A new approach
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is one of the best games to be released in this current generation. It is rare to find a game that touches upon every category of merit so well but at the same time, is overlooked and underappreciated by many. The game focuses on various challenges that must be completed using vehicles. The catch is that while they provide the player with vehicles to complete these challenges, it is often best to build your own machines to conquer the tasks.
N&B takes a franchise that was deeply rooted in platformer and adventure elements, and completely throws that out the window. They have replaced the basis of the game with many different aspects such as racing, puzzle solving, flying, boating, vehicular combat, platforming, and more. So essentially, this translates to a high level of replay value and very little time where the player just wants to stop or take a break.
What’s unique about this title, is the fact that rather than just giving you the vehicles to use (although they do have some premade ones), the player is encouraged to craft their own. This means that your mind and your creativity, are the limiting factors here. Make the game play to your skill set, rather than the other way around. Instead of trying challenges over and over, with little to no improvement, head over to the garage and build something with your mind! The player is able to make just about anything with the parts available, and additional parts can be collected throughout the game by completing challenges and exploring Showdown Town, the main hub of the game.
Nuts and Bolts is a charmer, it really is. From the moment you pop in the disc, it hits you that they are trying to make a memorable experience. Inside jokes are all over the place in this one, including jokes pertaining to the Banjo series itself, as well as video game playing in general. Every person is sure to get most of the humor here, or at least appreciate the unique characters and dialogue.
This would be a failed review if I didn’t mention that the game looks absolutely wonderful. The game worlds are massive, different, and amazing to look at. The level of detail and the artistic direction in this game are incredible. I would argue that this is the best looking Xbox 360 title I have played so far, which says a lot (I’ve played quite a few).
To summarize, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts takes a new approach to what has been established as a video game this generation. It overwhelms you with possibilities, charm, and amazing graphics. The game really has it all. If you own an Xbox 360, you need to give this a try!