The phrase “there’s nothing new under the sun” exists for a reason.
It can be incredibly hard to have an idea that is totally and completely unique, and in a 50 year-old industry with new games constantly being placed under labels like “Metroidvanias” and “Souls-likes,” it can be almost impossible to see something that is truly new.
All of which is why it hurts even more when a game does have something that feels fresh; a concept that is downright genius, only for the game itself to waste it.
While the mechanic could be great on paper, it’s the execution that people remember. Whether not being able to use the concept to the fullest, or the rest of the package tanking so badly, it takes the shine away from those smarter ideas inside, there have been more than a few games that threw away their unique ideas.
From brand new franchises and new developers to more established names and studios, no one is safe from ruining a fantastic concept. These are just a few titles that have suffered this fate.
10. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts is a very strange video game. Rare took the platformer icons and developed a gameplay system all around creating and customizing vehicles, needing to alter them depending on the type of level or challenge you needed to complete.
For example, if you needed to focus on speed, you needed to make your car small. If you have to transport stuff, you need to create a basket on the top of your vehicle. It was incredibly rewarding to complete a mission knowing that your customization choices is why you were able to do it. The system was clever, and while the missions could be a bit wonky from time to time, it was rewarding.
So why was this game such a disappointment?
Simple: It wasn’t a real Banjo-Kazooie game.
This was the bear and bird’s first new adventure under the Microsoft banner after they purchased Rare, and it had been 8 years since the last main game. Having the first new Banjo-Kazooie after all that time be a game that abandoned its platforming roots made a lot of people very upset.
The vehicle creation wasn’t enough to sway them, and they just couldn’t get out of the shadow of fans’ expectations. The franchise the game was in is what ultimately ruined it, and it wasn’t until they’re addition to Super Smash Bros: Ultimate where Banjo and Kazooie would return to the spotlight.