Banjo-Kazooie: Hag's Return is a platformer game available for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. This game is the apparent revival of the Banjo-Kazooie series and acts as a sequel to Banjo-Tooie.
Gameplay is similar to the original Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie for the N64. The player takes control of Banjo, a male honey bear who is accompanied by his best friend, Kazooie, a female red bird whom is normally kept in Banjo's backpack.
Every world has a hub where one can explore them to collect Jiggies, the main Collectibles of the series. From the world's respective hub, one can access the levels shown in the area which all need a respective number of Jiggies to unlock. Musical Notes can also be collected to unlock special bonus worlds in each hub.
Some levels have challenges where one can obtain Jiggies to enter the next worlds. These challenges normally include solving puzzles, racing against an enemy, passing through obstacles and etc. Honeycombs are scattered across levels and act as Banjo & Kazooie's main health bar. Once all of your honeycombs are gone, you'll lose a life. Banjo can perform numerous acts such as rolling, punching, kicking or swimming. Kazooie, on the other hand, can aid Banjo by providing an extra jump, she can shoot eggs or fly for some time.
Throughout the game, Banjo & Kazooie are aided by Mumbo Jumbo, a friendly shaman who can use his magical powers to transform Banjo into something for the level. These transformations are sometimes crucial for a level's completion.
The game starts with a cutscene showing Banjo sleeping lazily on his bed while Kazooie is testing out her kazoo. Kazooie starts getting bored and "attacks" Banjo in order for him to get up. She'll tell Banjo to go on a adventure but since Banjo is tired, he goes back to sleep. Kazooie gets mad and goes to her perch to play her kazoo (albeit angry). The screen changes to a gloomy place away in the ocean. The screen will follow a monster called Kronos as he traverses the tower. He'll eventually end up in a room with a container filled with green water. Muffled shouts can be heard as he opens up the container to see that Gruntilda's skeletal head is seen shouting at him. Kronos apologizes for being late and closes the container. He'll flip a switch nearby which will activate the container. The container will start shaking and explode into a green mist.
Kronos will stand up due to the impact of the container's explosion. The screen will zoom at the fog until it clears out to see Gruntilda, now with her full body back, swearing revenge on the bear and bird. The screen will change to Banjo's house where they're still doing their same routine. A tremor will happen which will frighten the heroes. They'll go outside only to see Gruntilda along with Kronos. Gruntilda will use her new powers to make Spiral Mountain turn into a gloomy and dark place. She'll then use her magic to send the two heroes and their house to a far away world. The two villains will take over the mountain and build their own base.
The heroes will land on a pond while their house will land on a briar patch. Banjo will mention that it was good that Tooty was in a sleepover with her friends and exit the pond. Kazooie will also exit and look at their house as it starts to rain and turn dark. The heroes, having no place to sleep, sleep under a tree's shade. On the next day, the heroes will wake up and go on a new adventure to reach Spiral Mountain and defeat Gruntilda.
Once the heroes reach the heavily fortified Spiral Mountain, they overcome its various obstacles and reach Gruntilda and Kronos. The witch will now have her own normal body back due to upgrading the Life Restorer 3000 to the Life Restorer 3001. Kronos will take care of the heroes as Gruntilda goes up to the tower's top to use her ultimate powers on Banjo's world. Kronos apparently fails to defeat Banjo & Kazooie and the heroes reach the tower's top to defeat Gruntilda. By now, the world is now being consumed by Gruntilda's dark magic. Banjo & Kazooie try to put an end on Gruntilda once and for all. After a hard and difficult battle, Banjo takes out the Reflector to direct one of Gruntilda's vaporizer spells back to her, which in return, will vaporize the evil witch for good. The world will be restored of the dark magic and Banjo will use the witch's wand to return his house back to Spiral Mountain.
A party is held in Banjo's house as he invites almost everyone he has met. Once the party is done, the two go back to their lazy routines once again. But before the cutscene actually finishes, the screen will change to the entrance of a dark cave which will show a pair of dark eyes that belong to Kronos.
Similar to Banjo-Tooie, there are 9 worlds to visit. Each containing 7 levels to win, 5 normal levels, 1 boss level and a bonus level:
- Foggy Briar-Path (boss being Briar - Spiky-Headed Armadillo)
- Thresher Seashore (boss being Thresher - Crazy Hungry Fish)
- Fruit Land (boss being Protein - Malicious Two-Brained Dragon)
- Prehistoric Village (boss being Steven - Self-Conscious Monarch Stegosaur)
- Crocodile Cavern (boss being Lord Croco - Cold-Blooded Royal Crocodile)
- Castle Peak (boss being Black Knight - Noble Sturdy Armored "Hero")
- Magic-Makers Inc. (boss being Wizelda - Mechanic Hag Impersonator)
- Molter's Crater (boss being Molter - Blind Flammable Gasoline Tank)
- Gloomy Mountain (boss being Kronos & Gruntilda)
- Banjo the Bear: Banjo is one of the two main protagonists of the game. He's a brown honey bear. He likes helping people out but also has his lazy side.
- Kazooie the Breegull: Kazooie is one of the two main protagonists of the game. She's a red-crested breegull. She's very rude and wise-cracking. She hangs out on Banjo's backpack as always.
- Gruntilda Winkybunion: Gruntilda, or Grunty for short, is the main antagonist of the game as well as the series. She plots to make the world go dark so she could assume total control over it. Her rhyming dialogue is also kept for the game.
- Mumbo Jumbo: Mumbo is a friendly shaman and fellow friend of Banjo & Kazooie. He will transform Banjo & Kazooie into anything they desire only for a few Mumbo Tokens.
- Kronos: Kronos is the secondary antagonist of the game. He's Gruntilda's new assistant and bears a resemblance to some kind of alligator wizard. His gloomy nature and thoughts often make him like getting hit by Gruntilda's temper tantrums.
- Bottles the Mole: Bottles once again appears as the duo's helper and instructor. He now gets a more sarcastic personality in return to Kazooie's "insults" to him.
- King Jingaling: He often appears in some worlds to aid Banjo in receiving more Jiggies. He'll only help if given a certain amount of Jinjo.