Poll Winner: CONKER’S BAD FUR DAY
In 2001, near the end of the N64’s lifecycle, Rare released Conker’s Bad Fur Day. The game is intended towards older gamers, as it features foul language and crude jokes. Like most of Rare’s other masterpieces it is a 3D platformer/action game with a mix of puzzles. It features Conker, a humorous but foul squirrel. Its target audience, late release and lack of advertising led to it being Rare’s worst selling title, despite being a humongous critical success. It was rereleased in a slightly censored form on the XBox as Conker: Live and Reloaded and also rereleased in its original form on the XBox One’s Rare Replay collection.
I never had the pleasure of playing Conker’s Bad Fur Day back during my N64 days. In fact I had never even heard of the game until well after it’s release. It wasn’t until now that I picked it up to collect and review, mainly because of its high price tag (~$100). The cover art doesn’t tell me much, but the warning below it saying its not for those under age 17 certainly does. After playing it I can see why. The game is full of alcohol use, sexual references and obscenities. Things that today we wouldn’t think twice about, but back in 2001 was a pretty rare thing for a video game, especially one on a Nintendo console. I found the use of these mature themes to be done in perfect and hilarious taste though. They are not thrown in simply for shock factor. They add to the story and personality of Conker and his world full of interesting characters and predicaments. I cannot think of another game that has made me literally laugh out loud as many times as I did with Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Joke after joke, funny character after funny character, I was never bored playing this game. There are tons of hidden jokes, movie references and tasteful breaking of the fourth wall. All of this is pulled off through superb writing and perfect voice acting, both of which helped me really become engrossed in the game and its crazy world.
Gameplay wise its platforming was overall fantastic and I would expect no less from a Rare game. It also makes good use of a semi-open world environment, using a sort of central hub that is cleverly connected to other smaller world pieces that all progress seamlessly with the overall plot line. As far as graphics and music this is without a doubt the best N64 game I’ve ever seen. Conker’s Bad Fur Day holds up better visually than any other Saturn, PlayStation or N64 I replayed for this blog. It has excellent themes that differ between the levels and do a great job of adding to the environment and personality of the game without being loud or demanding attention.
As impressed as I was with Conker’s Bad Fur Day I did find one small issue with it. Like Rare’s other platformers (actually all platformers up to then) there are some camera issues from time to time. It was really just an issue in one particular area of the world and wasn’t enough to ruin the game or anything, just enough to pull me out of the experience for a couple minutes.
Conker’s Bad Fur Day is a masterpiece of writing and game design, one I wish I hadn’t missed out on as a kid. Not only is this one of the best N64 games I’ve ever played, it may be one of the best games I’ve ever played…period. Thank you guys so much for voting for this game as I would’ve probably waited a long time before playing it.