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The next best game in the world is… Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.

September 10, 2008

Look around the next time you step into a game store, alongside the piles of Guitar Hero boxes there are likely to be a lot of games that tell you to shoot or kill lots of enemies or test your brain with simple maths and english puzzles. But why do you play games? High on my list is personal expression, the way a game lets me loose in a designers world with my thoughts and intentions is what gives me the biggest thrill. Can I do that? How about if I try this? The way I interact with a game is the most important thing and Rare’s evolution of the Banjo series looks to be offering exactly what I want.

Many people have been lashing out at the vehicle emphasis saying that it betrays the franchise’s platforming roots, claiming that it has become a boring shadow of its former self, these people have obviously never played with LEGO and have no creative inclinations whatsoever.

For those who don’t follow every bit of news to come out a PR man’s mouth, the new Banjo has you creating vehicles to help Banjo navigate the mammoth levels of Nuts & Bolts, adding a spring to jump high or wings to fly. These vehicles replace Banjo’s old move list and give the player complete freedom over how they are constructed, meaning one persons route to a jiggy could be in a bi-plane with which they launch an ejector seat to land while another could mount the biggest spring available onto a three wheeler and launch Banjo at the jiggy with more force than Mario between planets.

It’s this unrestrained freedom that will push Banjo beyond other platformers, instead of giving players a list of solutions to puzzles Rare are letting players be mechanics by giving them a selection of tools and letting them create the solution, this makes it more of a game than any platformer before it. The bold and beautiful art style doesn’t look too shabby either.

Look out for Banjo in November and don’t forget to grab the XBLA release of his first, more linear adventure at the same time, which is free if you pre-order Nuts & Bolts.

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