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Banjo-Kazooie

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A word from L.O.G. on Nuts & Bolts' forthcoming DLC


Mar 06
// Jordan Devore
Saying that I weep nightly for the criminally unplayed Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is a serious understatement. I mean, hell, the game was on sale for a mere $20 -- at that point, there are very few acceptable excuses for...
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Banjo-Tooie XBLA port dated, Stop 'n' Swop to work as originally intended


Jan 27
// Jordan Devore
I have got fantastic news to share with you, fellow Banjo-Kazooie die-hards -- the Xbox LIVE Arcade port of Banjo-Tooie was given a rough release date of April by Rare earlier this morning.My experience with the XBLA version ...
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If you own a standard definition television and played through Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts without having a clue what was going on, Rare's got your back. Today an update for Nuts & Bolts went live that offers a &...

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Take pictures of your sweet Nuts & Bolts vehicle, become a part of Banjo history


Dec 18
// Jordan Devore
Got a killer ride in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts that doesn't infringe upon any copyrights? Why not take a few snapshots of your vehicle, upload them to the Showroom, and possibly have your likeliness appear in the game i...
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Banjo goes to Paris in this absurd Nuts & Bolts promo video


Dec 04
// Jim Sterling
[video]113585:819[/video]I'll say one thing for Rare: the studio can make some sensational promotional material. Following the awesome Believa Piñata movies, here's a video of Banjo taking a stroll through Paris to pro...

Destructoid review: Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

Nov 25 // Ashley Davis
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (Xbox 360)Developed by Rare Ltd.Published by Microsoft Game StudiosReleased on November 11, 2008Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts' story begins with a visit to Spiral Mountain, where Banjo and Kazooie are both a little out of shape after eight years of peace. They are visited by the Pong-faced Lord of Games, who whisks them away to his videogame factory headquarters to do battle with a re-animated Gruntilda for the ownership of Spiral Mountain.The game's silly storyline is only the beginning of Rare's trademark sense of humor. From the giant trash can that is filled with copies of Grabbed by the Ghoulies, to the comical way in which Bottles the Mole's eyes always stay in his glasses even when they're knocked off his face, the developers’ wonderful sense of humor shines out of the game's every orifice. It is likely to be one of the elements of the game that will keep you playing above all others.The other thing that may keep you playing is the fact that the game is actually fun. As I got further and further into it, it got harder for me to believe that I had disliked the demo so much. Things have definitely been tightened up for the retail release of the game, and I want that to be known right away. Many people were turned off by the same things that I was, and while they weren't completely fixed, the game feels like it is much more playable now.Nuts & Bolts is a collect-a-thon, but in a slightly different way than its predecessors. Everything that you find has some sort of use, which makes the collecting feel much less like a meaningless chore. Jiggies are still used to get into new worlds, Musical Notes are now used as currency, and Mumbo Crates contain new parts to build vehicles with. A lot of the collecting is optional, and in the case of vehicle parts, you will be able to use the same part on all of your blueprints, so you are not forced into searching for duplicates.The time that you spend outside of a vehicle is about what you would expect from a Banjo title. You are able to run, climb, and swim through the vast worlds that the game takes place in. Kazooie is still used to attack, but she has not retained her special moves over the years. Instead, she is given a magical wrench to bash enemies with. For what it's worth, it works well enough, but the game is obviously not based on combat. You will use the wrench to pick up items and activate Jiggy vending machines more often than you will use it to maim anything. With the exception of climbing (you don't grab onto poles or ladders as easily as you should) and the sometimes faulty camera, the platforming is pretty solid.While you can get around on your own, driving will quickly become second nature to you because of all the time you will be spending behind the wheel. All of the worlds you will visit are made to be traversed by machine, and all of the Jiggy challenges are all done in vehicles. Many of them will force you into making quick trips to the Garage to cook up something that will work best for the task that lies ahead. The creation system is so simple to work with that it is in no way a hindrance, and it never gets old or feels like a chore to build. In fact, the feeling is quite the inverse. I am not usually one to enjoy building things in video games, so I surprised myself when I spent a lot more time building and testing vehicles than I did playing the rest of the game. Nuts & Bolts' vehicle creation has been compared to that of the Gummi Ship Workshop in Kingdom Hearts, but the similarities end at their building block systems. Mumbo's Garage is much deeper and a whole lot more fun. Parts can easily be looked through, slapped on, and moved around your workstation. Outside of challenges, you always have the ability to transport yourself to the Garage while in the different game worlds by holding up on the D-pad, making it easy to quickly stick whatever part you may need or want onto what you’re driving. You can also choose from any of your saved blueprints from the start menu to switch vehicles entirely.The controls definitely feel better now than they did in the demo, but there are still some problems with driving. Many times, after I had tweaked a vehicle extensively until it ran well on the testing grounds, the controls would somehow become horrendous once it was taken out into the real game. Driving in reverse still feels a little off as well, and it is sure to mess you up at least a few times during challenges.Another negative point is that it can be difficult to hit anything with some of the weapons that you can attach to your vehicles, especially if you want to keep moving as you shoot. They cannot be aimed, nor is there even a crosshair to let you see where your shots will end up going. You can get along well enough without weapons most of the time, but for Jiggies that require you to move around quickly and fight off hordes of enemies, you're better off hopping out of your car and trying to chase them down with your wrench if you don't have any of the better guns. Overall, the driving is okay, but it will ruin your good times on occasion. You will sometimes have to give up on a challenge and just move on to save yourself some frustration.You will quickly learn that vehicles that are built better control better. The more time your spend in the Garage, the less you will experience vehicles that handle horribly. It takes work and thorough testing to get something that will not flip over every two seconds or run in circles involuntarily. Those who feel like they would be too lazy to spend a lot of time building do have a ton of pre-made blueprints and half-built vehicles to choose from. However, it might be a little hard to win anything with the defaults that you are given. If you're not willing to put any work into it, don't be surprised if you find yourself unable to win Jiggies.There are plenty of other things that the game has to offer besides collecting golden puzzle pieces, such as a ton of multiplayer modes that can be played locally or over Live. The games are split into two categories: races and "sports" games. Races are pretty much the same thing that you will run into several times during single-player. Sports range from very fun (flinging your vehicle into the air to hit targets on the ground in a game of human darts) to horrible (a deathmatch reliant on inaccurate weapons). There are also a ton of side-quests and games tucked into the single-player game’s central hub world (check out Klungo's Arcade, you will not be disappointed). Even if you feel like you will not replay the game after your initial play-through, you will feel as though you got your money's worth out of it. The game's length is further extended by all the time that will inevitably be spent in the Garage.I went into Nuts & Bolts a skeptic, but soon found myself loving what the game has to offer. It has its flaws, but it is a fun, silly platformer/racing game hybrid, and a welcome break from the numerous other serious fall releases. At only $39.99, it can be had for a much cheaper price as well. I believe that this game can stand alongside the Viva Piñata series as a step in the right direction for Rare. But it still may not be for everyone, especially the fans of the older games who are dead-set on wanting a straight platformer out of this title. Regardless of how you feel about the game, give Nuts & Bolts a rent, and who knows -- you may end up purchasing the game with the desire to see it to the end, and then some. Score: 7 -- Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)
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Rare is a developer that I desperately want to see flourish again. I know they have it in them to make great games, but these days, they always seem to get something wrong. When they announced that they were changing the new ...

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Rare WILL fix Banjo-Kazooie text issues?


Nov 08
// Jim Sterling
Earlier in the week we reported that there would be no fix coming for the barely legible text in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. The text was so small that it rendered the game practically worthless for SDTV owners, and wasn...
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Rare won't fix Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts for SDTVs


Nov 05
// Jim Sterling
You know, they're called Standard Definition TVs for a reason. The videogame industry has been quick to jump on the Hi-Def bandwagon, regardless of the fact that SDTVs are still the, y'know, standard, and Rare has made a clea...
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Killer Instinct teased in Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts demo


Oct 29
// Brad Nicholson
Despite sheet music and Viva Pinata cards, Rare has remained fairly tight-lipped about the possibility of a Killer Instinct sequel. That is, until now. Today, we've spotted yet another piece to add to the KI mystery in the Ba...
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Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts demo on Live now!


Oct 29
// Jim Sterling
If you woke up this morning desperate to experience the joys of a bear and a bird building their own flying cars, then you are in luck, friend! Rare's upcoming vehicular platformer, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, is now ava...
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Banjo-Kazooie 3 gets release date as my wallet gets emptier


Oct 22
// Jim Sterling
I really can't afford all of this win. Fable 2 and Dead Space both hit the UK this Friday, I have Saint's Row 2 in my bag, and there are even more killer games on the horizon that I need off the store shelf and onto mine. Ban...
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TGS 08: These Banjo-Kazooie walk-through videos have me all hot and bothered


Oct 08
// Jordan Devore
Whoa, talk about a media overload! GameTrailers currently has a load of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts content from TGS 08, and if you couldn't tell from the title, it's got this Banjo-Kazooie fanboy extremely happy.In addit...
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Banjo-Kazooie takes a trip to Showdown Town in brand new trailer


Oct 02
// Jim Sterling
[video]105978:458[/video] I think it's great how the original negative reaction to Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts has mostly faded away, with gamers having taken the stick out of their spiceholes long enough to see that the ...

Destructoid interview: Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

Sep 26 // Jim Sterling
Destructoid: It has been many long years since we last saw Banjo-Kazooie on a home console. What made you decide that now was the time to resurrect them after such a long time in videogame character purgatory?Read: I don’t think anyone here at Rare ever really thought the bear had gone for good, more like in a period of hibernation. The truth is we didn’t want to make 'just another' platformer and not until now has the technology allowed us make a game as new and exciting as we thought the franchise deserved.   Destructoid: When the first details of Nuts & Bolts were released, what did you make of the somewhat cynical reaction from fans who didn't think the premise was "true" to the spirit of the series? Have you found that the reception is getting warmer the closer you come to release?Read: It was totally expected and in many ways welcomed. What it meant was that fans were still deeply passionate about the franchise. Our belief in the new gameplay direction was strong enough to know that we'd eventually win over the majority of doubters. And yes, I do believe perceptions of the game have improved as more details have been released. Hopefully by the time the game is out everyone will have forgotten those initial reactions and just enjoy playing the game.   Destructoid: It's sometimes seems to be a fine line between innovation and tradition, where too much of one or the other can lead to a game being accused of altering and ruining everything, or becoming stale. How hard is it to work on something like Banjo, with the strong fanbase it has, and provide enough fresh content while keeping old school fans happy?Read: Again, I think it comes down to the confidence we had in the original concept. Nuts & Bolts, beneath all of its next gen loveliness, is still very much a Banjo game.  Its characters and unique style of humor are all as strong as ever.  Yes, we still expect a small percentage of the old-school fans to pine for a traditional Banjo game but hopefully, once they play the game, they’ll totally enjoy the new direction in which we’ve taken the franchise. Destructoid: In the recently released Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, the Xbox Vision camera was used in order to get special in-game features. Could a similar idea happen in Nuts & Bolts to gain extra parts for one's vehicular constructions?Read: We love what the Piñata guys have done with the Vision Camera and yes, it’s a technology that could work well in Nuts & Bolts. The truth is, so many ideas came forth during the development of the game it was unrealistic to get everything in that we would have liked. Maybe it’s something we could look into in the future, so watch this space.  Destructoid: It was announced that the game would include co-op. How is that set to work in the traditionally single-player B-K world? Will it be story-driven, or a separate feature from the main game entirely?Read: Again, so many ideas, so little time to implement everything you would like. It’s an inescapable fact of game development that sometimes gameplay features have to be dropped. Unfortunately, for several reasons, co-op play was one of these features. That said, the team are extremely pleased with how well the multi-player side of Nuts & Bolts has turned out. We’re confident that players will get great enjoyment from playing both over LIVE and across split screen against friends on their own sofas. Destructoid: When can we expect to hear more about the Stop n' Swop feature?Read: Under strict instruction, IT have wired up all Banjo team keyboards to self destruct if they ever detect when the two ‘S’ words are typed in. Several team members are already "never going to play piano" and I don’t intend to join them. Destructoid: We now know that the first Banjo-Kazooie is coming to the Xbox Live Marketplace to coincide with Nuts & Bolts. With the well-documented problems revolving around GoldenEye 007's once-rumored appearance on Xbox Live, were there any hurdles in making this happen?Read: Not at all. As we here at Rare have not been involved in the game's development it was a great surprise to one day have a completed version of B-K appear on our dev kits.  Having tested the first game I can honestly say that it’s totally faithful to the original ... minus the occasionally choppy framerate.   Destructoid: How well are you expecting Nuts & Bolts to fare in terms of sales? For all Viva Piñata’s critical acclaim, it doesn't seem to have fully gelled with the predominantly young male audience of the Xbox 360. Do you expect that the Xbox 360 can become a platform not so dominated by "gritty" shooters like Gears of War, and that Rare titles will be able to stand out more in the future?Read: It really is something that, as developers, is out of our hands.  Traditionally, the average age of owners drops through a consoles lifetime.  Hopefully this trend will continue and games like Piñata (and hopefully Banjo!) can start getting the sales their critical acclaim merits. Destructoid: Finally, can you say something that I could controversially take out of context for a sensationalist headline that would totally get me a Digg frontpage?Read: What, apart from the rumour that one of the Banjo design team has been known to wear women’s underwear? Not really, they’ve kept me in a darkened room now for 2 years, only being allowed to leave to perform necessary bodily functions.  The sum total of gossip I get to read is on web sites such as this one.  Sorry!
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Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts caused quite a stir when it was first revealed. For years, fans of the platforming bear and bird duo waited for a true Banjo-Kazooie sequel, and when it was finally announced for the Xbox 360, ...

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Banjo-Tooie coming to XBLA next year; Banjo-Kazooie dated


Sep 24
// Chad Concelmo
Banjo-Kazooie is one of the greatest platformers ever created, even surpassing masterpiece Super Mario 64 in my mind. Banjo-Tooie -- the game’s amazingly named sequel -- is also awesome, although it lacks a little of th...
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Banjo-Kazooie DLC is ... gasp ... POSSIBLE!


Sep 11
// Jim Sterling
They said it was madness. They said it was unthinkable. They said you just can't release downloadable content for a videogame. Well, they were wrong. The boys at Rare have recently turned heads with the claim that yes, DLC is...
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More Banjo-Kazooie could arrive, would 'probably' build upon Nuts & Bolts


Sep 08
// Jim Sterling
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts isn't out yet, but that hasn't stopped Rare from looking at the future of the franchise. Promising that more BK is likely on the way and that "crazy ideas" have been had, Rare suggest...

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