Review by shumax44

"Banjo's Back With Half A New Bag Of Tricks!"

On a cold, rainy night, Banjo and Kazooie and their friends, Tooty, his sister, Mumbo Jumbo the Witchdoctor and Bottles the Mole are enjoying a good, fun game of cards. Suddenly, disaster strikes, Bottles is killed and Banjo, Kazooie and Mumbo are left with a resurrected enemy.

It may sound very soap-opera-ey, but B & K's quest to bring back bottles begins is anything but bog-standard. Gruntilda, the evil witch killed in the first game by Banjo in bloodthirsty fashion (Thrown from the roof of her lair and the body crushed under a rock) has been resurrected by her evil-er sisters. They have a new machine, the HAG-1, a large excavator, which they use to escape to the large "hub" area of Isle O Hags. This is where Banjo's adventure starts.

Story - The story is much grander this time around, with many new characters being introduced into the series. These characters are often funny, and always seem to fit into the game strikingly well. The story has a few twists and turns, and there is always a funny cutscene involving Gruntilda and her wierd sisters.

Graphics - There is no great improvement over Banjo Kazooie, but this time around the art direction and characters seem to be better, and a bit less narrow. The bosses are huge, and the worlds are hugely varied. For example, one level will have you running around WitchyWorld, a Gruntilda themed amusement park, while in another you may be exploring a huge underwear factory, or swimming in a great lagoon underneath a small town.

Sound - Just like the last game, the characters talk in a series of grunts and noises. These days, most games have a decent level of speech in them, so most would agree that a game without speech is disadvantaged. This is completely wrong. The strength of the game sometimes lies in the fact that they talk like this, as it can often flesh out a character better than regular speech. The music is again, in the hub world a few lines of music over and over again, but themed differently. This is one of the strong points of the sound, because the music theme can change so quickly you wont even notice it.

Game Play - The game plays smooth, with no slow down at all. The puzzles are genuinley challenging and sometimes require some ingenuity from the player. The multiplayer takes mini-games featured in the game (Like the traditional quiz) and adds a few more controllers. It's enjoyable, but not deep enough to make it a regular thing.

So there it is. The game has very few flaws, and for something that looks kiddy-like, it is very adult. The in-jokes are often hilarious, poking fun at the game itself, and poking fun at stereotypes in video games. Definetely get your hands on it, if you can.

Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/08/08

Game Release: Banjo-Tooie (EU, 04/12/01)

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