Before I get into the review, I want to ask one question: do you like boss fights? If you absolutely hate boss fights with no chance of love, then this game will not be for you.
Anyways, Furi(with an i) is an action game developed by Game Bakers. In this game, you play as a man known as 'The Rider.' You are in an elaborate prison consisting of floating islands above Earth. You spend the game fighting your way down the islands in search of your freedom, all in a neon art style.
Remember when I talked about boss fights? That's because the entire game is boss fights. Their are no common enemies to fight(other than in a boss fight.) It's either fighting a boss, or walking to your next boss fight. It's a wild idea, but one that I got into as I was playing the game.
The game works like this: You walk to your boss fight while a strange guy with a bunny mask on talks to you about the person you are going to face, the boss fight commences, you usually start with a bullet-hell like part. After draining the boss's health, you go into a close-quarter fight mode where you are attacking, blocking, or dodging with your sword. Any successful blocks made with your sword heals you. At the bottom of both of your health bars, their are blocks that represents your life. If you lose all of your health, you lose a block. Lose all blocks, and you restart the boss fight completely. Your enemy also has these blocks, so the goal is to drain the enemy's blocks before yours. But draining your health can also give you any missing blocks back. If you lose all of your health, then you just reset back to the previous fight, but not all the way back. That is the entire game in a nutshell.
At first, I thought the idea of only doing boss fights was dumb. But over time, the idea didn't seem to crazy too me and I began to enjoy myself with the game. Since the game was simple, Furi didn't waste its time with upgrades or collectibles. It even didn't show a scoreboard until the end of the game. It was just raw gameplay, and having that distilled experience was refreshing. But having only boss fights also had some down sides. When you fully die, you get reset all the way back to the beginning. Now this is obvious, but since the entire game is just boss fights, the reset was big and frustrating. Also, the formula doesn't really change between boss fights until the end. Sure, the bosses would do different attack styles. But the concept of bullet-hell proceeded by close quarters combat stayed mostly the same until the final two boss fights, which by then was too late. While that repetition made for a good learning curve as to what to somewhat expect in the coming boss fight while also learning about the attack pattern, that repetition also made the game go by fast. The other problem with the game was that it goes by fast. Their are only so many bosses that can be dreamed up, so the answer to that was nine bosses. Mix that with the relative ease of the boss fights as they got more repetitive and the fast-paced action of the game, and you got one short experience. In my first play through, walking parts and all, my play through came up to be three hours and thirty-eight minutes. Not to say that short games are bad, but having only bosses in your game could lead to short times.
But to me, the game shined brightest in the music. The music was out-of-this-world fantastic. The synth wave pulses through each wave and makes each part of the game feel epic. Even the long walking scenes were a lot of fun to go through, as for the game would play a song that got you hyped for the upcoming battle. The music blew my mind. Also, the futuristic style with the bright colors made the game visually pleasing as well.
Going on those walking parts, I found them to be a surprise. At first, I hated them, as for they were annoying. They were boring, and the camera would move all over the place which made it hard to control. But in the game, their is a feature to auto-walk, which helped a lot. On top of that, the mixture of the music and the bunny man made me slowly love the walking parts. It may seem like a small thing to talk about, but they do happen between each boss fight so...
The ending, while I won't say anything, was a surprise for sure and a good one. I can't say much without spoiling, but I found myself saying that it was a solid ending to a game that really got me thinking about it, which I can't say for many games nowadays.
The final part I am going to talk about is the speed run mode. At the end, you unlock a speed run mode, where you go through the bosses without the walking parts as fast as you can and with the least amount of hits as you can. While it is a cool idea to see how fast you can go and see how fast others go on the leaderboards, I thought overall the speed run mode wasn't the best idea as it showed truly how short the game is. Sure, people beat Breath of the Wild at fifty minutes or even the new Prey game at ten minutes, but that is getting that time by skipping most of the game. With Furi's mode, it shows that you can beat the game in thirty minutes or so, but that is by playing through the entire game. What I'm trying to say is that the speed run mode shows you that their is not a lot of content to the game, and that playing through every part of the game minus the walking parts could take you as little as thirty minutes.
The verdict:Furi is a fun action game that pits you against bosses, all to some of the best music in video games. While the idea is good and the gameplay is fun, the concept of only having boss fights definitely will put up a wall for some. While the game is short, repetitive, and at times frustrating; the game is packed with content, full of fantastic music, and is fun once you get used to the idea of only facing bosses. Furi is a game I would recommend picking up, unless you do not like boss fights.