Looks Out Super Smash Character Reviews Banjo and Kazooie

Welcome back to GoNintendo’s Smash Character review series. in today’s episode we will be jumping all the way up to one of the more recent inclusions to the lineup in honor of their 25th anniversary, Banjo and Kazooie!

To say this bear and bird duo hold a special place in many a Nintendo fan’s heart would be an understatement, as their original outing is still fondly remembered by players to this day, and it was a crucial building block in creating RARE’s undeniable legacy.

It’s been a longtime coming for these icons to throw their proverbial hats into the ring, as many have been asking for the duo’s appearance since the very first installment. That’s not hyperbole; there was actually a poll on the Japanese Smash 64 website that asked players who’d they want to see in a hypothetical Smash Bros. sequel and the pair were the second most requested RARE creation behind the GoldenEye 007 version of James Bond.

In the years following, RARE were seeking to be bought by Nintendo, but the Big N decided not to pursue, leaving Microsoft to snatch them. Since then, many have felt Banjo and Kazooie’s chances for a Smash appearance were impossible even though third party characters were introduced with Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Thankfully, those same fans kept asking for the pair’s appearance, and the stars eventually aligned with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Unlike the past two characters we’ve covered Banjo and Kazooie were made from the ground up for Ultimate. This lets us see how Smash’s character design conventions have both changed and stayed the same. Once again, we recommend you checking out the first installment in our series for a full breakdown on how things work.

Neutral strikes

The Banjo games are known for the wide array of strikes that both Banjo and Kazooie learn, and these are healthily represented in Banjo’s neutrals.

The aerials are a bit weird, as the only ones with references are the back and down air, but their animations are a bit off. The back air is a backwards version of the rat-a-tat rap; very strange considering it would’ve made more sense as a forward aerial. The down air is a slightly modified version of the beak bomb, with Kazooie nose-diving to the ground as opposed to Banjo butt-stomping.

The throws contain no references as far as I can tell, but they still work because they feel like moves that could have existed if the Banjo-Kazooie franchise saw subsequent installments.

One thing that I appreciate about this move set is that every original strike given to Banjo and Kazooie feels just as innovative and charming as if RARE themselves came up with it. Banjo and Kazooie wear they’re cartoonish inspiration on their sleeves and Smash absolutely nails it.