Furi is definitely an interesting game. I received a review copy not too long ago, and I’ve sat down over the weekend and gave it a spin. You know what it reminds me of? Afro Samurai. It’s Afro Samurai mixed with a Bullet Hell/Boss Rush. No minions to deal with, only other opponents. You slowly wander your way through the game world, trying to be free of this prison you are in. And as the silent protagonist walks forward, a weird man in a bunny helmet, brandishing what appears to be a microphone stand or Buddhist staff a’la Miroku explains who is coming up, why they are here, and lets you deal with the particulars. Each enemy is certainly different, and they disguise this boss rush game: It’s really a bullet hell! Every fight I’ve been in so far has rained ridiculous amounts of bullets in between phases. Luckily you can shoot the bullets from my experience. The greenish ones drop heal items too.
There’s a really big takeaway though. This game will Kick. Your. Ass. If you aren’t playing on Promenade [the easy mode], you’re going to get your shit slapped. It’s happening, so you may as well just accept it. The name of the game is learning patterns, and reacting to them. You can’t just go in and swing your sword all willy-nilly. If your foe is glowing orange, it’s likely time for a phase change, or they’re simply invincible. The hardest part for me though? The parry system. There are times when all you can do is parry and counter attack to move forward. I don’t want to talk about how many times the first fight/tutorial beat me. Spoiler: It was a lot. Between these challenging fights is a LOT of walking though, and only a small amount of exposition to go with it. I could’ve done without a fair amount of it. The story grips you though and you will undoubtedly find yourself working harder to learn more about the tale, and figure out what you’re fighting for.
Everything about this game is ludicrous and silly. A sci-fi Samurai busting out of a prison that appears to be in the Heavens, trying to fight his way out with the purple bunny buddy following, always managing to get ahead of him and explain what’s going on. He says not a word, and only defeats what is in front of him. It’s a game of Simon. The game acts, and you must react, and do it fast. You don’t get a lot of time to consider what you will do. There are only a few game concepts to deal with, but the game throws them at you in a variety of ways. The longer the game goes on, the more insane it gets though. I have not beat it yet, and have tried it on both Promenade and the “Default” difficulty. The challenge ramps up quite a bit between the two. I’m horrified to try the final difficulty but I plan on it.Takashi Okazaki designed the characters, which explains the Afro Samurai feel. It’s a sharp looking title, digital, catchy synth music, gritty characters who all have a reason to be where they are, and challenging, adrenaline pumping combat. It’s a game of redemption, of storytelling. It doesn’t give it to you all at one, but instead it offers tidbits, bread crumbs. Sure, the difficulty spikes can be very, very annoying, but I’d rather have a difficulty spike instead of poor design.
If you like bullet hells, bosh-rushes, fast-paced decision making, and intricate storytelling, you’d do well to give it a peek. Use those storytelling times to process and unwind; you’re going to need it.