Stay on target, stay on target: Banjo 3 is on the way this year

For those awaiting the next installment of the Banjo-Kazooie series, it has been confirmed by Microsoft that Banjo 3 is “still on target” for a 2008 release. Microsoft expects the Rare platform game (about a bear that gets a bumming off a bird, I’ve been told) to be a holiday hit for the Xbox 360. Hopefully it adds a dab more color to a console full of gritty shooters and gritty industrial cities full of grit.

“As announced at E3 last year, the next installment in the popular Banjo franchise is still on target for 2008,” an MS spokesperson declared. “We share the excitement of Banjo fans worldwide as anticipation ‘builds’ for the game’s release later this year.”

In the eyes of some gamers, Rare took a step down in quality when it was eaten by Microsoft, and it’s at least true that well made games like Viva Pinata didn’t do too well. Hopefully, Banjo 3 will be a solid platform experience that sees a return to creative form, but will it translate into sales for a system that is still regarded by many as a “shooter” box?

I’m personally looking forward to this. I never got a chance to play the prequels, but it’s been a long time since I had a good old fashioned, brightly colored, innocent platform game. Sometimes you need the simple things in life, no? I fear it will not do too well, even if it’s stellar, but we wait and see. The 360 is certainly starting to build a more varied library, so you never know.

Jim Sterling