The first thing that occurred to me when I first launched Furi is that the character design and artwork looked awfully familiar. It turns out that this isn’t a coincidence at all, as the visual stylist behind the game is none other than Takashi Okazaki, the artist responsible for the popular Afro Samurai. Stylish, fast, and incredibly difficult, Furi will challenge you on multiple levels and refuses to hold your hand at any point.
Furi could best be described as a “boss rush” game, in which the sole objective is the defeat of each boss as you make your way through the game’s various levels. You can’t really discuss this game in any capacity without mentioning the absolutely gorgeous level design and the aesthetic given to each world that you traverse. While the combat arenas themselves are often forgettable, the areas in between each arena that you traverse to reach the next are surreal and sometimes unsettling, drenched in color and at strange camera angles.
These transitory periods left me with a lasting impression of style and panache that you don’t really see that often these days outside of the latest indie darling to grace your system of choice.
Combat is fast, fluid, intuitive and rewards a skilled or patient hand. Much of the combat hinges on learning that particular bosses pattern, but not before the game throws you a curveball as if to say “HA! You thought you had me figured out? Think again!”. Your attacks are relatively simple, as you’re limited to your sword and energy pistol; being as successful as possible relies on your ability to effectively parry the bosses attacks in many instances, with the adaptation to timing being the key to success. Each boss also features a “bullet hell” phase where you need to dodge a deluge of projectiles on the screen, and this broke up the dash-and-parry combat quite nicely.
Overall I would describe this as an enjoyable and challenging game, though not something that will echo throughout the halls of gaming history. I felt rewarded for learning the various boss patterns and progressing through the levels, though players looking for a more robust experience should obviously look elsewhere. If you’re interested in lightning fast combat and a test of finely-honed skills with little else to get in your way, Furi is definitely the game to play.