Conker's Bad Fur Day

a game by Rareware, and Rare, Ltd.

Platform: Nintendo 64Nintendo 64

Genre: Action

The Fabled Panther King needs a table leg and evil teddy bears are invading. Enter Conker: the hard drinking, hard fighting, and hard loving squirrel. Well, he's hard drinking, anyway. He's also rude, crude, and sex obsessed. But there's no good deed he won't do, provided that there's money involved.

Rareware, a company known for its quality games, has hit another one out of the park with Conker's Bad Fur Day (BFD). In Conker's BFD, you play Conker, who is lost and hungover after a night of heavy drinking. The storyline is rather weak and can be summed up as "what Conker runs into while trying to find his way home" as he wanders through various areas, ending up in one odd situation after the another.

Without an overarching theme, I was occasionally at a loss for what to do next. Fortunately, the designers included cut-scenes to help keep you up to speed. The game is loaded with cut-scenes, many of which are several minutes long, and includes spoofs of such movies as Conan the Destroyer, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Saving Private Ryan.

Conker's BFD is also disgusting. Rareware went right up to the edge of good taste and took several good, long steps past it. Death is every bit as bloody as in Quake, the use of vomit and bodily waste makes Boogerman look tame, and the language goes well beyond the bleeps of South Park. Still, it is a great game with a lot going for it.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

Conker's BFD has a fairly standard interface and point of view. The control stick covers directional movement, the A button jumps, the B button attacks, the Z button crouches and the C buttons control the point of view. The A button also activates a "helicoptery tail" move in mid-jump that fans of Donkey Kong 64 will remember. The B button also serves as the activation button for "Context Zones". These are areas where you can push the B button to use or do something you need at that location, such as ready a slingshot, take an alka-seltzer, or push the big red button on the back of the rampaging robot.

Beyond the basic controls, Conker's BFD also includes a host of special situations which use different controls, such as swimming, using guns, riding a pitchfork, driving a tank, flying around as a bat, and much more. Needless to say, there are far more controls than are worth describing in this review. However, all are pretty straightforward, and both the game and manual describe them well.

Conker's BFD is not thick with enemies to fight, being in large part a game of challenge. Much of the time you must complete tasks while avoiding hazards and enemies to advance the game, such as rolling a ball of poo up a mountain through a gauntlet of flying dung beetles. Most of the fighting is against the various bosses of the game, and this is rarely as simple as hitting them until they fall. Usually you have to use something in the scene to defeat your enemy. However, the game also shifts into shooter mode at times, with areas in which you have to fight past waves of zombies or an army of evil teddy bears.

The various areas each have a theme, which is supported by the music, sound effects and background. When combined with the large number of special situations and shifting play style, Conker's BFD is a game which stays interesting and fun from beginning to end and leaves you wondering what's next.

Multiplayer

The multiplayer portion of Conker's BFD is practically a game in itself, and one worth owning at that. Unlike most the multiplayer offerings of adventure games, Conker's BFD has a variety of options for multiplayer action. There are seven different multiplayer games of a variety of types. There is a racing game and several different action shooters. Each of the shooters has a different theme, such as tank vs. tank, or caveman vs. dinosaur, and allow free for all and team modes of play. The games allow you to set the objectives and there are a wide variety of weapons/boost items available for use by the players.

Graphics

The graphics for Conker's BFD form a solid foundation for the rest of the game. The designers put as much work into the background as they did into the enemies and interactive items, which are well detailed and amusing. Conker himself is even more detailed, with a full range of facial expressions, droplets that fall from Conker's body when he has been in liquid (don't ask what), and a shadow which acts very realistically. In general, Conker's BFD has a cartoonish and exaggerated features, such as blood and vomit look like gobs of jelly. The only defect was that you can occasionally see lines in the background. However, this was only a minor issue and didn't detract significantly from the game.

Audio

The music for Conker's BFD is spectacular. Each area had its own sound, such as the banjo/fiddle duo played in the barn area and haunting violin music of Castle Conkula. This set the feel for the scene and was a wonderful touch. The sound effects are equally good. There are a full range of noises, from the action specific to background sounds for a given area. Character voices are used throughout the game, with Conker and other characters commenting on the action. The sound was a big part of what made this game great.

Bottom Line

While there is nothing especially original about any one thing in Conker's BFD, the elements are brought together better then in most games. Additionally, the whole concept of an action/adventure game targeted at a mature audience is an idea I've never seen tried before.

Buy it, as long as you are age 17 or older. Conker's BFD is a hilarious adventure game backed up by a fun multiplayer option. I have one friend who is buying it after seeing the multiplayer action, and another who is buying an N64 system again just so he can get Conker's BFD. As long as the tasteless aspects of the game don't turn you off, you will not regret the purchase.

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Conker's Bad Fur Day Downloads

Nintendo 64 Conker's Bad Fur Day download

Hardcore Squirrel!

When Rare said that Conker's Bad Fur Day was going to be a title for the mature gamer they weren't kidding! Full of violence, gore and profanities this title may be a cartoon-esque adventure but it's certainly not for a ะบ kiddie audience. In one Jurassic Park-style scene a character is torn in half by a dinosaur amidst a glorious spray of blood! Conker's Bad Fur Day puts you in the title role of Conker, a mildly psychotic furry animal who is quite ' literally thrown into the adventure. After a late night out with only a bad hangover to show for it. Conker is dropped behind enemy lines into a foreign world full of strange hostile creatures. Along the way he runs into a variety of strange characters, including none other than Death himself-and he's actually one of the friendlier individuals that our hungover hero comes across!

As is to be expected from Rare nowadays, the graphics in Bad Fur Day are top-notch and there are some stunning body and facial animations. It's amazing how angry one squirrel can be made to look! Keep an eye out for this seriously miffed squirrel, hitting an N64 near you around Christmas time!

reggie posted a review
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