Banjo Pilot

Format: GBA

4 005209 049610
Age Restrictions: 3+
18 February 2005

Choose your character, grab the controls of your plane and take on the other challengers who thing they are better flyers than you. Pick your way around 16 different worlds from the Banjo universe. And if you win the races,can you win the head to head dogfight to take the trophy?...

Banjo Pilot is a kart-style racing game (only with planes taking the place of karts). I was a little apprehensive about playing this game. GBA enthusiasts may recall that it was originally planned to be one of the launch titles (under the title Diddy Kong Pilot) that would be available when the GBA first entered the market. Years later and the game is finally available - who wouldn't be a little weary of what to expect?

The end result is a pretty standard kart game - nothing really that original (apart from the plane angle - which actually seems a little pointless as the courses are flat). However, for those who enjoy kart games this is worth taking a look at. Pretty graphics, catchy music and a whole heap of cool weapons to pick up and throw at your opponents make this as enjoyable as any other game in the genre. Plus, if you top the leader board after four races, there's the added bonus of taking on the current champion in a dogfight.

The fact that there are a total of nine characters to choose from (most of which you have to unlock), as well as a whole heap of race circuits and cups to compete for, should keep most people entertained for weeks, possibly months.

Again, the plane angle seems a little pointless (other than to attempt to try and make this game stand out from a crowded market). As I mentioned earlier the courses are flat. If they had obstacles to avoid then it might have added some more depth. You can also undertake barrel rolls and somersaults. These seemed pretty pointless. Apparently these moves can help you avoid some of the projectiles that your opponents throw at you, to knock you for six. Sadly, that doesn't seem to work as well as advertised (or at all in my case). So again, the question remains why bother to have this as an airborne game?

If you are not a fan of kart games then you're obviously not going to enjoy this, but if you are thinking of adding another one to your collection you could do much worse than Banjo Pilot.

Ray Thompson

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