It was a bittersweet moment yesterday when Banjo-Kazooie arrived on the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack service.

As fantastic as it is to see the UK developer's iconic duo return to a Nintendo platform after so long. It's now been nearly 20 years since Rare was acquired by Microsoft, and almost 24 since the original Banjo-Kazooie game was released on the N64, if you're counting.

Leigh Loveday, a writer and designer who joined Rare in the '90s, has used the game's Switch Online release to reflect on the company's Nintendo era - noting how Rare was "immensely pleased" that it could team up with its old pal once more to bring the bird and bear to a new Nintendo generation:

"The question of classic Rare games resurfacing for a Switch audience is one that people have been asking for a long time, so we're immensely pleased that we could work with Nintendo to bring the bear and bird to this platform."

And in case you're wondering, the Switch version is the N64 "original" as many will remember it:

"In the spirit of preserving the game exactly as it was alongside the other titles available, this version of Banjo-Kazooie is the Nintendo 64 original as you remember it. And if you grew up in a later console generation, well, we're looking forward to a whole new wave of gamers getting turned into a washing machine by Mumbo Jumbo, scrambling away from Snacker the shark and facing Grunty's Furnace Fun for the very first time."

In addition to the kind words shared over on the Rare blog, here are some other messages shared by Rare and some of the team members who worked on Banjo-Kazooie:

Nowadays, Rare is arguably best-known for its live service Xbox and PC game Sea of Thieves - celebrating over 25 million players as of October 2021. The team is also currently working on Everwild, a fantasy-like title that's shrouded in mystery.


Will you be trying out Banjo-Kazooie on Switch this weekend? What other Rare games from the N64 generation would you like to see make a return to Nintendo's hybrid platform? Tell us down below.