Banjo-Kazooie in Smash Bros. – What Does This Mean?
Banjo Kazooie was announced for Smash during the Nintendo Direct E3 2019 presentation. He’s the lovable bear with a bird sidekick that has made his way to Smash Bros. alongside his longtime friends Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, and King K. Rool. So now that he’s in, what does this mean? Does this mean that the Banjo Kazooie series will get a remaster soon? Does this mean that the old games will be ported to the Switch? We’ll go over those questions as we dissect what Banjo’s inclusion in Smash Bros. Ultimate could possibly mean.
Nintendo and Microsoft working closely together?
Out of all of the possibilities out there, this could mean that Nintendo and Microsoft have a friendly relationship. We made a video about it before, but it still remains that in a very core view, that Microsoft and Nintendo are having a possible partnership. The rumors of such a partnership mention a possible Game Pass for the Nintendo Switch and even using Microsoft Azure’s servers to power up their cloud gaming that they’ve been working on in Japan.
This does look likely, but it may seem that Nintendo would take quite a while to actually accomplish any sort of cloud gaming overseas as they have a reputation in being slow to utilize online support for their games. So does Banjo himself being introduced to Smash confirm this? It doesn’t but Microsoft is fine letting their owned properties, through Rare, to be used for Smash.
Rare Working Closely with Nintendo again?
We could definitely look a bit closer in the scope of things and say that Rare is working with Nintendo again. So is this true? Well if it is, it is a very tiny step. We get crossovers like these all the time. Even for Smash Bros. Joker, Cloud and Ryu are some great crossovers but Rareware sharing Banjo after becoming part of Microsoft? That’s something new I suppose.
Other games that Rare developed currently include several Kinect games, Killer Instinct, Rare Replay, and Sea of Thieves. So in theory if Rare or even Microsoft were to work as closely as people want Killer Instinct and Rare Replay would be ported to the Switch and the lack of an announcement during E3 2019 would confirm that they aren’t coming anytime soon. If anything, Banjo’s inclusion in Smash Bros. could lead to his series, if not other Rare games, being on the Switch. This would include Donkey Kong 64 at the very least to be added to any Rare Replay additions if that were to be on the Switch as well.
Also to add to this, Battletoads 2019 isn’t being put on the Switch, instead it’s going to be an Xbox exclusive which may also extend to a PC release. Since the game isn’t announced to be on anything else, PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch are both absent from the game’s release in 2019. It may be a bummer that the toad trio won’t be on the Switch, or Smash Bros. for that matter, but at least Banjo is here to stay.
Banjo games being ported to the Switch or Xbox One?
The first thing that you would think is, “Yeah we should get Banjo-Kazooie and Tooie on the Switch,” and I would agree, but the lack of any accompanying trailer for other Rare games, let alone Rare Replay during the announcement does lead me to believe that this probably isn’t the case for now. I mean, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age’s release date was announced after The Hero’s fighter reveal, so why not Banjo? Well my first idea is that Banjo as a fighter isn’t necessarily complete yet, or else he would be announced like, tomorrow or something like that. In this case he’s getting released in Fall 2019, so maybe Nintendo is waiting to reveal something until that time.
So let’s look at this in Microsoft’s point of view, they already have Rare Replay, so they aren’t going to exactly have any Banjo ports. Well, except for the series being updated through Xbox One X Enhanced. Along with the first two games and Nuts and Bolts, Kameo Elements of Power, Perfect Dark, Perfect Dark Zero, Viva Piñata, and Viva Piñata trouble in paradise were recently announced to be given the enhanced treatment, drastically increasing the performance of the games standalone or through the Rare Replay Bundle.
So how about something that’s new, something that would make sense on their end. If Banjo is available on Rare Replay in all of it’s N64 graphic glory with new enhancements, this would mean that maybe, a Banjo Remake could come with enhanced graphics, a remaster if you will. I doubt that Banjo Nuts and Bolts did a good job in remaking the characters, but a completely new Banjo project might be in the works in this case and if anything, it’s on Microsoft’s end.
Banjo Kazooie Remake/Remaster?
Would a Banjo-Kazooie series remake be a good idea? Considering the reactions from people who witnessed the announcement first-hand, it would be assumed that it’s a good idea for a remake. Well we would at least hope so, it’s about time that Banjo makes a comeback. So how does a remake sound, pretty good I suppose and that means that it could be possible that Microsoft is having Rare make a new game alongside their other projects. There is no actual news on any sort of remake however so it may be a while before that even happens.
Based on the reactions of former Rare Employees, including Grant Kirkhope, they don’t sound like they or Microsoft making a new Banjo game.
“It’s just surreal to see these characters I made 20, well more than 20 years ago in some cases, and they’re back in high resolution looking as I originally created them. It’s strange and awesome at the same time,” says Steve Mayles, original character creator of the series. Also Kirkhope, has made the music tracks for the DLC, meaning that it doesn’t sound like he’s making music for anything else except for Yooka Laylee 2, which is coming later on. While a remake is a strong possibility, it just doesn’t seem like it will happen now.
While nothing is officially announced for Banjo in the future, he’s still a welcome addition to the Smash Bros Ultimate roster. In the meantime, fans can be happy to see their favorite bear and his bird buddy back in action for Smash.
For more information about Banjo Kazooie’s announcement in Smash Bros. check out our coverage here.