A masochistic romp through a bizarre 80s techno-scape, Furi is as difficult as it is odd. And since it’s really, really odd, it’s well, really, really hard. I’m talking balls hard.
In fact, unforgiving would be an understatement. Based on twitch-style memorization and progressively (and unfortunately) rote repetition, Furi’s combat is frenetic and riddled with traps that snare the impatient player and enrage the focused one. Perception and placidity are the keys to surviving the minions that lurk in this neon hell – and even then, there’s a great deal of luck that plays into advancing to the next level.
Dodge too soon and you’ll be knocked back, making you reevaluate your assault or curse your inept strategy. Block too late and you’ll lose half your life bar faster than a snake shooting through the grass. And when you’re dead, guess what? You start all over again, the only save points being at the beginning of each infuriatingly protracted boss fight. One false move can set you back dozens of playtime-minutes, frustrating you much more than encouraging you continue your seemingly endless and frustrating grind.
To be good at Furi not only requires monk-like patience, but supreme tactical strategy and deft analyzation of your opponent, his faints and his attacks. All of this you must do in painstakingly instantaneous detail. Wait for a moment, you’re freaking screwed.
(As an aside, Furi’s truly unforgiving gameplay led me to believe I’m terrible at this type of action because its bosses often tossed me about like limp roadkill on a rainy afternoon, keeping me from advancing through the curious story at any reasonable rate. That, or I’m just too old for this shit and my patient's run out … )
And sure, victory can be just as rewarding as any found in the Souls or Ninja Gaidan series, but somehow, it's far less attainable to achieve. The game demands precision and calculation, but the controls at times lag, movements and attacks glitch, and hit boxes become so painstakingly tiny that the probability of hitting them is often infinitesimally small -- and it all leads to one thing: losing your damned mind.
But none of that just couldn't save me from its gameplay.
If only it didn’t feel like a veritable slog through a murky moor, Furi might have trapped my attention for longer than it did. Perhaps it’s because the game is so precise and demands such deft dexterity that it falters under its own weight. Or maybe it just beat me. That's a possibility.
Your companion tells you early on that "being locked up fucks you up on the inside." He's right, you know. After being locked in Furi’s frantic twitch-insanity for almost a dozen hours, I too began to feel fucked up on the inside.