STAFF REVIEW of Furi (Xbox One)


Wednesday, December 14, 2016.
by Brent Roberts

Furi Box art You awaken to find yourself locked in a prison and doomed to be tortured for all eternity. You struggle to break free only to realize that in order to gain your freedom you must press onward until you finally escape. This is the vague opening to Furi, an title developed by The Game Bakers. Priced at $19.99(USD), this indie game seems like a mix of Tron, Afro Samurai, and El Shaddai all rolled up into one intense and explosive boss fight after another. So can this indie title slash a hole in your wallet, or are there better places where you can spend your $20?

You should know that Furi is setup like a multi-staged boss fight. Similar to the very core that we've seen even from old movies such as The Game of Death, Furi begins with you imprisoned for some unknown reason and all you observe is your jailer reveling in their joy of torturing you repeatedly. You feel that all hope is lost when all of s sudden, out of nowhere comes a character dressed like they are straight out of an Alice in Wonderland movie on bad acid trip. Somehow he seems to free you, effortlessly, and also arms you with a sword that, when wielded in your hands, becomes a charged blade of pure energy. As you stagger slowly to your feet your told that you have to go and kill your Jailer, and that's when the game unfolds before you.


You learn that the prison you currently inhabit is but one of 12 prisons that have been put in place to prevent your escape. With that in mind, I should warn you that you should be prepare yourself to die, a lot. Furi is nothing more than a simplistic hack and slash game that has been stripped to its core to provide an incredibly frustrating experience, yet it is an incredibly rewarding one all at the same time. Each boss battle is setup in an identical manner. While the attacks vary in style, force, and other areas, the similarities equate to a simple test of your ability to press the right buttons at the right time. Oh, but it's not so simple. As you progress you'll rapidly become in love with your dodge ability, and if you want to have any chance at success you will have to learn how to parry, almost constantly.

Thanks to a very simplistic control scheme, Furi becomes more of a reflex exercise. You'll start out by walking incredibly slow between each encounter and during this time if you press the A button you will auto walk. This can cut down on the tediousness of each stroll as you can literally just set the controller down for your brief moment of Zen, but there are some instances where walking on your own can be a benefit. Granted it will take what seems like eternity to move at a snail's pace, but there are achievements that can be earned and an essentially meaningless dialogue to be heard, but once you've walked your way to the arena, it's time to fight.


Each boss fight begins with your character, and the opposing boss, having a health bar, and below this health bar you'll see small squares which I simply regard as lives. The rules are simple; attack the boss until their health bar is depleted and they will lose one of their 'life' squares. Once all the lives are gone the battle is over. Things seem simple on the outside, however, when you dive deeper into the game you'll see an exponential learning curve that will constantly alter and adapt to your current boss fight. What I mean by this is that your opponent at the time will change up attacks and expand their arsenal, so you must also adapt on the fly. For example, should you lose a life, you will start with full health on the boss stage you were just in, so if you die on the boss' 3rd life stage, then that's where you start again with both of you having full health. Given how many times your character will die; you'll be thankful for this.

Despite all the simplicity of the game, Furi looks beautiful. As I mentioned earlier, Furi looks like a hybrid of Tron, Afro Samurai, and El Shaddai all wrapped into one beautiful package. Each level is very well is done in its own unique beautiful way including those times when you find yourself making meaningful progress between fights. During these moments you'll also be treated to an electronic, energetic score that helps keep the energy up, where it needs to be, but yet it is not so overpowering or in your face. Granted the voice acting is far from entertaining, but the overall feel of both graphics and sound are true experiences in their own right.


So after all this, is Furi worth the $19.99 price tag? Sadly, I'm going to say no. When you break it down you're paying $19.99 to go on 12 boss fights and that's it. Nothing more, nothing less. 12 fights for 20 bucks. When you couple that with a tremendously lackluster story, some of the slowest walking in gaming history, and the sheer shallowness of Furi itself, I'd say a better price would be $14.99 tops, or a must buy at $9.99. If you're looking for a game that will give you ample frustration mixed with tremendous excitement, then Furi could be on your list. Don't get me wrong, Furi is a beautiful game to behold that can be a frustrating one to play, and it is a satisfying one to master, but the price of admission seems a bit too high for what you get as a whole package.





Overall: 7.7 / 10
Gameplay: 7.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.5 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10

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