When I was asked to review this game, I was excited. I was following this games production when it was coming out to “main” consoles (PS4, XBOX, and PC) a few years ago and I never got around to playing it. I saw a speed run at AGDQ and wasn’t immediately taken with it and my need to play this game was squashed… it wasn’t what I expected. Although, as I researched the development and history behind Furi, in preparation, it was rekindled. Art inspired by afro samurai, interesting electronic music artists and an interesting boss-only system (not unlike my favorite game of all time; Shadow of the Colossus!). So, as I turned on my switch and began playing; my disappoint was almost as swift as its supposed gameplay and then it slowly began to show me all its flaws.
I’ll start at the graphics and presentation; comparatively, the graphics are blurry and nowhere near as sharp as it needed it be. The presentation and aesthetics are quite stylised and if they were running on a console that could run the game in its proper manner, it would be impressive, and I think I would’ve enjoyed the setting much more. The actual setting is a hyper stylised neo-futuristic multileveled and themed prison with interesting character and arena design. So, I guess I liked the idea but not the execution, which is sad; as I’ve seen gameplay on other consoles and it seems to look and run a lot nicer.
Which brings me to the gameplay! I’ll say it now, I don’t dislike hard games, I LOVE Dark Souls, Super Meat Boy and many other games that have made me throw my controller in anger, but I only like them when they’re hard on purpose. When the game requires precise inputs, and split-second choices that determine if you win or lose, it’s a pressure I like, but when the framerate is choppy and the game either pauses for a split second or chugs, it makes the game harder in ways that almost seem unfair. This is what I had to deal with, constantly. This is the reason I had to play on easy and not on normal. I WANTED to have a challenge, but I wanted it to be my fault if I failed, not the poor porting of an intensive game that needs some decent power behind it. This leaves me to wonder if it’s the power output of the switch that’s to blame or if it was just terrible porting to another console.
Another part of the gameplay/story that I need to get off my chest is the fact that you can only walk in between bosses…and it’s so slow! It may be a pacing issue so that you can’t miss any of the story that has been written, but when the story is ambiguous on purpose, it seems almost redundant and quite frankly it was annoying. You could press the B button and the game would walk you where you needed to go, and it seems like this was an implementation from the developers knowing that it would be tedious. The story would have read well but when it was put into action, it fell flat and I was left wanting.
But enough about what I didn’t like, and more on to what was actually good. The music was fantastic! I’m not sure whose idea it was to have lesser known DJ’s write music for this game, but they deserve a raise. The score is something that couldn’t really be affected by the port and I think that’s perhaps I enjoyed it as much as I did? It was appropriate of the setting and reminiscent of the Afro Samurai games and the hip-hop soundtrack that accompanied it.
It is probably easy to see how I feel about this game and the more I think about it, the more I don’t think that it’s necessarily the games fault. The switch is a fantastic console (and you can even hear mine and Jamie’s thoughts on it, on an upcoming Podcast) but I don’t think that the port was well done and if there weren’t issues porting, then I don’t think the Switch was the right console to put this game on. I want to play it on PS4 to know if it plays any better, but from what I’ve seen, it certainly does. The game as a whole is decent but suffers in many ways. I would love to see the next game “The Game Bakers” make, as I think they’re talented, but I just feel, when it comes to Furi, I was just left angry.