XBOX REVIEW: CONKER LIVE AND RELOADED
That cute, fluffy squirrel won't be the only one with potty mouth.

Conker, in case you don't know, is not a game for young children despite the rather innocuous look of the cartoonish cast that looks like it would be home in a Disney studio - okay, maybe Pixar. But Conker has more in common with Andrew Dice Clay than Chip and Dale or Woody.

Conker is a foul-mouthed mammal that revels in his adult content to good effect. The original game, Bad Fur Day, had a lot more to offer than just the novelty of a swearing squirrel. The gameplay was fun and diverse. In fact it practically rivals the GTA series for diversity. Live and Reloaded attempts to recapture that vibe and take the title to new heights with online play.

Compared to the old game the new one is different. Some parts are easier, the graphics are improved, some levels and situations are missing, while some new content has been added. Overall the gameplay seems a little bit more serious this time around. Some parts are really tough and are guaranteed to have you swearing right along with Conker.

The gameplay is more difficult than it should be and it's not due to lack of skill, you just don't get enough information on what to do and where to go. There are times when the entire game comes to a complete stop because you're unsure of what's going on. There is no map to guide you, the puzzles are arbitrarily presented; half the time you don't even know if you're involved in a puzzle or just totally lost and you can't find your way out. Dealing with weapons and skills in the multi-player mode is too deep for most gamers. You have to level your character up in RPG fashion. Just switching weapons can be a complex affair.

Conker, as a game, has been made much more personal. You really have to spend some time with it to get used to the control system and all of the options, especially in the multi-player mode. There is a single-player mode that replicates the multi-player mode. You will interact with bots. It's actually less stressful and more fun than playing against real people online. More on that later.

I liked showing people how crazy this game is but there's little chance of letting them have a go at it since it's not geared to pick up and play. People can't believe some of the things that they see in this game such as putting out a fire by drinking beer and pissing on it. There are lots of crazy characters to control and interact with including a vampire bat that has to drop feces on the villagers down below. The overall tone of the game is rude. It's funny and shocking at the same time. The combat is a real war scene complete with gruesome bloodbaths.

Online play is hit or miss. If the game is full with eight players, the action is on. It's full tilt all the way. Things are flying all over the place. If you only have a few players, the pace slows down considerably to the point where I lost interest in less than fifteen minutes. Using Deathmatch as a base the gameplay tends to get complicated with class systems that allow you to use specific weapons and vehicles. You can change your class but you have to do it when you're respawning and it leaves you open to attack.

It takes a lot of patience to upgrade your character. At first you'll have to beg for scraps of weapons that dead enemies leave behind. The only way you'll get ahead is to gain experience and upgrade your character so that you can use a better class of weapons and transportation vehicles.

Once you acquire better weapons you'll have to cycle through a whole host of menus just to change them. Remember this game is in real time and you don't have the luxury of perusing the interface like you're ordering dinner at Denny's. This system is too deep and frustrating. There's no excuse why this shouldn't have been simplified. Another complaint that I have is that even with the improved weapons it takes numerous shots to kill an enemy and that include head shots which as far as I remember should always be one-hit kills. Someone changed the rules and didn't bother to tell me. #&*! that!

Most of the game looks amazing. It's got great detail and depth but some of the character models suffer. The cutscenes are worth the price of admission. I would be first in line to see the Conker movie should that ever come about. Until such time I'll just have to enjoy what I've got of the little bastard and his friends. I would advise you to do likewise. You won't make it to first base if you rent this game. You've got to set aside some serious time if you want to explore all the aspects of the game. If you don't put the time in, chances are you're going to hate it and that would be a f*#%-ing shame.

Preview by Chris
HANDS ON: Conker's Bad Fur Day shook the sugarcoated image that Nintendo created. Let's face it: the game may have featured a cute looking squirrel, however, Conker was not the usual Nintendo character. He was crude, rude and fans of the game loved it. Some parents on the other hand bought this game not looking at the rating or even reading the back of the box and were shocked to find the little furry guy to be a foul-mouthed character. He had attitude and even a little "Randy". Oh hell, the little guy was always looking for action and let's just leave it at that. Fans know the story. The game was a hit but created a stir and if you were to ask me it was exactly what Nintendo needed. I have to say it came a little too late though. Well, Rare left Nintendo's happy family and the little guy is coming to the Xbox in his own "Live" enabled action adventure.

I also wondered if Rare would make Conker a little less outrageous. Well, I placed the disc in and soon I found out that Rare actually managed to find a way to make the little guy even more controversial. It's nothing you have not heard or played before but there is something about hearing and seeing the actions coming from this little cute squirrel that is shocking as well as hilarious and I dare say stunning! Okay, not to ruin the whole story, it's a play on the Terminator movies. Hey if Arnold can now be the Governor of California, then Conker can be the next John Connors so to speak. The animation is bright and fantastic at the same time very realistic and a little disturbing. You see Conker on a troop plane dazed and confused, dressed in military gear. He has no idea of how he wound up there. Before he can shake the cobwebs out of his head, he witnesses the slaughter of the elite army of his fellow squirrels by the hands of the Teddies. They are like machines and hell bent on taking over. Our little guy is suddenly the last hope for the future of his race. Man are they in deep s&*t!

You find yourself armed with only a frying pan and limited rations of chocolate. This acts as his health meter. Now Conker must have learned a few new moves since the last time I played his other game. He can crawl and jump and even hover for a short time by spinning his tale. He needs to get out of the line of fire and find a better weapon before he can go nay further. The controls are responsive and fairly easy to learn. You will see the damage he takes from the blood appearing on the screen. After learning the controls, it took awhile to learn where to go and stop from dying. It only took a short time to learn the way the game works. While you're moving, the camera followed well and the angle was almost perfect although there were a few places where the camera could have been placed at a better angle. I know in the final release this will be fixed. The game is part action and part platformer. The demo was impressive but at times a bit frustrating because of the fact you have to find a way out of the line of fire on your own. It is not that tough but they could have given more help in the form of a clue or visual to help know what to do. The voice talents are great and even though the demo was censored it gave me a very good idea of what the final game will be like. It's going to be rude and crude and funny.

Will Conker Live And Reloaded be a hit for the Xbox? I am betting it will! The animation and movements are great the game is certainly adult natured and the violence, even in cartoon form, is a little intense. While the demo I had did not have an online version, the game play seemed solid. It seemed a little unpolished, but again this is an early demo. If you were a fan of the first game, this one will have you looking twice and asking is this for real? Conker has the same quick comebacks and will even yell at the gamer who is controlling him. I know Vaughn hates when I say this but this will not be a game for the whole family to enjoy. Some of the images are graphic although done great. It makes the action stick out even more and I think that was Rare's intent. I personally can't wait to play this online and see what other features are in the final release. It may not be suited for everyone but this one has the potential to be a huge hit with Xbox owners.

Preview by Chris

Rare and Nintendo shocked many when Conker's Bad Fur Day was released for the N64 system. Normally when people think of a Nintendo game they think of the lovable Mario or the other cast of family friendly characters. So when the commercials started to air showing a horny little squirrel and a few sexual innuendos. It caused a lot of buzz. Granted, the game was geared for the older players. However, you have to love a game that had a song about poo! Of course the game was meant to shed some of the sugar off of Nintendo's rep. Thanks to the talented folks at Rare the game was not only fun to play, but it had some great jokes and loaded with bad taste.

Rare left the happy family of Nintendo and now the little furry troublemaker is back and on the Xbox. Excuse the pun but the game is looking to really be loaded with several modes including the original game included that started it all. Conker was shown off at E3 and everyone said the game was looking good. Now Microsoft has released some screen shots and details of the game. The early screen shots look great and the game looks to have some great graphics and effects. The game will focus on the online play and of course the tasteless humor will be a big part of the game. Players will rage war in six different ways and the game will feature several modes including a story based missions and plenty of options.

Microsoft had hoped to have the game ready for a December release but it now looks like the game won't make it until 2005. Fans of the old N64 game are already waiting to get a chance to play this one. Take a look at the screen shots and the known game modes and features so far. We will certainly write an updated preview if any more modes are announced.

Features:

  • Elite squad action: Players choose from six character classes, including Skyjockey, Long Ranger, Grunt, Demolisher, Thermophile, and Sneaker, each with its own signature weapons and abilities. In Conker: Live and Reloaded, team composition has strategic and tactical advantages and implications.
  • Xbox Live gameplay: Team-based gameplay, innovative campaign story lines, and distinctive humor all make for a great experience on Xbox Live. Online players strategize, cooperate, and communicate as a team in Campaign mode, or venture out solo against buddies in Deathmatch. Players can earn war medals, rise through the ranks, secure unlockables, and download new maps.
  • Massive arsenal for maximum carnage: Devastating weapons include camera-guided rockets, an acid thrower, and loads of grenade types. Operate five types of vehicles including Sky Steed, Mule Bomber, R-Hog, Toad Jeep, and Tankus and various types of equipment such as anti-infantry sentries, medi-guns, and a snoop camera. Special abilities allow players to disguise themselves or feign death and sneak up on unsuspecting foes to unload a demoralizing array of attacks.
  • Twisted and irreverent world of Conker: Over-the-top humor, characters, and gameplay dominate in every way with rude wit, lewd innuendoes, and ridiculous violence. The juxtaposition of the characters, Squirrels and Tediz, and their world is at the heart of the humor. The expressions, exclamations, and special effects bring out the true Conker flavor.
  • Wildly bizarre single-player adventure: The critically acclaimed single-player game Conker's Bad Fur Day is now on Xbox, fully recreated with amazing graphics and enhanced profanity. The game is full of hilarious situations, movie pastiches, off-the-wall puzzles, and crazy characters in an offbeat world, including horny bees, voluptuous sunflowers, singing piles of poo, and even Death himself.
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System: Xbox
Dev: Rare
Pub: Microsoft
Release: Mar 2005
Players: 1 - ? Online
Preview by Chris
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
4.0
GRAPHICS
4.5
CONTROL
4.0
MUSIC/FX
4.5
ONLINE
4.0
VALUE
3.0