- System: GBA
- Publisher: THQ
- Genre: Platformer
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Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie were both very popular games of their time. With the charm, the gameplay, the environments, the memorable characters, and the anticipation for the fabled Stop 'n' Swop connection, it’s apparent that the Banjo series is one of Rare’s beloved intellectual properties. When the Game Boy Advance was revealed, it was of no surprise that Rare wanted to capitalize on their well-known franchise. After all, Tooie released in late 2000/early 2001 depending on where you live, and it was around that time that Nintendo’s next generation console and handheld post-N64/GBC were being talked about. Enter Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge.
The Time Traveling Story
Originally, Grunty’s Revenge wasn’t even supposed to take place comfortably between Banjo-Kazooie and Tooie in terms of continuity. The storyline that was first revealed was one of an alternate reality, in which Banjo-Tooie never happened the way it did with Mingella and Blobbelda rescuing Grunty from her boulder-shaped prison.
What we got instead was a similar story, but one within continuity. A few months after Banjo-Kazooie but before Tooie, Klungo builds a mechanical Grunty suit and has her spirit transferred from underneath the boulder to the suit. Grunty then decides that the best plan of action is to go back in time to prevent Kazooie from being born, thus preventing her defeat at the hands of the bird and bear duo at the top of Grunty’s Lair in the first game. Luckily for the duo, Mumbo Jumbo transports them back in time to stop her, and they end up meeting new and returning characters decades younger. The gameplay is the same as the N64 games: collect Jiggies, notes and Jinjos to progress to new worlds and unlock new moves within 5 worlds.
One of the seven titles to be revealed at E3 2001, as well as within the game itself, time was an enemy to the development of the game. Before the Microsoft buyout, various sites reported that Nintendo, publisher to both of the other Rare titles, was not going to be publishing Grunty’s Revenge. Nothing was seen or heard from the game until early 2003, in which the game was still confirmed to be in development. It was released in late 2003 shortly after news of THQ’s publishing duties for Rare’s GBA titles broke.
Due to the quality of the first two games and the long overall wait of Grunty’s Revenge thanks to the acquisition, the fanbase is mostly divided due to the length and quality of the game (it doesn’t help that the GBA Tepid Seat revealed it to be longer than what we got). That being said, the cheaper you can find it, the more you’ll get your money’s worth with Rare’s first Game Boy Advance title.