Thursday, January 27, 2011

Furry Legends (demo)

Furry Legends isn't likely to be what you think it is unless you think it's a puzzle-platformer featuring a creepy-looking, green fuzz ball. Besides its terrible name, the demo also has the misfortune of being released the same day as Fish'em All! It's hard not to draw the conclusion that Nintendo took this week as an opportunity to dump its clunkers at once.

Furry Legends Screenshot

Prior interest: none

This game's marketing failure begins with the lousy name. I think the intent of the word "Furry" was humor and I imagine that "Legends" is supposed to excite interest in the story. But together, the words of the title are just bland. It would have been better to go all humorous ("Wholly Rollers" perhaps?) or all epic ("Saga of Furland"). To try and split the difference just leaves the consumer confused.

Odds of purchase: low

Playing the demo makes clear the developers were going for a wacky story, which seems entirely needless. Gameplay, at least for the first level, tends to be relaxed even when the enemy shows up. You basically roll around and jump with the occasional attack which is triggered by holding "Z", aiming with the analog stick and shaking the WiiMote. Later you get a boost power-up that acts something like the boost ball in Metroid Prime. In fact, the game feels like an extended riff on Samus' morph ball with significantly less weight. I don't know how well a full game of rolling platforming would stand up as the sections in Metroid games charm by offering a change of pace.

I should mention that there seems to be one oversight in part of the demo's level. There's a puzzle that needs to be solved by rolling a stone onto a pressure trigger. But I managed to block the stone from settling on the trigger and it rolled to a part of the level I couldn't seem to retrieve it from. My solution was to restart the level, which probably wasn't what the designers intended.

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