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    Game » consists of 6 releases. Released Nov 19, 2000

    Bear and bird again combine their efforts to thwart Gruntilda's dastardly plans (as well as her two hag sisters and their minions) in this classic platformer for the Nintendo 64.

    sparky_buzzsaw's Banjo-Tooie (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

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    Great sequel that eliminates most of the first game's flaws

    Banjo-Tooie is a shining example of how game developers can learn from their mistakes and go on to create something amazing.  It eliminates almost all the problems of the first game, while still maintaining the solid gameplay and the sense of colorful fun from the first.  This is one of the best platformers on the market today.


    While not a huge leap from the first game, there's much more variety to be found in the worlds of Banjo-Tooie.  There's a lot to see, and most of it is painted in rich, vibrant colors with a sharp eye towards character design.  The worlds match their design to perfection.  The wide, cartoonish strokes hold up very well today, much more so than its prequel.  Witchyworld alone is a brilliant example of incorporating all sorts of different design ideas and putting them into one game level.  It should hold up for quite some time as one of the best designed levels in gaming.

    Unfortunately, the dialogue problems from the first game weren't addressed.  Specifically, the characters' dialogue still has that grating feel to it, though there is a bit more variety to the voicework.  The rest of the sound experience is pretty fantastic, with flavorful, catchy music and appropriate sound effects.  Some of the effects are held over from the first game, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Some of the camera issues that plagued the first game are addressed here, but tight quarters still tend to drive the camera to weird angles and added jagged edges.  Again, more camera options would have been appreciated, but at least it's not as bad as in the first game.


    This game deserves to stand up alongside of some of Mario's finest outings as a shining example of how to do platformer gameplay right.  It eliminates the "extra lives," instead just thrusting the gamer back into the outerworld or at various entry points in an inner world.  It's a smart choice, and is an example of how Rare vastly improved this game from the first with just a few key choices.

    The over world is smartly designed, a great relief after Banjo-Kazooie's mess.  There's a great sense of exploration while never seeming confusing, and there's a lot to see and do.  The inner worlds have that same great variety to obtaining Jiggies as the first game, and there are even some fun, basic mini-games to play on the side for additional Jiggies.  The worlds are more even in quality than the first game, though the underwater sections of the Jolly Roger level can be aggravating.

    The game smartly combines easy sections with more complex ones, giving the gamer as much depth as he or she wishes.  Those wishing to just bang through the story should find enough easy Jiggie quests to get them through, while those on a collector's marathon will find a ton to love here.  Some of the collectibles are placed in easy to reach spots, while others can be head-scratchers (but they never seem overwhelmingly difficult).

    The controls are spot-on, and although the new number of moves combined with the old can be difficult to keep track of, the Help option in the game's Start menu helps you to quickly remember what button combinations you'll need.  It's a hell of a useful tool and one I'd love to see implemented in more games.


    If I was going to recommend just one XBLA game for its single-player, it would be Banjo-Tooie, hands down.  This is an amazing gem of a platformer, and one of the finest games to date on the XBLA service.  I can't praise its gameplay or the design choices enough, as this really is a pinnacle of the genre.

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