I was in the height of my Nintendo fanboy-ism when I wrote this after another lame day of high school. Back then, Nintendo 64 was the scrappy underdog against the PlayStation revolution with Rare as its loyal sidekick. Rareware, as it was known, was in its prime making spectacular games (from Donkey Kong Country to Goldeneye to Perfect Dark).
Banjo-Kazooie was really awesome and pushed the platforming genre a bit. Donkey Kong 64 was just competent but bloated with “stuff.” (I liked the arcade game inclusion, though.) DK64’s a solid 7.0-8.0-rated game, but no mind-blowing masterpiece. It played a little too much like good ol’ B-K.
For some reason I’ve long forgotten, I tried to start a Nintendo fansite. I lack the enthusiasm and money to do that, but here are my thoughts on what Rare should do after the release of Donkey Kong 64. At that point, I started to become jaded of derivative gameplay. Oh, well. At least Nintendo is still the super-niche we know and love.
A Rare Idea (July 26, 2000)
If there is a special game for Nintendo’s next-gen system, then Rare would deliver it. An interesting idea would be to pair both the Donkey Kong crew and Banjo-Kazooie into one game. Instead of separate games, both could join forces in a single adventure.
DK64 and Banjo-Kazooie, once played by a discerning gamer, are similar in three major gameplay areas: objective, visuals, and sound. Both games have collect-the-item-and-move on techniques originally presented by Super Mario 64. The visuals and sound from DK64 have the spirit of B-K. Moreover, the DK franchise’s tradition to 64 bits seems to be a reuse of the BK engine.
The joint adventure’s focus could shift more to comedy since all of the main characters are established. The Rare developers can insert more visual gags and in-jokes within the body of gameplay. Some ideas that can be included are faulty weapons, better animations…
One More Thing
Because I never completed my essay (and I thank you if you read it all the way through), here’s a piece of Nintendo nostalgia: the Banjo-Kazooie commercial. Somehow, if a 1990s video game commercial pushes the Xtreme Kool Attitude aesthetic, people would be convinced to buy even moderately cutesy games.
In this commercial, one camper (Southern? Cornfed? Hillbilly?) warns other campers of a mean creature with the fearsome features of a bear and bird. Of course, as a 1990s commercial, the supposed legend is ALL TOO REAL~!
Don’t miss the announcer/narrator reading the too-kool copy of the “handbagging, sky-flying, rock-hopping, egg-shooting tag-teaming duo.” Yeah, I SURE want to grab a can of SURGE after hearing that. (or not)