Banjo-Kazooie makes triumphant return to Nintendo, but only in the Expansion Pack

Banjo-Kazooie is set to make a not so triumphant return to Nintendo hardware this week. While it has been years since we saw a proper Banjo title on a Nintendo system, this one will be coming as part of the arguably controversial Nintendo 64 Switch Online library that is locked behind the Expansion Pack paywall. While some gamers were a little bit salty over the more pricey online tier, Nintendo is indeed bringing Banjo-Kazooie to its N64 Switch Online this week. Head below for more details. 

Banjo-Kazooie hits N64 Switch Online library this week

Banjo-Kazooie originally released in 1998 for Nintendo 64 before being followed up by a Game Boy title. But developer Rare was scooped up by Microsoft back in 2022, effectively closing the door on Nintendo’s hold over the original Banjo-Kazooie title. While we did see a few spin-off titles since then, the upcoming Switch Online release will mark the first time we have seen the titular honey bear and his Breegull bird companion back on Nintendo hardware in years. 

After adding five new SEGA Genesis titles to the Expansion pack library back in December, subscribers to Nintendo’s top-tier Switch Online service will see Banjo-Kazooie available starting this Thursday. 

Check out the launch trailer in all of its N64-era blocky glory below:

This action game, released for the Nintendo 64 console in 1998, features an unlikely pair: a Honey Bear named Banjo and a Breegull named Kazooie. Together, the duo embark on a wild quest that makes use of their wide range of combined special moves. It all starts when the wicked witch Gruntilda kidnaps Tooty, Banjo’s little sister, and Banjo and Kazooie set out to bring her back—venturing from Spiral Mountain, along the shark-infested coastline of Treasure Trove Cove, through the icy perils of Freezeezy Peak, and beyond. But with Kazooie spending most of her time inside Banjo’s backpack, they’re like two heroes in one! Though they may squabble from time to time, with the two of them working together, nothing can stand in their way. Now you can join them on this journey into a magical world of adventure!

Access to Nintendo Switch Online standard goes for $20 per year, but subscriptions with the Expansion Pack included will run you $50, or $80 for the family pack. You can learn more about how the tier system works in our previous coverage

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