Banjo-Kazooie is 20 years old. Actually, video gaming's best bear and bird combo turned 20 two days ago (belated best wishes and all that!). But we thought it still okay to celebrate Rare's much-loved adventure and remember why people still ask for a new game in the series.
Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country developer Rare is currently working on the Xbox One and PC pirate adventure Sea of Thieves, but it almost made a completely different pirate adventure nearly two decades ago with a game called Dream: Land of Giants.
A group of former Rare developers have announced plans for a "spiritual successor" to platforming classic Banjo Kazooie.
In September 2012 a rag-tag crew of former Banjo-Kazooie developers calling themselves MingyJongo announced that they were working on a spiritual successor to the bear & bird-based N64 platformer series. Unfortunately, that project is no longer in development.
TimeSplitters 2 developer Free Radical Design had an HD version of the game in development before the studio shut down, an ex-staff member has revealed.
It's a CV packed with best-selling games spread out across a decade: Killer Instinct, GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, Kameo… we're talking, of course, about Rare.
Ye olde British developer Rare has had a makeover ahead of its 25th anniversary this summer.
Released to capitalise on the recent release of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, the Xbox Live Arcade version of this 1998 Nintendo 64 favourite serves as a timely reminder of how far gaming has come over the past decade. At the time, Rare's star had never been brighter, flush as it was from the phenomenal success of GoldenEye. Gamers were desperate for what was seen as the Britsoft studio's answer to Super Mario 64, and blanket acclaim followed, with spectacular worldwide sales. But like so many early 3D games of the late 1990s, time hasn't been particularly kind to this colourful platform romp.
Presented with characteristic flair, it's a chirpy rescue tale featuring Banjo the bear and an intolerant bird named Kazooie who rides on his back. Structured almost identically to Super Mario 64, you wander around a varied hub-like environment known as Spiral Mountain on the hunt for the evil witch Gruntilda, who has captured Banjo's sister Tooty for basically being pretty.
During your travels through Gruntilda's lair, you'll explore various worlds on the hunt for the requisite number of jiggies - little jigsaw pieces that reside within each level. As with virtually all platform romps, you spend most of your time hoovering up anything not nailed down, and solving mini-challenges to mine each level for booty. In Banjo-Kazooie's case, each of the eight worlds houses 100 musical notes, 10 jiggies, honeycomb pieces, Jinjos to rescue, and Mumbo Jumbos. These little blue skulls prove doubly useful, as they can be traded in with a shaman to transform Banjo into various creatures, including termite, bee and crocodile.
Microsoft has reportedly delayed the general release of Banjo-Kazooie on Xbox Live Arcade until 3rd December.
Microsoft plans to release Rare's Nintendo 64 platformer Banjo-Kazooie for Xbox Live Arcade on 26th November. The price: 1200 MS Points (GBP 10.20 / EUR 14.40).
Although it confirmed the Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts release date a couple of weeks ago, Microsoft has now added that UK pre-orders will be rewarded with free access to the Xbox Live Arcade version of Banjo-Kazooie as well.
Microsoft has announced that Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts will be released in the US on 14th November and confirmed to Eurogamer that it will be out here on the same day.
Microsoft plans to bring the original Banjo-Kazooie to Xbox Live Arcade.