Furi Nintendo Switch Review
Developer: The Game Bakers
Publisher: The Game Bakers
Release Date: Out Now
Price as of Article: $19,99 £17,99
Furi Nintendo Switch Review
The story in Furi is a little mad, there I said it, ok maybe it’s not the story that’s a few sandwiches short of a picnic, possibly it’s the way it’s told in such a way that you really have to pay attention all the way through and that’s sometimes hard when listening to a guy wearing a freaky bunny mask. I kept getting recall of the film Donnie Darko. Ok I am going off on a tangent and not really explaining much at all. So let’s start again.
You as the protagonist start locked up, shackled and the man in the bunny rabbit mask frees you and accompanies you throughout the game, watching your every move. I won’t spoil why but he wants you to succeed by escaping this prison. The story is also very open to interpretation but I quite liked it and appreciated that the developers had made the effort to implement it here and especially as it was narrated from the beginning.
The music here is just utterly brilliant, electro music which has been created by Carpenter Brut, Danger, Lorn, Scattle, The Toxic Avenger, Waveshaper and Kn1ght. A soundtrack everyone should check out especially if you’re into electro and it just elevates the experience. The developers The Game Bakers have done a superb job here. Check out the soundtrack on Google music by clicking the link below and what about the special edition Vinyl? Looks absolutely gorgeous. Sound effects from shooting, your gun, slashing your sword to the voice acting all the way through is very well done and for me this game has terrific sound all round.
This is wrapped up in a very stylish anime type style and one that looks great on the eye. The backgrounds when walking from one fight to the next are gorgeous and Sci Fi looking. The bosses have been designed by manga artist Takashi Okazaki designer of Afro Samurai. They are fantastic looking and all look unique. I will say though that I am not sure about the animation when the protagonist is walking. Kind of seems like he is floating but that would be nitpicking slightly. The dark blues and purple palettes set a beautiful tone throughout and the effects used when fighting are nicely detailed without being over the top.
Unfortunately yet again I have run into frame rate issues with this game. For most of the time, it runs really smoothly but a game like this is all about fast reflexes so any slowdown or missed frames can really affect your rhythm. It’s not a deal breaker but it is noticeable from time to time and is the only blight with the performance. It’s just a shame because if you don’t require portability then the game may be smoother on another system.
For those interested in frame rates, this game has no fixed frame rate and moves between 45 and 60 frames which is the same as the PS4 version. However, when a lot is going on, on screen the frame rates will drop to 30 and sometimes as mentioned you will encounter dropped frames. This is a lot more noticeable when their are lots of bullets on screen. I found that this happened in both docked and in handheld mode.
Furi was inspired by Japanese games including Metal Gear Solid, Godhand and No more Heroes and it wanted to give the player a feeling of that adrenaline you feel when, in a fight.
Let me start off by saying I like this game and I like it a lot. It combines some of my favourite genres all in one. It’s part twin stick shooter, bullet hell and part melee combat fighter using a nice big sword. There are no upgrades here, no way to make your character stronger or anything like that. There is no exploration here no secrets to find or anything of the kind. If you love a game like Dark Souls then take away everything but the bosses and you’re left with something resembling this game and so for many, there will not be enough variety from the get-go. This is a game with a razor sharp focus on fighting bosses and that’s where it ends. I will shudder a guess that for everyone who loves it, there will be a person who hates it. A thin line between those two emotions.
It’s one of the hardest games you will play on the Switch and the game makes no apologies for that. If you don’t like hard games then this is going to be a tough sell but hang on just one moment before you leave! There is an easy mode called Promenade but the game makes it obvious you’re playing it in easy by having the word stuck on your health bar. It even penalises you saying that you will not unlock either speed run or extra Furior mode (Hardcore) if you complete the game in this mode. The bosses have fewer lives and there are fewer phases in each fight to get through though.
The devs also say that you will not enjoy it as much, as the feeling of elation will not be the same and I do agree but then was there any point having the easy mode in the game in the first place. The game is very hard but it’s not unbeatable if you persevere, it makes you work hard for it, it makes you learn the skills, and timing as well as learning each bosses attack patterns in order for you to have a chance and only by playing it over and over again will you start to feel that improvement. The skill level is really high and you will not win by button bashing. The controls feel great and responsive which they needed to be for a game like this but you have to learn to attack at the right time.
This is a boss battle game, there is no enemies to kill in between so no filler, which I would have actually liked to have seen. It reminds me in a way of Cuphead and what the developers said about that game when they had created a game with just bosses in it. They felt that the game needed levels to break up the games boss battles and so delayed it until these levels were implemented. I do feel this could have benefited from something more, other than just the boss battles themselves. It kind of gets around it by telling the story in a long walk between fights. Bunny man likes to rabbit on about this and that, which was ok but I would have liked to have seen levels to sharpen up my skills before each boss battle, although there is a practice mode if you need it. Other than that you get to play the game in either easy or hard mode and that’s it until you complete it. So for some, it will become repetitive. I saw it differently and believed the more I repeat the better I will become.
Once you reach the first boss which won’t take long, you are thrown right into the deep end. You do get a little tutorial in your first fight which is essential to understanding the mechanics of the game but then you are on your own.There are two main parts to each fight, fighting from distance and close combat and the fights are broken up in to phases. Each phase will be represented by one of the bosses lives. Fighting from distance is the twin-stick shooter part of the game and bullet hell part which I absolutely love. You get to fire your own bullets and charged attacks while also dodging all incoming bullets using your dodge which does have a slight delay so it’s all about timing.
In order to initiate close combat, you need to first get the bosses health bar down,a yellow circle will glow around him showing that belle combat can be initiated. You bust out your sword and go toe to toe within a smaller circle with the boss. The challenge here comes from how you react to the bosses attacks, the developers call it being warned, reacting and then punishing.
Here you can parry the bosses attacks which is fundamental, you get to parry the attack and then unleash a counter-attack which is a bloody fantastic feeling when you get the timing right and you even get a sweet animation. Some attacks can’t be parried and can only be dodged and you will know these by the red circle displayed on the floor, your goal here is to dodge into the gap before the boss unleashes an unstoppable attack. You have to work all these patterns out. Get it wrong and your health is going to take a serious beating and you will be on the back foot. Dodging is another essential tool to evade attacks and strike back, this same dodge can be used in the distance part of the fight to avoid bullets from your enemy.
Once the bosses health is taken down in the melee combat section the boss losses a life which is represented by little boxes under his health bar. The fight then rinses and repeats this whole process and with each life he losses the tougher the fight becomes. Different bosses have a differing amount of lives, the first for example uses his first four lives as the tutorial before the fight gets serious. In comparison, you have three lives and if you lose one, say in melee combat the bosses health bar resets and so does yours and you will have to get the bosses health bar down again to get him into melee mode which is control throwing inducing.
There is nothing more frustrating than having the boss on his last life only for you to die.The whole boss fight starts again and these fights can last for about 15 minutes each. It is going to take a good few goes to beat each one so you can see that time is going to disappear when playing this game. In melee combat, you have the ability to use the same charge attack as in distance combat with your sword which takes a few seconds to charge, if you can get a charge attack in then you can do serious damage. Everything is all about timing and having the reflexes of a cat. I found the more I played the better I became but it does take perserverance.
When you die you can’t blame anyone other than yourself because it will be your fault and I respect that. The skills are there for you to use in any way you see fit and the bosses will do their thing over and over again. There is nothing unfair here. The brutal truth is that the game will only be beaten if you are prepared to put in the time and work on getting better. Much like Dark Souls which seems impossible at first until you persevere through, get better by learning more about your moves and skills and utilising them to best effect. There is no better feeling than when you beat something that at first felt almost impossible.
Each boss is unique in their style of fighting and will all present you with different challenges to keep you on edge. An example is on boss two where she uses a maze to hide behind so it makes it difficult for you to shoot her. She has a devastating laser attack and has a powerful last phase.
For £17,99 or $19,99 this game is full of polish and is one of those Indie games which really has a lot going for it. It’s not often that you see an Indie game like this display such confidence in what it aims to achieve and to do so with such style and aplomb. The game has ten bosses to fight and while that doesn’t sound like a lot on paper, they will take you quite a while to beat in a hard mode which is how the developers want you to play this game.
There is an easy mode which is cool to appease a more casual player but it’s true that it doesn’t give you the same satisfaction. The replayability comes from unlocking Speed run and the Furier mode. Now some people will beat this and probably not come back to it and others will spend hours sharpening their skills. So it really depends on what type of gamer you are. I can’t tell you that, but what I can say is if you buy this and want something which is quite unique on this platform then there is plenty of value to extract from this game by continually trying to improve your fighting skills