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Submitted by Chris Leyton on November 17 2008 - 10:19

Ten years after bursting onto the N64 the bird and the bear are back...

Packed with enough referential nods and classic humour to match Kazooie's wisecracks, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is, presumably, precisely the type of game that Microsoft forked out so much for Rare in the first place -  GoldenEye XBLA just ain't going to happen, get over it!  Yet it's not long after the game begins that the sense of Rare's own doubts over the bear and the bird's significance begins to emerge.  From the opening sequence depicting the overweight stars without their abilities and a sense of purpose since 2000's Banjo-Tooie, to the precise question being tucked away in the second stage, Nuts & Bolts' sole purpose seems to be, to ask: "do gamers even want Banjo any more?"  Perhaps more cynically, will Rare ever repeat former glories?

On initial inspection it appears the answer to this is a resounding no, in the traditional sense at last.  Despite proclamations earlier in the year that Nuts & Bolts "isn't just a racing game", the fact that vehicles govern the vast majority of Nuts & Bolts seems to suggest that even Rare considers the challenge to take a 'traditional' Banjo to the next stage nigh on impossible, and is adverse towards a 'Super Mario Galaxy re-invention' following Viva Pinata's weak reception.

Amidst grainy footage of its N64 predecessors, Nuts & Bolts depicts Banjo and Kazooie's latest battle against Gruntilda following their cosy semi retirement.  Under the new challenge posed by L.O.G - the grand creator of all videogames - Banjo and Kazooie must face off to 150 challenges across six worlds behind the wheels of various vehicular contraptions for the vast majority of the time.  Of course there's plenty of things to collect and little mini-games to enjoy, but the bulk of the game lies with your skill in creating and piloting the various machines you'll get your hands upon.

Different Yet Similar


Serving as Nuts & Bolts' hub to its vast array of challenges, the many citizens of Showdown Town along with Pikelet's police continue Nuts & Bolt's all too noticeable nod towards current videogames.  Despite being encouraged to stick to the confines of a vehicle, Rare has been at its most brilliant to ensure the challenge doesn't just require coming first repeatedly in a race.  Whether it's guiding red hot boulders to cool off in the nearest pool of water or stealing a bomb before Gruntilda can deliver it, Nuts & Bolts' challenges are fresh, fun, and varied for all ages - similar staple qualities to the universally acclaimed original.  Three different tiers of success guarantees you'll keep coming back to shave seconds off, much in a similar manner to the classic platformers of the past.

Unmistakably different to its platformer predecessors in terms of premise, it doesn't take long however for the same qualities of the original Banjo Kazooie and other Rare classics to begin to emerge.  Nuts & Bolts is a curious mixture of two former Rare greats; something that both Microsoft and Rare no doubt will hope at least provide more appeal to it's shooter-fixated audience than wild pinatas.  It should succeed.  Nuts & Bolts may be little more than the strange offspring of Banjo & Kazooie and Diddy Kong Racing for the Rare aficionado, but it's a game that can be enjoyed equally in single-player stints or with a few friends - it's precisely the type of game we love to see on the Xbox 360. 

Nevertheless squeezing Banjo into the most acceptable popular 360 genre after shooters is one thing, it's Nuts & Bolts creative aspects that suggest Rare still has a trick or two up its sleeve in the next-gen.  Cynically viewed as an attempt to jump on the 'user creation' bandwagon, Nuts & Bolts' vehicle creation options should bring fond memories of Mechano for anybody old enough to remember and fun for the wider audience that Rare has, by their own word, been lumbered with attracting.

Wacky ACME Racers


With all manner of parts, vehicle creation is classic cartoon territory - ACME, Wacky Racers, etc...  The sheer freedom to design whatever vehicle or strange hybrid you desire is wonderfully realised back in the game, with fatal design flaws such as overloading one side or getting the bow of your boat misaligned all issues that have a definite impact in the game.  In true Rare tradition, although it's a feature that can be enjoyed by anybody regardless of age or skill, it's an area packed full of depth.  Stick a few wheels onto an engine with a seat and you'll have a basic car or motorbike, add a few wings and you'll have a plane, put some propellers and you'll have your very own helicopter. 

There's a vast selection of parts to get your hands on, many of which have a considerable effect on the game, whether it's pumping up balloons to get an instant airborne boost or jettisoning your extra parts for a speed boost.  Ultimately it's the direct link between what you're creating and competing in the online leaderboards that makes Nuts & Bolts a standout title for Rare, a natural evolution of it's classic titles mentioned previously.  Advanced options such as configuring the role of each individual wheel is sufficient to wade through for aspiring engineers and hardcore Rare fanatics alike.  With the definite objective of creating wildly imaginative vehicles, Nuts & Bolts doesn't get bogged down in grand complex illusions, like a certain other title big on user created content, it's something that could and should be enjoyed by all.

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  • Graphics: 92%
     
  • Sound: 90%
     
  • Gameplay: 89%
     
  • Originality: 92%
     
  • Longevity: 80%
     
Overall Score: 8/10
Perhaps the only viable way to bring Banjo and Kazooie onto the Xbox 360, Nuts & Bolts is nevertheless a thoroughly entertaining and rewarding video game, deserving of its place in the popular series despite its apparent changes.  Packed full of the traditional qualities associated with the developer, in answer to Rare's question - yes we still want games like Nuts & Bolts, and hopefully the 360 audience still needs Rare.

 

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User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sun 18th Jan 2009 14:30, Post No: 57

sorry i dont quite understand where you think nuts and bolts sucked i think the games awsome and very refreshing not the same old platformer (run jump kill a few enemys jumps some more) this is where platform games need to be heading, not going back in time otherwise they all play the same just having a different hero ie sonic mario (yes 2 different platformers but the actual gameplay hasnt changed all that much though mario is the better game by miles)


By: SegaBoy

Added:Sun 18th Jan 2009 01:53, Post No: 56

You need to download the original over XBLA to get it.


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Fri 02nd Jan 2009 09:23, Post No: 55

Will banjo kazooie 1 work for xbox 360 itself?

I need the game to unlock stop and swop in nuts and bolts, so i can complete the nuts and bolts game 100%.

If anyone tells me, Then i will reveal the answer to stop and swop. [i will! I figured the answer out long ago]


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Mon 29th Dec 2008 18:18, Post No: 54

banjo kazooie was good, banjo tooie was better, banjo nuts bolts sucked


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Wed 24th Dec 2008 13:07, Post No: 53

i want banjo tooie on xbox more than banjo kazooie


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sat 29th Nov 2008 23:22, Post No: 52

well from the loks of it looks pretty good


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Fri 24th Oct 2008 03:52, Post No: 51

apestan dije yo que quiero ber  los controles de banjo tooie de wii merefiero que ese juego esta en wii quiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiero los controles haoraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

 

 


By: SegaBoy

Added:Thu 16th Oct 2008 18:15, Post No: 50

A week?  Do you think that's gonna be long enough?


By: h7pe

Added:Thu 16th Oct 2008 18:13, Post No: 49

Banjo " nuts and bolts " and Call of duty 5  released on the same day.... i better book a week off work

 


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Wed 01st Oct 2008 07:05, Post No: 48

no, banjo threeie was that title they were gunna use, they went with nuts and bolts instead. and they dont work with nintendo anymore so it wont be coming out on gamecube or wii


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