|Nintendo Reviews Rating:
|Posted: September 20th, 2006
|Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge takes the N64 hit series to the portable genre. How
does the game fare in its 2D adventure? Read the full review.
There's no huge, amazing or cool part of the audio side of the game. That's sad, considering the previous Banjo games had
a lot of these things. The sound effects barely pass for this game, and it makes you wonder why there was a lack of
variety. There could be sound effects for everything, but they really skimp on that. Some quiet footsteps of you and the
enemies couldn't hurt. The omission is inexcusable because what is here are simple sound effects. Fortunately, the series
had nothing to live up to in terms of voice work, because it is all gibberish voice work. That works out fine.
The music is also nothing special. Only a few tunes are okay, and the rest are rather undeveloped. It's all new music, but
it barely meets the cut for the way Banjo music used to sound. The prior Banjo games' music was good. They really
developed the music with several things going on at once. There is no excuse-even if the Game Boy is harder to work with
for music, I have heard excellent GBA music. Keeping things in perspective of the Game Boy Advance console, the music
still doesn't work well. And without Stereo sound support, the game turns out to be a slight bummer on the sound side.
Without the power that N64 brings, 3D adventure games of the caliber that the Banjo games bring is virtually impossible
on the GBA (though the DS is still capable; come on Rareware). Once again, we have to keep things in perspective of the
Game Boy Advance. And for how the game is designed, the controls aren't bad. Basically, the developers used an aerial
view for the action and used platforms that vary for a world or 3D like view. After learning the levels, you can pretty much
figure out where the platforms are. It does present a slight problem, as going through the game even multiple times
doesn't always provide the time to remember where these platforms lie.
A lot of these games eliminate the possibility of going under objects. Fortunately, you can do that here. But you won't be
able to see Banjo. The problem is that you should know where you are (almost always in the center of the screen). But if
an enemy comes along, you may find yourself at a loss of knowing where it is. They could have at least provided some
outline or silhouette of the characters to solve it. It's not a common problem, though.
What may pervade as a problem is the landscaping. Sometimes it is difficult to determine what a slope is, and what a
hazard is. Had they made this more obvious, I wouldn't be complaining. But other than that, the game feels right at home
for what I expect from this type of game. And the other parts of the game where you are in other views (like first-person
breegull blasting or fishing) are well designed in terms of control. So overall, I am satisfied.
For what the Game Boy Advance can provide, and what this game
delivers is rather good. The areas are filled with much artwork, and good
design. Most of the time, the graphics are also designed well enough to
not fool the players in terms of where platforms are. The models are
pretty good, and animate in 3D, which provides the feel that the game
needs to feel good on the GBA.
Except for the special oomph that we might expect from Rareware, the
graphics are solid, and consistent. The only minor gripes might be some
weird animations on the mini-games that change to other modes besides
the normal aerial view. But overall, the graphics work well.
The big problems start to occur when you start talking replay. The game lasts only a few hours; 5 or 6 hours to complete.
The game only contains a few worlds, which take a very short amount of time to complete. 60 Jiggies just isn't enough
when each one is within minutes of obtaining another. The usual amount of collectibles is back (with some shortcomings).
The note-collecting, which the games are somewhat famous for, takes after both Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie. That's
because like Banjo-Kazooie, the notes are spread out individually instead of in fives like Banjo-Tooie. But the notes are
used for learning new moves, like Banjo-Tooie. So in that aspect, the notes take a little longer to find. But they will seem
pointless unless you are a collector.
The series has always rewarded collectors, for that matter. The sad part is that you'll end up collecting everything on your
first run. And once all is said and done, there's not much her to go back to. Sure, the game introduces ranks, but it may
not keep the interest of most. No multiplayer isn't such a big deal since there's not much potential anyway. Either they
needed to step up the difficulty a little more or simply add more stuff. Given the nature of this game, it would probably
would have been easier to just add more stuff.
I absolutely love the Banjo games on the N64. They had excellent design. Perhaps they should have just left the design
alone, because it doesn't work on the portable platform. This game proves that 2D adventure games just don't work like
this. To take such a great game formula and mutilate it is shameful. But what I wonder is if it was unavoidable? Yes. They
could have just not made this game. It works on the N64. It doesn't work here.
Now a few of you might be confused if you aren't familiar with the style, and a few others may be thinking that I am being
too harsh. So let me bring it back for you guys. First off, the game uses an aerial camera, with the action taking place all
around the screen-just in one direction. The moves you execute are simple, but stupid. Enemies take very few hits to
defeat, but some can become downright annoying. That's because they can all get hit from any direction, but don't seem to
budge when you hit them. Some of the other obstacles are also a bit weird, but the oil spills and toxic waste provide some
That's what prior games were filled with-variety. This game just doesn't have it. And now for those who think I am being
harsh, I'll admit that there were times when I thought this game would actually go somewhere. Unfortunately, those
moments are short-lived. There were a few good puzzles here and there. But if the game had been filled completely with
these longer, more extensive puzzles, the game would have had some depth. And for a Banjo game, the game doesn't have
much of the style I loved. As it is, the game just doesn't work on its own.
And once again, we have an average game. That doesn't sound like Rareware though. And for that reason alone, this game
shouldn't have been made. But once you start development, have something going, there's not too much reason to back
out. So Rareware made this game. But I think they should stick to console games. Too bad this is we will get on a Nintendo