Conker: Live & Reloaded review


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Buy your copy from Conker: Live & Reloaded (2005) starstarstarhalf starno star Publisher: Microsoft
Category: Action/Adventure
Available for: Xbox
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Humor in video games is a tough sell, but when done right, it can yield satisfying results. Just one look at the smaller aspects of the “Grand Theft Auto” series will justify this statement, where you can do just about anything you want (and get away with it), including the ability to pay for sex, and then beat up that very same prostitute to take your money back. Most developers won’t invest in such a large risk, and so the gaming industry is instead flooded with copycat versions of “Halo” and franchise turkeys starring the Nintendo All-Stars. “Mario Party 42,” anyone?”

It’s a relief, then, to see the much-anticipated title “Conker: Live & Reloaded” finally released in the market. Although the game is simply a fine-tuned remake of the N64 classic, “Bad Fur Day,” “Live & Reloaded” manages to mix things up a bit with beautiful updated graphics, new story missions (as well some old ones removed), and a brand new multiplayer shoot-‘em-up mode that gives the game a 2-for-1 value. And better yet, this game is funny. Not necessarily hooker abuse funny, but if you can imagine the Looney Toons in an episode of “South Park,” then you’re getting pretty darn close. Better yet, check out an episode of the “Happy Tree Friends,” add some explicit language, and you’re right on mark.

The story revolves around Conker, a cute and cuddly little squirrel who lives in a strange land inhabited by evil creatures like the opera-singing Great Mighty Poo. And yes, I’m referring to the giant wad of poo that you must combat with rolls of toilet paper. There’s even a fun little song that complements the action, but you won’t reach the boss of Poo Land until you’ve completed a number of tasks that involve rolling balls of poo up hills made of, you guessed it, poo. This is only one of many mature-themed obstacles that Conker must avoid on his way to rescuing his sexy squirrel girlfriend, Berri, from the panther king that rules the land. And while it may seem somewhat childish, it’s also probably the lowest point of your humorous adventure.

The game can be pretty frustrating at times, like the hoverboard race over a river of lava, but it’s a breath of fresh air from most games that any gamer can complete within the week. By far the worst sections of “Live & Reloaded” are the levels involving swimming underwater, which I’ve never been a fan. Wasting away my childhood days indoors with frustrating underwater stages in NES games like “Super Mario Bros. 3” and the original “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” was never my idea of fun, but it does create an ample challenge.

Still, despite frequently odd camera angles, the game is a riot to play, with brilliant voice acting and a comical script that is still funny five years after its original debut. The multiplayer online mode for Xbox Live is a nice addition to the already solid title, but the single player story mode is far more entertaining and enjoyable. If you’re looking to have fun online with a first-rate shooter, then “Halo 2” is definitely the game to play, but if you’re more interested in a quality platformer with brain-teasing puzzles and witty dialogue, be sure to give “Conker: Live & Reloaded” a shot. With any luck, you may find a hidden mini-game where you can engage in lustful squirrel sex with Berri.

~Jason Zingale