The direct sequel to Rare’s first 3D platforming hit dwarfs its predecessor with its sheer size, and takes on a very non-linear design.
Banjo-Tooie is certainly a direct continuation in terms of its storyline and even its gameplay: all of the moves that the buddy-duo protagonists learned in Banjo-Kazooie are immediately available from the start of the game. Of course, there are plenty more abilities to learn, and this time the musical note items you collect are used to unlock them.
Banjo-Kazooie’s game worlds were all accessible via Gruntilda’s Lair, a central hub world. In Banjo-Tooie, however, the worlds are physically linked together, allowing you to move directly between them. This augments the scale of the game considerably, and is important because you need to backtrack a lot between them in order to collect everything.
Other new features include regular boss battles throughout the game and a multiplayer mode, where up to four players can compete in a selection of mini-games. At certain points in the single-player mode it is also possible to control Banjo and Kazooie independently of one another. The shaman character Mumbo Jumbo – who you couldn’t play as in the first game – can now also be used.
Banjo-Tooie sold more than 3 million copies worldwide and received critical acclaim from reviewers at the time. The game was re-released on the Xbox 360 in 2009 with updated visuals and the previously canned Stop ‘n’ Swop functionality – which was removed from the N64 version of the game due to technical limitations. The 2009 version was re-released again on the Xbox One in 2015 as part of the Rare Replay game compilation.