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What if Nintendo Bought Banjo Kazooie?

Posted by Michael Koczwara On July - 11 - 2011 6 Comments

When Rare released Banjo Kazooie on the Nintendo 64 back in the summer of 1998, players discovered a new franchise worthy of being placed in the ranks of Mario and Zelda. The game was quickly followed up with a sequel, Banjo Tooie, less than two years later.  As the popularity for the series grew, so did the excitement for Nintendo’s next console, the Gamecube. Rare was quick to start on a third installment of the series for the new system, but news of a buyout by Mircosoft began to run wild throughout the internet. Rare was indeed bought out by Microsoft, taking all it’s franchises (save for Donkey Kong) and assets with it. Since then Rare has released quite a few games like Kameo: Elements of Power, Viva Pinata and Grabbed by Ghoulies, but most notable was their 2008 release of Banjo Kazooie: Nut and Bolts. The game scored favorable reviews and played great, but the game didn’t resonate well with many fans of the series because of the immense change in gameplay. With Rare’s recent release of Kinect Sports and their upcoming sequel Kinect Sports: Season 2, many wonder if the Banjo Kazooie series will ever receive a true a Banjo Kazooie successor.

Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts was not a bad game. While it wasn’t on par with hits like Halo 3 and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the game played well and featured a new turn on a beloved and well known franchise. The platforming aspect of the past two games took a backseat as the new vehicle gameplay mechanic took the spotlight. While some did not mind, many fans did not take this lightly and looked down upon the game. Although a great game was made, a great Banjo Kazooie title, similar to what we saw in the N64 era, was not.

Now what if we got to see another Banjo Kazooie game made on a Nintendo console? How would things differ from what we already see happening over on the Xbox 360? What if Nintendo was able to buy the Banjo Kazooie IP and all the rights that come with it? For starters, the original games could see their release on the Wii (or possibly Wii U) Virtual Console. Imagine the next Smash Bros. finally including the bear and bird so many of us have longed for so many years. A new stage, characters, items and trophies are just some of the ways this franchise can influence the next Smash Bros. game.


A quick mock-up of Banjo-Kazooie in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.


Then, with the Wii U coming in 2012, a new entry into the series could see its way onto the new console. Without any worry of downgrading the graphics for the Wii, the new game could look just as good, if not better, depending on the yet to be revealed specs of the Wii U. The controller can be used for many of the moves Banjo and Kazooie have been taught throughout the games. Flying, shooting eggs and swimming can all be enhanced with the new controller as well as cleaning up the HUD and moving it to the lower screen. The 3DS is also a likely candidate for a new Banjo-Kazooie game, integrating touch and 3D to the gameplay.

But can Nintendo create a Banjo-Kazooie without Rare, the ones who started it all? Quirky humor is seen throughout Rare’s games, but can Nintendo pick up on the same humor and continue it to further the series? In fact, who would Nintendo let work on their new IP? With the Metroid Prime series and Donkey Kong Country Returns under their belt, Retro Studies looks like a great candidate for the job.

In all honesty, how much of this is possible? Is Rare willing to give up one of their most well known franchises and is Nintendo ready to pay up to get a classic series back on their consoles? The original Rare founders have moved on and the company restructured itself at the beginning of 2010, embracing the Kinect with games like Kinect Sports and its sequel. The new Rare seems to be focused on the casual of the Xbox 360 audience, leaving it’s old franchises sitting in the dust. With the recent pledges of bringing the hardcore back with the Wii U, what could be better than bring back the bird and bear to all those loyal fans that remember Banjo-Kazooie so well. At this point, we can only hope and wonder where the series will go next. Nintendo, here is your chance.

Categories: Daily Feature, Editorial

6 Responses so far.

  1. I would love to see this happen, but the chances are slim. If there would be a Banjo-Kazooie game for the Nintendo 3DS, I’d buy it no matter what others/reviews say about it. Rare may own Banjo-Kazooie, but I think Banjo-Kazooie is better off being in Nintendo rather than Rare.

  2. theguy says:

    I 100% agree, and hope the big N reads this

  3. D2K says:

    If Nintendo was going to buy a franchise back from Rare I can think of a lot more useful purchases than Banjo-Kazooie. Nintendo has Mario, Link, Kirby, Pikachu, Icarus, Samus, Fox, Donkey, and a billion other furry IP characters. They don’t need Banjo.

    The two franchises Nintendo NEED to buy back are Blast Corps and Killer Instinct. Remastered and upscaled those games on the 3DS would make it virtually unstoppable. Or as DLC for the Wii U. Or brand new incarnations of those games for the Wii U. I definitely can think of a LOT that could be done on a game like Blast Corps with the Wii-remote and Wii U controller. And KI…….well no explanation needed there.

  4. Mars says:

    Completely DISAGREE with you D2K, who even cares of Killer Instinct(simply not a game for Nintendo, Sony would make it better) and Blast Corps(seriously WTF?), BANJO KAZZOIE IS THE ONE WE WANT BACK TO NINTENDO !!
    It’s as great as Mario, Link or any title you can mention.
    It’s also obvious you didn’t play Banjo Kazzoie back in the day, aah so good memories…

    I hope they made a Banjo- Kazzoie Threeie and that it was just like the N64 game, no cars bullshit, just pure platforming action, humor, and a good story.


  5. NicholasVD says:

    I agree with MARS I think it would be a great if they got it. Also I would not mind if GLOVER came back.

  6. Gonzalo says:

    I think Banjo Kazooie deserves to be in Nintendos name again and all those ips be shared by the both because that way both Nintendo and microsoft can profit from this and this way microsoft will actually be willing to share if it means keeping the rights to these games along with Nintendo and making new games for them as well.

5 + = eleven

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