Super Smash Bros. fans got one of their biggest roster wishes today as Nintendo confirmed that Banjo and Kazooie are coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate via DLC set to release later this year.
As some of you may know, Banjo and Kazooie were staples of Nintendo’s Nintendo 64 lineup, but they’ve never made an appearance in a Smash Bros. game due largely to the fact that Microsoft acquired Rare. That acquisition has caused some licensing troubles that have prevented such cameos from happening in the past and also ensured that games like Donkey Kong 64 and Goldeneye 007 weren’t on the Xbox One’s Rare Replay collection.
However, Nintendo and Microsoft have been working together rather closely in recent years. Games like Mark of the Ninja and Cuphead have found their way to the Nintendo Switch, and there have been rumblings of Xbox Game Pass even being brought to Nintendo’s console at some point. It seems that the two reached some kind of agreement that allowed Banjo and Kazooie to return to a Nintendo platform once more.
Gameplay-wise, Banjo and Kazooie work about the way you’d expect them to work. They utilize some iconic attacks from the games as well as some fresh double-team maneuvers that take advantage of their set-up. Time will tell where they rank among the greatest Smash Bros. fighters.
Again, though, the real news here is that Rare characters are appearing on a Nintendo platform once more. While we don’t know whether or not you should read too much into this, this certainly opens the door for some interesting nostalgic possibilities and would, at least, help ensure that a possible N64 Classic lineup includes some of the console’s best games.
Banjo and Kazooie will join the Smash Bros. Ultimate roster sometime in the fall of 2019.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.