360 XBLA Review - Banjo Tooie

360 XBLA Review - Banjo Tooie

Playing Banjo Tooie (and Banjo Kazooie for that matter) really does take me back to the time where platform games ruled the world. When graphics really didn’t matter as much and when game play was a must. When Rare were at their peak and we were playing with those weird controllers that came in five different colours.

Rare once again weaved their magic with Banjo Tooie when it was originally released in late 2000. It blew minds back on the Nintendo 64, but what can we expect from this Xbox Live update? We have slightly updated graphics which, while still having that N64 charm about them, don’t really affect the quality of the game. This is classic platforming at its best.

Controls in the game come just as simple. Your basic jump, attack, duck, dodge features here with nothing really outstanding in this department. However, in saying that, if you’ve played a platforming game before, you’ll be more than capable at pulling of moves quite quickly.

As soon as you fire up Banjo Tooie, you’ll be greeted with that all too familiar banjo music. The music in this game really brightens the mood that little bit further. It just makes this game a pleasure to play. Different cues in the game indicate new areas, secrets, story progression and the like. I will say however there is no speaking in the game. None whatsoever. So be prepared to put up with words replaced by squarks, burps, mumbles etc. It’s kind of like Simlish (the language the Sims use) but on a whole new level.

Want your moneys worth from an Xbox Live Arcade title? Then Banjo Tooie will be right up your alley. There is a lot to do in this game. A heck of a lot. Throughout the duo’s adventure, you’ll be collecting jiggies, musical notes, honeycomb pieces, jinjos, cheato’s missing pages, new moves; in every level. This game really delivers massive value from an XBL title. Then there are the achievements that add another dangling carrot to this title.


Banjo Tooie is every bit enjoyable as it was all those years ago. Sure it’s aged badly and sure, it’s annoying and frustrating to have this inane chatter between characters and to have that squawk and grumble instead of speech, but Banjo Tooie is a really good game. It’s very ‘G’ rated but I think has some serious depth to it for those willing to dig. Well worth the points and very well deserving of your time.


  • Platform gaming at it’s peak

  • A lot to do!

  • Updated for today’s HD crowd


  • Chatter between characters is annoying

  • N64 graphics still noticeable


AAG Score: 8/10


Reviewed and Written by Luke Slater