Similar to the first Banjo game, I have very little reverence for Tooie. I never played it as a kid and I have an inherent dislike for collecathons, and generally find Rare's output to be very hit-or-miss. I guess you could say I was pre-disposed to hating this one, but I promise you I gave it the old college try (getting blackout drunk and playing the N64 at 3am.)
Unfortunately, I'm still coming up negative on this one. There's just too damn much to collect, Banjo still doesn't feel particularly good to control, and most of the minigames that have to be completed to earn Jiggies are just no fun at all. I got 100% completion in the last game, because despite it not being a worthwhile endeavor from the standpoint of having a good time, it was at least doable, and I do things that are doable because I'm stupid as hell. But Tooie
is just so bloated with content it quickly becomes a chore just trying to satisfy the requirements for the game to be done, and I could not commit to it any more than that. It perhaps didn't help that I started getting way into The Computer Chronicles while playing this and watched episodes in the background. Listening to guys drone on about creating MIDI music on the Atari 520ST
while trying to earn Jiggies must be what getting a lobotomy feels like, so I'll take some of the blame for my lack of enjoyment here.
The control scheme is a good reflection of the game itself. Every single button has to do something in concert with everything else, but the way it's laid out is just convoluted. Compare this with Super Mario 64. Controlling Mario is a breeze, yet the amount of movement options you have is varied. If you pull back and look at the amount of buttons you actually use, it's pretty simplistic. That's the genius of Mario 64; Miyamoto and his team knew their audience and understood that few people would have played a 3D platformer before, so they designed the game in a way that was easy to pick up and felt great in hand. There's a reason it set the standard. I'm 34-years-old and I've been playing 3D platformers since 1996, and every time I pick up Banjo-Tooie I think "what bastard designed this?"
At least the humor, music, and character designs are all great. I've always liked the look of these games. Gruntilda is a skeleton now, that's pretty good. None of this is enough to save Banjo-Tooie for me, and ultimately I think it would be the best case study of "bigger =/= better" if Donkey Kong 64 didn't already exist.