Sunday, January 2, 2011

Conker's Pocket Tales (1999)

     It would be a grave mistake to confuse Conker's Pocket Tales with Rareware's follow up Conker's Bad Fur Day, because Bad Fur Day is actually a good game. Bad Fur Day plays well, has wonderful voice over work, and gorgeous graphics. Pocket Tales has none of these things.
     To be honest, the Game Boy only had a handful of good games in it's massive library of rubbish, and I would come to Rareware's defense to say that porting a massive action-adventure that isn't a side-scroller probably isn't a good idea. I would say that, but I can't, because Rare did it anyway.
     I didn't come across Pocket Tales until the late summer of 2010, though I was aware it existed when I was 9-years-old. I didn't even want it when I was naive enough to think Toy Story 2 for the Game Boy was a good game. Pocket Tales, what with it's dark, uninviting color palettes and it's top-down view had nothing in it's favor of tricking a child into wanting it. Now, I paid eighteen dollars for this game. Eighteen dollars. I'm a twenty-year-old man. While it's possible that my state of feeling swindled by the box art could explain my animosity towards this game, as I was expecting something both cuddly and sassy (slingshot equals sass). Imagine my surprise when all I got was shit.
     As a side note, shouldn't the prequel to an amazing platformer be at least half as good as it's successor? I would like to think that bad things usually don't get greenlighted for a sequel, but the Crash Bandicoot series leaves me corrected. I digress.
     In Pocket Tales, Conker's girlfriend Berri gets kidnapped by a gigantic acorn. I guess the gigantic acorn really felt like being a dick, because as if kidnapping Conker's girlfriend wasn't enough, the acorn goes ahead and steals all of Conker's birthday presents too because it's Conker's fucking birthday. 

But I mean, seriously, look at this shit.  I don't think his birthday could 
have been any worse, really.

      After the "cut scene" (I dare you), two mind-numbingly frustrating tasks are presented to the player, who at this point is probably reconsidering their dabble into masochism. Conker obviously has to find Berri, but he also has to find any and all presents in the area in order to move on. And this has to be done while looking at this:


     Whenever I buy an old game, it's a self-proclaimed promise of mine to play the game on it's intended format, in this case the Game Boy Color. Do you remember what trying to see what you were doing on the Game Boy Color was like? Squinting my eyes in a whirlwind of blindness and depression now added a third task at hand: attempting to make any type of progress whatsoever towards the two aforementioned tasks, because I can't fucking see what is happening. It is now at the five minute mark since I have turned the game on, and it is now when I must turn the game off before there is any permanent damage done to me or those around me. Eighteen dollars should warrant a good time, and I now know it does not.
     There is now no question as to why Conker became an alcoholic in Bad Fur Day.

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