E3: Banjo-Kazooie rocks E3!
Rare's 3D platform continues to amaze even the most skeptical of Nintendo 64 onlookers. We've got the scoop
As reported yesterday, Banjo-Kazooie offers players a whole new level of 3D gaming -- taking what Super Mario 64 achieved in terms of graphics and gameplay and expanding on it. Has Rare succeeded in creating the ultimate platform adventure with Banjo-Kazooie? Let's hope so -- as this game sure won't be selling off the name alone.
At Banjo-Kazooie's official unveiling in Atlanta, Georgia this afternoon, Nintendo's Peter Main admitted that it is "very much in the mold of Mario 64." Still, Rare's game is already miles ahead of Mario 64 with awesome new levels, gameplay and unparalleled worlds.
Continuing in Nintendo's tradition of "cute" platform mascots, Banjo is a bear (male) and Kazooie is a 'Red Crested Breegull' (Female) which happens to be a form of tropical bird. Both, following once again in the tradition of mascot games, are described as 'wacky' and 'cool'. The two differ from previous game buddies in that they are seemingly completely attached (unlike, say, Sonic and Knuckles). Depending on which character is in control, you can utilize all manner of varying moves. The bear is dominant, but the bird can stretch its legs in boggy conditions, run up steep hills and, by collecting feathers and finding a launch pad, she can also fly.
Banjo-Kazooie offers 16 unique worlds -- many of which are more than 3 times the size of worlds found in Super Mario 64, including 'ghost' and "Egyptian' but also some odd sub-worlds. For example, by getting close to a witchdoctor, the characters can change into a bug, and go explore a hive of cockroaches.
You play the game in search of a kidnapped girlfriend (hard to believe, huh?) and must collect golden prizes along the way, including jigsaw puzzles pieces. and musical notes. The feathers which allow Kazooie to fly are spent one at a time for each flap of her wings, thus making flight a luxury.
Onlookers were treated to a special showing of the game which was a welcome relief from the FMV onslaught seen by many other titles. Of course, to say that Rare's Banjo-Kazooie doesn't resemble Mario 64 in anyway would be untruthful, but the game shines very bright with many new features, gameplay enhancements and believe it or not, two likable characters. Rare may finally have a title that rivals their 16-bit glory days for Nintendo 64.