Wednesday, 17 August 2016 12:30

Wise rabbits and laser guns exist in the bizarre world of Furi

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I’ve long been awaiting the release of Furi since I first saw its stunning announcement trailer back in 2015. While admittedly stoned, its lights, colors, and pieces of music were right up my alley. My issue, as we all know, is that cinematic trailers that blow your mind are rarely what we actually get to play (looking at you Catherine); thankfully this is not the case with Furi.

On my play through I chose to go for the Japanese audio with English subs. I found the voices to fit the body language of the overall Asian-inspired sci-fi art style. This comes as no surprise as each of Furi’s villains were designed by Takashi Okazaki; so if you’ve ever seen ‘Afro Samurai,’ the character design will be familiar. 

Furi opens immediately with its strangely alluring color pallet and a nice electric shock to our silent protagonist. Then the real strange sets in; your new best friend, who I’ll be calling Mr. Rabbit, gives you seemingly simple instructions: Get out of Prison. Kill the Jailer. Fight for your freedom.

As far as combat; I had no idea what to expect. Only being able to judge the capabilities by a trailer, it was immediately obvious that I had a sword, so my initial thoughts were ‘Okay, short ranged.’ No. Absolutely wrong. Wielding a sword, laser gun, and some seriously fast dashing skills, all of which can be charged for more power -- this was everything, all in one. Even the fights were an absolute musically colorful assault on the senses, making grasping combat while not being distracted and trying not to die quite difficult and ridiculously fun. Within the first boss fight you know this will be a challenge.

When to dash? When to parry? Holy cow his health is huge! Holy cow now it's back?! How?!

Then the combat system just clicks. Its very responsive; doing exactly what you’d expect when you’d expect it. The sword, my favorite, looks electrifying and dealing (typically) the most damage. The handgun fired quite further than expected within some of the larger boss arenas. Dashing grants you the ability to move between attacks and platforms, sometimes with no room for error. Arena navigation becomes easier once you’ve had a go at running for your life with less than an inch of health between you and restaring the level again.

It would be justified to say the combat is similar to Dark Souls; once you understand its basics and how to deal with multi-layered bosses, you can essentially master the game. There is an option to change difficulty on the spot; which makes going in without a strategy a much more survivable option. Regrettably, you’ll be punished with no trophies or ranking score.

When you aren’t dancing away to the original soundtrack while dodging multi-colored balls of death, the game slows down to take transitional moments between fights. It gives us scenarios like the walk to the ‘Time Master.' The battle itself isn’t much, Mr. Rabbit's words leading up to the fight are pretty profound. 'Nothing is what it seems. We're stuck here, and the real world is somewhere else.' Seemingly incoherent statements hold massive plot points, plot points we never really get answers to. Usually this is frustrating, but it fits the feel of the game.

The music -- I struggle to find the right words to describe it. Tron, mashed with Kavinsky, meets Daftpunk -- on an actual psychedelic trip. It makes every part of the game have somewhat of a deeper meaning. I played through it several times, and still feel like I haven’t seen enough. With its multiple endings, Furi is undoubtedly one of those games that will leave you wanting more.

Mai Strode

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