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Furi

You were captured. Look what they’ve done to you… The jailer is the key, kill him and you’ll be free. Fight your way free in this ultra-responsive, fast-paced sword... read more

Furi Review (Switch)

Author: Franz Aebischer
08-Feb-2018

Category: Review

The jailer is the key, kill him and you'll be free... You've been locked up for quite some time now and it's time to finally unleash your wrath on the guardians who are keeping you trapped. It won't be easy that's for certain, but if you can learn to master this action-packed indie, it just might be possible to exact your revenge.

Furi Review (Switch)

Introduction

Furi is the latest exciting adventure from The Game Bakers, now available for the Nintendo Switch. It was previously released on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, and this new Nintendo Switch release really compliments the game well. It's a crazy action game with all sorts of elements from top-down shooter to beat-em-up and so much more all packed together in this incredibly fun and difficult boss rush. Add in a mysterious narrative with some popping visuals and you have the perfect setup for an indie gem.

Furi is available now on the Nintendo eShop for $19.99.

Furi Review (Switch) - Unleash Your Wrath

Story

The story of Furi is quite the curious tale. You play as an unnamed warrior who has apparently been locked up in this huge futuristic prison complex for a while now and has finally been freed by a mysterious man in a purple rabbit suit who will soon become your companion for the majority of the game. Once you are finally free you can start by defeating the jailer and going from there to combat every single one of the guardians in this master prison to fight for freedom.

Each guardian is spread out throughout the area in different sections with different environment types where you will battle everyone from the person who put you in jail, to a guardian who has been training for decades for a worthy fight. As you slowly make it through the complex and learn more about what's really going on, you start to become more intrigued and conflicted with what's happening in the story and who is really doing the right thing here. The game does this in a very smart way and makes things harder as you go on, especially as there are some interesting player choices towards the end which affect the story.

Furi Review (Switch) - Should I Trust This Guy?

How Furi mostly does storytelling is the game will sprinkle hints throughout fights and cutscenes about how you got here and why you are fighting, and many other discoveries such as more on your rabbit-like companion who starts to become more and more mysterious throughout the journey. This way of storytelling was very engaging and worked well with this style of game, especially with how learning more with every fight really encouraged you to fight on and find out what happens next. Overall a fitting and well-told tale with some great lessons and surprises in the mix.

Gameplay

The gameplay of Furi is a unique blend of an action top-down shooter and beat-em-up in a boss-rush style of format. You can pull off many combat moves from dashing/dodging, countering, and slashing with the face-buttons, shooting bullets and charging up in close combat with the right stick, and using ZL for a charged bullet and the right stick for movement. Many control options are also presented here in case you need to rearrange something for easier play. You also learn more advanced techniques throughout the game as you go and you can charge a lot of moves like the dash and the slash. The game excellently presents these techniques to you and forces you to put these strategies into play in order to be victorious and move on to the next boss.

In this game, there are several difficulties and modes to choose from but it's important to note that the main story mode is recommended to be played in the regular Furi difficulty if you want the full experience. There is also an easier mode you can change to at any time if you're just playing for the story or simply don't want to deal with the fighting too much. I too recommend the regular difficulty as well as it provides a thrilling and satisfying experience with a lot of high tension surrounding your movements as in a lot of situations if you mess up, you have to redo the whole scenario/fight if you do one wrong slip up. With the tough but doable difficulty, it makes every move and fight more important than ever and adds to the rewarding feeling of finishing a fight which is mainly why I enjoyed the difficulty aspect of the game so much. There are even several other modes such as an even harder Furier difficulty mode and even a speedrun mode if you want to work on your effectiveness and speed in boss fights.

Furi Review (Switch) - Keeping My Distance

The gameplay here is split up mostly into two sections, a top-down one consisting heavily of shooting in a top-down shooter style, and the other heavily based on slashing, countering, and dodging up close with the enemy in a more zoomed in camera view. In the shooter based section, there is a lot of dodging laser shots and many other types of projectiles with you also usually firing shots back in this phase. There is also melee combat in this phase as well but it isn't as prominent here as the close combat phase. Then in the next closer phase, the combat is heavily focused on countering, which requires you to press the counter button at the right time to recover health and strike back, and of course, melee slashing. These sections were my personal favourite as the close battles rely on fast reaction times quite a bit which made for more intense moments. In the mix, there are also quick time events in battles that even further can add to the pressure with quick complicated movements. These combat styles blend together magically to create a very polished fast-paced combat experience and really do a great job of being the foundation of the game.

The health system in Furi's gameplay was very well designed. How your health works is you have 3 bars of life and if 1 runs out, you have to restart the whole sequence you were on with the fight. For the enemy, their life is also made out of life bars and every single one of theirs has a sequence in which they change up their attack pattern or behaviour (normally getting increasingly harder the closer you get to victory), and everytime you diminish a full life bar of the enemy you also replenish a life bar. This health system mainly worked so well because instead of the difficulty being too heavily based around trial and error, you actually get multiple chances to learn the patterns and improve before you get close to having a game over. Luckily even if it is game over you can just restart the entire fight though.

The boss battles in this boss rush were plentiful and each had their own flavour and challenge. While some can be more similar than others, each one was mostly very distinctive and had very cool themes such as a boss who can deflect your shots or a boss mainly focused on countering and much more which get more creative and difficult as you go to keep things shaken up. The arenas and environments were also surprisingly pretty varied with many hazards such as flying robots or self-rebuilding walls. The way each boss fight forces you to learn and master new techniques was clever and added to the satisfying gameplay.

Furi Review (Switch) - Up Close and Personal

The performance for Furi was quite decent other than some noticeably strange dips every now and then in the frame rate. Sometimes in fights, the game would even freeze for more than a few seconds but these moments were rare but noticeable. Other than that minor annoyance though, both docked and handheld modes work beautifully.

Graphics and Audio

The graphical style in Furi is a sort of cel-shaded look with some half realistic lighting and shadowing that really make the game pop in a lot of areas. Things such as fur and grass that blow in the wind really made the visuals feel alive and made the game's presentation feel very polished and detailed. It's very visually appealing and the environments are very dynamic because of this awesome style. Character design was also surprisingly well done and had some really creative and detailed designs that were memorable. Animations and cinematics were yet another highlight and looked insanely smooth and flowed well with the gameplay.

As for the audio, the soundtrack was an exciting mix of epic techno tracks that really added to the thrilling fights and scenes of the adventure. These tracks were very fitting and made many scenes extra memorable with the excellent composition of some of these songs. The songs with voices were especially mesmerizing as they really added to the mood and feel of the game. Sound effects were also well made and were good enhancers to the immersion of the gameplay and complimented the background music.

Furi Review (Switch) - Caught By Surprise

Conclusion

Furi is an indie gem that will push your limits and reward you in the best ways possible with its tough difficulty and creative fights. With every battle comes a new challenge and a new opportunity to prove yourself with the thrilling and satisfying combat system. Mix in the surprisingly deep story and the captivating soundtrack and you have an excellent experience that pushes its ideas to the edge with style.

Instead of being a mess that tries too many things, Furi amazingly focuses its gameplay on only several bizarre elements, but perfects them and makes an adventure like no other that you won't forget. Any action fan would be doing themselves a displeasure to not at least give this game a try.

PROS
CONS
+ Thrilling and satisfying combat and boss fights
- Performance dips in frame rate
+ Awesome cel-shaded visual style
- Can get repetitive
+ Excellent soundtrack that complimented gameplay

+ Mysterious but well put together story



SCORE: 9/10

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