Banjo-Kazooie was what Super Mario 64 wished it could have been! Also what Banjo-Tooie wished it could have been as well.
Presentation - 9.0
Gameplay - 9.5
Value - 10
Banjo-Kazooie, developed by Rare, was the pinnacle of Plate form gaming on the N64. Many say it even topped Super Mario 64. I for one completely agree with those people who say it topped Mario 64. Rare was quite possible the best developer of its time. No one, not even Nintendo, in my humble opinion, was able to top Rare. No game showcased this status more than Banjo-Kazooie.
Banjo-Kazooie starts out the way many games of this area did, in a tutorial. A Witch, named Gruntilda kidnaps Banjo\'s Sister with the intention of turning her into a gruesome monster. After this cut scene Banjo must master a few moves before moving on to his actual quest with his side kick Kazooie. The tutorial is easy enough and just what you want from a tutorial, short and mildy entertaining. You learn the basic moves that will get you through the game from a Mole, along with the basics that will get you to the final battle to save your sister.
Once this is all done, Banjo moves on to the rest of the game and should only take you no more than an hour. The first level that you get to is Mumbo\'s Mountain. Another fairly easy level that will continue to hone your skills before moving on to more challenging levels later on such as Rusty Bucket Bay and Treasure Trove Cove.
Treasure Trove Cove, a truly wonderful level, besides Mad Monster Mansion and Freezeezy Peak it is one of my favorite levels in the game. You can swim in the ocean, you can fly with the help of Kazooie, and you can take out killer clams. Everything you have ever dreamed of when dreaming of playing as a bear with an annoying bird in your backpack.
Each level has multiple puzzles to go through, usually a boss battle, and other small challenges to accomplish on top of all the collectibles that this era of gaming seemed to thrive on . Jiggies, Jingos, and Honeycombs are the main items that you will collect. If you want to make it to the Final Boss battle to save your Sister you will need to collect quite a few Honeycombs, so make sure you are diligent in your search. Furthermore, you will need to transform into other living things to get to certain parts of the game and beat certain puzzles, so you will need to collect something called Mumbo tokens. Who is Mumbo? He is a witch doctor who can transform you into an ant or multiple other creatures.
The final world that you have to beat is Click Clock Woods. It is a special level because Rare made it where to beat it you have to play CCW in all four seasons. Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall. Back when this game released this was a truly unique feature. In the Winter the world surrounding the main Tree that you must climb, was filled with Snow. In Summer you could swim below the lake and visit your Beaver friends, and so on.
Finally you have the main event, which Rare seemed to put a lot of effort into. The final Boss battle. Now this was not no ordinary Boss battle, just to get to Grunty you have to play a board game. If you fail to answer questions you will be thrown in the fiery pit below and have to start over. Once you make it to the other side you will enter yet another room where a Cooking pot will fire you up to the roof to fight Gruntilda.
Actually quite a difficult battle to beat. At the time I had more trouble beating Gruntilda than I did Ganon in Ocarina of Time. After you beat Gruntilda you get a great ending with her being sent back to the beginning of the game in the tutorial area near Spiral mountain where She is trapped under a Rock.
Great controls, a fun atmosphere, memorable characters, beautiful visuals for its time and just one Hell of a time is what you will get if you have the chance to play Banjo-Kazooie.
I suggest you go the classic route and use the amazing N64 controller.