After writing about why I loved Fez in the previous post, I felt that I should also share some of the reasons why I love Banjo-Kazooie. This was originally written for the My Favourite Game blog, which was set up at the beginning of the year to allow people to share their favourite games. It is still looking for reader submissions if you’re interested in sharing your story.
I was thirteen when Banjo-Kazooie came out and I remember playing it with my Brother (then fifteen). We took turns playing the game, alternating between lives lost or jiggies collected.
At a time when we didn’t have too many games, I liked to get as much from each title as possible. Thankfully, Banjo-Kazooieobliged with a huge assortment of items to collect and secrets to find.
Banjo-Kazooie was a brilliantly designed game and above all else, fun. The humour, characters and environments were fantastic and the music in particular is always a source of reference whenever I’m trying to communicate audio styles in the games I design.
Banjo-Kazooie proved that it wasn’t just Nintendo that could create magical 3D platform games. Rare took the Super Mario 64 template and improved on it in every way with a larger move set, more depth of character and larger, more complex environments. To this day Click Clock Wood is, for me, still one of the finest examples of level design in any game.
The final boss battle is also a brilliant example of how a player should be truly tested at the end of a game. Using nearly every technique learned throughout the game under increasing pressure to finally vanquish the source of all your problems.
I think more than any other, Banjo-Kazooie is the game that inspired me to become a games designer. A fact that I wouldn’t come to realise until some years later when I started referencing this game more than any other in my game concepts.
Banjo-Kazooie is now available in HD on Xbox Live Arcade, so if you haven’t played it yet and own an Xbox you should really give it a play.