|Title||:||Conker's Bad Fur Day|
|Review by||:||Larry Tipton|
Conker's Bad Fur Day (BFD) is unsuitable for children. The game garnishes a mature rating and goes to extreme measures to ensure that the rating is deserved. The cute little characters found in the game look like those found in other offerings designed for everyone in mind but be forewarned: these are some of the most irreverent, vilest, violent, trash-mouthed characters that you've ever seen in a video game. If you like this sort of thing, read on, my sick (just kidding) friend.
This Nintendo 64 game is basically a 3D platformer with plenty of combat and puzzle-solving sequences thrown in. There are clever movie parodies found throughout. If you've seen the movie you'll see the similarities immediately. The game packs plenty of animated scenes that help to tell the story and it also keeps things fresh and moving along. Surprisingly, there is a lot of speech in the game. Characters will converse with Conker, many of them are hilarious to watch and listen to. Some are there simply to instruct, others insult or swear and will interject a little bathroom humor. Speaking of humor, the tendency in BFD is to heavily focus on fecal matters, bodily fluids, lewd conduct and sexual innuendo to keep "adults" entertained. The violence is best described as being bloody and gory. It can be a shock to the system to see a cute little character meet its demise in such a fashion for the first time on a Nintendo platform.
Conker, a feisty little squirrel, begins the game drunk and confused. After throwing up from over indulgence he soon finds himself talking to a scarecrow. Much of the character interaction in the game happens for a reason. In this case, the scarecrow teaches Conker what the special action platforms are for. Conker uses one and takes a fizzy drink to cure his drunkenness. You'll find context sensitive platforms or pads throughout the game. Each will give Conker the temporary ability to perform a specific task. The rest of the game is laid out pretty much in the same manner. Conker wanders about to take on specific challenges or to solve a puzzle all the while gaining temporary abilities to complete a task. The game really does not seem to come together until the very end.
The one player game is made up of seven chapters. Conker's BFD is linear in its design. It is also very short. Seasoned gamers will be able to complete the game in less than twenty hours. But it is the kind of game that you'll probably want to play through a few times just to catch all the tongue-in-cheek conversations and site gags. Did I mention there is a singing pile of poo in BFD?
Due to the nature of Conker's BFD graphics and the inherent 3D camera view and its use of player shadows you may find some platform sequences insanely difficult. Sometimes the control is not as tight as it could be. You usually do not lose a life from a missed jump but you will be forced to retrace your steps again. I've lost count how often I've had to retry a section just to move on to the next area.
Graphically, the game is a little less detailed than Banjo Tooie. But the graphical touches are better here overall. Occasionally, the game tends to take a frame rate hit, as apparently Rare is pushing the hardware to its limits. The music and sound effects are superb considering the highly compressed nature of the media on the cartridge format and features full Dolby sound support throughout.
After successfully completing BFD you will unlock a multitude of multiplayer games including death match, tank battle, racing and a few more surprises. There are seven games in all. Frankly, these could have been sold as a separate game pack. I'm always happy to see a developer add such features to a product.
Conker's Bad Fur Day is sure to please, shock, frustrate, dismay and entertain anyone up to the task.
This article is copyright (c) 2001, 2007 by Ken Gagne. All rights reserved. Not to be distributed without permission.
Original publication: Sentinel & Enterprise, 26-Mar-01