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Furi

Developer / Publisher: The Game Bakers
05 July 2016
Furi - cover art
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484 Ratings / 4 Reviews
#1,146 All-time
#52 for 2016
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Title
Challenge and satisfaction blend in fair duels
(written aug 15, 2016)

Studying your enemy’s mechanics. Memorizing their moves. Working up half-second reflexes to avoid flurries after flurries of bullets and swings. Dying over and over and over and over and over. These tasks are usually painfully stressful, frustrating, and sometimes straight up turns you off from a game. Furi takes these struggles and makes them more satisfying, more fun, and more difficult; all in the same breath.

Furi is a stylish action boss rush game, combining hack-n-slash and bullet hell gameplay, largely influenced by the works of Hideki Kamiya, Shinji Mikami and Hideo Kojima. With passionately hand-crafted bosses, vibrant colors, lively character designs, Furi is presenting a game straight out of the 90s, channelling both the neon-aesthetic of many pop culture media, and the pure gameplay experience of going from one challenge to the next with no hesitation.

From then on, the game is separated into three segments: gameplay, cutscenes, and “exposition hallways.” After the cutscene ends, you have free reign…to walk. That’s all you can do, and the character walks at a frustratingly slow pace, but this problem is semi-solved with the auto-walk ability. It is very cinematic, although, which makes them feel like controllable cutscenes.

In these hallways, a man in a comically large rabbit helmet transports to different areas with each cut of the camera. This is where the exposition comes in: he gives you backstories and tidbits about the boss you’ll fight. Overall, these segments feels strange when placed in between each hyper-paced fight, but given the game Furi is, these segments would probably feel more natural than quick cuts to each area.

At the first boss, the game introduces it’s style and mechanics. You have four moves: shoot, slash, parry, and dash. The dash button is well made; the character dashes when you let go of the button, rather than once you press it. It imitates the action of preparing to run or dash, giving a nice weight to it.

Bosses are separated into two phases: the first phase where they barrage you with bullets, and a second phase of purely one-on-one, weapon-based combat. Once you’ve defeated their first phase, they kneel to the ground with an orange circle surrounding them. Hitting them in this state activates the second phase, where you’re bounded by a circle, initiating the tense, twitchy duel.

Health is indicated by one long bar for bosses, and multiple smaller ones for you. Different attacks take away different amounts of health, and once you reach zero, your health is restored in exchange for one life, represented by smaller squares. On top of that, enemies refill their whole life bar when you lose a life.

But it also works vice versa; once you take away an enemy’s life, yours is completely refilled. Enemy life bars also have two layers for each of the phases, so you have to battle two phases before taking so much as one life away from the count.

This kind of strategical mechanic is what makes Furi, it makes you think a little harder than other hardcore hack-n-slashes. The soundtrack justifies my use of the word “hardcore”, featuring heavy techno songs, some of the best coming from Carpenter Brut of Hotline Miami fame. Somehow, the precision timing amplifies the brutality of your attacks. The crazy and powerful animations combined with twitchy gameplay and necessity for cat-like reflexes makes combat feel that satisfyingly violent.

One of the most intuitive aspects of Furi is it’s difficulty selection. The developers of this game obviously wanted to make a game that people had to work for, so choosing the easier difficulty warns you that you will be locked out of a secret ending for the game, you can’t unlock the hardest difficulty, and that it the game won’t be as satisfying.

This is the best option for both sides: people who want to enjoy the story at their own leisure and people who want to fight for their reward. When you’re presenting something for a niche audience that the majority will not enjoy, this is the way to give the other option. Other indie developers, take note.

As great as the gameplay is, the story is definitely a weak point. The only character I really cared that much about was the man with the rabbit head, because he was one of the only ones with a personality that developed throughout the whole game. With the main character being silent the whole time on top of every boss having mere minutes of character building, a couple of voice lines, and then death, I can’t seem to see much character in anyone besides him.

There were some moments in the game that questioned the morality of the player character’s decisions, and they did make me feel some emotion, sure, but it only happened twice. Being able to count the times a story makes you feel something on one hand isn’t a strong point. Above all, the story just doesn’t make much sense in the first place. There is some semblance of a plot, but every time I hear story in the aforementioned “exposition hallways”, I just get bored.

Despite that, the world building in Furi is great. From the cutscene right before the first boss, the camera does a hard zoom out to see floating islands and rocks, spiraling downwards with an out-of-focus Earth in the background, about 100 times larger than the islands for scale. The cinematography in the “exposition hallways” help, too, with cuts to beautiful shots of glowing scenery.

Even with the story not being enjoyable, I still had a fun time with Furi. That is a huge compliment in and of itself; there have been plenty of 100% linear action games with story not coming into the equation to hard, but a lot of the enjoyment rides on the fact that you’re playing as this character, you’re fighting against this character, you’re in this world.

While I wish the story was more comprehensible and the characters were better built, Furi delivered a full-on video game experience to me. The fact it can ride alone on that is proof that a damn good game was made.
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keublitz 2022-12-10T05:28:43Z
2022-12-10T05:28:43Z
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Such a great ideas, but its many flaws unfortunatly bring this experience down.

Starting off with the synthwave look and soundtrack, its pretty great on the surface level, but it doesnt really have the polish to be amazed by it all the way to the end of the game.

The game is a boss rush style game with long walking sections in between, where you are exposed to cryptic dialogue. The walking sections are terrible, even more because its often unclear the direction in which you must proceed. Fortunatly there is an auto walk button for these parts.

The bosses are multi phased, and quite exciting at least the first few times. But simply put, the gameplay is not polished enough for the challenging gameplay it is trying to emulate. The dodging and combat dont feel nearly as responsive and impactful as they seem, and the parrying also feels off at times, which is terrible considering how crucial that mechanic is. The bosses go from exciting to frustrating to exhaustive when you start figuring out how much annoying attacks they can dish out. At times it feels more like a puzzle game than action given how much memorization is required.

Overal i am disappointed with it since it feels there is a lot of passion behind this project, but its missing the polish to make it truely great.
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Threntall 2017-12-31T15:31:17Z
2017-12-31T15:31:17Z
3.0
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There's a reason why I'm not a big fan of pro/con style reviews. The perverse nature of a single flaw can tear a game apart, and games with an entire shopping list worth of flaws can be good . Devil May Cry 1 would probably have nearly four times the "cons" that Furi has in an average review. Despite this, I can say that the aforementioned 2001 action game (made before people really even knew what a 3D action game was) exceeds Furi in nearly every single way, despite being far less focused and fine-tuned as Furi.

A lot of what Furi does wrong is hard to describe because it looks totally fine on paper. It is technically true, for example, that Furi has solid & responsive controls. None of that matters when the flow of gameplay is so sloppy. Melee is fine, as is blocking, but dodging--arguably the most important mechanic in Furi--shares the same function as a dash. The lead character dashes away from danger and becomes momentarily invincible, and the difference between a 1 second hold of the A button or a 2 second hold can be very hard to judge. This is an awful dodge mechanic in a game where the player is thrown up against true shmup-style attacks, but many action games struggle in the dodge department, so I tolerated it. I tolerated the janky shooting mechanics, which are done with the right stick, so you can never get an exact angle on where you're shooting, until I realized how badly it's managed with the melee.

It's apparent by the 3rd boss, which has puzzle-like mechanics that punish wrong choices, that Furi does not want you to be flashy. That's fine. Not every action game has to be DMC, after all. But Furi goes so far into working against the player's ability to be inventive that it strikes me as almost hateful. There are almost no phases of any boss where slowly pummeling the boss with bullets is not the best option you have. Laughably, if you put a boss into a stagger state with a "perfect parry", you will actually do more damage to them if you shoot them repeatedly in the face than if you do your special post-parry attack. There's one boss that shoots three fast energy balls at you in rapid succession. If you manage to reflect all three of them, you deal damage equal to about 8% of her health, which is less than a single melee attack would do. The way the game fails to reward you for taking risks is nothing short of insulting.

So you're not allowed to be inventive, and the game has some harder-than-it-should-be elements. The game can still coast off of it's style--which it barely tries to do. There are two bosses that have no real personality or gimmick, where as the others all have firm identities. One boss in particular, The Song, is so bloody boring and offers so few opportunities for you to hit her that it feels like you're playing through the action game version of Bull of Heaven. It's pure tedium. Every single boss has an incredibly easy first phase that doesn't even qualify as a warm-up. You could remove the first phase from every fight and the game would be significantly better. But because Furi is only boss fights, it also has to be only long boss fights.

The biggest problem with Furi is that it fails to provide a skillset. Your toolkit is simplistic and only half-functional. The entire game is read and response, there are no other reflexes being tested here. Each boss is so incredibly different from one another that they might as well be different games, and the difficulty barely increases as you move on. When the difficulty does increase, it always feels incredibly excessive, because the game rarely challenges you beyond these occasional cliff-scale difficulty spikes. This along with many other minor problems (sound bugs, control stick QTEs, cheap "fuck yous" like one specific boss being able to undo your parries) led to me having a largely unenejoyable experience with Furi. The game, amidst the adrenaline, seems fine at first. But when it wears off, it wears off hard.

Edit, six years later: Wow, this review is awful. But not as awful as the game el-o-el, I've tried replaying this numerous times and I've hated it it more with every attempt. If your action game has fixed camera angles and you still feel the need to have massive glowing range indicators for every attack, something has gone catastrophically wrong.
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dontthinkso 2016-08-31T08:59:34Z
2016-08-31T08:59:34Z
1.0
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Heavyweight Boxer Trysome Furi
Furi is a pretty neat twin stick shooter/arcade boss rush hybrid that combines bullet hell elements with timing and reaction-based melee for a pretty unforgiving, short, but thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Combat is fast, responsive (for the most part) and relitavely polished, and bosses will keep you on your toes with a variety of movies within different phases, and these phases are implemented really well. I'm not sure has ever done Boss phases quite like Furi, but it's pretty smart; a boss will have 4-5 different phases/forms, each one ending when the boss's health bar has been drained. When you die on a bossfight, the boss starts at the beginning of the last phase for a cost of one of your three 'lives'. Only when you lose all three lives does a bossfight start over properly from the beginning. You also gain a life (athough you cannot exceed 3) whenever you beat one phase of a boss.

This all comes together to give each encounter a nice ebb and flow, and allows you to organically get practise against parts of the encounter you're having more trouble with whilst not allowing the player to feel too secure after beating an easy phase; if they mess up the hard one too many times, it's back to the beginning.

The difficulty is there, refreshingly, but the frustration factor is curbed by the reliable controls and lack of any real 'bullshit' moments, plus the lack of loading screens between speedy restarts. Cutscenes inbetween phases of bosses/losing a life are just long enough to catch a quick breather and crack your mistreatred arthritic degenerate gaming knuckles without taking away from action. A quick few seconds to breathe.

The clever use of downtime cannot be said for the forced walking segments between bosses, however, which forces you to either hold your control stick in a certain direction for to watch a cartoon man walk across some admittedly nice scenery, or press X once to watch him do it on his own as a rabbit tries to sound profound near you. The story didn't exactly suck me in at all, and I gave it more than a fair chance to do so, if only to make the walking segments more bearable, but as it was I just pressed X to make the dude walk and did some tidying up towards the later stages. I can appreciate what they were going for, but you don't get points for effort, nor do I get less bored by appreciating it. What's more, the walking is even more painful when you consider that the camera changes from different fixed perspectives often, meaning that if you're manually walking for some reaosn the direction you're holding on the control stick won't correspond to the direction you're moving in the game and it all feels horrible. I think some downtime between bosses was necessary, but this isn't the way to do it.

Furi's hard mode is also a breath of fresh air in that it affects more than player/enemy health/damage; enemies are revitalised, using new moves and attacking in trickier patterns. They feel like they've been let of their leash, not just arbitrarily buffed, a feature that gels well with Furi's short, focused nature.

It's a high octane, slick and twitchy game that suffers during its downtime, but it's certainly worth a play.
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Diiny 2016-07-11T00:31:47Z
2016-07-11T00:31:47Z
3.5
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Catalog

Tk_23 Furi 2024-05-18T10:09:17Z
2024-05-18T10:09:17Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MelancholyMoth Furi 2024-05-05T09:43:42Z
2024-05-05T09:43:42Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
henryvines Furi 2024-04-26T14:40:55Z
2024-04-26T14:40:55Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
rzywieczdrui Furi 2024-04-22T23:08:48Z
2024-04-22T23:08:48Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Alpha27 Furi 2024-04-11T23:22:44Z
2024-04-11T23:22:44Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
teiko Furi 2024-04-11T00:09:04Z
2024-04-11T00:09:04Z
4.5
5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jesseleefoster Furi 2024-04-07T22:05:49Z
2024-04-07T22:05:49Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
vanillaicefuture Furi 2024-04-06T22:32:38Z
2024-04-06T22:32:38Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Ali5ia Furi 2024-03-25T05:46:31Z
Windows
2024-03-25T05:46:31Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Elkahar Furi 2024-03-24T15:36:56Z
2024-03-24T15:36:56Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Jeycoil Furi 2024-03-24T03:58:48Z
Switch
2024-03-24T03:58:48Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Durles Furi 2024-03-21T17:55:13Z
2024-03-21T17:55:13Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (6) Loading...
  • irismeow 2021-08-30 01:38:09.938138+00
    i wanna warn that the switch version has some serious frame drops
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  • dmnx 2023-01-24 02:16:20.824513+00
    possible the best implementation of harder/ng+ difficulty in any videogame ever. boss movesets on furier difficulty feel like whole new game and it isnt just "hey bosses now deal 2x damage, screw you". hard, but beautifully balanced.
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  • Convalescence 2023-01-24 12:03:22.222248+00
    dodge timing feels very weird so far, but definitely am getting into it. music goes way too hard
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  • eminemfan98 2023-01-25 08:34:12.122577+00
    game fucks so hard, one of my favorites of all time
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  • iggys_hot_music 2023-02-13 21:31:39.948187+00
    These walking segments are atrocious.
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  • Convalescence 2023-02-19 23:11:10.298385+00
    The positives are quite obvious and plentiful but the downsides are also here in spades. Walking sections suck, even if there is an auto-walk option. Just make them cutscenes. And if they functionally are cutscenes, they’re not very good ones.

    Also i personally have the gripe that different phases of each fight can just be wildly balanced in very odd ways; certain sections either being way too long and tedious or others being disproportionately more difficult than other sections. Feels like a very uneven experience a lot of the time, even if it does feel good to master.
    reply
    • Convalescence 2023-02-19 23:12:52.785672+00
      Especially when a final phases is so much brutally harder. Makes the lead up to it feel super grating and tedious; work through these first 5 much easier phases just to get a chance at this WAY harder section again.

      Boss 4, namely
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  • DomMazzetti 2023-02-27 20:44:24.652007+00
    Need another dozen video essays telling me this is good.
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  • Crazystone 2023-11-23 20:37:29.09879+00
    How you pronounce this?
    reply
    • longestseason 2024-01-25 13:17:51.597897+00
      same as fury
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