Kid Friendly Platformers – Banjo-Tooie & Toy Story 2

A couple months ago, I was in the mood to buy games for my retro & modern consoles that I thought would appeal to my kids, both elementary age girls. I bought Smurfs for Colecovision, Crash Bandicoot for the PlayStation, Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U, and Banjo-Tooie and Toy Story 2 for the Nintendo 64. Predictably, they were only interested in games that I already owned, Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64, when it came time to pull out and play my N64 for the month of July. They thought the protagonist bear in the Banjo games was cute and all, but the gameplay and story didn’t compel them to play. The same can be said for Toy Story 2. They played it for a bit and got bored and admittedly I did too. In this multi-platform movie tie-in you take control of Buzz Lightyear in an effort to find and save Woody after he’s stolen from Andy’s house, which mostly follows the plot of the film. There’s nothing great about this game but nothing particularly bad either.

Banjo-Tooie has the most potential in my opinion. The sequel (tooie….twoie…two….get it?) to the popular and well-received Banjo-Kazooie, which I don’t own, was released in 2000 to positive reviews. The game once again features Banjo the bear and Kazooie the bird as well as a number of their friends, who you can play with, including Mumbo Jumbo from the first game. In the extremely long opening cinematic sequence, you get the gist of the game’s plot involving the return of the original game’s protagonists, Gruntilda the Witch and her sisters. My takeaway from this opening scene, besides being way too long, is that Kazooie is kind of an asshole to his friends as he attempts to cheat at cards. The game itself is typical 3D platformer out of the Super Mario 64 mold but if done well, that can be a good thing. I haven’t spent a lot of time with this title but the little I have played has been enjoyable.

Currently in my collection:

  • Banjo-Tooie – game only B
  • Toy Story 2 – game only C

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