Wednesday, December 2, 2009

WAA - Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

It's time for the Wednesday Achievement Awards! I forgot to mention yesterday that I'd also finish each of these with a rating (out of 10) for the quality of the Achievement set and another rating for how difficult it is to finish.

This week's game is Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.

The "One With Combat"Award: "Blueprint Buyout"
Talk about simple. All you have to do is buy one blueprint from Humba in Showdown Town, which involves such challenging tasks as talking to her and clicking a button on one of the many blueprints she offers.

The "Mile High Club" Award: "A Lot of Trophy Pts"
No typos on my part there...that's actually how the Achievement is listed. I assume that "Pts" is short for points. In any case, every challenge in the game has three levels of success - the bronze level where you earn some notes but didn't really succeed (much like getting a certificate of participation), the silver level where you earn a jigsaw piece (which is what you need to proceed in the game), and the gold level which isn't really necessary but earns you a special trophy from Trophy Thomas. For this Achievement, you need to finish 60 of the 61 challenges at the top level, and while some of them are not that difficult, others are RIDICULOUSLY hard. There's not much advice I can give except to access the leaderboard on Live, which allows you to see a video replay of the top scores. Hopefully you can adapt some of their vehicle designs and strategies to beat the challenge. You'll still need sick B&K skills to beat some of these though.

The "Seriously..." Award: "Premier League"
Why are multiplayer Achievements such utter crap??? For this one, you need to complete a multiplayer "league" that includes every race and every sport/game available ALL IN A ROW. The good news is that you can do this locally if you have two controllers, so you don't have to find someone else crazy enough to go after this too. The bad news is that it takes several hours to complete with no breaks. I suggest starting up a local game with two controllers and then wandering off to do something else while it autoplays. What a stupid Achievement...

The "Little Rocket Man" Award: "Speedy of the Colossus"
Again, not a typo. This Achievement cuts to the heart of everything that makes B&K: Nuts and Bolts fun - designing crazy vehicles to meet a specific purpose. For this one you need to build an enormous vehicle of 200 or more pieces and then get it to go over a set speed (the game doesn't say, but it's pretty fast). Of course, that's not so simple because a big vehicle is heavy and so it isn't easy to get it moving quickly. If you're stumped, highlight this section for a hint: (Use wings to get high in the air, then use gravity and a little rocket power to build up some serious speed!)

The Scientist Gone Gamer Award: "Arcade Pwner"
Yes, just yes. This is everything that Achievements are about in my eyes. Within the game is a separate mini-game starring Klungo, the lizard assistant from previous B&K games. It's an old-school side scroller out of the Pitfall school, but with a hilarious take on the genre. If you beat all the levels (some are actually pretty tough), you get this awesome Achievement. As if that wasn't enough, you also get a free Gamerpic of the Achievement as well, which you can then use online. AND I DO!

Achievement Set Rating - 8
It's a very solid set. You'll find the Achievements come pretty steadily throughout the game, and there aren't too many multiplayer awards to get in the way. The icons are colorful and reasonably varied.

Achievement Difficulty Rating - 5
If you want around 800 points, you can accomplish that in 20 hours or so without much difficulty. The final 200 are going to take some real effort though, both in setting up online matches and grinding out those last few trophies.

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