Back in the late '90s and early 2000s when the N64 was at the peak of its popularity, Nintendo's fifth generation console was often associated with more kid friendly content and experiences much lighter in tone. This is understandable when taking a glance at the N64's huge library of games that features Banjo Kazooie, Super Mario 64 and Mario Party; however, one title stood out among the rest for being the polar opposite. Conker's Bad Fur Day was a raunchy, vile, and ludicrous platformer starring a drunken squirrel that launched at the tail end of the system's lifespan.
With Conker just celebrating its 20th anniversary, many fans were left disappointed to see that not much was done by Microsoft (the current owner of the IP). While obviously not as globally beloved a character as other major gaming icons in terms of receiving the same blowout treatment, Conker still had a place in both Rare and Nintendo history and deserved far more than what little was provided.
For this past month for Conker's Bad Fur Day's aforementioned 20th anniversary celebration, all that was provided was a line of clothing and merch based on the crude and crass gaming mascot. The merch is absolutely well made and serve as good collectibles items for fans, but it pales in comparison to Mario's 35th anniversary event which not only supplied a dedicated line of clothing and merch, but a bevy of other games and goodies to look forward to.
As stated, Conker is not on the same level of popularity as other gaming characters, no less Mario himself. However, the crude character is considered one of the most beloved in Rare's repertoire as well as being commonly associated with the N64's place in gaming history, so just a little bit more to acknowledge that would have been much appreciated. Aside from a little appearances here and there, the series has been mostly dormant, and with Microsoft wanting to increase its first party lineup, who better to lead the platformer department than Conker himself.
Perhaps the most obvious announcement that could have been made during the 20th birthday for Conker's Bad Fur Day would have been some sort of updated remaster of the original game. Remasters and remakes are all the rage nowadays to bring back what gamers knew and spice up an already healthy portion of nostalgia with visual improvements. Whether the choice was to bring back the 2001 original or the 2005 remake on the original Xbox titled Conker: Live & Reloaded, either option would have been a welcome treat for the fanbase.
Of course, on the opposite end of desire for fans of the franchise, a proper sequel to Conker's Bad Fur Day would be the ultimate end goal for what comes next. Naturally, it has been a long time since the original, which wasn't even a huge sales success in its own right, so both Microsoft and Rare may be wary to invest in a sequel for a property that may seem like a production risk even with a dedicated following for the game.
An aforementioned remaster would be a good way to test the water while also pleasing long time fans, similar to what was recently done with both Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon. Going forward however, Microsoft says Rare decides when a new Conker is made which provides some hope but also concern. Rare is presently occupied with Sea of Thieves and the upcoming Everwild, so it's unclear if the company even has the time or resources to revisit an older property. Still, Conker's Bad Fur Day remains a beloved cult classic with a growing fanbase, and deserves to be thrown a bone sometime in the future.
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