Get ready, space cadets, because our next monthly Game Club is starting! Game club is a monthly podcast discussion on a game chosen by a selected host. Our next host is Tess, and their selection will be:
Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie and Yooka-Laylee
Developers: Rare and Playtonic Games
The discussion will take place on December 21st. Newcomers to the group have higher chance of selecting the next month's game! As usual, this selection is meant to be played before the time of the meeting. Tess says that playing through the first hour or two of each game is needed for discussion.
Banjo-Kazooie and its sequel Banjo-Tooie were hallmarks of the late 90s/early 2000s platformer era. Although they didn't come up with many new designs or technologies, they are often held as some of the best examples of the genre to date, with Banjo-Kazooie selling more than 1.8 million copies in the US alone, Banjo-Tooie selling over 3 million copies in total, and both games recieving scores in the 90s/9s from Metacritic, GameSpot, IGN, N64 Magazine, and Nintendo Power. Banjo-Kazooie wasn't my first game, but it was the first time I really got into a video game. It was the first time I remember complaining to my parents about the fact that I had to go to bed, or counting down the hours until I would get home from school because I wanted to play more.
So, what was it that made so many people, including myself, fall in love with these games? How do the design decisions reflect the gaming culture at the time? Where do we see the influence of games like these today? With the spiritual sucessor Yooka-Laylee releasing earlier this year to mixed reviews, can games such as this hold up in today's market or was Yooka-Laylee's fate inevitable?