wes's Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (Xbox 360) review

Here Kazooie, take this wrench. That's all you do now.

I recently was reminded of Nuts & Bolts by its TNT. Originally I had written it off because of the shoddy demo Rare released for it back in '08; the missions in the demo served only to destroy my interest in the game. TNT brought back that interest, and since picking up the digital download version I have practically fallen in love with the vehicle creation and the parts hunting in Showdown Town. So here's my late late review of Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.  

First thing, the story and the characters. The story is not serious in any way and in fact pokes fun at itself on a near constant basis. Rare decided to break the fourth wall this time around, and I really enjoyed that decision. At the start of the game Banjo and Kazooie have both grown fat and lazy, essentially doing nothing since Banjo Tooie. Then you have the Lord of Games who seemingly breaks said wall every chance he gets, and who loves to crack jokes about platformer tendencies (such as pointless collecting). Also Gruntilda is a robot head floating around in a robot body (sort of a Nixon/Agnew dynamic, minus the snarls), she still likes to rhyme.

Now the controls. The game controls mostly in the way you think it should (minus Kazooie of course). Banjo plays just like he should, fluid movement, easy jumping and air controls, crappy melee attack (but why fight with a wrench when you can barrel into guys with cars). The only real complaint control-wise is early vehicle control, very slippery. As you progress through the game, however, you gain better tires and all that.

Now on to the chunk of the game that matters, vehicle creation. It's incredibly simple while still being immensely entertaining. You don't have to worry about complex things like connecting a steering wheel to the actual wheels, getting fuel to the engine, or even making sure the engine's not on upside down. Just slap stuff on there, make sure it's somewhat balanced (not having the left side significantly heavier than the right side), and test it out. You're not just making cars either, you can create motorcycles, boats, airplanes, helicopters, jets, hovercrafts, submarines, hot air balloons, U.F.O.s, rockets, tanks, mobile sandboxes, flying boxes, drivable walls, vehicles that snap apart, car-boats, car-planes, boat-planes, car-boat-planes. You can create just about anything.

As for the multiplayer I didn't really get to play it. My N&B multiplayer experience is simply messing around in the test track with friends, which I did in the demo. But based on TNT I'd say it's more than acceptable, if you can find people to play with.

Overall, it's good, it's fun, it's $20 bucks, you should already have it, I'm late to the party, this is a mediocre review, it's done now, click back.

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