Saturday, September 29

Review: Claws of Furry [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Brawlers are certainly a staple genre and one that is actually pretty well-represented on the Switch at this point. That means that in order to really stand out now the bar has been raised a fair amount and what may have been more exciting a mere year ago may not fare as well right now. I think that’s an effect that has put a hard dent in Claws of Furry, a new release that absolutely looks the part of having something good going on but whose mechanics and variety are heavily outpaces by its presentation.


Starting with the positive I love the look of the game’s art, whether in the form of the pretty elaborate backgrounds or the enemies that have a ton of character. There’s an almost comic book art feel to everything, and the efforts in the visuals are appreciated. In terms of the base controls they may be a bit on the loose and basic side but they can also be fun for a while. In particular, the bullet punch technique encourages you to juggle enemies with an uppercut and then jump up to punch them again in the air, doing far more damage in the process. Pulling this off is rewarding and helps knock out the bad guys faster but unfortunately there’s not so much beyond that to get excited about.


Though there are four environments to work through, each with their own signature enemies, up against some of the other titles in the genre already on the system the actual gameplay feels much more shallow. Since it is only a side-scrolling affair you lose the nuances and potential variety of additionally moving towards the foreground and background and that ultimately makes combat a bit more straightforward. The fact that the enemy AI isn’t too bright and you’ll find that many enemies will go down to pretty simple attack mashing and those that take a bit more investment can often be defeated with pretty cheesy and simple patterns as long as you have some patience. The occasional boss battle does up the ante a bit with some tougher sustained challenge, but most of the rest of the game you feel like you can sort of go through the motions to get through.


To help raise the stakes and challenge a bit the game does include a Rogue mode, which will challenge you to beat the game without dying. Especially in single-player that comes off as a bit too extreme, just the alternative is the Pussycat mode, which moves things as far away as possible in the opposite direction, essentially giving you unlimited revives at periodic checkpoints. Playing with some friends certainly helps things feel a bit more balanced and can take on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kind of multiplayer feel to a degree, but going it solo makes the gap between your two options pretty massive, feeling like with both you lose something. Rounding it all out there’s also an Arena mode where you’ll take on waves of enemies, but the mechanics and ultimate lack of variety are consistently what holds the game back. There’s some fun to be had here, especially if you’re a genre fan who has some friends to play with, but it simply doesn’t compare very well to multiple titles already on the Switch.

Score: 6

Pros:
  • Looks fantastic all around
  • Playing with friends helps keep it more fun
  • The bullet attack technique is a good one and rewards your timing and accuracy

Cons:
  • Only 2 somewhat extreme choices with no “just right” challenge level in between them
  • Enemy AI tends to fall prey to cheesy or brute force tactics
  • Compared to other options already on Switch the gameplay simply isn’t as exciting or compelling as a whole