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Conker's Bad Fur Day (Nintendo 64) Review

Review for Conker

The whole saga surrounding Rare and the sale from Nintendo to Microsoft has been at the forefront of the gaming world ever since the Twycross company sent out a rather ambiguous Christmas card round to the Industry. One of the company's last great titles came out right at the end of the Nintendo 64's life and was in stark contrast to the family-friendly Banjo-Kazooie. Welcome to Conker's dark and unruly world...

BFD starts with little old Conker the squirrel sat on a throne, crown tilted on his head, looking thoroughly fed up. Cue a flashback to how it all started – Conker getting drunk, again, in the local with a group of friends. Sat there, merrily becoming increasingly intoxicated, bladder swelling and guilt level at leaving girlfriend Berri alone at home rising rapidly, he decides that since it is his round next, he had better use a delay tactic. So off he stumbles, staggering more than seems healthy, when he notices some cute girls at a nearby table. But then he also notices some men dressed as soldiers as well, discussing the war between the Teddiz and the Squirrels. Next thing he knows, he is being pushed into signing up to fight for his own kind. And so begins his Bad Fur Day…

The Nintendo 64 started off with a bang when Nintendo released Super Mario 64 to the world, leaving gamers gasping for breath at the sight of such a wonderful 3D rendering of the Mushroom Kingdom and the Italian plumber himself. From there Third Party games just seemed to flounder in comparison. However, at the time the part-owned by Nintendo Rare had become highly accustomed to the hardware and by the time Conker came out as the platform was about to keel over and breath its last puff. Therefore, what was cranked out for Conker’s Bad Fur Day still stands out as one of the finest examples of 3D on the system, with scarily detailed attention on the various characters (it really is worrying at times what goes on in the minds of the artists there – which you will understand when you see that sunflower – and brilliant themed environments to play through. A triumph indeed…

Screenshot for Conker's Bad Fur Day on Nintendo 64 - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Rare’s musical style is well known by Nintendo fans – upbeat, happy-go-lucky music that makes you feel happier whilst playing its titles. With Conker’s Bad Fur Day this does not change too much in all honesty, but the addition of various effects (such as squelching poo noises), scenario techniques (like the soundtrack going slower and off-key as Conker becomes drunk and stumbles around, hiccoughing regularly) and very impressive voice acting mean that the Nintendo 64’s swansong was the company’s greatest accomplishment of that generation. Whilst the music and sound effects brought so much to the game, nothing beats anything like the Scouse Dung Beetles, a posh cow getting the screaming squirts or the Great Mighty Poo song. You simply cannot buy ‘class’ like this anywhere else and it is a major reason why people miss Rare so much today.

Screenshot for Conker's Bad Fur Day on Nintendo 64 - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Plagiarism and paying homage to classics are similar in nature, yet completely different in execution. Unfortunately, many critics placed Rare in the former category, stating that anything it churned out was simply a re-jigged version of some other developer’s game – especially its close friend, Nintendo. Sure, the parallels can be drawn between the likes of Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie, as well as Mario Kart 64 and Diddy Kong Racing, but Rare’s games always had enough extras thrown in to ensure that gamers were not being fooled into making a false purchase and having basically a duplicate title. Classics such as GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, Killer Instinct, Blast Corps and even its very old titles of SabreWulf, Knight Lore, Attic Attac and so on highlight the diversity found with the Stamper Brothers’ group. Conker’s Bad Fur Day can be added to that creative list, most definitely.

You see, whereas it may just seem like your average, run-of-the-mill three-dimensional platform adventure at first glance, delving deeper into the adventure, peeling back that initial outer layer, reveals something extraordinarily special.

Screenshot for Conker's Bad Fur Day on Nintendo 64 - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Your tasks throughout help to avoid this from slumping into a cesspit Leisure Suit Larry void. Chasing round, trying to bash a bouncing key (complete with eyes and annoying cry), with a frying pan fresh from your context sensitive button in order to open up a door is a simple example. Having to goad a raging bull, get it to ram into a wooden barrier, then jump on its back and guide it round to charge at a poor defenceless cow, making her wander over to a vat of prune juice that you conveniently left by the arena-side and gulp it down, only to excrete the intake pretty soon after, before eventually making her explode with one final charge is an instance where more thought has to go into proceedings. This is by no means a half-baked game. Rare put blood, sweat and tears in to BFD to change it from the sugary-sweet original build and the rather average GBC version. It definitely succeeded in creating a memorable classic...

It is not so much the fact that Conker's BFD is a very difficult game at all, more the actuality of it being extremely long, in-depth and perhaps slightly unfair in the control stakes. However, the minor control issues do not deter from the enjoyment factor considerably and what you have is a highly entertaining platform romp. Full of laughter, disgusting features, varied and original level design and challenges that really get the brain working and tests your reflexes, BFD is a majestic N64 title that will sit in your N64 snugly until that final annoying boss is chuck out of the air-lock and the final credits roll out.

Screenshot for Conker's Bad Fur Day on Nintendo 64- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Other than a few camera niggles and the sometimes unresponsive jump manoeuvre, the majority of the game more than covers those small blemishes. Fun, taxing and even rib-ticklingly amusing at times, BFD is a must-play N64 game.

Graphics

Coming at the end of the N64's lifespan, when Rare had played around with the hardware enough to churn out jaw-dropping titles like Banjo-Tooie, Conker has so much attention-to-detail it even made Nintendo's own games look shame-faced!

Sound

Great tunes, a song about the Great Mighty Poo and so much speech that brought immense amounts of character to BFD made this a definite winner.

Value

The game is not the hardest out there, other than when being unfair to you, but the amount that has been poured into it mean that a lot of time will be spent playing through, having fun and getting frustrated. Great stuff indeed!

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

Rare created something of a masterpiece finale for the Nintendo 64, just before the system kicked the metaphorical bucket. The aim was to show the world that a title full of smutty jokes and a song about a giant excretion monster did not necessarily have to be a weak game. Executed to almost perfection, it is no wonder that this has been remade on the XBOX recently and it is highly pleasing to see it garnering the recognition it deserves this time round (even if on a competitor's console).

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24.03.2006

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Developer

Rare

Publisher

THQ

Genre

3D Platformer

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (22 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I still love this game, just wish the ISS series hadn't gone so downhill with the advent of the GameCube...

Great review Raz! Oh, wait... :read:

Hehe! :alien:

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

I remember nearly buying this, but got castlevania instead. Nice review raz.
(last screen doesn't work)

It's going to be shit and you jolly well know it.

Can't understand why anyone likes this actually...i found it to be unplayable, thought it was awful...still have it, never play it, I prefer Konami's Pro Evo series on the PS1-2...wish they'd bring that out on a Nintendo system...

I loved INTERNATIONAL SUPERSTAR SOCCER 64 i havent played ISS 98 though but i loved ISS 64 awsome game, i still reckon it better then Pro Evo or FIFA :P

I see all these people insulting the Nintendo corporation because of the lack of mature content. Yet there is something about Nintendo (at least their games) that strikes a certain unadulterated feeling of joy!!!  Pokemon Y - 1048-9263-5562
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I_H, I think there was a cult following for the PES games on the PSone, but I couldn't stand them. In my eyes PES took off with the PS2 and ISS died with the GC...

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

I dunno Raz, I mostly found it annoying when my players always ended up doin bicycle kicks instead of headers..the control wasn't intuitive I felt, whereas Pro Evo just clicked with me - it felt perfect, i could actually focus on the game rather than fume at the controls...

To each his own I suppose, but ISS just didn't do it for me...

Will go give it another go now though, just to see if I might think differently now that i'm a more experienced gamer...will update my thoughts on it a bit later then...

I still haven't played this, and its pretty expensive secnd hand. I may pick up the remake when I get my Xbox.
What about Virtual Console download? It was published by THQ afterall and so MS might not have asmuch of a stranglehold.

Nice review, I read it yesterday Smilie

It's going to be shit and you jolly well know it.

this game was hilairious definatly pick it up

Just 2 games left to get before I'm happy with my N64 game collection - this and Banjo Tooie. Hope to get it on the virtual console download thing...but will Microsoft allow it? Hmm...

Hahaha.. I own all of Rare's last hurrahs, including Conker and Banjo Tooie.

Oddly enough, I never actually bought Banjo Kazooie, despite finishing it twice on a friend's cart... I still plan to buy it, almost 5 years later!

I'm sorry, but this game was next to unplayable. I point to this game as the start of the fall of Rare.

I dont believe rare madae a bad n64 game, this was such a funny game, and I thought the ontrol system worked extremely well. and come on how great was the giant poo and the lobby scenes. multiplayer was fun too

Visit this great Forum:

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Best 64 game ever, Mines still in mint condition with box and all.

I dont think RARE made a bad n64 game.....well if i had to be picky it would be either blast corps or Jet Force Gemini but seriously that is nit-picking.

people tend to judge DK64 as the worst game RARE made on the N64 but i heavily disagree with that.
Nice review, i heavily reccomend a purchase of this game. I heard the XBOX re-hash aint all that

will this be avaible to download on the VC?

the main criticism of the xbox version is that apparently its censored - quite a lot.

I tried tp play the xbox mp levels (offline) and they were confusing, and i didnt find it as enjoyable as i found the mp on the n64.

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