Completed Games: Banjo-Kazooie Nuts and Bolts (XBOX360)
Developer – Rare
Publisher – Microsoft Game Studios
Release Date – November 11 2008
10 years after the release of the original Banjo-Kazooie on the Nintendo 64, Rare returned to their once popular bear and bird duo but not to do another platformer. Instead Nuts and Bolts is a vehicle based open world game with a main hook of total customisation of vehicles. The easy to use vehicle building system allows you to create vehicles of all shapes, sizes and types, if you wanted to make a jet just add some wings and a rocket or make a helicopter by adding a propeller. Heck you can even make a vehicle that does everything with retractable parts for whatever mode of transport you want at anytime. The challenge of the game is building a vehicle to beat the mission given by the inhabitants of the different worlds of the game. But the game does have plenty of problems that probably would frustrate people pretty quickly into the game.
The game starts with a smart opening by showing some B&W clips of original N64 games and then cutting to present day where Banjo and Kazooie are fat, eating pizza, and playing xbox. The moment you start controlling fat banjo, he breathes a lot and is very slow. Unfortunately the smart writing, for example acknowledging that they are second-rate characters, doesn’t carry on to the rest of the game but there are a few gaming references and jokes that are mildly amusing. You only play fat banjo for a little while before a mysterious character appears and puts him in a game against his nemesis Gruntilda and the vehicle based gameplay starts. Your stock vehicle is just a tray with a motor and a lot of the missions involve carrying things but there are other missions involving vehicle combat, races and a few more unique missions pop up.
The art style and environments are pretty plain and unmemorable although I do like some of the pixel effects (disintegration) that happen. It is very colourful and the worlds do vary but it all seems very dated. The driving which if anything should be the strong point of the game can be frustrating with frequent clipping on objects and strange reactions to terrain and objects.
This is game I would recommend only if you have any interest in creating interesting vehicles with a lego type builder. The missions and story are definitely not fun and interesting enough to warrant a buy even at a discounted price.