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[b][SIZE="4"][COLOR="#ddffcc"][FONT="Trebuchet MS"]The Towel Rack[/COLOR][/SIZE][/b] [SIZE="1"] [COLOR="Silver"] - A hoopy frood always knows where his towel is.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/font]
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"Breeegull!" - Banjo Kazooie: N&B Demo Opinion

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Posted 11-01-2008 at 07:10 AM by Towelie2k4

Wow, this place has sure been neglected for a while. Maybe a new post will clear some of the cobwebs. Prepare for my rustily written (and completely unchecked for proper continuity) opinion. :)

The demo for Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts is now out, and I've had a bit of a chance to play it. As a big fan of the original games, I wasn't really sure what to expect of the new vehicle-based direction for the bear and bird duo. After a couple of hours of joyous exploration, I can confidently say that I'm going to absolutely love this game.

First things first - yes, it has a heavy focus on vehicles, and yes that changes the platforming dynamics of the game significantly. With vehicles comes more speed, more reflex gameplay, and, if you're anything like me, a total inability to accurately control your vehicle due to your own suckiness at vehicular based games.

However, the introduction of vehicles doesn't mean the instant brutal demise of any and all platforming in the game. It doesn't slaughter the dreams of fans everywhere by simply becoming a kiddie version of GTA, complete with talking rhinoceroses wearing raincoats. It actually keeps a feeling very true to the adventure platforming of the original games - running (and driving) around collecting stuff, exploring all the nooks and crannies to find a whole array of secrets and music notes. Parts are strewn around the main hub world, providing upgrades for your vehicle just like learning moves in the old games.

Exploring on foot feels perfect, as if being back playing the originals. Banjo controls very well, although thankfully running faster and jumping a whole lot higher. Finding hidden areas still feels epic and special, as if you're truly finding a well-guarded secret.

I was a little worried that the vehicle creation process would be too simplistic, too contrived or just plain not fun to do, but I'm very pleased to see none of those are to be seen here. The vehicle creation is amazingly simply and straightforward, yet flexible enough to allow for some great contraptions.

In terms of having the atmosphere of the previous games, this game certainly delivers. All the trademarks are there: cartoony art/character/level designs, the awesomely unique sounds when each character talks, and the all-important humour. Graphically the game also delivers, having bright and vibrant colours that are truly a treat to see. The levels also have that same energy, feeling vast and ready for exploring.

The music is also undeniably Banjo Kazooie. Hearing the old MIDI tunes turned next generation is truly a treat.

The only concern I walked away with was how they'll tackle jiggy collection. In the N64 titles, every method of collecting a jiggy felt unique and different. So far in Nuts and Bolts, it seems to be a pretty standard affair of race, push, shoot, race - but who knows what cards Rare are holding up their sleeves? Hell, it's just a demo, they can't possibly showcase everything the game has to offer.

This demo really showcases the potential the full game has. From the humour, the art direction, the music, the platforming, to the joy of simply [i]exploring[/i] The worlds, this game truly feels like the next instalment of Banjo Kazooie. Are you a fan of the old games? Your old friends are waiting. And given the chance, they'll work their way back right into your heart.
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