A neon soaked game in the trappings of the pink and purple hues of retrowave and fueled by those same sounds, Furi is a very aptly titled game. Part hack n slash, part twin stick shooter and part bullet hell, this game will kick your ass.
This game is very straightfoward; the structure of the game is a boss rush format, where you usually fight the varied enemies in a circular arena. In between, as a rest, you are treated to some beautiful sights in a futuristic retrowave looking world whilst being delivered expository dialogue by a guy in a mask that looks as if the rabbit from Donnie Darko had been dipped in pink paint. Not only do these serve as a rest but they also effectively pump you up for the next fight. Also there’s a story but it doesn’t really matter, but basically, you start out getting busted out of jail and you have to fight all the ‘guardians’ to escape the jail realm.
On a technical note, the graphics of the game are excellent and I love the aesthetic of the game. There is screen tearing from time to time, which isn’t too bad as the game runs smoothly in combat. Vsync is obviously not enabled but that is to the game’s benefit as the setting is often known to cause input delay problems which would really break the precision reflexes required here.
In the core game, you shoot using the right stick, dodge with X, parry with circle, hit square to attack and hold R2 for a charged shot. Each boss is different but the same basic principles apply and that is to be constantly mobile but also precise. Precise timing is absolutely vital, especially for parries, which restore a sliver of your health, as well as with dodging. Enemies have phases of increasing difficulty, in which the precision of parries and dodges increases along with it. The game is very difficult so in classic video game fashion, trial and error is common place in order to recognize all the attack patterns and simply be able to reflexively win. You also have 3 health bars that get replenished after getting to the next boss phase Defeating a boss is more relief than achievement and herein lies the key problem with the game: the difficulty balance is too high. And before I get inundated with messages or comments telling me to “git gud”, I have passed the credits and am up to the post credits boss, which is the final boss after much yelling of “fuck you” and “cunt” at the TV on normal difficulty.
There’s a fine line to balance in games between difficult, challenging fun and frustrating. This game frequently dips into frustrating, particularly during the final phases of latter game bosses. This is why before I said the game was aptly titled, because the often unfair difficulty put me in a furious state. This level of difficulty might just be a bit of a laugh from the game’s French developer, The Game Bakers, and perhaps done out of vindictiveness, mockingly making us want to quit playing so they can say “whose the surrender monkey now?”