This week has been the week of E3 and there have been a number of exciting pieces of video game news and announcements. There were a lot of things I was particularly impressed by, but the thing that appealed to me the most was the fact that Banjo-Kazooie will be playable characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It’s delightful for so many reasons.
First of all, I was particularly pleased with that way that they were revealed. Donkey Kong, Diddy and King K. Rool were all really happy to see them, which is satisfying for so many reasons. Banjo came from Diddy Kong Racing, so he is really a part of their world, but with Rare being bought by Microsoft years ago, the connection between the two is rarely acknowledged – some even going so far as to say it’s not legitimate. But I prefer to see the games of Rare as a shared universe and this trailer validates that view. Then there’s the fact that it was originally Duck Hunt Duo in disguise – a clever reference, perhaps, to people who previously suggested that their inclusion meant that Banjo and Kazooie wouldn’t be worth it due to being too similar (I love the Duck Hunt Duo, by the way.)
On a similar note, I’ve always held onto the belief that everything is eventual. People said that Banjo and Kazooie would never again have anything to do with the worlds of Nintendo, but I thought that was very short sighted. In time, everything ends up happening – especially in fiction. I always imagined that there’d be an emotional reunion between Diddy and Banjo in some way or form in the future – and now it has happened! This is something I’ve thought about for well over a decade and its marvellous to see it fully realised.
Secondly, it’s just so nice to see Banjo and Kazooie back and fully animated in 3D again. It’s been almost a decade since they last had a proper appearance and, yes, there have been things like Minecraft where they’re technically there, but none of their personality seeps through whatsoever. As a big fan of them and their series, I am pleased to see them being put to good use.
Finally, I think Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a pretty great game. The previous two games in the series had felt somewhat lackluster to me and I was starting to lose interesting in the series, but this one was much more enjoyable and the addition of Banjo-Kazooie is something which will make me enjoy it even more. I’m glad they were added to this Smash Bros. and not the previous one.
They said of the game “everybody is here” and I really agree with that now. As a child, I wanted to see Donkey Kong, Banjo and Mario characters coming together and now I have a game that has all of them. But not just all of them – also characters from just about every other game I loved back then. Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask were two other favourites of mine – and Young Link, the star of them, is included. You can be Bowser – as a kid, I always wanted a game that let you control him. Wario Land 2 was another favourite and Wario’s there as well. We’ve got various Pokémon, particularly from the first generation, which captivated me so much when I first played it. Super Castlevania IV is another one of those games I have a lot of sentimental memories of – and now Simon Belmont is playable. I could go on. Not only are all of the video games of my childhood now represented, but also those of my adulthood and I can’t think of anything else that brings together so many of the things I love in one place, especially not in such an enjoyable way.