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Banjo Kazooie – Does Anyone Care?

posted on March 21st, 2008 by christian

The answer to the title is “no” – no one cares about the new Banjo Kazooie that is likely to be released. Let us break down the modern history of Rare.

Star Fox Adventures – stuck so close to the Zelda formula I’m not sure why they bothered.

Grabbed by the Ghoulies – I almost forgot this one.

Kameo – Less memorable than the PS2 launch titles

Perfect Dark Zero – The biggest joke so far this generation.

Viva Pinata – I did forget about this one. Let’s just say it launched with a cartoon from 4kids Entertainment. They knew what they were doing all along.

Rare has not been relevant in years, and I think has been a good thing for gaming. It means we have not been subjugated to insane amounts of item collecting and character names based on bad puns and stereotypes. Best yet it meant we didn’t have to hear anyone tell us that these things all made for great gaming.

Anyway, my favorite description of Banjo Tooie is one that described it as “Having an overworld that looks like and is as fun as a parking lot”. .

It pains me just thinking about such things. I’m seriously looking forward more to the next Kingdom Hearts than this game, as my morbid curiosity outweighs my urge to collect 600 puzzle pieces.

10 Comments

  1. SAGExSDX said on March 21, 2008:

    I have some slightly differing opinions, in particular with Kameo which I did actually enjoy.

    Also, Rare did have some success with Viva Pinata.

    My stance on Banjo Kazooie 3? I think that platformers is one genre that is underrepresented on the 360 and this could be the start of filling that void. Semi-caring. =)

  2. christian said on March 21, 2008:

    Thanks for the reminder Sage. Viva Pinata is now included in the post

  3. Matt said on March 21, 2008:

    I’m somewhat excited for Banjo Three-ie. I loved the old games, and Viva Pinata is one of the best 360 games I’ve ever played. Design-wise, yes, Rare has not been the best in the recent years, but their far from shit, and I’ve always loved their charm. Kameo had that charm, as well as Viva Pinata. If they tone down the collection aspect (if it’s half what DK64 was I will be happy), and I’m sure they won’t do anything that hardcore, then I can imagine having a good time with Banjo Three-ie.

  4. christian said on March 21, 2008:

    we’ll have to agree to disagree matt, but if Viva Pinata actually has a character named “leafos”, I consider that not charming, but lazy

  5. Matt said on March 21, 2008:

    Aww, but what about Mousemallow, or Roario, or even the adorable Doenut?

  6. TrueTallus said on March 21, 2008:

    Rare also released Diddy Kong Racing for DS about a year ago and the Conker remake in 2005. That doesn’t exactly improve their track record, of course, but I thought I’d suggest them for completeness’ sake.

  7. Christian said on March 21, 2008:

    Thanks TrueTallus, I will add them tomorrow.

    Maybe.

  8. fnc said on March 24, 2008:

    The original Banjo is one of the best platformers I have ever played, primarily because of the incredible level design. The characters were merely okay, but the landmark environments they found themselves in were all incredible. How they got from that to the plodding boring sequel is completely beyond me. I really tried to enjoy it, but in the end Tooie was merely a confusing mess that failed to compel me onward. That was the beginning of Rare’s love affair with multi-character collection fests, a love I did not share. Conker’s was an interesting change of pace, but I didn’t play because I’m old enough to require comedy above “Oh look, poo, how funny!”

    The new Banjo? Maybe Rare has learned from their thrashing about with design-by-numbers practices. I doubt it though. I suspect it’s more of a sacred cash cow to its owners than a place where innovation might be allowed to thrive in any way shape or form. I can hear the call from the guy at MS now, “Just give us a standard platformer. Nothing too out there.” A shame really.

  9. Christian said on March 24, 2008:

    slightly rushed launch games aside, I have the feeling MS will allow Rare to make the game as ridiculous as they want. That is the problem though – both Banjo Tooie and Star Fox Adventures (AND DK64) show that Rare has forgotten that tight level design and good platforming is what makes the genre fun. It sounds like a joke to say they believe that more collectibles = better, but looking at their games it is hard not to believe that that is their motto.

    Also, guaranteed there will be multiplayer.

  10. Spruce said on April 4, 2008:

    I enjoyed Banjo Tooie, but I agree that it wastes serious time trying to navigate that boring overworld(it was like a pseudo load screen). And SFA to an extent, but even I could see it’s glaring flaws.

    The new Banjo will still probably be a crapshoot, but I can still dream it won’t.

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