Banjo-Kazooie is one of the most influential games ever made.
While Super Mario 64 paved the way for bringing platforms into 3D space, Banjo-Kazooie refined this formula. It is a master class in intuitive game design, and its influence can still be seen in more recent games like Super Mario Odyssey. The 1998 game has been beloved for decades since its initial release, and the series’ iconic duo have even earned spots on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s list.
If you want to know what it’s all about, this classic title is surprisingly accessible. A remastered version of Banjo-Kazooie is available on Xbox Game Pass. Any fan of video games should discover this timeless gem.
Do you like Banjo-Kazooie? Then you should check out our oral history on the game, featuring Steve Mayles, Grant Kirkhope and more!
Banjo-Kazooie was first released on Nintendo 64 in 1998. It established itself as an all-time classic at the time and got two sequels, although the series has been dormant for years. Developer Rare is currently more focused on making games like Sea of Thieves and Always wild for Xbox rather than revisiting Banjo-Kazooie. Still, there’s never a bad time to go back and experience the classics!
Banjo-Kazooie is a 3D platform game with a simple story worthy of a fairy tale. An evil witch named Gruntilda kidnaps a young brown bear named Tooty to steal her beauty. To save his sister, the anthropomorphic bear Banjo and his bird friend Kazooie team up to go on a quest to save Tooty.
Along the way, they meet an eclectic group of characters and collect Jinjos, Jiggies, and Musical Notes scattered across expansive 3D levels. Banjo-Kazooie has great controls and gives players a wide variety of unique abilities to pull off and chain together.
The level design complements these controls while each step incorporates a new idea to shake up the experience. This is the base standard for any 3D platformer game, so it might not be very impressive for modern gamers. Having said that, it should be understood that Banjo-Kazooie is the game which established this standard.
And it still plays very well.
Banjo-Kazooie Intelligently allows players to freely explore and obtain collectibles in levels in a non-linear way without ever being kicked out of the level. This gives players immense freedom to explore the game at their own pace, making it truly feel like the adventure is yours.
Nintendo platforms did not fully embrace this concept until Super Mario Odyssey, corn Banjo-Kazooie did it in 1998. Even outside of 3D platform games, open world games and other non-linear titles have something to do with Rare’s masterpiece.
We didn’t even mention Grant Kirkhope’s outstanding soundtrack. Many classic tracks like Spiral Mountain and Freezeezy Peak will stay etched in your head for months after you play. It truly is one of the best soundtracks ever for a great game of all time.
The version of Banjo-Kazooie available on Xbox Game Pass is the remaster released in 2008 on Xbox 360. There are a few minor visual tweaks and additions, but rest assured, these are still the awesome 3D platform games you remember or heard of. others go into ecstasies.
You can also try the faithful suite Banjo-Tooie, the division Banjo-Kazooie nuts and bolts, or the Rare proofreading collection if you want more.
While platforms aren’t usually the first thing you think of when you think of Microsoft, Xbox Game Pass is one of the few legitimate ways to play one of the best games ever. And because Microsoft owns the rights to this game, you don’t have to worry about it leaving Game Pass anytime soon.