Demo Daze: Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

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Remember looking back on games you played when you were a kid and you think back to how awesome they are? There are a select few that even when you go play them again when you are older and wiser they are still just as awesome, well for me the Banjo-Kazooie series is one of these select few. I remember the first time I played Banjo-Kazooie on my N64 I was amazed and enthralled, I could not put the game down. I was both anxious and excited when Rare announced a third entry in the series was coming to the 360. I just had one concern, can the newest foray into Banjo-land live up to the expectations of the series?

In short, no. The long version is even more dire. Not only does it not live up to the Banjo name, it drags it backwards through muddy puddles, AND a hedge. The controls are terrible, they feel extremely unresponsive and laggy, both in vehicles and on foot, which is a huge no-no in a platformer. Then again I’m not sure that this can even be defined as a platformer any more, it seems to be more of a racing game than anything else. I get it that Rare are trying to go in a new direction with the series, but taking away the 99% of the attack moves from the previous games is NOT a good start.

The whole vehicle element feels tacked on and out of place to me, It doesn’t feel like Banjo-Kazooie, it feels like a lego racing game with crappy platforming thrown in as an afterthought. I was looking forward to a true successor to the N64 games I grew up loving, and maybe that’s why I feel so let down. It seems to me that Rare had a new idea but didn’t think it would work without an established character, that people wouldn’t give it a chance. So they shoehorned Banjo into it to get people in the door. Well Rare, you lured me in with you’re promises of a new Banjo-Kazooie and all the potential it had, but I left feeling disappointed.

Anyway, that’s enough baaaaawing from me for one day. I’m off to go play with fireworks to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night.

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