Review by Dorkmaster Flek
"Wow. Simply, wow."
This has to be one of the best sequels and games I've ever played in my life, and I'm only about half done the game. Where to start? Everything about this game is fantastic, except for one thing, mentioned below. So without further adieu, on to the review.
A host of new characters to interact with and some familiar old ones make reappearances. All of them are genuinely wonderful to both look at and interact with. Gruntilda's sisters, Mingelda and Blobellda are a comical sight indeed, one being extremely thin, the other extremely fat. Grunty herself has decomposed to nothing more than a skeleton now, but Klungo makes his return, consistently appearing more beaten from Grunty's broomstick, thanks to a constant whooping by the dastardly duo. Humba Wumba now changes you into different things as Mumbo is a playable character (woohoo!) who helps you out by bringing various objects to life and moving them around and such.
WOW! My jaw hit the floor when I saw Jolly Roger's Lagoon. This undersea paradise is gorgeous to look at, and the other worlds are equally impressive. The textures and colours are beyond compare, the lighting is dynamic and the animation is some of the best seen in any game, period. My only complaint here is the framerate, which is about as consistent as a blind bowler. It stays in the 15 fps range mostly, occasionally bumping up to 24-30 fps. But still, the fact that Rare was able to pump out a playable framerate with textures, lighting and animation this jaw dropping, and worlds this HUGE without the RAM expansion is unbelievable. But still, would it have been so hard to use the RAM expansion to simply up the framerate, since pretty much everyone who has an N64 has a RAM expansion thanks to games like DK64 and Majora's Mask that require it? They've done so much to push it, they should at least use it for a game like this that would benefit from it. I suppose that would require a total reworking of the game engine though, but minus half a point for not using it when they could have. All in all, amazing.
Again, without compare. The music is catchy, suspenseful, whatever the situation calls for, and above all, dynamic, always changing with each situation to reflect the mood. The sound effects are well varied and bang on and the characters ''voices'' are humourous and well implemented. The Dolby Surround support is icing on the cake.
Huge, massive, BIG! Well, you get the point. That's how you describe this game. The worlds are easily three to four times bigger than the ones in Banjo-Kazooie and they are linked together at certain key points. For example, the water intake pipe in the bottom of Glitter Gulch Mine is connected to the bottom of Jolly Roger Lagoon. You swim through the Lagoon to get a Jinjo on top of pipe in the basement of the Mine. Very well executed here. I won't give anything else away, but there's so much to explore and do, you won't get bored fast. The minigames are equally fun and the inclusion of multiplayer is a good way to boost replay value. It's not as good as, say, Goldeneye or Perfect Dark, but it's better than nothing. Finding the Jiggies is no easy task and you'll have to come back to previous worlds with new moves and through new passages in order to get everything.
REPLAY VALUE: 8/10
This game is a ton of fun and some people will play through it more than once. Most people probably won't, but the multiplayer is fun for a while. In the end, this is still a one player game, but it's a damn LOOOONG one at that.
This is a third generation title and it screams it. If you liked Banjo-Kazooie and/or Mario 64, get this game now! You won't be disappointed! I know I'll probably be playing it again.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/26/00, Updated 11/26/00
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