Conker's Bad Fur Day Review
April 28, 2018
Widely regarded as one of the best 3D-platformers ever, Conkers Bad Fur Day was the last game by legendary game developer Rare for the Nintendo 64. 3D-platformers are one of my all time favorite genres, and I was a huge fan of Rare's games on the Nintendo 64, like Banjo Kazooie, Donkey Kong, and Goldeneye. However, Conkers Bad Fur Day is rated M, so me and my friends never played it back then, we were too young. I always saw it on lists of best 3D-platformer games, and decided to try it now that I am old enough to play M-rated games.
Conker is rated "M" for mature because most of the dialouge and jokes are extremely foul. Poop-themed levels, sex jokes, surprising amounts of gore (considering it's a cartoon game like Banjo Kazooie), foul langauge, it's hard to believe Nintendo okayed this game. I haven't been too bothered by any of this, as I was aware of it before playing. Most players who like Conker's Bad Fur Day seem to love the foul humor. I don't think it is very funny at all. The game is trying way too hard to be edgy, like a junior high kid who thinks he's cool by swearing constantly, or watching R-rated movies he doesn't understand. I've never cared for stories in video games, so I got past this.
The graphics are very good, considering the game is from 2001. The game's world is cartoony, but detailed, with great textures covering everything. Conker's character looks great too, with detailed facial expressions and a top notch shadow that changes depending on Conker's movements and the light source of the level. He even has a detailed reflection in the water.
Music and Sound
The music in the game is good. The main theme is happy and upbeat, which doesn't really fit the foul characters, but is still good. The "Mighty Poo" boss fight has a great song. Sounds in the game are good, especially for the Nintendo 64, as there is a lot of spoken dialouge between characters.
Level design is one of the most important parts of any 3D platformer. After all, the genre is named for the platforming, or running and jumping through each level. Conker's level design is bad, and the levels aren't fun. The game is very linear, which isn't bad on its own, but the levels are often big and open like you would expect in Super Mario 64 or Spyro. However, there is nothing interesting to do in them, unless you like grinding the gameplay to a halt by jumping off a small ledge that clearly looks meant to be jumped off, but hurts you. There is very little telling you where to go or what to do. There aren't really any collectibles in the game either, you just wander around, hoping to talk to the right foul-mouthed creature to move the story along. The levels are just plain bad.
Despite the amazing platforming of Rare's other N64 titles, Conker's gameplay is bad. Everything feels sluggish, like an off-brand gameboy game. Jumping is slow. High-jumping is painfully slow. Minor falls hurt Conker and bring the game to a screeching halt. Conker takes so long to get up when taking damage, that by the time he's up again, the enemy hits him again. It is horrible. One pro of Conker is that he's a no nonsense character with very few moves. But to do anything out of the ordinary, you have to stand on a "context sensitive area" in the game. Then Conker will do something like shoot a slingshot, turn into an anvil, throw toilet paper, etc. depending on whats happening in the game. This is bad too as it often involves shooting something, but it's laggy and aiming is difficult. This is my biggest complaint with the game. It just feels bad.
I think the reason Super Mario games are so popular is because the controls are tight. Mario jumps immediately, there is no delay. Conker's platforming is painfully slow. The camera is also bad. It too is laggy and never seems to work right. I honestly can't believe Rare released the game like this. The first time I played it was on a Nintendo 64. I thought maybe my copy of the game was bad, so my second attempt was on the Xbox One's Rare Replay (an amazing collection of games), but it was the same there.
Conker had all the right ingredients for an amazing game. A 3D-platformer on my favorite console. A cartoony character from Diddy Kong Racing. Developed by Rare, creator of Banjo Kazooie, one of my favorites. I was really exicted to play it, and it was a huge letdown. Popular opinion online is that once Microsoft bought Rare is when they fell apart. But after playing Conker's Bad Fur Day, I think maybe Nintendo realized that Rare had lost its magic touch, and weren't too worried about losing them. Don't believe the hype surrounding this game, it isn't fun. However, if you have an Xbox One, I HIGHLY recommend Rare Replay, which includes Conker along with a lot of other great games, so you could try it for yourself.