November 30, 2008
Burnt most of yesterday playing this terrific new game Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts. The core of it is this clever vehicle editor... I don't know if most of the people playing with it will realize how slick it is. So you can make a car, or motorcycle, or powered shopping cart, or copter, or boat, or hovercraft, or plane, try it out in the test track, and then use it to solve different challenges, races, and collection tasks, and "sumo" matches, etc etc. It's like old style Lego building (before you had so many specialty pieces, so everything is a bit blocky) but the design actually matters, and you have to balance engine and fuel and weight to get the vehicle performance you need.
Banjo-Kazooie was mid-90s "collect-a-thon" type game, and Nuts & Bolts carries on the tradition of a central world, with lots of specially themed mini-worlds off of it. And it's so pretty, a nice blend between cartoony and realistic (same for the physics). I guess some of the old school fans are upset it's a break from the old exploration style, and that the bear and bird combo don't have many of their old moves. But to me, this game is doing something so unique, I can't blame them for co-opting the series proper.
Following up some links with this, I'm struck with how there's some little subculture of Youtube commentary... this one is reasonably well done, but some of the random guy talking on and on into a webcam is... well, who knows. Can't they just blog and natter away on web forums like normal people? (Look, the kettle is just dark gray, ok?)
Anyway, this game is great stuff, the vehicle building and driving is really joyous, and makes me happy that videogames exist.
Dr. Mario:"*KIRK!*" "It wasn't me...Aunt Susan dropped those" "He's lying to avoid attention!" "Oh yeah, *that's* what I avoid" "Good point"
Dr. Mario is to my family what Gin Rummy is to some others.
Aha, finally figured it out, my GPS will pronounce "dr." as "drive" at the end of a name, otherwise "doctor" as in "storrow dr. east"
He who teaches history is doomed to remember it. Or something.