Everyone worth their salt knows that side-scrolling beat ’em ups are the pinnacle of gaming excellence and the lack of them in modern gaming is not only a shame but a travesty.
Where would gaming even be today without the likes of Final Fight, Double Dragon, Golden Axe, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs and Streets of Rage? We don’t know where it would be because those games do exist and now another side-scrolling beat ’em up exists in the form of Claws of Furry from Terahard.
So, Claws of Furry is a difficult one for me. On the one hand it’s a fast and frenetic side scroller that focuses on blade-like slashing attacks with some ranged and heavy attacks, but on the other hand it’s a game that kind of feels like it’s just going through the motions.
Now, I can’t just say something like that and not go into any detail, so I will, in fact, go into some detail. The art style from one perspective is actually really good, being hand-painted and having a sharpness of lines reminiscent of Jhohen Vasquez‘s work, but on the other side going for the Rayman approach of character design having no arms to connect the arms to the body. Now, I’m no computer programmer and maybe this was done for ease of animation when everything’s moving but for me as a player, it just feels incredibly lazy to be doing something like that when it doesn’t tie in artistically with everything else. Aside from that, the characters do look pretty nice and the selection of costumes is also interesting giving you a variety of outfits reminiscent of all your superhero favourites like Deadpool and Venom.
Playing with the combat for me was where things took a noticeable turn for the worse and it isn’t that its terribly bad, it’s just that it’s bland and doesn’t grip you with moment-to-moment brawling. Some reasons for this are the physical interactions feeling light so no connection or move ever feels devastating or like you’ve inflicted any damage and also because of this you kind of end up running and jumping whilst smashing the attack buttons, never really sure of what effect you’re actually having.
It was something that at the beginning of the game I wasn’t too fussed about but as I continued to play, I remembered just how much weight I had in other recent beat ’em ups such as Castle Crashers or Charlie Murder, and maybe thats where the issue lies. Maybe if I hadn’t played those other games, then these transgressions wouldn’t stand out so much for me.
I wouldn’t recommend Claws of Furry and it’s a massive shame because if they made this game more like Dishwasher Dead Samurai with a more brutal and heavy fighting style then it could’ve been better. Also: give characters arms.
Author: Hal, Plymouth store