donkeyspaceman blog header photo
donkeyspaceman's c-blog
Fronts 1Posts 0Blogs 82Following 0Followers 48



Review - Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts


I was just as worried as many of you were when I first heard that the latest installment in the Banjo-Kazooie series would be less of a platformer and more of a racer. I have fond memories of the original Banjo-Kazooie on the Nintendo 64, which was an excellent platformer that actually held up pretty well when I played it again only a few months ago. I'm happy to say it's turned out even better on the Xbox Live Arcade, which I would have bought in a heartbeat had I not preordered the third game, Nuts & Bolts.

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts won me over with its opening cutscene. Eight years of stuffing their faces with pizza and playing video games as left Banjo and Kazooie fat and lazy. When the evil witch Grunty's skull unearths itself from the grave, the Lord of Games (or LOG for short) decides to make his appearance and make their fight more interesting by forcing them to compete in a world of vehicular challenges. While this is a departure from the classic platforming style of the old games, Banjo can wander about on his own two feet just like the good old days. The platforming elements aren't as great as the old games and the duo lacks the variety of abilities they once possessed, but it's still nice to do some item collecting on foot once in a while.

Considering 80% of the game is spent behind the wheel, it's important that the game doesn't suck in the driving department. I'm happy to say that it doesn't completely suck, but the vehicles don't handle as well as they could. You'll often find yourself flipping over or flying way off course, which really sucks when you're in the middle of a tough challenge. Once you get used to the game a bit more, things get a little better, but it still feels like Rare could have put a bit more work into making the core gameplay handle better. It all feels very floaty (seriously, I've had a supposedly heavy vehicle be knocked into the air and gently float back down) and very hard to control at times.

Even though I'm not 100% certain I enjoy taking on challenges, I do enjoy just about every other aspect of the game. When you're not entering LOG's game worlds and collecting Jiggies through challenges, there's a large hub world where you can do some platforming to collect Notes (the game's currency) and Mumbo Jumbo's crates (which contain more parts). Of course, you do get a basic trolley to drive around town, making it easier to cart around any crates you may find, but it needs some upgrades to really get anywhere. You can use any vehicle you build in the game worlds, but LOG will restrict you to the trolley in town. What kind of platformer would this be if you could just build motorized stairs to aid you in your item collecting rather than earning upgrades to open new areas for exploration?

Speaking of motorized stairs, another part of this game that will suck your life away is Mumbo's Motors, where you can build your dream car, plane, hovercraft, or whatever other crazy inventions you can think up. You'll need a lot of parts to get really creative, but from what I've seen in the demo and online, there are some cool parts that could make for some interesting contraptions. I've already spent a few hours messing around with the editor, even this early in the game when I have so few parts. When starting a challenge, you can usually pick a vehicle you've created or even make one up on the spot. It's fun to test out ideas and see what works in what challenge. You can even save your creations and send them to friends!

The online multiplayer was pretty fun the few times I got a game going, though it can be unbalanced unless you use pre-made vehicles. I could see it being a lot of fun among friends, especially since the game features local multiplayer, which is a much needed feature in today's online-centric world. Leaderboards are also present, giving players even more to compete over.

Diehard Banjo-Kazooie fans may have trouble getting used to all this vehicular nonsense, but I'm sure they'll find comfort in all the familiar faces. Nuts & Bolts is riddled with inside jokes and references to the first two Banjo-Kazooie games as well as many other Rare titles. The game is also quite aware that it's likely to be hated by fans and keeps a good sense of humor about it. The idea of Banjo and Kazooie being stripped of their platforming skills and tossed into a world of racing seems like a kick in the nuts to fans of the series, but the game does a lot to please the fans, too. I feel as though my enjoyment of this game takes a hit because I've never played Banjo-Tooie, but the references I do get make me smile every time.

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is a hard game for me to judge. The gameplay has its flaws, but the rest of the game is beautifully polished. The jokes are top notch and they only get funnier if you've played the first two games. The vehicle creation is great fun, especially when you've got a ton of parts to work with. I'm looking forward to seeing some awesome photos and replays when the community site goes up.

At $40, fans of the Banjo-Kazooie series can't go wrong. It may not be exactly what we wanted for Banjo-Threeie, but it's not a letdown by any means. The humor and atmosphere alone is worth the price of admission. As for non-fans, I recommend you check out the original Banjo-Kazooie when it hits the Xbox Live Arcade on the 26th and become a fan of this great series.
#Community    #Xbox360   
Login to vote this up!



Please login (or) make a quick account (free)
to view and post comments.

 Login with Twitter

 Login with Dtoid

Three day old threads are only visible to verified humans - this helps our small community management team stay on top of spam

Sorry for the extra step!


About donkeyspacemanone of us since 10:49 PM on 12.05.2006

Gaming Info:
Gamertag: kaizokukitsune
SteamID: donkeyspaceman
Kongregate: tsunamikitsune
Raptr: noisetank
3DS Friend Code: 4811-6947-1994

Other Websites:
Virtually Competent on itch.io
donkeyspaceman on Twitter
Eric Neuhaus on Youtube

Notable Moments on Destructoid:
-I was a guest on everyone's favorite
unofficial community podcast, Failcast!
-One of my blogs hit the top 10
because Audiosurf is really fun to play while high!
-One of my blogs made it to the front page
because bear and bird are good at building!
-As of December 6, 2014, I've been a member of the best gaming community ever for eight years!
-I discussed review scores and why they suck with some of Destructoid's greatest!

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (PSP)
Kirby Super Star Ultra (DS)
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (360)
Child of Eden (360)
Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure (3DS)

XBLA Games That Deserve Some Lovin':
Volume 1: The first of many
Volume 2: I'm a sucker for a sale
Volume 3: Free is such a bittersweet word
Volume 4: No skimming zone
Volume 5: Shooter heaven
Volume 6: More fun than a barrel of unfun games
Volume 7: Now you're thinking with grappling arms
Volume 8: Super Hyper Ultra HD Remix Deluxe
Volume 9: I swear I will write more if someone shows interest

Currently Playing (until the end of time):
-Spelunky HD (PC)

Favorite Games of All Time:
-Animal Crossing (GCN)
-Banjo-Kazooie (N64)
-Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (X360)
-Bubble Bobble (NES)
-Burnout Paradise (360)
-Burnout Revenge (360)
-Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1)
-Cave Story (PC)
-Chocobo's Dungeon 2 (PS1)
-Dead Rising (360)
-Diddy Kong Racing (N64)
-Doom RPG (Cell)
-Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (DS)
-Earthbound (SNES)
-Elite Beat Agents (DS)
-Excite Truck (Wii)
-Fantasy Zone (TG-16)
-Gex 2: Enter the Gecko (PS1)
-Gitaroo Man (PS2)
-God Hand (PS2)
-Grim Fandango (PC)
-Harvest Moon: Back to Nature (PS1)
-Ikaruga (DC/XBLA)
-Infiniminer (PC)
-Jet Grind Radio (DC)
-Jet Set Radio Future (Xbox)
-Jump Ultimate Stars (DS)
-Katamari Damacy (PS2)
-Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)
-Kirby's Adventure (NES)
-Kirby Air Ride (GCN)
-Kirby Canvas Curse (DS)
-Kirby Super Star (SNES)
-The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)
-Luigi's Mansion (GCN)
-Mario Kart DS (DS)
-Mega Man Battle Network 3 (GBA)
-Mega Man Legends (PS1)
-Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (PS2)
-Meteos (DS)
-Minecraft (PC)
-Mother 3 (GBA)
-N+ (XBLA)
-The Neverhood (PC)
-No One Can Stop Mr. Domino (PS1)
-Paper Mario (N64)
-PaRappa the Rapper (PS1)
-Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (DS)
-Pokemon Puzzle Challenge (GBC)
-Pokemon Snap (N64)
-Portal 1/2 (PC)
-Psychonauts (Xbox)
-Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon (3DO)
-Resident Evil 4 (GCN)
-Rez (DC)
-Rock Band 1/2/3 (360)
-Sam & Max Hit The Road (PC)
-The Simpsons Game (360)
-Snatcher (Sega CD)
-Sonic Generations (360)
-Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis)
-Spelunky HD (XBLA/PC)
-Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES)
-Super Metroid (SNES)
-ToeJam & Earl (Genesis)
-Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (PS1)
-WarioWare: Touched! (DS)
-WarioWare: Twisted! (GBA)
-WarioWare Inc.: Mega Party Game$ (GCN)
-The World Ends With You (DS)

My Rock Band 2 Info (thanks, Cutie Honey!):

My childhood hero, unleashed:

My childhood hero, riding a donkey (thanks, GAMEGOBLIN!):
Xbox LIVE:kaizokukitsune
Steam ID:tsunamikitsune
Mii code:7349-7505-8502-0053
3DS Code:4811-6947-1994


Around the Community