Posted by: The Stadium | November 28, 2008

The Chief Concern — Banjo-Kazooie


by UnSaxon51

– – –

I still can’t get over the fact that Kazooie actually has a species. God, that’s weird.

It’s a given that Banjo and Kazooie have been a rather popular pair for movesets throughout Make Your Move’s storied past, but unfortunately for whatever reason they’ve never really been dealt proper justice. So I’ve gotten used to having my hopes dashed whenever someone starts off a post with a picture of the bear and bird. Dashed by poor design, bad or missing layout, and stale, boring moves.

Fortunately for me, you’ve done almost the exact opposite. It’s by no means a perfect moveset, or even a perfect representation of the character (close, but no Jiggy)…but…well, let me just say this: if there was a separate contest for “best Banjo-Kazooie in MYM history”, this would be the winner by far.

I’m a huge fan of the original N64 title, but it’s been a very long time since I’ve played it. So for me, I ended up taking an enjoyable stroll through memory lane while reading this. Moves like the Forward Air and…well, and all of the throws made me remember little things about the game I had up til’ then forgotten, and the moveset was made all the better for it.

So I liked it.

But that’s definitely not to say it was great. Overall B-K feels like a very “safe” moveset. They have a projectile, an aimable recovery, a charging attack, a spinning move, and a bunch of simple ground attacks. That in itself can be fine, and in this particular case probably the best way to go since the duo are meant to be stereotypical protagonists that can do anything and everything in their quest(s)…but when you couple simple, un-complicated moves with short (rly shrt) descriptions of them, the moveset tends to come off as under-developed, or in some cases just lazy.

Let me use two moves as examples. The first is Wing Arc, the Up Tilt.

“Kazooie broadly swings above Banjo’s head.”

…Kazooie swings what? I assume her wing(s), but I really don’t know. I also don’t know what Banjo’s doing as this happens–which is a must for a simultaneous character like this. If you were to, for instance, say “Kazooie pops out of Banjo’s rucksack and swings her wings in a wide arc above her while Banjo ducks his head, covering the top with his paws”, I’d feel much better about it. You don’t need oodles of text to describe what’s happening just so long as you actually tell the reader what’s happening.

The second move is Honey Kick, the Back Air.

“Banjo kicks backward abruptly and leaves his feet out for about a second.”

I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a carbon-copy of Snake’s Back Air dropkick thingy. I’m not going to give out any suggestions on this one, since I feel it should be totally changed, but I think I can recognize how it came about. Basically, there are only so many moves from the actual Banjo-Kazooie games one can port into a Smash Bros. moveset, and once you’re out of them, you’re left to make things up yourself. And a backward kick is an easy catch-all. It’s also…pretty well-covered. Almost all of the humanoid characters in Brawl have some variation of this for their Back Air. So like I said, it comes off as lazy.

Now, those are only two moves. There are a number of others throughout the ‘set that I feel similarly about, but listing them all isn’t going to help you. If you can go back to the drawing board, find the stale moves, and change them, you’ll get that much closer to making the perfect moveset for these two.

You’re already halfway there!



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