Somebody described the new Banjo Kazooie game to me as a Grand Theft Auto game. This was weeks before I actually played it, and I assumed they were mistaking it for another game.
Sure enough, after playing it for about 6 minutes, I concluded the description was more than appropriate.
The parallels between the two games, Banjo Kazooie and GTA4, are quite uncanny. The mundane tasks you have to perform, the poor vehicle handling, the uninteresting storyline - they are scary close.
I'm not a fan of the GTA series, so this game play didn't suit me.
Oh, and the small type. My god, the small type. Tiny, almost microscopic print instructs the player what to do. It's an obnoxious element that makes an already frustrating game that much harder to play.
The game is pretty, but the frame rate lags quite a bit.
Online play is so-so. Probably better than the single player game, but the online games seem pretty shallow.
Rare seems to be in a constant state of reminding everybody of how great they used to be. Granted, they sold as many N64 systems as the Ocarina of Time, but there really hasn't been a decent Rare game since... uh... since... help me out here...
When rare announced the new direction they were taking this game there was a collective "NOOOOOOOO!" from the cult fan base of the bear in Mario's shadow, but those who look at Nut & Bolts with a fresh view will have a pleasant experience.
The story starts out with our has-been heroes gorging on pizza and trying to up their gamerscore when suddenly from the rubble Grunty's head appears to somehow exact revenge on the Bird and Bear duo. The Lord of Games(L.O.G) steps in. He slims down Banjo's gut, gives Kazooie a magic wrench, and gives Grunty a mechanical body. It is Banjo's job to collect Jiggys and Grunty job to stop him. Ok, the story wont keep you on the edge of your seat but it sets up the game just fine and it is to the point.
Right off the bat you will notice that the Visuals are simply amazing. There is so much cartoony detail at times it makes you stop and just look around. The "worlds" all have their own unique charm and are equally impressive to look at. The visuals can become overwhelming, even to the point where I felt a bit dizzy. The brightness and complexity of the Logbox 720 world often made me feel like I had to take a break only minutes after playing. The soundtrack is cute for a little while, it fits in with the environment, but after retrying a challenge 5 or 6 times it starts to get a little annoying.
The gameplay focuses on building specific vehicles to complete a given task. At the beginning of the game it is mostly collect this or racing someone. I quickly found myself bored, however getting deeper into the game the challenges become much more difficult. They really require you to use trial and error to think up a contraption capable of getting you through the task. Most tasks are fairly easy to earn a jiggy, but there is also a TT trophy to earn by completing the task under a certain amount of time.
I would have loved a Banjo-Threeie as much as everyone else but new gameplay with rare charm and wit make this game definitely worth a rent
I know the core mechanics of this game give it a little learning curve that older audiences may pick up faster than the younger croud. Or maybe im underestimating the little buggers. I enjoyed the inviroments and physics of this game. However the change in gameplay I feel is a letdown for the series. I also found that at the start of the game becides telling you that jiggies unlock new worlds and jingos have quests for you, there is little to no indication of where to go or what to do next. I fealt there should have been a more extensive tutorial for the first stage, maybe hinting on how to solve challenges a little. I spent the first hour of this game driving arround clueless. Not to mention the music in this game sucks the life out of you, it was almost like playing a game with barney the dinosaur in the background. I had to turn my tv off or on mute while i paused because the music there is a god aweful loop. Hes not a video game either but atleast Barney can talk, in banjo you are forced to read scripts, while characters mutter some nonsense noise and animations that distract. This game was like sticking a cheese grater through my ear, and flossing it back and forth repeatedly. If you cant read more than the giant E on the optition test, then you'll hate the text size in this, its small, waaay too small. I couldnt even give this game a full play through out of boredom, so my review is only of what i saw. The graphics are beautiful and the worlds are highly imaginative. But it flops in my eyes. There really isnt a genre of games that are build a vehicle adventure platforming to compare this one too. I hate to say im too old for this game, cause im only 22 and im sure alot of people my age enjoyed this. And I usually love any game, targeted at any audience given the fact that it keeps you wanting to play more.