Name:Conker:Live and Reloaded
Publisher:Microsoft Game Studios
Release Date:Jun 24, 2005
Age Rating:16+ for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Mature Humor, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes and Use of Tobacco and Alcohol
Number Of Players:1-2 or 1-16 Online or System Link
In-game dolby digital:Yes
Now avalible in Classic edition
Rare have been developing games since 1985. They have developed games for consoles and handhelds like the Spectrum, NES, and Game Boy. The company has made some of the biggest N64 games ever such as Donkey Kong Country, Conker's Bad Fur Day, GoldenEye and Perfect Dark. After making games for Nintnedo for 17 years, the company was sold to Microsoft Game Studios in 2002. Conker:Live and Reloaded isn't a sequel, it's a re-make. The original was originally meant to be a cute and cuddly platformer like Banjo Tooie or Banjo Kazooie, but after some controversy and some tinkering with the game, it became the adult game it was. The game was marked not only for it's controversial content, but for it's amazing qualities, like it's presentational features and it's varied gameplay. More than 5 years later Rare and Microsoft remade the game, giving it enhanced graphics and online play.
The premise was gimmicky when the original was released, and it's still gimmicky now. You play as Conker, who looks like a platformer hero from a platformer like Crash Bandicoot or Ratchet and Clank, but is actually a foul mouthed, heavy drinking squirrel who one night gets seriously drunk. He comes out the bar and meets up with this strange creature, then he throws up on his shoe. Conker tries to make his way home but passes out. When he wakes back up he finds out that he's lost. As he tries to find his way home, he'll meet a giant boiler with big testicles, Foul Mouthed Cogs, The Undead and even a Panther King who controls weasels and for some reason wants Conker to help fix his table some how. To be honest this is very little of what you'll experience in this game.
The controls are fine. You basically move Conker by pushing the left stick in the direction you want him to move. Also to get out your 'special' weapon you press B. Another thing you can do with the B button is activate the Context Sensitive Pad, which i will explain more about later in the gameplay section. And (of course) to jump press A. When in the Third Person Shooter levels press the right stick to zoom in and aim more accurately with your gun. The controls are responsive and easy to learn, though hitting enemies can be a hassle as you need to push the Right Trigger slowly, but if you don't hit it fast enough then you won't get the chance to do a combo, but that's no serious, or hard to deal with.
Despite the fact that Conker's Bad Fur Day did an exceptional job of mixing perhaps two of the most desperately different genres, this reviewer felt the game this time around was poorly paced. About the first two-thirds or so are platforming, as you jump around different environments, collect items (mostly MONEY!), sometimes engaging engaging in combat with some ugly bad guys, and solving creative yet pretty easy puzzles. This part is mostly quite good, though a little too simplistically. There's really very little to master, aside from making Conker's jumps and using the B button as a contextually sensitive action button. The levels has lots of B pads that you can just step on, press the B button, and then go into some kind of random action which include taking out a slingshot to hit a nearby button or turning yourself into an anvil so you can crush whatevers below you.
Despite these cool aspects of the platforming portions, some problems with the sections bow these sections down. Firstly, the basic combat is kinda lame, not because of the idea itself, but how it's executed. You can do one of two things, either hit an enemy once, move back and go back and do it again until it dies, or try to hit it three times in a row, which throws it in the air causing it to crash to the ground and destroy it. Luckily, you don't engage in combat much during these sections, but when you do it's annoying. Another problem is controlling Conker can be a problem, not because of the controls themself though. Jumps sometimes feel unresponsive in certain parts, as trying to put him in a good position before falling to your doom can be hard (simply because Conker didn't stop moving). Also, the camera can be annoying in tight areas to position properly. And the last, and most frustrating, problem the game has is that the game doesn't do much of a job of helping you know what the heck you're mean't to be going or doing. . Some of the objectives are obvious, but when they're not, they are downright blurred, and it takes about 10 to 15 minutes of searching and looking around to figure it out. I actually printed out a guide from the Internet, that's how hard some of the objectives were to find or understand Maybe if Rare adding something like a HUD which would tell you what you're mean't to do then this problem wouldn't be such a pain. At least the game is challenging i guess, but to be honest it doesn't need to be this challenging trying to do something simple as this. Perhaps the best thing about the game is the boss fights, they are really, really fun to play and are quite challenging, but they are sometimes laughably easy, especially the last boss fight (which should be the hardest of them all). In the game you collect MONEY, which sometimes help you pass to a new area as you have to sometimes pay a toll, but you get it back after. You also need to collect Chocolate, which is your health, as you have 6 pieces and if you lose them you're DEAD!
As you get to the later levels of the game, Conker quickly turns from a Platformer into a third-person shooter, and these parts are a ton more fun than the platforming areas. There isn't much to them, to be honest all you do is blast enemies like zombies, the evil Tediz (they're basically Nazis, except they're teddy bears, i know it's strange), and other nasty bad guys. These sections are really fast paced, especially compared to the platforming sections. They are so different to the platforming that you feel like you've just changed your game. It's a little strange moving from something so slowly paced as the platforming sections, but once you get use to it, you'll find a real reward-an amazing game.
Right, i haven't forgotten the fans of the original. If you have played this on the N64 you may be wondering if they have added anything to the experience, and the answer is...sort of. Certain things from the original are different, which is mostly it's little details, for example it's item placement and locations of certain collectible items. Also some of the frustrating aspects of the game have either been changed so they're more forgiving or just cut out. I think that cutting out some of the originals aspects is lazy and a cheap way out, Rare managed to improve some of the game's aspects, so why not improve the aspects they cut out? There's also been some aesthetic changes, for example the Mansion level has been given a change that makes it sort of like Van Helsing (though not really changed in any other major way). To be honest it's mostly the the same game you might have played nearly five years ago. So if you played the original, you may be disappointed that they didn't change it much, but if (you're like me) you didn't play the original then you will appreciate that they didn't change this much. I have only talked about one half of the game, now i need to tell you about the multiplayer, which is new and completely different from the single-player game.
When you first start a multiplayer match, you'll need to choose a side, which is either the good guys-the squirrels (who are known as the SHC), or the evil Tediz. You will then need to choose a character class. There are several classes to pick from, and each class has a nice list of abilities and weapons unique to each character. The slower/bigger class have big bazookas, the smaller character class can hide herself (though they can only carry melee weapons) and then there's the the middle sized grunt, who carries a machine gun. There's more classes including Snipers, sky jockeys, and thermophiles. It's great to figure out what kind of character suits your style of playing, as if you play as a character you're not suited with you'll probably die quickly.
To be honest, the multiplayer is tough to get use to thanks to a couple of problems. The vehicles are kind of a pain early on because they don't handle well at first, but once you get use to them, you'll be fine with them which is good as killing your opponents by shooting a big missile into their head is quite fun and funny. It also doesn't help that the objective-based maps can be pretty hard to manoeuvre the first few times you try them out, thanks to the heads-up display which doesn't do much to help you know exactly what you need to be doing, so it'll take some trial and error to really figure out how the whole thing is supposed to work. The objectives for each map usually just need you to secure specific locations through a map, or the style of gameplay found in the capture the flag kind of stuff. Though the maps themselves are rarely huge, most of them have at least a few unique aspects. The first map in the game, entitled Beach Dead, is taken from the whole D-Day scene from the Saving Private Ryan spoof in the single-player game. Another map is held in and around a castle currently occupied by the nasty Tediz. A vast precipice separates the good guys from the Tediz, and a pair of cable cars goes back and forth, taking members from each side to the opposing territory.
There are a couple of other issues with the multiplayer that prevent it from being brilliant mostly that certain character classes just aren't balanced as well as they could be. The guys with the bazookas really do dominate the match and can kill an enemy in an instance and if you play against anyone with a bazooka, which is downright unfair. Snipers and other grunts tend to get killed the easiest, because grunts' weaponry just isn't that powerful or accurate. When playing as a Sniper you need to be extremely accurate in order to work effectively. The good news for the less-powerful classes (and for all classes, really) is that there are weapon upgrades you can get, and they do quite a bit to counteract the initial balancing problems.
This game is really designed for a lot of people to play at once, as in smaller matches, it doesn't fare well as the maps are designed so big that when you have few to none people that the maps feel empty and bare. If you can get a big-sized group of people together to play online or split-screen, and that group of people have some experience, you're probably going to have a very good time with Conker's multiplayer. The action can be fun when played well, and terrible when played poorly. It's unfortunate that this isn't the kind of gameplay that you can just immediately get into and enjoy no matter who you're playing with or against. It should be said that there is also two-player split-screen play with bots, system link play, and single-player versions of all the multiplayer missions (again, with bots).
Perhaps the best thing about Live and Reloaded is the graphics. This is hands-down one of the best-looking Xbox games ever made, if not the best. Take a close look at Conker's character model, wheather it's during the game or during a cutscene, and the detail on him is absolutely incredible. His fur looks smooth and realistic and he animates without any jerkiness or unrealistic movement. The environments are beautiful and very, very well crafted, as you travel through lots of different environments including a Stone Age Club, Graveyards filled with the un-dead and even a mountain of poo. The various enemies and side characters are mostly as detailed as Conker, with Lot's of different looking enemies. And even with all this incredible detail, the frame rate is pretty much a stable, though it somtimes chop up in the most intense moments, and you'll barely notice even with them moments. During the multiplayer, the high level of detail seen in the single player campaign isn't quite as high here, but it still looks amazing. Even with all the explosions going off all over the place in the multiplayer, it still runs smoothly and only rarely chops up. There's a lot of gore in Conker, as you smash these armored imps the blow up and blood flies everywhere. Also when you kill one of these armored imps blood drips down your screen as if you're watching through a window and blood has just splatted onto your window. This game is, put simply, one of the most gorgeous, beautiful, detailed and well made games to look at on the Xbox-period. This is the closest you're going to get to next-gen graphics without actually playing a next-gen console.
The original Conker was mostly known for how comedic it was, it had hilarious moments and some funny spoofs, and Live and Reloaded stays true to that. The voice acting is very good, especially since Rare could of just had anyone do the job and the person might not of even did the job well. The person who voiced the Original version's Conker returns to voice him once again, and, just like the original, he does does a great job of voicing Conker, as Conker's voice sounds just like a drunk, angry squirrel trying to find his way home. The game is rated 16+ (surprisingly not 18+) not only because of it's gore and language, but because of it's movie spoofs. The game has tons of movie spoofs from films like The Godfather, The Terminator, Saving Private Ryan, The Matrix, Alien and tons more, and, in case you haven't noticed, these are all adult films that have either gotten 15+ or 18+ ratings. Conker seems to copy the scenes with either the most gore, most use of bad language or the most suggestive scenes from them films so that's another reason why it's pretty adult, though the game bleeps out some of the stronger language as it has only gotten a 16+ which, while not the highest rating, is pretty adult. This certainly isn't for the squeamish, but if you can handle all of this content then you'll enjoy the game for what it is. Conker still has terrific humor, for example it'll say ''I bet he has a bigger bone that you'', which are extremely funny. Though there's not much different from the original, so if you played the original then you may find some of the spoofs and humor to not be as funny as it was when first released. That said, the game is still very funny, and if you haven't played the original then you'll find this to be a hilarious game. The in-game music is also quite catchy, with some nice tunes that suite the action and the place you're in, for example when you're in the haunted mansion the music will be quite spooky and quiet, but when you get attacked by a zombie the music will go really high and scarier. Overall the sound is great for people who haven't played the original.
As far as the game's length goes it, it's pretty short by Rare standards, but it's still pretty long. The game takes around 15-20 hours (thanks to the horribly blurry objectives that make you explore for about 5-10 minutes), which is long, but not as long as games like Banjo Kazooie or Donkey Kong 64. As far as replay value goes, it really depends if you have played the original or if you want to play online. If you have played the original and ar not planning on playing online then you probably want to skip this as there's only the single-player campaign and some of the single-player levels in the multiplayer. But if you're looking to play Conker online and have played the original then you will find a high amount of value here. But if you haven't played the original and are looking to play online then you'll have a ton of value. Now I'm not sure if you'll find people to play online as i haven't played online, but judging that the game is nearly 2 years old, and now the Xbox 360 is out, then you may not find people to play online.
Controls=10-Simple, and responsive
Gameplay=8-Incredibly Varied, but poorly paced
Graphics=10-The closest you're going to get to next-gen graphics without actually playing a next-gen console.
Sound=9-Hilarious dialogue and great effects, though nothing new for people who played the original
Replay Value=7-The game is short compared to Rare's other games, but there's a fun to be had after-if you have friends
Conker:LR is a mixed game. On the one hand, the game has some of the best graphics on the Xbox and the gameplay holds up really well after nearly 6 years. But on the other hand the multiplayer is apparently a little flawed (there's probably no one who plays on the Xbox Live multiplayer now) and some of the humor hasn't held up as well as as the gameplay, and once you've finished the single-player if you don't have Xbox Live then you're done with the game, though you may want to play through the game again. If you didn't get a chance to play Bad Fur Day on the N64 and are dying to play it, then Live and Reloaded is a must have and the new graphics make the game even better for you people. But if you've already played the N64 version then there's not much point in playing it, especially if you haven't got Xbox Live. But if you want to try the multiplayer out and can find some friends who want to play this then you may want to at least rent this.
-(If You Like This I'd Suggest)-
-(Where You Can Buy It)-
amazon for £7.95 used and new
I paid £9.99 from a local Gamestation
The game features intense Deathmatch and Campaign story line modes via Xbox Live and System Link, and players can compete as one of six combat specialists across multi-mission campaigns covering Old War and Future War. The warfare promises to deliver the non-stop action, humor, and innuendos Conker is famous for.