OK let's start with the positive: This game has got the be the funniest game on the N64. Back in the day when it came out, it was unthinkable to have such a grown-up game with raunchy, adult humor on a Nintendo console. And the whole thing was developed by Rare, who had their golden age on the Nintendo 64 and were the very best developer around. So what could go wrong?
Turns out, a lot.OK let's start with the positive: This game has got the be the funniest game on the N64. Back in the day when it came out, it was unthinkable to have such a grown-up game with raunchy, adult humor on a Nintendo console. And the whole thing was developed by Rare, who had their golden age on the Nintendo 64 and were the very best developer around. So what could go wrong?
Turns out, a lot. I picked this game up again yesterday after not having played it for probably 16 years. It was mentioned in a Youtube Video and I actually had very fond memories of it. So I started playing and was delighted at the humor in the cutscenes, the characters, and the pop culture references, many of which I didn't get back then at age 11 when I first played it.
But soon enough, other memories also resurfaced: Unbearable frustration, me throwing my N64 controller across the room and totally freaking out at the game. And now, I can confidently say; that rage was not just me as an 11-year old not having the experience and skill to master a hard game. That rage was completely justified because this game is hard for ALL THE WRONG REASONS.
The controls and camera are completely focked. You never know if your jumps are gonna land where you want them to, which is the death-sentence for any platforming game. But it's not just the platforming, every game mechanic is absolute sheet. Aiming with the slingshot is completely unintuitive. Underwater levels are hell on earth because you become disoriented within seconds thanks to the lousy camera. You can theoretically control the camera with the C-buttons, but good luck with that!
Other mechanics only appear once or really infrequently. For example, there are sections where Conker gets drunk, has to piss on certain things/enemies and then gets hung-over after a while. Then you have to walk to a first aid box and pop an Alka Seltzer before you can move normally again (and return to the beer keg to get drunk again, because you probably have not finished what you need to do in one go-around). My questions: WHY is the first aid box located at the focking other end of the room? WHY the fock does Conker have to walk so unbearably slow when hung-over, sometimes while there are other enemies around, whose attacks you have NO CHANCE of avoiding in this state? WHY THE FOCK does Conker have to come to a standstill every two meters to puke? Why even have the hung-over state at all if all it does is annoy players and drag the game out? WHY,WHY,WHY. Why a lot of things. Why is the move set so limited compared to Rare games that came out before, like Banjo-Kazooie? Why do you take fall damage even from ridiculously low heights? WHY are the mechanics so focked, that even though I know exactly what the game wants me to do, I just cannot accomplish it and I have no idea what I'm doing wrong because things just don't work as you would expect? (Thinking of the caveman disco here)
Frankly, the game is just not fun. And like Reggie said: "If the game's not fun, why bother?" Which is a downright shame, because the cutscenes (and the characters in them) are A LOT of fun, but the gameplay in between is mediocre at best and unnerving, frustrating, unfair and completely defect at worst. Seems to me like all the resources, ideas and energy were put into the jokes, and the game is just a hastily put-together vehicle for them.
If you are like me and you have fond memories of this game and want ro revisit them by digging up your N64 and popping this cartridge in: Don't. Keep your fond memories. Watch a cutscenes supercut on Youtube, but don't give yourself the torture of actually playing this.… Expand