Release date: 2001
Now and then one can’t help climbing aboard the hype train. You work yourself up into a frothing frenzy in anticipation of some new game whose trailers and screenshots make it seem like the best…thing…EVER. That’s how I felt about Conker’s Bad Fur Day when I first read about it in N64 Magazine (before the internet butchered the magazine industry). They did several preview write-ups about it in the years before it was released, and it changed from being a cutesy 3D adventure, to merely looking like a cutesy 3D adventure plastered with a layer of adult filth. I couldn’t have been more excited to play it. Did it live up to my expectations? Hell yes.
The game was made by Rare, so any right-minded Nintendo gamer should have been excited – they were responsible for some of the best games the console had to offer. But several delays seemed to kill the momentum of the game, and it was finally released in March 2001, right at the end of the N64’s lifecycle. Perhaps because of that, the game didn’t seem to sell as well as Rare may have hoped. Perhaps the fact it was one of the only ‘Mature’ rated games Nintendo had ever published at the time.
The funny thing is, Conker’s Bad Fur Day is far from mature. It’s fucking hilarious, though. As a kid, I felt so naughty playing a game with swear words in. I can still recite lines of dialogue in my head, I played it so many times. The cow-shitting level never ceases to have me in stitches… “Oh I do hope Mavis and Olive don’t see this!” And the rude cog in the tower near the dogfish, utters the frankly genius line, “Twatting shite, don’t ever do that again!” The game was beautiful too, the colourful cartoon graphics pushing the N64 to its limit. Great games always tend to come out towards the end of a console’s life, when the devs know exactly what they can do with the technology, and CBFD is a prime example.
Rare released an inferior remake of the game on the Xbox, with nice fancy new graphics, but it isn’t nearly as good as the original because they added a load of unnecessary combat and even changed some of the dialogue!
The reason I mentioned how badly the game must have sold is because the game seems to be a bit of a collector’s item these days, though there are plenty of them going on eBay. It’s bloody expensive though! £80 for a mint boxed copy. I only wish I still had mine. I lent it to some kid called Stephen who I barely knew, eager to introduce a child to a game that starts off with a hungover squirrel staggering around a cornfield. But the little git never gave it back to me. I hope he looked after it…