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 Banjo-Kazooie's formula to vehicle creation, I figured that would be the wrench thrown into the works of this particular game.
As a huge fan of the original Banjo-Kazooie, I remained hopeful and was excited enough to download and play the demo right away. I found myself entranced by the game's visuals and audio, but frustrated by the shoddy controls of the vehicles and the game's apparent dependence on them. I tried very hard to enjoy the game in its entirety, but I just couldn't. But this was not the end of the story for Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts and I. Regardless of everything that had happened in the past, I soon found myself at a checkout, exchanging my money for the full version.
Now that I have clocked in around ten hours with Nuts & Bolts, have my feelings changed? Are the vehicles as bad as everyone thought they would be? Are there still a zillion little doodads lying around that you have to find? I'll tell you the answers you are looking for, but it'll cost you a hundred Musical Notes.
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (Xbox 360)
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.
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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