Furi finally makes the jump to the Nintendo Switch, and the transition is almost flawless. From boss fight to graphics, the hybrid console holds its own against the big boys.
It’s Hard To Explain
Furi is hard to explain on just what it is trying to be. It’s a game chock full of nothing but boss fights, and making sure they’re done right, with nothing but walking and story in between each one. The first thing I noticed was the art direction, and that the mysteriously bunny masked man absolutely screamed Afro Samurai. Now, it may not have intentionally been so overtly thrown in the face of the player, but I couldn’t help but feel that’s what they were going for.
The game starts with you in confinement, and a “Jailer” who doesn’t seem like a nice man. So, after you break out the bunny masked man eggs you on to fight him for your freedom. Seems simple enough right?
Combat Is Intense
Well, this is where things get confusing. The fights are broken up in such a way that it feels like an action game, a fighting game, and some bullet hell thrown in just to make it that much harder. You’re given a ranged attack in a pistol that’s tied to the right joystick, a sword for up close and personal, a block button which you’ll quickly learn to use, and a dodge button. Every one of these is absolutely important to master if you want to take the Jailers down. Speaking of the Jailers, health and winning the fight is handled is another reason it feels like a fighter.
You, as the player, will always have 4 life bars, and the Jailers will have anywhere from 4 to 8. The way they work is that, if you take damage, and you will trying to learn their patterns, while trying to reduce one of their bars to zero you will be fully healed and even gain one of your bars back if you’d one of them. Now, if you lose one of your bars, luckily, the Jailers won’t gain a full bar back, but their health will go back to full on the current bar. Each bar for the Jailers acts as sort of a stage, and their tactics, and even sometimes the battlefield will change per bar.
Sometimes you will need to avoid a mass amount of bullets and other hazards while trying to knick their bar ever downward with your pistol before going in close. And other times you will be chasing them across multiple platforms. And yet still at other times you will be up close and personal with no choice but to use your sword.
There is plenty of variety to the combat, and each fight keeps you on your toes. The screen can get super hectic at times, and this is usually about the time I got frustrated because I’m not really one for bullet hell games. I did enjoy the fights overall though, as they tested my ability as a gamer, and I appreciated the challenge. Although there were a few instances where I had no idea how to progress, and there was zero indication or hint as to how to move the fight along… you’ll see what I mean if you play it. Damned sniper…
What About The Story?
This is where the game tries to show its depth outside of combat. Many games misstep here, and while Furi does an admirable job, it is sort of a cliche. Although, I will admit it had me guessing as to what was going to happen after each fight. Between these Jailer boss fights you walk, quite literally, to the next one and the bunny masked man gives you a bit of information on the upcoming fight. The way this bunny masked man almost never walks, and is always in odd locations around the world had me thinking he was a split personality given a form for the player to see.
He’s always talking about how these Jailers were crazy, or how they unjustly locked you up and they deserved to die so you could be set free. He tells you he tried many times to get out, but just couldn’t, and thus needed you. It’s interesting too, because each subsequent Jailer gives you pause as to why you’re fighting them, and just what your mission is.
Without ruining the surprise, after the credits roll, they allow you to roam freely over an “open world” area and find a few things. So, before you turn the game off, be sure to explore thoroughly, as there are a few important things to find.
Is It Worth It?
Furi is a game I intended to play way back in 2016 when it released on PS4 free via PS+, but I just never got around to it. While the game wasn’t perfect and had some minor framerate issues EXTREMELY rarely, was frustrating from time to time, and had some guidance issues. All in all, the game is very tightly put together, challenging in a fun way, melds different genres very well, and has a story that isn’t perfect, it still remains intriguing. For the asking price of only $20 on the eShop, it’s well worth your time.
Review Code provided by the publisher. Review based on Nintendo Switch Version. Also available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.