Lucha Fury Review

30 Jun 2011  by   Paul Younger
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Lucha Fury is a prime example of video game design gone wrong… very wrong. From the opening ‘tutorial’ to the repetitive, lacklustre levels that make up the rest of the game, there’s almost nothing endearing, charming or enjoyable about this experience.
It’s about as appealing as using a public restroom immediately after John Prescott has emptied his bowels of last night’s curry/fajita combo. What’s worse is that, as a reviewer of this game, I was forced to remain in this crap-hole until I’d finished. Unsurprisingly, I came out feeling, smelling and looking like shit.

What makes things doubly bad is that this is a side-scrolling beat ‘em up, a genre that has been around since the dawn of time and one that is hardly devoid of quality examples to draw ideas, inspiration and know-how from. I’d say that I was disappointed if it wasn’t for the fact that I had no expectation or excitement for Lucha Fury prior to release whatsoever.
The premise is some old guff about luchadores (Mexican wrestlers in masks) wandering around and beating up some bad guys. Really, I don’t know what the story is because it doesn’t matter and I don’t care. There might not have even been one. Literally, my main goal when playing this was to make the pain end as quickly as possible. That meant skipping on the peripheral elements and concentrate on smashing the buttons.
That’s all you need to do… smash the buttons. Well, smash one button. By taking your frustration out on the poor, innocent ‘X’ button you can defeat the vast majority of the game’s moronic, predictable enemies. Enemies that are more than happy to simply run up to you and stand there as you beat on them, the most obvious sign that they were alive at all coming when they fall to the floor dead.

You have the ability to jump, grab and upgrade certain attacks but, none are truly essential to progression and their lack of visual flair serves only to further discourage you from using them for any reason other than to give ‘X’ a much needed rest. On occasion you’re forced to employ a new tactic or attack for a boss fight but, rather than make things interesting, the impossibly long health bars of your foes mean you’re bored well before the half way mark.
Things are made slightly snappier in co-op but, unfortunately, no more interesting. Like games of a bygone-era there is no option for online play meaning that anyone wanting to experience co-op with their friends should prepare for some awkward questions from them i.e. “Why did you buy this?”, “What did I do to deserve this?” and “Do you hate me?”.
At least by playing online you don’t have to explain your purchase, you and your partner probably too ashamed to communicate or reveal your identities.

There are four characters to choose from that fall into the usual categories of fast/weak, slow/strong and medium/medium. Other than the fact that you need to watch how much damage you’re taking there’s very little difference between each character other than their visual designs.
In fact, the visuals are Lucha Fury’s only real positive. The comic book tone working nicely with the luchadore angle to create a colourful, vivid aesthetic that is enough to draw you in during the opening sequence and menu screens. However, as soon as the gameplay begins the appeal wears off and you start to question why these artists agreed to work with these game designers.
That’s it, that’s all I’m writing about Lucha Fury. If this review feels shorter than normal, that’s because it is. I’m starting to fear for my sanity by recalling these memories; I need to get out now. If you hadn’t already guessed, my patience for bad beat ‘em ups is almost non-existent. 

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