A few years ago, there were rumors about suggesting that Rare was working on a couple of titles for the Nintendo DS. One of them was supposedly a new title in the Banjo-Kazooie franchise. Obviously, the rumors were either not true or the games were cancelled when Microsoft decided to do with away with a Rare team dedicated to handheld development; but what if a Banjo game had been fully developed it? Would it have been a 3-D outing like all of its predecessors? Or would Rare have changed the style of the game for the touch-screen handheld and developed it as a sidescroller? Let’s take a look at the possibilities of the latter…
A Banjo-Kazooie sidescroller reminiscent of Donkey Kong Country could only equal to one thing: platforming bliss. You may be asking yourself “Why would a Banjo sidescrolling game be good when it works fine in 3-D?” and “how could it even work utilizing the DS’s touchscreen?”. Both of which are simple questions with simple answers.
Changing Banjo-Kazooie’s gameplay a bit could help generate a better and larger audience to the entire series. With the releases of New! Super Mario Bros. DS and Wii and Donkey Kong Country Returns, Nintendo has shown that sidescrolling games still sell incredibly well today. So creating a Banjo sidescroller could help the series immensely to gain a larger fanbase. Not only for the handheld versions, but for the console versions as well.
As for the other question, I’ve taken the time to create a control scheme that I believe the game could utilize. The controls (using only the d-pad, L-button, and touch-screen) are as follows:
Walking: Use the left and right arrows. Tap Banjo with the stylus to do the Claw Swipe attack.
Sprinting: Hold down the L-button and use the left and right arrows. Tap Banjo to make him Roll.
Ducking: Hold the down arrow. Drag stylus up from Banjo to perform the Flatter Flip. Swipe the stylus to the left or right of Banjo to Beak Barge. Draw a circle around and enemy or other target and then tap it to fire an egg at it. Tap Banjo to release an egg from behind. Draw a circle around Banjo to use the Wonder Wing.
Jumping: Swipe stylus up from Banjo or press the up button while sprinting or walking. Tap Banjo to Fluttery Flap. Tap Banjo twice to Rat-a-tat-rap. Drag stylus under Banjo while in the air to Beak Bust.
That’s just an example of how many of the classic moves can be performed. There’s so much that a Banjo-Kazooie sidescroller could do. Bonus levels could reward Banjo with Jiggy’s that are needed to unlock new worlds, notes hidden throughout each level could be used to purchase new moves, extra honeycombs, and so forth. There’s a lot of potential behind a sidescrolling Banjo title that would certainly increase the Banjo-Kazooie fanbase as a whole while adding yet another sidescrolling masterpeice to Rare’s already major reportoire that could offer loads of fun and one of the most unique Nintendo DS/3DS games to date.
Now let’s imagine the game is has mini-games that are available as well. Or perpahs these could be the bonus levels? In any case, let’s examine how they could work in unique and innovative ways…
Canary Mary Racer- Canary Mary is back and awaits the bear and bird duo to challenge them to yet another race! This time though, rather than pressing buttons excessively, players use the innovative touchscreen to defeat her in volatile race-to-the-finish by tapping the screen as quick as possible with the stylus
Bop Bottles!- Several molehills fill the screen where Bottles the Mole will pop out his head to view his surroundings. At that time, quickly ‘whack’ his head by touching it with the stylus before he delves back underground. Hit enough Bottles’ to earn the amount of points required to beat the mini-game. But be careful! Accidentally whack Mrs. Bottles or the kids and points will be lost!
Hook, Line and… Shrapnel?!- Uh-oh! Boggy’s kids’ icy swimming hole has been infiltrated with the dangerous exploding Shrapnel! And the kids are still in the swimming hole! Now it’s up to Banjo and Kazooie to fish them out! Using the stylus as a ‘fishing rod’, drag it to the left of the touchscreen and remove the stylus to cast the line. The further to the left it’s pulled, the further the line will cast. Fish out all of the shrapnel before the little polar bears meet an explosive fate!
Of course, Banjo-Kazooie isn’t Banjo-Kazooie without some quriky and traditional boss fights! Let’s examine a few foes they could go up against…
Klungo- In a classic sidescrolling showdown, Banjo and Kazooie must once again take on Klungo, who recently rejoined the ranks of Grunty’s minions with a promise of riches and power! With a flick of a wrist, he flings his potions at the bear and bird duo and they’re everything but harmless… or are they? With a simple Claw Swipe that is performed by tapping Banjo while standing in place, deflect mighty Klungo’s potion’s right back at him to do some damage! Too simple? You bet it is! Klungo has plenty of potions up his sleeve! After that first whack, he drinks up a powerful potion that surrounds him with a shield… but not an impenetrable shield! While dodging a massive onslaught of potions, quickly get above Klungo by jumping (swipe the touchscreen up with the stylus) and then Beak Busting (swipe the touchscreen downward with the stylus while in the air) his shield. Doing so will shatter it and then, once again, you must Claw Swipe a potion in his direction. Two hits down, one to go! But this time, Klungo drinks a potion that turns him gargantuan! So big, in fact, that it takes both screens to hold his massive body! So this go ’round, you must wait for the opportune moment, roll between his legs (swipe the touchscreen with the stylus to the right while running (run by holding the L button)) and then rat-a-tat-rap (touch Banjo while jumping) him in his lizardy rump. He’ll then return to normal size where you once again must knell him with his own potion by Claw Swiping it his way. The battle is then over!
Nipper- Nipper the giant hermit crab still holds a grudge at his defeat against Banjo and Kazooie and is back now for revenge! Like Klungo, this monstrous crab takes up both screens, but is rather facing the screens instead of a taking a side profile like Klungo. To defeat him, you must dodge his snapping pincers by rolling underneath them (swipe the touchscreen to the right while running (run by holding L)). When his attack temporarily stops, quickly draw a target around his eyes by circling them with the stylus and then tapping them to fire eggs. Repeat the process three times to each eye and Nipper is down and out!
So what do you all think? Does this wet your appetite for a sidescrolling Banjo adventure on the DS/3DS?