Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
|Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts|
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is a 2008 action-adventure video game developed by Rare and published by Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox 360. The Xbox One version was released as a bundle of thirty Rare games titled Rare Replay in 2015.
Rare went through multiple ideas as to what to do for a new Banjo game until finally settling on a game about making vehicles. One of the lead designers, Sean Reed, explained this was because they didn't want to make "just another platformer", but go for something new and exciting. He later confirmed that Rare was aware that the game would have such a criticizing reception, but was happy to see people were still passionate about the franchise and hoped that fans could just enjoy playing the game, much to their disappointment.
- The idea of a driving game in a Banjo-Kazooie franchise is kind of weird as the franchise was supposed to be a platform collect-a-thon and games in the franchise with a different genre are supposed to be spin-offs; however, not only is this game part of the main franchise, it features characters from the original games as if the players already know them and opens with the premise of Grunty's skull seeking revenge for her first two defeats, making its target audience questionable.
- Instead of unique worlds that are fun to explore, the worlds in this game are vast and empty wastelands with nothing to do except for challenges. Sure, there are set-pieces, but the worlds are mostly empty.
- Mumbo Jumbo and Bottles are horribly misrepresented in this game. Mumbo Jumbo is now a mechanic, and Bottles now hosts various challenges (something of which they never did in previous games).
- On top of this, Mumbo is straight up out of charater. While he is rather nice to the duo in the first games, and only makes a few small jokes about the transformations, he begins nuts and bolts by calling banjo stupid about 8 times, believing him to be too dumb to build a single vehicle.
- Trophy Thomas is a bland and unlikable character.
- Jamjars does not appear in this game (aside from his voice in the beginning).
- The vehicle is extremely hard to control in the first half of the game, until you get the right upgrades.
- The vehicle challenges are rather boring and frustrating.
- Gruntilda is literally the only boss you fight in the game. You fight her 7 times.
- Vehicle building is extremely complicated to understand.
- The missions are often boring and even stray away from the story too much.
- The game forces you to carry the jiggies you earn to your vehicle, and then drive them to a Jiggy Bank. This is a pointless & tedious gimmick that tries to utilize the wrench. To make matters worse, Jiggies seem to be illegal in Showdown Town meaning if the authorities catch you with one, they will relentlessly pursue you until you lose them.
- The redesigns of the characters have been criticized by the fans for being too realistic and blocky looking, not to mention that the teeth people have are also unappealing to look at as well.
- Lord Of Games (or L.O.G. for short) is an example of hate sink gone horribly right as he's responsible for everything wrong with this game as well as his mean spirited comments on the franchise's schticks.
- A vast majority of the tongue-in cheek jokes told by L.O.G. are seemingly aggressive to previous Banjo-Kazooie titles as well as the franchise's fans, and were executed poorly.
- During the prologue, L.O.G. says, "Gamers today don't want all this. They just want to shoot things." On top of his many insults towards the original games and their fans, this statement not only characterizes players of the time as having limited tastes, it indirectly slanders the newer players who might have forgiven the gameplay shift.
- Sometimes, the game can get very glitchy in a lot of areas with examples being clipping through walls easily and sound bugs happening here and there.
- Banjo the Honey Bear was horribly flanderized in this entry, as he went from a smart but kind bear who cares about the people around him into a clone of Kazooie, as he is loud mouthed and tends to say a lot of rather aggressive jokes a lot of the time, and that he even acts rude at times and tends to act like his best friend Kazooie at times too which was not the type of personality Banjo had, and giving him the same personality as his bird companion just ruins the timeless charm of the character as a whole.
- The overall gameplay controls feel a lot more loose than the previous two games, as the movement for Banjo tends to feel slippery at times and his jumps feel more heavier than they were before, and to add on top of that, they even poorly clash with the game physics at times too, with the game losing focus on the control of Banjo at times especially with the vehicles, and with the overall controls of the other aspects of the game being rather wonky, it makes the game rather hard to play for newcomers and can get fans not being able to handle them on their first try since it lacks the depth and flexibility of the N64 games as the controls in those games were very tight and responsive with movement feeling right on point with the general physics, and the collision detection being very good overall.
- It nearly ruined the reputation of not only the entire franchise, but also its developer, Rare, as the studio started to lose nearly all of it's employees ever since 2002, and since they started to release quantity over quality titles for the original Xbox, they've been a shell of their former selves since then, and due to the overall poor performance of this title, Microsoft decided to rebrand them as a Kinect exclusive studio after they were disappointed with the studio and their work on their systems and wanted them to be more innovative, but sadly however, the studio was now falling harder as it was previously and the other employees who worked with them have also left too and when their Kinect titles received average reviews, they went back to making original games starting with Sea of Thieves, which sadly however wasn't received very well from fans as it was another generic live service game rather than a true Rare comeback, and since then, Rare have never regained the critical success and acclaim they had received with their titles on the SNES and N64, and have now fallen by the wayside and have been forgotten by the public as a whole.
- There is a world called Banjoland, which is basically a cool tribute to the previous titles.
- There are some creative environments such as LOGBOX 720 and Terrarium of Terror, the inside of your Xbox 360 and a greenhouse in space respectively.
- Pretty great graphics despite the redesigns not being the best, looking like something out of a CGI animated movie from Pixar or Dreamworks.
- It has some of the charm of the old games, including Gruntilda going back to her rhyming habit.
- The introduction is nice.
- Great soundtrack.
- Messing around with setpieces using the wrench is pretty fun.
- Showdown Town (the game's hubworld) at least has some "platforming" elements from the first two games.
- It is possible to get some of the best vehicle parts earlier with proper use of the wrench's abilities, giving you more freedom and making the game much more fun.
- Despite the characters looking realistic and blocky looking, some of the redesigns are pretty decent, like Humba Wumba and Bottles.
- Besides from the insults to previous entries and the fans of them, the writing in the game is quite good.
- The game would've much better received great if it was a Banjo-Kazooie spin off title, or released as a random game.
- It wasn't Microsoft's fault for the game being the way it was. Rare themselves made it.
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts was met with mostly positive reviews from critics. However, it was disliked by many Banjo fans due to how different the game was compared to the previous Banjo-Kazooie games. Another factor that upsetted fans was that they were promised a third entry in the franchise called Banjo Threeie, and after years of waiting they got this game instead. Due to the poor reception from fans, and the fact that the game rather sold poorly compared to the first two Banjo-Kazooie games, the Banjo-Kazooie franchise was seemingly declared dead until June 2019 when Banjo-Kazooie were announced for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the third character in the fighters pass.