Thursday, April 4, 2013

Review: Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (2008)

Is this a joke? Did Chris and Tim Stamper wake up from their mighty hangover from the successes of Rare's previous titles Goldeneye 007, Conker's Bad Fur Day and Perfect Dark, money spilling from their pockets while the room span around like a CD and think to themselves "Hey man....lets make Banjo-Kazooie once more, but with vehicles...!" Like....fuck....what?

I'd avoid this game altogether with eyes like those on the front cover.

Now don't get me wrong, Banjo-Kazooie will forever be known as a solid, fun and enjoyable platforming title on the Nintendo 64 and its sequel Banjo-Tooie is still a marvel. But after continuous pressure to make Banjo-...Threeie (Dafuq?!) they decided to scrap the platforming goodness of the first two and make a completely different game which taunts the player for even playing it? That's just ridiculous! But no, the game stoops that low. During one of the loading screens, hints and tips usually pop up, until you come to this:

"Have you been playing for a while but still don't like the vehicle-based gameplay? Maybe you need to buy Banjo-Kazooie on Xbox Live Arcade instead."

Are you kidding me?

You know, this is the first game I've reviewed where I haven't yet finished the main storyline because the game was just too terrible to play. (EDIT: Actually, I didn't finish Pimp My Ride either, but that shit is cray-cray. Three levels was enough.) Instead I ended up spending a good few days building vehicles from the default parts that you get plus a few others from easy-to-reach crates in the hub world, Showdown Town, and then flying them around the practice map. Yes, that's all I did. No storyline was going to suck me in, I wanted to play the game and play it for what it was worth.

Really? Does this really need to be in a Banjo-Kazooie game? Rare!! Dafuq?!

After trying to build a good vehicle which could float, speed along the ground and fly as well I put it into action, only to see it run out of fuel after about 15 seconds of flight. The game is fairly good in a sense that once fuel runs out, it takes a few seconds before it recharges a fraction. This is probably reminiscent of the health system made famous by games such as Call of Duty where you take cover for a few seconds to stop seeing red. This was probably the only logical step the game made to try and be "modern" without taking the piss out of itself.

As you saw from the quote I mentioned above previously, the game doesn't try and make you feel like you're playing a good game. Even Mumbo walks around talking about how the game is shitty and that he just wants to retire. Kazooie is probably the only decent character in that he knows the game is boring and is only in it so he can go back to what he was doing, which was ironically playing is new Xbox 360. Since the game was meant to be released as a launch title, it heavily features Xbox 360s in the game with many references to sell the console even more, much like it's other Rare counter-part Viva PiƱata.

^^ Better than being in the game itself. Kazooie knows what's up.

To the game's credit, it is still spoken about fairly highly. Not in gameplay and story mind you, but the physics of the vehicles. Make a vehicle too front-heavy and it will just drag along the ground. Make it too wide or long and it'll have problems turning. The vehicular based part of the game could've probably been made into it's own game, minus Banjo and Kazooie, and would've had moderate success. Yet no, Banjo-Kazooie had to be revived and much like Fox McCloud in Starfox Adventures, really didn't need a shift in genre to make a comeback. Just give us bloody Banjo-Kazooie in it's pure form and leave all the shit out Rare. You'll thank me for it later when you start to go back to your golden age of gaming.


Platform Used: Xbox 360

Score: 3/10

Recommendation: Avoid.

In short, that rating would be a 6 if the name Banjo-Kazooie was taken away. But no, Rare had to go and ruin a perfectly good game series. This review was fairly short, but that's because I played so little of the game that there wasn't much to talk about. Who knows, maybe I'll make a video. Everyone loves torture. =/

I would've given it a 2 but it's not on par with Sonic 06. Nothing is.

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