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A Belated Plea For Beleaguered Banjo

I just can't do this anymore, but luckily Stephen Totilo's still got some fight left in him.

 See what you've done? SEE?
It's been months since I ceased extolling the quality of my favorite game from 2008, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, because I don't handle disappointment well, and I couldn't bear (pun not intended) one more note of rejection or passive dismissal from all those people who needed to play it. To understand it, grasp its brilliance
 
I am still not joking here. What? Fine, forget it. Forget you.

Good thing intrepid reporter Stephen Totilo is still out there, singing the praises of the most important little budget-priced game that 2008 forgot. He's still here, at the turn of the new decade, writing about why Banjo finally grabbed him, albeit late in the game, and after nearly dismissing it himself.

The old way you play games — the way I first attempted to play Nuts & Bolts for a few hours — is that you try a level or a mission and, if you fail, you try it again. Maybe you gain experience points, your character levels up and it gets easier. Maybe, more often, you just try it and try it and get better, learn the intricacies of the mission or level, and finally you get it. That's how it normally works. That's how I've approached Mario games. That's how I've approached Banjo games. That's how I've approached racing games.

In Nuts & Bolts, however, in one mission, I kept failing. I couldn't win a race. The other racers passed me every time. I messed up the same turns. And I probably could have overcome all that by trying and trying and trying again. But the lightbulb went on. I went into the Nuts & Bolts garage. I started rebuilding my vehicle. You construct these vehicles as if you're making Lego builds, bolting on cubes and cones, latching one part to the next. I was having trouble making a turn? I'd reshape the fender. A guy was passing me on the sides? I'd add a gun on the side to shoot him away. I was falling behind? I added an extra engine, some extra fuel and then lightened the chassis so I was still swift enough.

I didn't get better at the game. I made myself better at the game — by making something better for myself.


Totilo eloquently sums up what made the game so meaningful to me, too. Heed his words. Savor them. Then play the game. 
 
Hey, now's as good a chance as any to mention that Nuts & Bolts is now on the Games On Demand service for a mere $20 (at least in the U.S.). Now you can enjoy this phenomenal, groundbreaking game without even leaving your house. Is there any way they could make it easier for you?   
 
In case you forgot, here's why I liked Banjo so much at the time.  

 
130 Comments
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Posted by ajamafalous
@Olimar_91 said:
" Nuts & Bolts should be classified (at  least imo) as a spin-off. I think that's what threw people so much. They wanted Banjo 3, but this isn't it. "
This, basically.
 
 
Also, I played the demo, and it didn't really catch.
Posted by JJOR64

This game is fantastic.  If you don't own this game, buy it now.

Posted by PlasmaMachine

I was the only one in my circle of friends to buy it and I recieved a lot of wierd looks when I first bought it. Yes it's not the traditional bear and bird we knew over a decade ago, but it was a lot of fun to build some of my creations. I remember making everything from Dr. Robotnik's egg drill car from Sonic 2 to a Futureweapons-esque infantry tank. The only thing I am miffed at is the lack of future content for the game, including word of missing or unfinished worlds from Rare that would've been great as future DLC. 
 
Alas, it is nothing short of a hidden gem surrounded by the blockbuster shooters and action games that kept it from its glory.

Edited by jakob187

Man, I really need to rebuy this game!!!  Soooooooo good, and for the budget-pricing, I felt like a thief!!! 
 
I also realize that I hadn't looked at the game in the way that Totilo did, but it's absolute brilliance.  There isn't a difficulty setting.  The difficulty is however difficult you decide to make it for yourself, as your difficulty modifier is your vehicle customization.  Man...that shit is deep, son!

Posted by YoungFrey

It is also $20 on Amazon.  

Posted by 88Fingers

One of, if not the most underrated games on 360. Pure Brilliance from RARE.
 
Now that it's on 360's "games on demand"... there are no more excuses to not play this game.
Don't buy that piece of trash Matt Hazard on xbox live, put that money towards Banjo.
You'll be a better person if you do.

Posted by watkinzez

Dammit I've got the soundtrack in my head again!

Posted by Milkman
@Relys said:
" I don't get who they were trying to appeal too.  Fans were very disappointed, that is no secret. But I hated the first two in the series and I hated Nuts and Bolts.   How can you like this game? "
More like how can you not like this game? Nuts and Bolts is a masterpiece.
Posted by Kraznor

Should really go back and beat that sometime. I did purchase it immediately, however, so I did my part.

Posted by Luke
Posted by iAmJohn
@PlasmaMachine said:
" The only thing I am miffed at is the lack of future content for the game, including word of missing or unfinished worlds from Rare that would've been great as future DLC. "
They put out a DLC pack a couple months ago (L.O.G.'s Lost Challenges that added a whole bunch of stuff for single and multiplayer (including new stuff for HERO KLUNGO SAVES THE WORLD!) for $5.
Posted by ImperiousRix

I got Nuts and Bolts back in 2008 really expecting greatness.  I thought the concept was great and actually thought the fact it wasn't just another Banjo platformer was refreshing.  
That is, until I played it.  What started out as a decent and fun enough game turned into a never-ending slew of monotonous objectives and jank-filled gameplay.  I still think the game is alright if only for its interesting idea and sharp humor, but I was horrendously disappointed in it.

Posted by iAmJohn
@Olimar_91 said:
" Nuts & Bolts should be classified (at  least imo) as a spin-off. I think that's what threw people so much. They wanted Banjo 3, but this isn't it. "
I'm calling bullshit on that.  Anyone who claims they actually wanted Banjo-Threeie is a damn liar, and if Rare had put out that game, you would've heard the same cavalcade of derision that Rare had gotten for Conker and Perfect Dark Zero.  People would've pulled the "YOU PUT THIS GAME OUT IN 2008 IN A POST MARIO GALAXY WORLD?  THIS SUCKS AND YOU SUCK, RARE, YOU SHITTY ONE-TRICK-PONY," just as they did with those last two games (arguably rightfully so).
Edited by kgbdarkday

I'm buying this now from Amazon.  Here I was thinking I wouldn't use my 360 till Alan Wake.

Posted by Landon

I want a sequel...

Posted by Rebirth1337

Played and loved the demo. I never bought it for some reason maybe I should

Posted by buzz_clik

Such a good game. I kept every incremental iteration in vehicle design I made. Added a single new wheel to my old car? Screw saving over it, that's Mark II.
 
I did, however, miss out on lasering Grunty when I should have, so I missed that Achievement. Ah, well... good excuse to play it again, eh?

Moderator
Posted by Kyle

I shall not be at peace until Nuts & Bolts 2 exists!!

Posted by JJWeatherman

Sweet. I ordered it from Target a while ago. Should be at my house sometime soon.

Posted by Sir_Lizardman

Bought the game awhile ago.  Got playing about a week ago and the game is amazing and its because of you Brad, that i picked up the game.

Posted by ArchScabby

I thought it was pretty fun, but I got bored of it about a quarter of the way through.

Posted by rt44tbtb4

$40 in Canada :(

Posted by LordXavierBritish

I really liked Nuts & Bolts, but I still found myself enjoying the re-release of the classic games on XBLA a lot more, especially Tooie which finally gave some closure to Stop N' Swop and then proceeded to start the whole dam thing over again.
 
Then again we have established at this point that Rare enjoys laughing at us even more than Valve when it comes to this kind of thing.
 
I'd love to see Nuts & Bolts revisted, though I'd really like to see a new classic Banjo on the 360.

Edited by Willy105

The only reason the 360 is still in my eyes.
 
@Novyx said:

" I'll admit it. I liked the demo, but I cannot stand the whole cartoon bear deal. I grew up in the 90s, and cannot handle any more cartoon animals. That's the only thing I didn't like, but it's why I'll never play the game. "

This is where people tell you to grow up, but I think you can overcome it.
Posted by Claude

I bought this game, got bored quickly and traded it in to Gamestop. I win.

Posted by Olimar_91
@iAmJohn said:
" @Olimar_91 said:
" Nuts & Bolts should be classified (at  least imo) as a spin-off. I think that's what threw people so much. They wanted Banjo 3, but this isn't it. "
I'm calling bullshit on that.  Anyone who claims they actually wanted Banjo-Threeie is a damn liar, and if Rare had put out that game, you would've heard the same cavalcade of derision that Rare had gotten for Conker and Perfect Dark Zero.  People would've pulled the "YOU PUT THIS GAME OUT IN 2008 IN A POST MARIO GALAXY WORLD?  THIS SUCKS AND YOU SUCK, RARE, YOU SHITTY ONE-TRICK-PONY," just as they did with those last two games (arguably rightfully so). "
Of course people would have complained. They always do. But nonetheless that's what they expected for the most part. I would have been happy with it either way honestly.
Posted by HatKing

I finally played it in 2009 but I didn't buy it(possibly a mistake).  Reading this makes me want to go and buy it.  I really enjoyed some parts of that game, the building and missions... it was really the hub world stuff that I didn't like.

Posted by HatKing

I finally played it in 2009 but I didn't buy it(possibly a mistake).  Reading this makes me want to go and buy it.  I really enjoyed some parts of that game, the building and missions... it was really the hub world stuff that I didn't like.

Posted by Kenzo287

I will defend thy bird and bear til I have not an ounce of energy left. THIS GAME'S AWESOME!!!

Posted by Bennyishere

I'm getting this game some time. I remember playing the demo for it when it came out and being like "THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT GET IT AWAY FROM ME", but now that I've played both Banjo Kazooie and Banjo Tooie for Xbox Live Arcade, I have a bigger appreciation for the franchise.

Edited by Kamikaze_Tutor

But I barely understand how to make a vehicle perform better. How am I going to excel in building something good without spoiling the fun and going online to get a proper blueprint?
 
Edit: I should add that I was never a fan of Banjo games and therefore kept away from Nuts and Bolts. Not that they aren't good games, just that at the time I wasn't so in to collect-a-tons and nowadays I can't bring myself to go back and keep my interest on those titles.

Posted by Emandudeguyperson

Fuck it's times like this I wish my Xbox 360 never broke... $20? Holy snap!

Posted by Emilio
@Symphony said:
" I just purchased this recently and enjoyed it for about 3 hours... and then it became really repetitive. The sense of humor was great, but doing the same sort of races over and over just got tiresome. Sure, creating a massive bulldozer machine to push blocks off a ledge in one fell swoop was a fun "Aha, I'll show the game who's boss!" moment, but those sorts of moments lost their luster once practically every event required going back to the garage and building a machine designed exclusively for one thing .  But the game has a great premise, sense of humor, and certainly offers loads of fun for anyone interested. It just wasn't something that held my own interest, but I'd still recommend the game to anyone with a 360 who likes having fun. "
That was kinda the point of the game. :(
Posted by Rowr

zzzzz
 
I'm glad you like this game.
 
I dont really want to hear about it though.

Posted by Bellum

Bought it a few weeks ago and I'm loving the game.

Posted by simian

On the one hand, I love this game like I love maple syrup + hockey night in canada + poutine and have fond memories of from 2008 but on the other, Brad loves flower.

Posted by ZenaxPure

Honestly even after reading that article earlier today I still had no interest in the game. I am not one of those people going "zomg u ruined teh Banjo name, dieeeeeee" or anything but man the concept just looked so boring to me I couldn't make it 5 minutes into the demo.

Posted by Zabant
@Rowr: you didnt have to click on the link, read the article, then proceed to comment on the article if you didnt want to read about it. it said "BANJO NUTS AND BOLTS" in the header.
 
Jackass.
Posted by Zabant

I think the problem isn't rare, the problem is the platform, shooter fans who would not know a good game if it smashed them in the face with an iron.
 
i love my 360 but god damn its userbase.....

Edited by kingando420

Jiggilionaires unite!

Posted by WinterSnowblind
@kingando420 said:
" Jiggilionaires unite! "
Easily the achievement I'm most proud of getting.  That was real ordeal.  :)
Posted by MrKlorox
@bassboy2100 said:
" $40 in Canada :( "
I still think you can find it for $20 new in a box via Amazon.
Posted by Cefka

Go Brad! I completely agree with you. More people should try this gem.

Posted by JackSukeru

Would have totally bought this, if I had a 360.

Posted by Kowbrainz
@buzz_clik said:
" Such a good game. I kept every incremental iteration in vehicle design I made. Added a single new wheel to my old car? Screw saving over it, that's Mark II.  I did, however, miss out on lasering Grunty when I should have, so I missed that Achievement. Ah, well... good excuse to play it again, eh? "
They've patched that now I believe, so you should be able to go back and get it. ;)
Posted by ProfessorEss

One of the best games for the system. 
...and pick up Viva Pinata Trouble in Paradise while you're at it.

Online
Posted by chronicsmoke

INCREDIBLE GAME! Its a shame that this went under alot of peoples radars just because it wasent a traditional banjo game
Posted by hardcorebunnni

Terrible game and a terrible dishonour brought upon Banjo and Kazooie. Banjo Kazooie for the N64 is my favourite game of all time and I was so dissapointed with Nuts and Bolts.
Posted by Relys
@Milkman said:
" @Relys said:
" I don't get who they were trying to appeal too.  Fans were very disappointed, that is no secret. But I hated the first two in the series and I hated Nuts and Bolts.   How can you like this game? "
More like how can you not like this game? Nuts and Bolts is a masterpiece. "
I'm sorry, I played like, 5 hours into the game and I still couldn't like it.
Posted by Carlos1408

It's a great game, this made me feel like playing it again.
I might do that lol  :D

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