Conker Live & Reloaded Xbox
Published by Microsoft Game Studios
Developed by Rare
Release Date: Out Now
Conker Live & Reloaded, an introduction.
Some of the best games to appear on the Nintendo 64 were made by Rare. One game that stands out above the others is Conker's Bad Fur Day. Not only was this a great game but it was a game for adults. What made the game particularly adult in nature was the bad language that filled the game which was completely at odds with the many 'cutesy' games that are always common place on a Nintendo system. Conker's Bad Fur Day was a big success and here we have a remake for the Xbox. This game isn't just a remake of Conker's Bad Fur Day. Also included is a new multiplayer mode for you to enjoy either as a 2-player spilt-screen, System Link or Xbox Live game.
What's the game about?
If you've played Conker's Bad Fur Day then you'll have already experienced the single-player portion of the game. In case you haven't experienced Conker's Bad Fur Day, we'll give a brief summary here. The game begins with Conker leaving his local bar after drinking far too much. He falls unconscious before getting home and when he wakes up things are not what they should be. Essentially then the story is about Conker's journey home and it takes many unexpected twists and turns. It doesn't seem anything different until you factor in the adult language (although this seems toned down a little from the Nintendo 64 version), the movie spoofs and rather adult jokes and innuendo that Conker delivers from time to time.
What's good about the game?
Games that are usually remade tend to be done so in a half-hearted fashion. More often than not the games look like a rough port that doesn't do the console justice. Conker Live & Reloaded is the exception to the norm though and Rare have done a stunning job in making Conker's Bad Fur Day look like it was created for the Xbox. The graphics are outstanding and it's one of the best looking games on the console. Those who haven't played Conker's Bad Fur Day will find the single-player portion of the game well worth the asking price and it's still a great mix of platform and shooting action. The multiplayer side of the game gives you the chance to play a team-based shooter in the Conker world. Matches of 8 vs. 8 are possible on Xbox Live. You have different classes, a solid range of weapons and vehicles that you can man. It's not quite the same as a typical Xbox Live game and it seems a little wacky at first but once you've adjusted to it, fun can be had online.
What's not so good about the game?
Conker Live & Reloaded may not be so appealing if you have already played the Nintendo 64 version of Conker's Bad Fur Day. Yes it's a little different on the Xbox in regards to the graphics and certain things being slightly tweaked but for the most part it's the same game. Yet again, we have that old chestnut about the Xbox Live mode only supporting voice communications, which is another fly in the ointment. Yes you can play the online modes offline against the Dumbots (the AI) but it's not quite the same experience. Offline only 2 players are supported so you'll not be able to enjoy a 4 player split-screen experience.
How does it look?
The game may have Nintendo 64 roots but you definitely wouldn't know it with how great Conker Live & Reloaded looks. The fur effects on Conquer and other fluffy characters are very impressive and definitely surpass what we've seen on other consoles before. The game is full of modern effects such as blurring and detailed textures. Rare really have redesigned the whole look of the game to take full advantage of the Xbox and it's very refreshing to see a game remake that isn't just a lazy port.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Unfortunately there are some problems for deaf gamers. The opening cutscene for instance isn't subtitled. There's no option for enabling subtitles by the way. The strange thing is though that most of the cutscenes and dialogue in the game are subtitled (it's not fully subtitled though as there are some items of speech that are not shown in text) with the character's speech and thoughts appearing in speech bubbles. The tutorial tips that you're given are shown in text so you'll have no problem in learning the basics. Suffice to say enough is subtitled for you to play the game (and enjoy it for the most part) but it's disappointing that the game is not fully subtitled. On the multiplayer side of things, the mission briefings for the levels are subtitled which is good to see and you're notified in text of flags being taken and returned. Scrolling text also notifies you when an enemy has control of a structure too. In fact aside from the multiplayer modes only supporting voice communications (admittedly this is a major concern though) there aren't any other real problems in this portion of the game.
If you haven't played Conker's Bad Fur Day (and are over 16 of course) then Conker Live & Reloaded is definitely a recommended purchase for the single-player game alone. Whilst it's not completely subtitled there's enough of it for the game to be enjoyable and it's definitely a game that still manages to be different from everything else out there. Those who have played through the Nintendo 64's Conker's Bad Fur Day might be a bit more reluctant to pick up a game that for the most part (with the exception of the multiplayer game of course) they have played before but as remakes go, it's the best to date. With the Xbox 360 on the horizon it's great to see a game that still pushes the original Xbox, even if it is mostly a remake.
Overall Game Rating: 8.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification
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Conker Live & Reloaded features a great remake of Conker's Bad Fur Day and a good online mode. Unfortunately the game isn't fully subtitled and it's value will be diminished somewhat if you've already played Conker's Bad Fur Day but all things considered, it's still a game I'd recommend.