released on Nov 20, 2000

Colossal, immense, and gigantic; beautiful, gorgeous, and grandiose -- these are the words one thinks of when describing Rare's follow-up adventure to Banjo-Kazooie. Keeping consistent with the attitude found in this title, Rare has wittily named it Banjo-Tooie. Banjo-Tooie, simply put, is incredibly unimaginable. The worlds are ludicrous in size, the gameplay is polished and deep, and the soundtrack proves to be an immaculate compliment. When it comes to defining platform-based entertainment, Banjo-Tooie is filled with chapter after chapter of standards. Explore eight giant worlds, solve puzzles and help game characters to unearth jiggys, play as Mumbo, a T-Rex, Submarine, Money-Van, Washing Machine, and more, and learn more than 40 new moves on the way.

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I'm a madman 2.0...except in this case even moreso since this is twice as long as Kazooie. And even still, I never got burnt out on replaying this yet again even after replaying it a week ago. Idk man, there's just something about this game that's addicting. I still feel the same way about it as I did a week ago. The interconnected worlds are amazing, the level theming and move set additions/polish are both very awesome and the OST I probably do prefer more than Kazooie overall. Even the backtracking felt like I did less of it with this replay, saved everything for the end and I think I only went back to each world (not counting going between worlds cuz that doesn't feel like backtracking to me) like once to get jiggies. I really don't see the backtracking as an issue whatsoever now, the more complex/confusing jiggies..yeah I can see people having an issue with that but not really the backtracking. The Canary Mary rematches still aren't fun (though I did have a much easier time with no blister this time) and again the final boss isn't as good as Kazooie's, though I did like it more this time around. Still though, I do love this game alongside Kazooie and they're some of the best games the N64 offers I think.

Oh? You're approaching Banjo-Tooie? Instead of steering clear, you're actually considering playing this game? Even though its flaws, like a persistent itch, gnaw at your patience, making you question your gaming choices?
I can't endure the frustrations of this game without expressing my discontent.
Oh ho! Then collect as many Jiggies as you like.

So I actually never beat this game before. Way back in the good ol 2013/2014 days when I first played this, I was never able to beat the final boss. (I did play through a good chunk of the game back in 2019 as well but I randomly dropped it for some odd reason...idk why because I remember having a blast). Anyways, besides the Grunty fight, I was also never able to beat either of the Canary Mary rematches. Other than the races and final boss, I did everything in the game on that first playthrough. Well I'm happy to say after all these years, I've not only beaten the game..I've 100%ed it as well.
Was it super tedious like everyone seems to say nowdays? Uhhh no? Not in the slightest, I had an absolute blast replaying this. The only part I down right disliked was the 2nd Canary Mary rematch race. I eventually learned the optimal strategy, but not without getting a nasty blister beforehand. Yeah that's super dumb ik, don't even get me started lol.
Anyways, Tooie brings forth a ton of improvements in regards to Kazooie. Your moveset from the last game has little tweaks all over the place that improve the gameplay (swimming is way smoother, your roll attack is so much better etc etc.). They fixed the pitched up voices when fast forwarding dialogue from the first game. Music notes now don't get reset when you fact the focus on collecting notes was lessened drastically since they're all in bunches of 5 or 20. The level theming is so..SO much more unique compared to the first game. I absolutely love some of these level an abandoned carnival run by Grunty, a fire and ice world, a dinosaur world...everything is just so much more creative setting wise.
The expanded moveset is great for the most part. First person aiming when shooting eggs was a good addition..and so were the new egg types. I think the first person segments were a lot of fun. The split up mechanic and abilities you get were super cool..though banjo's later abilities do seem to feel the same a lot of the time, especially those last two you get.
The game's writing as a whole is way funnier and cynical compared to Kazooie, it fits the series so well. The characters in Tooie felt way more fleshed out and memorable compared to Kazooie's characters...though there are returning ones from Kazooie as well. The Ost is amazing and while very different compared to Kazooie's (it goes for more atmospheric/ less upbeat tracks) its just as good.
So the big issue people have with this game is the backtracking and they think the worlds are too big. I never had an issue with the backtracking at least on this playthrough, it never felt tedious at all for me to go back and get jiggy's I couldn't get before. Feels more like a metroidvania in a sense and I love that. The interconnectivity is absolutely amazing in this game and is my favorite aspect tbh. As for worlds being too big, I can't understand that sentiment for any of the worlds besides maybe Terrydactyland. While I did enjoy that world this go around, it is a bit too big for its own good. Other than that, I had no issue with each world's size. Yeah even Grunty Industries, which was still semi-confusing didn't feel that big. It was moreso confusing to figure out how to open the way forward to jiggies and stuff. Solid level overall (and it has my favorite world theme in the game). I'd say my favorite level was Witchy World with Hailfire peaks coming at a close second. Both were fantastic imo. The lag can get pretty bad at points in Hailfire (and throughout the whole game there's lag during certain parts) but it never bothered me much.
If I had to give my gripes with this game, the aforementioned Canary Mary rematch for that Cheato page still sucks. Even with the method I found online, it still isn't fun. The final boss also isn't nearly as good as Grunty in Kazooie. Idk it was much less iconic and didn't make full use of the duo's whole moveset like it did in Kazooie. That plus the ost wasn't nearly as good. Not a bad fight in the slightest, just doesn't touch Kazooie's final boss. Though I will say, after finally beating her all these years, that final part can be brutal. Once you get the hang of it, it isn't terribly hard. However it's certainly harder than Kazooie's final boss.
I may be crazy for giving this a 10 just like Kazooie, however this game had even higher highs than Kazooie despite it not being as replayable due to its size. It was really addicting to play (I beat it in 4 days..and one of those days my power was out lol) and even now, I can't stop thinking about it. It's goated just like Kazooie, but for different reasons. Might bump it down to a 9 eventually however right now, 10/10 it is. Very underrated game now it seems, sad to see so many people hate on it when it's really undeserved.
I really don't know why but I do honestly keep thinking about this game and replaying it again already. Might put it at the top of my 2023 list if its gonna be like that lol.

Too. Much. Backtracking.
Still loved it! just not to the level of the first game.

I think this game's just as good as the original in almost every way. In many ways manages to improve upon it and stand on its own as a totally different experience that still captures the magic of the first game. Its much meatier structure and overall scope puts this game more on a "Maybe once every year or two" replay schedule, like a really good Zelda game. As opposed to the original that's perfect to just pick up and play in a couple hours whenever you get the itch, as a nice comfort game. And for that I see why many prefer the first, but what this game was able to accomplish on the N64 is actually insane.
Not content with simply getting the most out of what the N64 could do with BK, BT goes a step further and tries to get MORE than the N64 can do. In doing so it's perhaps a somewhat more flawed game, specifically in the pacing department. (And more obviously, in the framerate department) But I'm no less in love with it. Tons of fun new minigames, a great list of 12 boss fights (Compared to BK's grand total of 2), playable Mumbo, different world design, way more memorable NPC's, a higher stakes story with more cutscenes, and a soundtrack that's distinctly Banjo-yet in a style unmistakably from THIS banjo specifically...All come together to make this a worthy sequel that stands on its own.
The sense of a massive interconnected world is insane. Modern games WISH their worlds were as fully realized as this. The way every level is in some way connected to a different one is ambitious TODAY let alone on the n64. Pushing ice cube people off the island in the sky to the pool of hot water below in a different level to cool it off. Turning off the sludge in one level to make it stop spewing muck into some kid's swimming pool in a different level. Finding a secret way to smuggle food out of the carnival because they don't let you walk out the doors with your burger and fries. At one point you can't actually enter the front door of the level and have to find a way to take a train and enter the level through its basement railroad. Mumbo will sometimes be controlling a giant statue kicking doors down to make paths, or making the ocean breathable for Banjo. The transformations are a bit more unique this time around too. In BK gameplay-wise many of them were functionally the same, it was merely the level context that changed how they were used. Tooie keeps the best transformation, the bee, and adds on forms that are more meaningfully diverse. Like a snowball that gets bigger the more health you have, naturally making you gain health as you roll around in the snow. Or a dinosaur that changes size depending on whether you shrunk or grew Humba's wigwam with Mumbo.
Just like the first, an amazing one of a kind game. Manages to add a LOT to the formula without losing what made it fun to begin with. The Xbox360 version is great as it makes the game run perfectly, where it struggles in the original to not run in slow motion. Only flaw of that version is that the soundtrack for the cutscenes were composed with the N64's slowdown in mind, so it de-syncs the music written in time with events REALLY badly. (Gives a good perspective on just how much better the xbox version runs though.)
One of the best sequels ever made for one of the best games ever made.