Raring to go indeed - Banjo & Kazooie Opinion
I'm not a pro player, I play Smash Bros games for the fun local versus modes, so I'm not reviewing Banjo-Kazooie as a character from a professional players perspective. I won't be bringing up tier lists and advanced techniques, I just want to talk about the awesomeness that is this character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
I'm probably part of the minority that preferred Banjo-Kazooie on the N64 over Super Mario 64. Maybe it's the fonder memories of two whole games over Mario, which was essentially building the system that Banjo would later run on. A further reason why I prefer Banjo is probably just that; The N64 Banjo titles are a more refined version of Mario 64. Years later, being a fan an avid player of Super Smash bros, I was excited when they started adding non-nintendo characters to the Smash roster. I had hoped it was only a matter of time before they added Banjo and Kazooie, little did I know I'd have to wait another three renditions of the game before I was able to see the two in action. It was worth the wait. Sakurai has a way of implementing characters into the Smash Bros line up beautifully, either perfectly representing the character or, in cases like Sonic, making a character that moves and feels better than he does in his own main titles.
I'm not a fan of Rare's Nuts and Bolts Banjo design so I'm glad to see that they brought the two's original concepts back, although at the same time I am very disappointed that Nintendo didn't use the chance to give Banjo-Kazooie the option of numerous skins. This new rendition of their old design comes off rather cute in my opinion, Banjo's large and innocent eyes almost make you forget he brandishes his best friend as a weapon.
In terms of move-set I find that Banjo-Kazooie are very reminiscent of Mario in terms of move simplicity, a design choice I figure was intentionally done. Though thanks to banjo using Kazooie as a weapon for a lot of his tilts and smashes, another brilliant design choice to mimic his moves from his N64 outings, it results in him playing a bit like a sword fighter in some regard. His Special moves are like Marios in the fact that in concept they are simple but use of them can add a bit more technicality to the character: BK's down-B fires a bouncing grenade egg, this allows for some serious mix up game and even a worthwhile deterrent, if you ever so slightly tilt the control stick, as with all moves, you can control whether you fire it left or right without fully turning your character. Banjo is also the lucky recipient of one of the few projectiles you can viably use to start a chase, although switching out if it to continue a barrage is quick finger-work. His side B is a rush forward that protects from damage, however you can get attacked from behind or above and below. Finally his Up-Special brings up one of the launch pads from the original game, holding the button allows you to go a little higher, this coupled with banjos three jumps, means he has one of the best recoveries in the game. It's weird, Banjo isn't a heavy Character but he launches like one, he's not easy to send flying and his heavy hitting moves hurt at the right percentages, I personally like his Dr. Mario type side aerial.
Banjo is the kind of character you'll enjoy if you like simplicity paying off. I've been a fan of Mario since Melee, he's been my go to but dare I say it Banjo & Kazooie may be just the duo to knock him off of my top spot. I'm pretty sure that when it comes to ranking, he's not a top tier character as far as I know (I'm not a pro player like that, though I don't research these things). As this isn't a review I won't give BK a score (It would be redundant in this sense anyway) I will say though that this is another brilliant representation of a character in Smash, if you haven't already grabbed a season pass, I'd say BK make it worth it.
With all the news about them continuing to add characters and now three of my favourite video-game characters being able to duke it out (Mario, Sonic and Banjo-Kazooie) my fingers are crossed for Rayman to join the fray as well.