Esports character analysis: Banjo & Kazooie duo

By David Ludwig | Guest Writer

        Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has recently added another character to its already impressive roster of video game icons: Banjo & Kazooie.

Nintendo released the duo in the popular fighting game as the third character in its “Fighters Pass” expansion after teasing the release earlier this year.

The addition increases the number of playable options for esports gamers in the competitive community.

Debuting in the 1998 platforming game of the same name, animal duo Banjo & Kazooie bears similarities to the current Duck Hunt as both feature two characters that function as a single fighter.

On the ground, the duo boasts decent mobility with a quick dash speed and a roll that can cover a large amount of distance. The dash attack is average when compared to other options but is still a viable move.

While their jab is slow, the new fighters tilt attacks come out quickly and up tilt can put some pressure on opponents coming from above, although the attack has a somewhat small space where it hits.

The duo’s forward smash attacks are relatively slow, while up smash and down smash are quicker, with down smash also dealing around 20% to the opponent. 

Throws are serviceable, if a little weak, except for down throw, which buries opponents and pairs well with forward smash, and back throw, which is a great option to take a stock at high percentages.

Even though one of them is a bird, Banjo & Kazooie are less than spectacular in the air. Their midair jumps don’t cover a lot of distance. The character does come with two of them to make up for that. 

Their aerial attacks lack range and most also lack power except for forward aerial, which is another viable option to secure a stock at middle to high percentages depending on how close to the edge of the stage both combatants are.

Special moves are nothing most veteran players haven’t seen before, though they are still reliable in a variety of situations. 

Banjo & Kazooie’s neutral special move fires out a bouncing projectile and can be repeatedly pressed or held to rapidly fire multiple projectiles that travel in a straight line.  While it does little damage, the move still has the potential to interrupt an opponent’s attacks and boasts a decent range. 

The up special move is less impressive, with the pair creating a small platform that they jump off to gain height and the platform dealing a small amount of damage if it hits a fighter. 

The down special move sees a bouncing explosive launched behind the pair that can be used to guard against opponents that dodge behind the duo. 

The greatest move in this fighter’s arsenal is the side special, a charging attack that takes priority over almost every other move in the game and bashes through notoriously powerful moves such as Gannondorf’s neutral special and even Final Smashes. 

However, the pair only receives five uses of this move for each stock. It is possible to dodge or shield against this move. They are left wide open after the moves completion, and with precise timing, they can be grabbed, canceling the rest of the move.

They play well on the ground if players keep their limitations in mind and take advantage of the mobility options presented to them. 

The character’s aerial combat is below average, but the pair can still outpace heavy characters like Bowser. 

Banjo & Kazooie’s special move provide a good range and are useful in most situations, though players should always be mindful that their side special is not invincible. 

With patience, players can master the abilities granted to this dynamic duo and morph the character into a force to be reckoned with.

Overall, Banjo & Kazooie make a sound addition to the cast of fighters.

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