We live in an era in which most games basically hold your hands during a majority of your playtime, resulting in slightly harder and less obviously beatable titles being called “the Dark Souls” of whichever genre they’re a part of, or “just like Dark Souls” if 3D movement, slashing mechanics and stamina-based combat are involved in their gameplay. Cuphead is (wrongly) regarded as “the Dark Souls of 2D games,” for example. Another great example is Furi, previously released on PS4 and Xbox One, now available on the Switch.
Furi is a third-person boss rush game with gameplay comprised of both hack & slash and shooter games. Your objective is simple: defeat ten bosses and escape from some sort of hellish prison. You’ll constantly be guided by a bizarre guy dressed as a bunny, something that weirdly reminded me of Donnie Darko in some moments. That’s basically what you need to know before playing Furi, as a lot more is unfolded throughout the campaign.
As previously mentioned, the gameplay mainly consists of hack & slash and bullet hell elements. For each boss battle, you’ll be able to attack, shoot, dodge, do small teleports, parry, and perform QTEs. You know, the usual stuff. Each boss battle follows what you’d expect from a harder game like this: you’ll probably die in your first attempt, but as soon as you learn their attack patterns, the battles become much easier and a lot more enjoyable. Furi might be a challenge, but it isn’t a downright impossible game. Attacks are always telegraphed, and will always give you an opportunity to counterattack in any way. In a game completely based around boss fights, I’m delighted to announce that Furi‘s combat completely knocks it out of the park. The only problem in the gameplay lies in the small sections between boss fights, which force you to walk, not being able to run or dash to the next arena.
Besides the good gameplay, Furi features a very good artistic style, both in its graphical and sound departments. Furi‘s visual style is distinctive, with a very bright color scheme, full of neon-esque tones of red and blue, and great character design provided by Takashi Okazaki, creator of the Afro Samurai series. Visually speaking, the game is pretty good, but as already expected from a third party Switch game, especially a game release within the console’s first year, it has a somewhat clunky framerate at times, with occasional slowdowns.
If you think the visuals are already good enough, then you need to listen to Furi‘s soundtrack, as it’s one of the best I’ve heard in years. The game’s original soundtrack is provided by some renowned electronic producers such as The Toxic Avenger and Carpenter Brut, which fits perfectly with both the slower-paced cutscenes and fast-paced action sequences. And speaking of cutscenes, the game features pretty decent voice acting as well.
The main issue with Furi lies in its short duration. While it’s a somewhat challenging title, and some fights can take a handful of attempts, there isn’t much else to the game other than the fights themselves. Sure, you can unlock a speedrun mode and attempt your best against all the bosses all over again, as well as varied difficulty settings, but that’s all that’s available for you: ten (very entertaining) fights, end of story. Furi can be a bit replayable, but its severely short duration hinders what could have been a phenomenal action title, something even better than it already is. There aren’t that many slightly harder games out there for the Switch, so if you’re looking for a bit of a challenge, Furi is for you. Just make sure to remember that this challenge won’t last for long.
Also available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC.
Copy of Furi provided by the publisher.