothic horror to the ancient egyptian to an industrial dock, it oozes personality from these exaggerated worlds, taking one or two themes and just going all out with them, making you want to get out and explore. The soundtrack really brings all this together as well. The result is a very polished and focused experience.

So what are its problems? Well, as stated above, it's easy. Really easy. OK, not that easy, but for the most part, I was 100%ing levels left and right. Now I will say that this could simply be that I know these levels too well now, but even so. I will also say that although Rare is like Pixar where their works can be enjoyed by anyone, I'm pretty sure this game was mostly aimed at the teen demographic and lower, so I guess its easy difficulty is understandable. Ending fight sure doesn't pull any punches though.

Anyway, in closing, I'll like to post some pictures that I had originally posted on the Escapist long ago, but I feel should be posted here now. These pictures are the most HD pictures you can get of the original BK. They feature all levels except the damn swamp because nobody cares. Obviously the remaster is a different story, but I didn't and still don't have Rare Replay, so here you all go.

Spiral Mountain:


Mumbo's Mountain:


Clanker's Cavern:


Treasure Trove Cove:


Freezeezy Peak:


Gobi's Valley:


Mad Monster Mansion:


Rusty Bucket Bay:


Click Clock Wood Entryway:


Click Clock Wood:

Banjo Tooie's next. With a lot more pictures and more HD res since Tooie actually supported such.
 
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Battousai

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Rusty Bucket Bay was quite enjoyable to me actually, Clanker's Cavern was just annoying with the whole deep diving, and Gobi's Valley can go die. The rest is fine, game is fun and simple for the most part. Got really hard in Tooie imo.
 

Houseman

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I never played that game. I played DK64, though, which was in the similar collect-a-thon genre. Never beat it, because I couldn't (and still can't) beat the original Donkey Kong minigame (twice) which is what you need to get to the final boss...
 

Arnox

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I never played that game. I played DK64, though, which was in the similar collect-a-thon genre. Never beat it, because I couldn't (and still can't) beat the original Donkey Kong minigame (twice) which is what you need to get to the final boss...
DK64 was fun but also really clunky. Which is weird considering DK64 came out after BK, and BK was such a polished experience. Honestly, it seems like DK64 was pretty much the Banjo-Tooie beta. (By the way, one hour into BT and I already have a lot of thoughts, but I don't wanna spoil anything. lol)
 

Drathnoxis

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I don't think any of the 3D Rare games were actually good games. They were all very clunky to play, with extremely boring puzzles, and bad level design. Obviously Banjo-Kazooie is better than DK64, but still has incredibly tedious segments. You've scoured the level for 97/100 notes but, whoops, you slipped off of a pipe into the abyss, time to do it all again! Conker's Bad Fur Day was alright, but only because it was pretty short and did away with the collectathon nonsense. Personally, I think DKC2 was the high point for Rare and hardly anything else is worth playing.
I never played that game. I played DK64, though, which was in the similar collect-a-thon genre. Never beat it, because I couldn't (and still can't) beat the original Donkey Kong minigame (twice) which is what you need to get to the final boss...
That was such a brutal difficulty spike for the game. Most everything is trivially easy and just consists of running through each level 5 times, once with every character, but then you get the DK arcade and Beaver Bother and the challenge skyrockets. It took me like an hour and a half straight to make it through the DK arcade.
 

Arnox

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I don't think any of the 3D Rare games were actually good games. They were all very clunky to play, with extremely boring puzzles, and bad level design. Obviously Banjo-Kazooie is better than DK64, but still has incredibly tedious segments. You've scoured the level for 97/100 notes but, whoops, you slipped off of a pipe into the abyss, time to do it all again!
Well, BK is all about the fun of exploration, and I guess they thought the collecting would emphasize that even further, but it did definitely get annoying, yeah. Thankfully, they fixed it in BT to where you don't have to collect them again if you die or exit the level. Now if I had been consistent, I would have released that BT review for you to read, but I never got around to finishing the game (story of my life). But yeah, BT just makes an absolute ton of improvements to BK and it shows that Rare pattern of their sequels often making the originals somewhat redundant in how good they are. Nevertheless, I think BK does still stand on its own pretty well, considering.
 

Drathnoxis

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Well, BK is all about the fun of exploration, and I guess they thought the collecting would emphasize that even further, but it did definitely get annoying, yeah. Thankfully, they fixed it in BT to where you don't have to collect them again if you die or exit the level. Now if I had been consistent, I would have released that BT review for you to read, but I never got around to finishing the game (story of my life). But yeah, BT just makes an absolute ton of improvements to BK and it shows that Rare pattern of their sequels often making the originals somewhat redundant in how good they are. Nevertheless, I think BK does still stand on its own pretty well, considering.
I never actually played BT. I did DK64, BK, and Conker and that was enough. I've seen a glitchy LP of it though.
 

Yoshi

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I don't think any of the 3D Rare games were actually good games. They were all very clunky to play, with extremely boring puzzles, and bad level design. Obviously Banjo-Kazooie is better than DK64, but still has incredibly tedious segments. You've scoured the level for 97/100 notes but, whoops, you slipped off of a pipe into the abyss, time to do it all again! Conker's Bad Fur Day was alright, but only because it was pretty short and did away with the collectathon nonsense. Personally, I think DKC2 was the high point for Rare and hardly anything else is worth playing.

That was such a brutal difficulty spike for the game. Most everything is trivially easy and just consists of running through each level 5 times, once with every character, but then you get the DK arcade and Beaver Bother and the challenge skyrockets. It took me like an hour and a half straight to make it through the DK arcade.
if Conker didn't have the adult humour in it's story, it would be a pretty forgettable game. the gameplay itself is linear AF
 

Drathnoxis

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if Conker didn't have the adult humour in it's story, it would be a pretty forgettable game. the gameplay itself is linear AF
Oh, for sure. Its humour and brevity are what make Conker enjoyable. Its gameplay is worse than the other Rare 3D platformers, but considering the gameplay in those isn't all that good anyway it's not too big of an issue.
 
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