Review: "Ikum-Bokem, ubanaga!" - Mumbo
It's not everyday you begin an adventure of epic proportions. For me, Christmas was that day. I opened up Banjo-Tooie and popped it into my Nintendo. Its sheer size will cause some to recall Donkey Kong 64 but its control will remind you of your days with Banjo Kazooie. No matter what it feels like, it is fun, and that's what really makes the difference.
Rare pushes the N64 to the limit in the visuals category, with such high detail in the scenery and minimal slow down. The characters move smoothly and fluently. From the vibrant skies of Cloud Cuckooland to the sparkling gems of Glitter Gulch Mine to the gloomy corridors of Grunty Industries the graphics add a great deal of emotion to the game. This is definitely one of the best looking games for the console.
Another enjoyable feature of BT is the audio department. The music is done nicely and really fits each situation. When you approach a world the music adapts to fit its theme and different sections of each world have different variations. The sounds made by the characters are comical and generally enjoyable. Whenever any character speaks they make a few distinct grunts and squeaks. Characters like the army sergeant Jamjars' "hut"s and "ho"s and the voodoo shaman Mumbo's "eekum"s and "bokum"s are some of my favorites. Some may want to turn down the volume when Grunty, the evil witch, starts talking though. But all these voices just add to the humorous nature of the game and do so very nicely.
Playing BT is simply great fun. Each area is overwhelming due to the massive amounts of objects to find, Jiggies, Jinjos, Glowbos, Honeycomb pieces, Cheato pages, and Musical Notes. Each will some how unlock more levels, moves or cheats. There are tons of problems to be solved and new moves to master. Every level also has a huge boss, which provide intense combat. Each level also allows a player to morph into a new form via Humba Wumba, an Indian?Native America magician. She can change Banjo and Kazooie into bees, statues, submarines, and even a washing machine. You also get the opportunity to control Mumbo Jumbo and activate new switches with his magical talents. There is always places to explore and hidden areas to reach. It will take hours and multiple trips with new moves to find everything in each level.
Thanks to new expectations Rare has added some great features including multiplayer to BT. Almost any mini game found in the solo adventure (about 14) can be played with up to four players. These include some collect, shoot, jump through as many hoops/balloons/baddies as you can. These games remind me of a slightly advanced Mario Party. There is also the first person shooter addition. Each character is armed with an egg-shooting bird. This provides a feel not unlike Golden Eye, just less complicated and more kid-friendly. Other great features include the ability to split up Banjo and Kazooie and a cool jigsaw puzzle game. Hidden in BT are some moves, cheats, and a special new form for Kazooie.
This game is not your average one-time through---throw out (*cough*DK*cough*) To fully complete BT with all the Jiggies being found, would take a great mind and large amounts of time and effort. The game also has an option to replay mini games, cinema, and boss battles. The multiplayer would also be fun to come back to. It's unlikely some one goes through the solo adventure more than once but to uncover every secret should keep a gamer coming back on many occasions.