Ye olde British developer Rare has had a makeover ahead of its 25th anniversary this summer.
Downloadable content can't do much about a bad game, but in the case of a good game that didn't quite live up to its potential, it gives developers the chance to zero in on the things everybody admired, and then build something new to play to their strengths. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts should be a perfect example: the original game's mission design was weak, but there's nothing to stop Rare taking better advantage of the glorious vehicle-builder and Banjo's charmingly silly patchwork game-world in hindsight.
LOG's Lost Challenges, released this week, is an opportunity to do that. What's more, it's cheap - just 400 Microsoft Points (GBP 3.40 / EUR 4.80) when everything these days is twice that - and sounds pretty substantial on paper: 12 new challenges, seven new multiplayer modes, and assorted unlockables (including new levels for Klungo's arcade game) and new Achievements worth 250 gamerpoints.
It's deceptive though. For a start, it's not set in a new world, but on the Test-O-Track - the ramps, loops and swimming pool play area accessible through Mumbo's garage, previously used for test-driving new vehicle creations. Accessed through a new door round the back in Showdown Town, it's ostensibly the same place you've driven, flown and floated around already, except it's occupied by the usual assortment of quest-givers highlighted by holograms above their heads and icons on the mini-map. Depending on the challenge you step up to, Rare fills it out temporarily with familiar enemies, checkpoints and obstacles too.
Rare plans to beef up Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts on 7th April with the Lord of Games' Lost Challenges pack.