Saturday, 14 January 2012

A whimsical fairy tale gone wrong

One game that has ever stayed in my mind as the best game ever, is Banjo-Kazooie.

This game was released on the Nintendo 64 and as soon as it came out, it blew people's minds. It was rumoured to be a game that would rival the immensely popular Super Mario 64 by a mile. But it did more than that for me. It exceeded it.

By more than a mile.

One of my most cherished art works. I believe it shows my love for the game and the relation between the two main characters quite well. (BTW: Kazooie's diving after  Banjo after he got knocked unconscious.)

Banjo-Kazooie appealed to me more than any other game did. First, it was about anthropomorphic animal characters. I always adored animal characters playing main roles in anything (which, undoubtedly, made me to be a furry later on, which I only discovered a month ago.)

Second, it wasn't just one main character, it were two of them. One thing that makes Banjo-Kazooie a great game to me is that there's two main characters! Games as Super Mario 64, awesome as they were, often gave me a painful feeling of loneliness while playing. If there were two characters, that feeling was absent.

Third, it had a beautiful atmosphere all around. Which isn't entirely unusual for a Rare game. Most noteworthy; the music. The soundtrack of this game is extremely catchy, which really contrasts with Donkey Kong Country's atmospheric tunes.

I mean, just listen to the theme of Gruntilda's Lair.

Foreboding and creepy, but also an impressive feeling of whimsy and adventure. Exactly what I associate this game with. And only about ten years later I saw the film Open Season and heard a character sing the children's nursery rhyme 'Teddy Bear's Picnic'. What resulted? My mind being blown. This song, for one, was actually extremely similar to the track in Banjo-Kazooie.

However, it really fits. I mean, Banjo's a bear.

Disregarding that, the thing that also makes Banjo-Kazooie unique in its genre is mostly the atmosphere and the vast environments. Such marvellous scenery in a game from 1998? Back then it was thought to be nearly impossible.

Banjo-Tooie, its sequel, improved on an already amazing game - environments became vaster, the world became more threatening, and everything about it seemed to say that it was going to get serious. Rare seems to have something with making awesome sequels! Especially the overworld; The Isle o' Hags, made me wish the place was real...

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is also actually a really good game, only quite different, but that doesn't make it bad! Here's a little game; try to find a Banjo-Kazooie music clip with more than 15 comments that doesn't mention this game being bad or some meme. I dare you.

After Nuts & Bolts, Banjo and Kazooie appeared to have been ignored in favour of games such as Kinect Sports... but I will remain hopeful.

Because once they will return and re-visit the Isle o' Hags, and it will be better than ever.

C'mon Rare, don't die on me now.

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