Sunday, January 18, 2009

Game along with the Geek: Banjo-Kazooie Day 1

I FINALLY got a chance to start playing "Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts" last night, to begin the second leg of the "Game Along with the Geek" feature on this blog. You are all planning on playing along, aren't you?

Unfortunately for me, since I only really had two hours last night to get started on the game (I like to start games with segments of no less than four hours of game time), and I consequently am really not hooked on this game yet. I think the main problem is the lengthy tutorial. While it's somewhat funny and somewhat informative, with plenty of wink-wink video game industry jokes and information to catch up newbie gamers on the history of this series, it still takes a VERY long time for the game's narrator (The "Lord of Games") to explain all the many new aspects of this version of "Banjo-Kazooie."

Rare (the developer) could have saved a whole bunch of time by just saying "you're going to build faster and faster cars for use in a knock-off 'Super Mario' game," because as far as I can tell, that's all that's really going into this one... you know, if you switch collecting stars for collecting jigsaw puzzle pieces.

Check that, you're not collecting jigsaw puzzle pieces, you're collecting "jiggies" ... you know, because that makes them sound like what the cool kids would call them. No word on whether or not Will Smith wrote the soundtrack.

The only problem is, while "Super Mario" games generally start players off with simple levels that really do capture the feel of how the tougher levels will eventually play, "B-K: Nuts and Bolts" starts you off with a few clunky time-trials. If slow kart races are all I really have to look forward to in this game down the line, you may have to count me out before the final gun.

I was especially confused by the third task I played, in which three lava balls needed to be cooled down in a short period of time. When I finished the task with 2/3rds of my time to spare, I could only wonder "Was I not supposed to know putting the lava ball into water would cool it down? Is this the level of intelligence Rare made this game for?"

I'm hoping to have a lot more time with the game tonight, so hopefully I will have a much more cheery disposition this time tomorrow. For now, I am actually left missing the clunky jumping and problem solving Lara Croft offered me.


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