Reviewed By: Jason Smart

Computer Platform: Nintendo 64
Produced by: Rareware
Price Range: $40
Learning curve time: 30 min.
Age level: 6+

Genre: Action/Adventure
Christian Rating: 4 of 5
   (slightly offensive)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 4 of 5
   (barely present)
Adult Content: 5 of 5

similar to "Mario 64", "Banjo-Kazooie", created by the same team that gave us “Donkey Kong” and "GoldenEye007", has produced a game where the player controls a bear named Banjo, and his best friend, a bird named Kazooie. “Banjo-Kazooie” is a platform game similar to “Mario” and "Zelda 64".

Screenshot from 'Banjo-Kazooie'. Illustration copyrighted.

The plot is pretty basic. Banjo's sister Tootie is kidnapped by the evil witch Gruntilda who wants to steal Tootie's “good looks” for herself. After the kidnapping of his sister, Banjo is called upon by the far-sighted mole Bottles to go into Gruntilda's Lair and rescue Tootie from the evil witch. The player then takes Banjo and Kazooie through ten levels inside Gruntilda's Lair and finally, to the top of the lair where the final confrontation takes place.

If you would want your kids to have one game on the N64, I would bet that most parents would not have a problem letting their child play this game. Violence? Not really. “Banjo-Kazooie” unlike the violent shooter "GoldenEye007", is devoid of any sort of graphic violence or offensive material (although the word “butt” is used several times when the witch talks throughout the adventure).

Although there is no violence present in the game, there is one cut scene where a woman in a bikini is shown walking on the beach. Although you do not see this scene until the game is totally beaten, it is something to take into consideration if your child isn't older than 13. That's it as far as any offensive material goes.

Rare's “Banjo-Kazooie” is a real winner. It's fun and kept my interest for the whole summer. My parents were pleased to find me playing a game where I don't shoot anybody with a gun.

Year of Release—1998

Negative—I found many elements of this game offensive. Such as the witch and witch doctor/medicine man. Some people may not be bothered by these, but I was. I received this game as a christmas gift; Played it for 15-20 minutes; then put is back in the box and didn't play it again… I also found that the game was not interesting or very challenging. My Ratings: [3/2]
   —Bethany, age 15

Negative—IThe game in itself seemed to be an animal makeover of the Wizard of Oz. We rented it because of the friendly title and assumed the witch would be a harmless add on. Unfortunately, despite the cheery graphics and gameplay, for the most part, I was disappointed to find that a lot of the “conversations” between the characters were very crude and not the sort of words parents would want their kids using in their conversations. Overall it was a childlike and colorful game that they threw rude actions, (a witch picks her nose and throws the snot), and crude talk into, for some reason; maybe to appeal to teens, which really just ruined it. My Ratings: [3/4]
   —Robbie, age 13

Positive—II spent the whole summer getting every note, jiggy, and all the other stuff in the game. The good thing is that you get rewarded if you get all 100 jiggys. Mumbo shows you three pictures of the next game Banjo-Tooie. The only thing I found offensive is that Mumbo seems to use some sort of words to change you. I found no violence at all in the game. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Mewt, age 17

Positive—Well, now that the sequel is out, Banjo-Kazooie is a series, and it's interesting to see the comments on this site referring to DK64. Rareware (creators of Banjo-Kazooie, Jet Force Geminii, and DK64, all of which are great adventure-type games) put much effort into Banjo-Tooie (the sequel) and it puts Donkey Kong to shame. Some of the same concepts and possibly code from DK64 have been used in Banjo-Tooie make for one of the best adventure games ever without tainting the distinct style of the first game. Although forsaken in the sequel for higher goals, the “note score” concept of Banjo-Kazooie (attempting to collect as many of the note items strewn throughout the level as possible in one session) was a fun challenge. The gameplay is distinctly different from Mario 64 and other adventure games in being more complicated and a bit more laid back, with the “baddies” being thoroughly inconsequential and the real challenge being the logic puzzle, challenge, or situation at hand. The music is the same for most levels but with different instruments and tempo to give a more blended feel. Some puzzle pieces may only be obtained after gaining an ability on a later level. There is very little that could be construed as offensive in this game, but on some levels Banjo and Kazooie require the magical aids of a comical shaman, which may be considered by some to be a bit off. My Ratings: [5/4] (game one), [4/5] (game two)
   —Dirk Mcbratney, age 15

Negative—II thought this was a very boring game. Though not offensive, their wasn't really any point to it. My Ratings: [4/2]
   —Kyle, age 12

Positive—IOverall a good game, though I agree with the other commentator, Donkey Kong is a better game. My Ratings: [5/4]
   —Shane, age 14

Positive—I really like this game. I'm 16 years old and I still think it's a great game. The bird has a bad attitude and is insulting basically everyone. It's humorous but perhaps is not a good thing. It has a witch if that bothers anybody (it sort of bothered my mom) but I would say it's a pretty good bet. I personally thing Donkey Kong 64 is a ton better though. My Ratings: [4/4]
   —Caleb Thiessen, age 16

Positive—My brother bought his N64 when I was 6 and the only game he would let me play was "Banjo-Kazooie". This is still one of my alltime favorite games, and I'm still playing it as much as I can now that I own it. The gameplay is probablly the best next to “Zelda” and the story is pretty good. I found NO objectionable content at all except for maybe Mumbo who is a witch-docter who transforns you into an animal by saying: “Nincka boca nicka toruru tururu” and maybe the main enemy who is a witch (but hey, you're fighting against her, not joining her) I can reccomend this game to every one except for maybe little children because it is a very hard and frustrating game. My Ratings: [4 / 5]

Stephen, Age 12/i>

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