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Nuts & Bolts slated for Nov. 14th Euro release


In news that we thought was already confirmed, Microsoft and Rare just "officially" announced that Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts will be hitting European retail shelves on Friday, November 14th. So, if you were like us and were under the impression that November 14th was Nuts & Bolts' European release, then take this as a confirmation of your gaming wisdom. Also, don't forget you still have time to get your pre-order on and take advantage of the free Banjo-Kazooie XBLA offer.

Banjo-Kazooie site adds forums, diaries and more

In preparation for its release next month, the official Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts website has received a Banjo-sized overhaul, adding new community features and functionality. And we hear Kazooie did all the updating tasks while Banjo received the credit. Selfish bear.

The official Banjo-Kazooie site now has its own dedicated forums, nifty new developer blog, a content-rich fan site kit, and news / press sections. And as if that wasn't enough, when the game releases there will be active leaderboard and showroom areas. We're sure you can find other delicious Banjo-Kazooie bits on the site, so start your search at the homepage and begin the website surfing process.

Video: Cruising around the lands of Nuts & Bolts

Team Rare posted a new Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts trailer and it's all about the various locations you'll be visiting in the Nuts & Bolts world come November. The trailer (embedded above) is a quirky fun look at the Banjo world, showing off landmarks including the Jiggy collector, Klungos Arcade and some watery looking water effects. Take it all in, kids and enjoy!

Spencer says Lionhead safe from closure, hints Rare is too

With the recent closure of Ensemble Studios eyes were on other teams Microsoft has under their wing. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Game Studios, said the publisher has no plans to close Lionhead Studios -- developers of the upcoming RPG, Fable 2.

Spencer noted that the studio is an important element to Microsoft's European development presence. Spencer also hinted that fellow European developer, Rare, is secure from closure. "[Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts] will be their fifth game in the first three years of the Xbox 360 - that's crazy. Two launch games? What studio on the planet signs up for two launch games? That's just crazy."

But what of the losses Microsoft have suffered in the wake of closing FASA Studio -- developers of Shadowrun -- and the breaking off of Bungie?

"Our customers care about exclusive content," Spencer said. "I'm not sure they care what business card the people who are building those games have. Is anybody going to look at Gears of War and say it's not a pillar franchise for us on 360? No, because it is. But we don't own Epic, and Mark Rein and those guys are their own people. That's good."

Video: Banjo-Kazooie XBLA and some screens too


Today, Microsoft is sharing all kinds of Banjo-Kazooie XBLA assets with us, including a brand new trailer and a few freshly taken screenshots. The trailer (embedded above) is a great look at how an N64 created Banjo looks on a next-gen system and the screenshots are simply polygonial bliss. Suddenly, Banjo-Kazooie nostalgia hased kicked in and we're loving it.

Gallery: Banjo-Kazooie (XBLA)

Nuts & Bolts retailer pre-order info for free Banjo

The Rare crew just sent us information regarding the Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts pre-order program where you can score a free copy of the XBLA title Banjo-Kazooie. We guess there was some confusion among eager pre-orderers who weren't exactly sure which retailers were offering Banjo-Kazooie redemption codes with Nuts & Bolts pre-orders. Well, Rare came to the rescue and created a handy list of participating retailers for every country. That list is below. Happy pre-ordering.
  • UK: Amazon, Play.com, Game and Gamestation
  • USA: Amazon, EBGames, GameStop and GameCrazy
  • FRANCE: Micromania and Game
  • SPAIN: Game
  • ITALY: GameStop
  • SCANDINAVIA: Game and GameStop
  • CANADA, JAPAN, IRELAND, GERMANY, AUSTRIA, BENELUX, SWITZERLAND, AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND are participating, but participating retailers have yet to be confirmed.

Banjo-Kazooie headed to the XBLA Nov 26th, Banjo-Tooie in 2009

Earlier this morning, Microsoft officially confirmed that the N64 remade Banjo-Kazooie will release to the Xbox Live Arcade on Wednesday, November 26th for 1200 Microsoft points. But remember, those who pre-order Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts can download the XBLA version earlier and for free. If you're willing to plop down Nuts & Bolts pre-order cash, you'll receive a redemption code to download Banjo-Kazooie XBLA two weeks prior to its official XBLA release, which would be on or around November 12th.

Also, tucked in towards the end of today's Banjo press release, is news that Banjo-Tooie will be releasing to the Arcade sometime in early 2009. Huzzah!

Gallery: Banjo-Kazooie 3

New Banjo interview talks balance, challenges

Gamerscore Blog has posted a brand new video interview with Rare's Salvatore Fileccia on Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Well, when we say brand new, we mean recorded back in May during Microsoft's Spring Showcase. Even so, we can confidently say that this is the best Banjo interview yet recorded. Why? Because Gamerscore Blog's own Chris Paladino asks our question. Our question: how do you balance the game to keep it fresh and entertaining for both hardcore and casual players (Banjo is kid friendly, after all)? Find the answer to our brilliant question the video above.

Rumor: Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts achievements

Fresh from a visit to Rare HQ for some hands-on with Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, the Xbox 360 Online Center folks came back with a supposed list of Nuts & Bolts achievements. Though, they came back without any of the pretty achievement artwork. Boo! You can view the "rumored" list of achievements after the jump and even though there aren't any achievements quite as good as Gears 2's "Beat the Meatflag", Nuts & Bolts' "BBQ Beef" achievement is pretty yummy. Or maybe we're just hungry.

Nuts & Bolts is $39.99, pre-orders get XBLA Banjo early


Microsoft announced today that gamers can now pre-order Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Much more exciting is the fact that the rumored price of $39.99 is true, making Nuts & Bolts a real bargain. Making the deal even sweeter, gamers that pre-order the game will receive a download code for the Xbox Live Arcade version of the original Banjo Kazooie. Even better than that, the code will work starting on November 14, the day of the Nuts & Bolts launch, a full two weeks before the XBLA game hits Xbox Live Marketplace. The XBLA release will include a feature called "Stop N' Swop" which allows players to unlock new features in XBLA game by playing Nuts & Bolts.

Finally, a new Nuts & Bolts world called Jiggoseum was revealed. You can check out the first images of Jiggoseum in the gallery below.

[Via Joystiq]

Gallery: Banjo-Kazooie: Jiggoseum

Rare promises Banjo-Kazooie demo before its November release

Talking with Eurogamer, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts lead designer Salvatore Fileccia confirmed their plans to release a Banjo demo to the Xbox Live Marketplace prior to the game's release. "We've got various different ideas" Fileccia explained, saying that the demo will most likely include the four challenges as seen in the E3 demo as well as an editor "because that's a whole different part of the game - building things and seeing how they perform, and taking part in challenges."

So, there you have it. You can expect colorful Banjo-Kazooie demo goodness prior to the game's release this November. Huzzah!

Gallery: Banjo-Kazooie 3

E308: Fable 2 and Banjo reception in pictures

Here at X3F, we're party animals. No, no, no, scratch that, we're PAAARRRTAY ANIMALS! That's just how we roll and that's why we traveled back into Los Angeles last night to attend Microsoft's Fable 2 and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts reception. So, as part of the umbrella of news coverage we're churning out of E3, we thought we'd offer up all the pictures we took from the event similar to our Gears 2 reception pics. Which, coincidentally, was in the same venue. Enjoy the picture show and make your way to the break for a short (super short) off screen video of one of the Fable 2 Pub Game's "Wizard's Tower".

Gallery: E308: Fable 2 and Banjo-Kazooie Reception

Continue reading E308: Fable 2 and Banjo reception in pictures

Rumor busted: No motion control in Banjo 3


The internet is all atwitter thanks to an IGN hosted video of Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts that features Microsoft's Ken Lobb mentioning that players will "twist the controller" to perform actions in the game. The video also featured Kazooie shaking her controller, which some took as a hint. Sorry to disappint, but motion control in Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts just isn't so. We have received word from Gamerscore Blog's Chris Paladino who told us "all of the motion controller hopes and complaints regarding the Banjo video on IGN are false."

There you have it folks. Consider this rumor busted.

Update: We've received further comment from Microsoft just to make things extra clear. Per Microsoft: "There is no truth to this speculation. Ken's comment is in reference to rotating the left analog stick while hitting the X-button to move different things in the game." Can't get much clearer than that, now can we?

New Banjo Kazooie videos and screens

After the Microsoft Gamers Day a while back, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts was seen by many in the community as too much of a departure from the older formula. The addition of vehicles, parts, and the creation of the former using the latter wasn't exactly traditional to the series' formula. Despite the fact that what we saw and played was fun, we can definitely say that the bits we had time with weren't exactly reminiscent of the N64 days.

Rare looks to have anticipated the outcry and saved much of the more traditional stuff for later reveal. IGN recently got some media out of Rare that seems designed just for that reveal, the first video introduces you to Showdown Town, the game hub, and where most of the more traditional platforming happens. The second video showcases Banjo Land and displays some of the vehicle creation and editing, as well as some of the quirky world exploration. Get watching!

By the way, listen closely around 4:00 into the first video for what could be a possible mention of a long rumored item.

Gallery: Banjo-Kazooie 3

Continue reading New Banjo Kazooie videos and screens

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