Fur Fighters: Viggo’s Revenge

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Fur Fighters: Viggo’s Revenge (Giant Bomb|Wikipedia) is a game that I had never heard of until recently. Originally released for the Dreamcast as Fur Fighters, this game is a souped up port designed for the Playstation 2. This is a third person shooter with a heavy emphasis on multiplayer, which I did not get a chance to try. The developer was Bizarre Creations, makers of the Project Gotham Racing and Geometry Wars series.

In Fur Fighters you play as one of 6 anthropomorphic stuffed animals. The villain of the  game has gone to your island home and stolen your families to be used as collateral while he takes over the world. Your goal is to rescue your family and stop him. This is pretty basic, and even though it’s a T rated game, it seems very Saturday-morning-cartoonish. Throughout each level there are floating bubbles where you can switch to a different character – each has their own set of special abilities and health meters as well as weapons. Pick up a shotgun with the cat, and the kangaroo won’t have it available until you find one with him. In order to rescue the children you must use their parent – the kangaroo can’t rescue the cat’s kids and vice versa – thankfully it seems that there are convenient switching orbs near the kids I found. While this is definitely a mechanic, I’m not sure it’s a good or interesting one.

Graphics are actually quite nice and have held up well – I think this is mainly due to the cel shaded styling used. Performance was good, and I only encountered one momentary slowdown of the frame rate. I didn’t see many effects other than water (which looked really good for a PS2 title) so I can’t comment on any of that.

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Sound was fitting for the mood and there was one or two songs that got stuck in my head for a few hours. The characters do have voice acting behind them, and it was pretty good across the board – up to Saturday morning cartoon standards at least.

My major complaint with the game, and this is a big one, is the control scheme. I rarely have come across one that frustrated me more consistently than the default in Fur Fighters. The left analog stick, traditionally used for movement, is used for camera control – and on top of that it’s inverted. The right analog stick, traditionally used for camera control, is used for character movement. During game play there is an options sub menu in the pause menu that contains a section for controls – but inside the game, all you can do is change whether vibration is on or off. That’s it. According to the manual, there are different layouts, but I’m guessing you need to change them before the game starts. Even though this was released in 2001 when camera controls hadn’t been quite figured out yet, this is completely inexcusable.

Verdict: Back on the shelf. The controls in this game make it incredibly frustrating to play. Disappointing.

Images courtesy of Giant Bomb

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