The legendary Nintendo 64 3D platformer from Rare, Banjo Kazooie, which was released to acclaim in 1998 is currently available for Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack members. Now the Microsoft owned studio, which is part of Xbox Game Studios, have published a new article on their official blog by Rare designer Leigh Loveday who has written a few words about bringing the game to Switch which he said the team were “immensely pleased” about doing.
“The question of classic Rare games resurfacing for a Switch audience is one that people have been asking for a long time, so we’re immensely pleased that we could work with Nintendo to bring the bear and bird to this platform.
In the spirit of preserving the game exactly as it was alongside the other titles available, this version of Banjo-Kazooie is the Nintendo 64 original as you remember it. And if you grew up in a later console generation, well, we’re looking forward to a whole new wave of gamers getting turned into a washing machine by Mumbo Jumbo, scrambling away from Snacker the shark and facing Grunty’s Furnace Fun for the very first time.
This much-loved 3D platformer introduced players to the unlikely partnership of an amiable bear and the sarcastic bird who lives in his backpack, as they went head-to-head with Gruntilda the incompetent, rhyme-obsessed witch in an attempt to free Banjo’s sister before she got… actually, just watch the Banjo-Kazooie in 60 Seconds video we made for Rare Replay and maybe it’ll all start to make sense.
Adding to that, here’s a quick series primer: Banjo-Kazooie was released back in 1998 (following Banjo’s solo role in Diddy Kong Racing the year before), quickly riding the wave of platformer popularity into the hearts of diehard fans. Its colourful blend of characters, environments, puzzles and collectables was seasoned with offbeat Rare humour that helped it stand out in a crowded market.
The first game’s popularity led to the release of even bigger N64 sequel Banjo-Tooie in 2000, a couple of original outings on Game Boy Advance and the duo’s only starring role to date in Rare’s Xbox era, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts on Xbox 360 in 2008.”