Review by Tighter

"A Truly Amazing 3-D Platformer"

Hooray! Wahoo! Rare's Banjo-Tooie, the long-awaited sequel to Banjo-Kazooie, is finally here, and it delivers in every way.

Graphics (10/10): I know graphics don't make a game, but WOW! From the moment the game starts, the graphics are magnificent, surpassing even Banjo-Kazooie. Like many N64 games, everything is bright and full of color. This kind of eye candy fits in perfectly with Banjo-Tooie. Distant objects don't appear blurry like in other 3-D platformers, but instead they look just as good as the objects in the foreground. All the characters animate beautifully with lots of expression; even the enemies look great. Nice work, Rare!

Play Control (10/10): Banjo-Kazooie, even with its large amount of executable moves, had superb, easy-to-learn play control. Banjo-Tooie's play control is just as good as the original. You keep all of the moves you learned in Banjo-Kazooie, and learn EVEN MORE as the game progresses. In Banjo-Tooie, you can have a total of 38 moves, plus four new types of eggs. How will you be able to keep track of all of these? It's WAY easier than you might think, considering you have to be in special areas to even use many of these moves, and four of them are shoes. You have the two old ones: Wading Boots and Turbo Trainers, and two new ones: Springy Step Shoes and Claw Clamber Boots. Overall, Banjo Tooie's play control is fun and easy to learn.

Audio (10/10): Banjo-Tooie's music might just be the greatest aspect of the whole game. Every tune is awesome, and blends in perfectly with the level you're in. For example, Mayahem Temple, an ancient jungle with huge temples, has heavy drum beats and chanting sounds in its music. In Witchyworld, a haunted amusement park, the music is like an eerie version of what you would hear at a carnival. All of the characters have great sound effects for their voices. From the disgusting sound that Loggo the Toilet makes to Grunty's annoying, evil voice, the sound effects are perfect.

Gameplay (10/10): Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. The game retains all of the awesome aspects of Banjo-Kazooie and adds much, much more. The worlds are gigantic, each one more massive than the next. However, the combination of these huge worlds along with the first-rate graphics tends to slow down the framerate at certain times. This, though, is something that is barely noticeable, so it doesn't impact the overall experience one bit. The jiggies are much more important in this game than in Banjo-Kazooie, and the notes are easier to find. Instead of the notes opening new doors this time around, they are used to pay Jamjars, who teaches you new moves. This system works really well. Remember the old Mumbo transformations? There's a new spell-caster in town, Humba Wumba, and she turns you into a new and exciting thing every level. You're probably wondering about Mumbo, right? Well, now he's a playable character! That's right, folks, you can now have full control over the skull faced witch doctor from Banjo-Kazooie. You use his wand to zap enemies, and when you stand on Mumbo pads, he casts a spell, causing changes to the land around you. These spells open up new areas, let you interact with new characters, and even allow you to breathe underwater! There are a dizzying array of fun minigames in Banjo-Tooie as well, and each one is a blast to play. There is also a new multiplayer option, which allows you to play with your friends in shootouts and trivia games. Banjo Tooie's gameplay is, literally, outstanding.

Story (9/10): Basically, Gruntilda, the evil witch is back from the grave and is wreaking havoc once again. She and her two sisters, Mingella and Blobbelda, team up to suck all the life out of the land around them, the Isle O' Hags. It's up to Banjo and Kazooie to collect enough jiggies to stop Gruntilda once and for all! Much of the enjoyment in the game's story comes from the hilarious cutscenes, where Kazooie is as rude as ever. Banjo-Tooie's ending is something to be greatly enjoyed, as well.

Replay: (9/10): Banjo-Tooie takes quite a while to beat, but this certainly doesn't impact upon the replay value. This game is so much fun that you'll want to keep coming back for more. And, with all of the multiplayer options, it's hard to be bored with Banjo-Tooie.

Rent Or Buy?: If you had fun playing Banjo-Kazooie, then you should DEFINITELY buy Banjo-Tooie. Trust me, it will not disappoint. However, if you've never played the original, you may want to rent it first to see what it's like. However, I can almost guarantee that you will want to buy Banjo-Tooie after you return it to the store.

Overall, Banjo-Tooie is a truly awesome, magnificent, and mind-boggling game. The graphics are wonderful, the music is outstanding, and the gameplay is spectacular. If you get Banjo-Tooie, you will never, ever regret it. It's one of the best games on the Nintendo 64.

Overall score: 10/10

Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/27/00, Updated 12/27/00

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