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Banjo-Kazooie - a strange title for a strange franchise, and one of my personal favorites. But just because I like the franchise it doesn't mean that I like everything about the series, so this is my list of things I think should be Kept, Fixed, Or Ditched. Here's how it works:
Keep, Fix, or Ditch - where we take a look at a series (like, say, Mario or Smash Brothers) and describe how we hope the next installment will turn out.
Keep: For things we want to see return.
Fix: For good ideas that need some tweaking.
Ditch: For something we feel is overused and are tired of seeing or just plain didn't work.
What can I say; it's pure simple platforming adventure fun... or is it?
Keep: Great characters and the story behind them. Grunty goes after Tooty so Banjo and Kazooie goes after the old hag. Bottles teaches moves and Banjo wins. Yep, great characters.
Fix: The platforming controls were said to have been ripped right out of Super Mario 64. The only problem is they weren't implemented very well. The controls just weren’t as fluid as they were in the sequel, Banjo-Tooie.
Ditch: I can't really think of anything to ditch for this one, so we'll quickly move on to the next game in the series.
This game showed off the darker side of the franchise, not too unlike the way Majora's Mask did for The Legend of Zelda.
Keep: Once again the characters were great. We even got to play as Mumbo for a change. Grunty's sisters also get some much-appreciated screentime.
Fix: Bottles. I'm sorry but did they have to kill him off in the beginning and then base the story around resurrecting him? He gets killed (as a result of his own stupidity), gets brought back, heads on home, and then his family goes into shock and runs out on him. Poor mole...
Ditch: Once again Rare managed to create a superb entry in the series, leaving in nothing that required complete removal.
Banjo-Kazooie Grunty's Revenge
A solid, underrated entry in the franchise that not many (including myself) have much experience with.
Keep: Story and characters. From a time travelling Banjo and Mumbo, to a Mecha Grunty antagonist, to the classic N64 gameplay on a GBA cartridge. Excellent
Fix: The controls would invert themselves on certain levels due to an infamous bug in the GBA's hardware.
Ditch: Bozzeye (Bottle's cousin). Most people weren't keen on him and Mumbo could have done his job just as well, so I guess we have to ditch him. Sorry Bozzeye!
Banjo-Kazooie Nuts And Bolts
This, for me, was the weakest entry in the entire series. No, not because of the car building or collecting notes and jiggy's everywhere. No, what got me was that it was, in essence, a giant racing game. They took a great platformer and stuck it behind the wheels of vehicles. Why? Why would you do that?!
Keep: Nope, not the characters or the story! The humor. Bony Grunty was amusing and Kazooie's wisecracks helped make the game bearable.
Fix: The emphasis on vehicle building. I did like building my vehicles, but it took the series too far away from its roots. A traditional Kazooie platformer with the ability to build a few vehicles would've been great.
Ditch: Lord of Games (L.O.G.). We didn't need him, we didn't want him, he serves no purpose whatsoever and he has a Pong game for a face. So yeah, goodbye L.O.G; good riddance.
Thank you for reading my debut article for gamrReview! Where do you stand on the Banjo series? Should Rare create a true Banjo-Threeie, or does the old Bear need to settle down and lounge around Spiral Mountain forever?