Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Conker: Live & Reloaded", Xbox, 2005.

How quickly a franchise can sour. In 1997 Conker was a generic cute and twee kiddie's game mascot in Diddy Kong Racing; two years later he remained his chipper nascent self in Conker's Pocket Tales. But two years further along and things had grown very dark, reportedly in an attempt to distinguish the property from developer Rare's existing squeaky-clean Banjo-Kazooie franchise. The twist would likely have been more effective with a better-known face character, but in any event the turnaround delivered results. It was a critical favorite on the Nintendo 64 and here, after Rare's acquisition by Microsoft, it achieved greater success when re-made.
Suspect: Long furry tail.
Heavily armed.
Smells like a strip club.

Back with a raging hangover, Conker is drinking, smoking and chasing more hot, furry tail than ever. Well, when he's not blowing the stuffing out of Tediz. Take your deviant skills online to Xbox Live, or you can always just play with yourself.

Conker checklist: Drinks to excess? Check. Smokes? Check. Libidinous? Naturally -- otherwise a total waste of so many opportunities to make jokes about nuts. Violent? Excuse me, have you seen what video games did to Chess? Bad guys named for a lousy pun? Present and accounted for. Remake's selling point -- multiplayer -- noted? Duly. Masturbation joke? Whacked off, sir. Well then, this ad is about ready for prime time!

Strangely, one of the most prominent elements of the game are its homages and parodies to numerous, numerous films, an aspect totally unacknowledged in its promotion. Maybe "deeply intertextual" isn't sales gold.