Game Whisperering: Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts

With Rare finally unveiling the unorthodox, new edition in the popular Banjo-Kazooie series, what can we look forward too and what worries me?

*New Feature: Game Whispering’s are going to be my weekly rant, in each edition I will pick apart a controversial happening in the gaming world, offering up my opinion and opening the floor for readers to give their opinions in the comments section. If you know of an issue in the gaming world you want talked about just email me or put it in the comments section.

____Gamings favorite furry duo is finally coming back after an 8 year hiatus from console gaming, but don’t expect a return to form. Earlier this week Rare finally lifted the veil on its premiere platformer, after making eager gamers wait since the X06 teaser trailer nearly 2 years ago– just to get a taste of what the game will offer. One thing is for sure with Banjo-threeie… it’s going to be different… very different. Make the jump to find out more.

____To put it simply, Banjo-Kazooie 3, or Banjo Nuts & Bolts as it is going to be called, is going to focus less on jumping and collecting puzzle pieces and more on building vehicles and tools. Now, I’m not one to fear change, I often encourage game designers to really reinvent the series we have all grown adapted to (I’m looking at you Zelda) but something about this redesign just doesn’t settle well with me. Don’t get me wrong I think the game looks great. The creation aspect, which I’ll talk more about later, looks very well put together and the whole thing looks like a lot of fun, but is it Banjo… that remains to be seen. Rare is probably looking to break away from the straight platforming design since games in the genre only seem to do well when they feature plumbers gallivanting through space. But that doesn’t change the fact that the change in form worries me about how much I will enjoy this game.

____Now before I get started I do want to say that regardless I think I will buy Banjo 3, that is unless Rare really, really screws it up, but I doubt that will happen. The game still looks great and my reservations are not aimed at how good the game will be but rather how faithful to the series it will be.

____First things first, I want a platformer for my 360. I have 11 shooters for my 360… 11. I only own 16 XBOX 360 games. What am I getting at? Well the 360 desperately needs some variety in its library and a classic style platformer would fit so well into my collection, a platformer that isn’t a licensed property mind you. Now Banjo 3 in the form that it is in now is in no way a shooter so it would definitely still add a degree of variety to the library. However, I often sit in front of my DVD rack gazing at my 360 games trying to decide what to play, only to realize that I really want to play a classic platformer and I only have Kameo to choose from… time to turn on the Wii and pop in Mario Galaxy. I may just be being picky, but is it so much to ask that I get a decent platformer on my 360, even my PS3 brought me Ratchet and Clank Future.

____But I’m assuming that you know what has changes with Banjo so I’ll give a brief synopsis, anybody who’s already knows what’s changed just skip this paragraph. Essentially in Banjo 3 you progress through the game by collecting parts which you use to make tools. These tools seem to be anything from vehicles to simple structures. For example, IGN notes a device being used to collect coconuts which was made up of a basket and a vacuum cleaner.(for more on this check out the preview at IGN) I am not going to deny how awesome this sounds, getting to create things with limitless possibilities to progress through levels gets me very excited. My reservation is more so associated with whether or not it is a faithful Banjo-Kazooie game.

____Sure Banjo can still grab onto ledges and cross tight ropes and things of that nature, but where are my kazooie propelled leaps sending me to incredible heights, and my gliding across deep chasms hoping to make it to the other side… you know the things that make a platformer a platformer. I guess I can’t help but keep the original BK formula close to my heart as it was one of my favorite N64 experiences, but is it so much to ask for a traditional platformer. I like hunting down puzzle piececs or stars, whatever the situation may be, in order to progress through a game. I don’t want to ride in vehicles half the time, I just want to run and jump and explore. Despite all this though I’m still excited for this game, maybe I’m just being to hard on BK:N&B because what I really want is the Banjo from yesterday.

____I, like many Nintendo fans, felt it was a huge loss letting Banjo go to another company and I think it is because we feared a drastic change in the series. Needless to say when many of us saw the original trailer our fears were lifted. It seemed like a return to form, as you get to see the furry duo charge out onto a familiar landscape,puzzle pieces and all waiting. I think this is what gave me the uneasy feeling about the new style, I got excited for the return of the old Banjo. Once I saw the initial talks of the new BK game taking a different approach to the platforming genre, I got worried. Then the unveiling simply justified that worry;this wasn’t what I was waiting for at all. After years of anticipation is it really that easy to simply accept such a drastic change?

____One thing is for sure though, after a series of fair to disappointing games since the acquisition of Rare by Microsoft, I think the new Banjo-Kazooie is finally going to be the game we’ve been waiting for from Rare. This game is not only going to continue proving that you can use 4 vowels in a row in the English language, but that Rare still has it in them to make a great game. Just take a look at early impressions, they’re lavishing. IGN talked about how the new style completely “Wowed” them and I can see why. It’s a great idea, even if it isn’t quite the old Banjo I know and love. At least I know I can look forward to the usual tongue-in-cheek nature of BK, which is what made me fall in love with the duo in the first place. That’s something I will get a chance to talk about tomorrow though, be sure to check back for another entry in my dominant series… uh series. Till then.


One Response to “Game Whisperering: Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts”

  1. Veronica Shay Says:

    I am SO confused. I get that banjo threeie is called banjo – kazooie, nuts and bolts but legend has it that there was once a banjo – threeie for Gamecube in 2002. IF IT STILL EXISTS, please please please PLEASE TELL ME WHERE TO GET IT. I”M talking to you, yes, you.

    P.S. i think it wasn’t such a good idea to hand banjo over to another company.

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