November 5, 2008

Banjo Kazooie Demo Review

Andrew Weymes Says: When I heard there is a new Banjo Kazooie game for the Xbox 360, I was reasonably excited. I'm not a rabid fanboy that thinks Banjo Kazooie, and Banjo Tooie for the N64 are the best platformers ever, but I found them to be enjoyable games.

In the new Banjo game, entitled Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, you are still in control of Banjo, but the dynamics have changed. Of course, everyone interested in this game knows the emphasis on using vehicles instead of old school platforming. Based on the demo, I really don't think this is going to help revive the series. This generation has been treated to a few solid platformers, but none have been too great besides Super Mario Galaxy, and a new Banjo Kazooie platformer could have really put Rare back in the spotlight. Instead, Rare has opted to have you driving around in a rather good looking world going on a variety of fetch quests, and doing vehicle based challenges such as pushing soccer balls into a net while rolling enemies try to roll away with them, and pushing an odd yellow creature past a certain point to attain a jiggy from him.

Personally, I found these challenges dull. It's a pity really, because the art style in the game is actually pretty nice. I don't really like Banjos new more boxlike look, but besides that the environments themselves are pretty nice. The graphics aren't very technically impressive however. I found some texture pop in, which annoys me, and the water and environmental effects were pretty average. Of course, Banjo can hop out of his vehicles and run around a bit, but I didn't find any real reasons to platform.

Mainly, Banjo runs around and grabs an object to drag back to his vehicle, so that he may bring that object somewhere else.

You can customize all of your vehicles however you like by equipping them with flotation devices, propellers, and weapons, but I found no reason to make my own vehicles as blueprints for vehicles are given to you for completing certain challenges.

Overall, I hope the demo doesn't represent the entire game, because I just didn't find it to be very enjoyable, and that's a shame for a Banjo Kazooie game. Perhaps the challenges get a little more entertaining as the game continues, and maybe there is a decent amount of platforming, but based on the demo, the challenges were dull, and the platforming was almost non-exsistent. The only positive thing I came away from the demo with is that the art style looks nice, and colourful.