Fenix Furia is already available on Steam but under the name Fenix Rage. The game is now available on consoles but due to various lawsuit issues the name of the game was changed to Fenix Furia. The game comes from Green Lava Studios and I was excited to see what the game had to offer.
The first things I noticed was the game can get incredibly difficult and is fast paced. Even on the standard mode when you die you start back at the beginning of the level. You can play on easy mode and get a bit more leeway. The game is challenging on PS4 but I actually heard that it was even harder on PC and the developers actually made the overall experience a bit easier on consoles. The game also offers some nice extra features like local co-op, split screen and a new character to play as.
Fenix Furia doesn’t have a story of any depth but being a fast paced, gameplay centric platformer it’s what you would expect. The game does start with a brief cutscene that sets up some sort of premise, with a mysterious blue object from space crashing into a planet.
The aim of the game is simple, search for the blue orb and pass through it to warp to the next level. Like I said you will find you die a lot but that’s ok as the stages themselves are relatively short and the gameplay is about trying to master the perfect run by taking on the obstacles and threats in your path. The game does offer trophies for doing things like beating stages in a certain time and collecting a cookie that can be found in each level. There are multiple worlds to visit that have twenty stages for each.
Movement in the game is frantic and fast paced with only a couple of moves to worry about. You can jump and dash, with unlimited usage, though the multiple stages and attempt to guide Fenix through some challenging scenarios. Fenix controls very differently to what I was expecting. The game looks like Super Meat Boy and is fast like Sonic but Fenix feels weightless and often floaty. I really enjoyed the different approach to the platforming in this game and you really have to think about how to avoid various enemies and obstacles. You also come across boss encounters that require you to analyse enemy movements whilst moving in mid-air. My favourite gameplay mechanic though is when you glide along red glowing walls to ignite yourself and use fire to break through walls and other objects.
The level design ok decent but fails to offer anything particularly original or memorable. Each stage is pretty much the same with the difficulty ramping up as you progress. I would have liked to have seen a bit more depth to abilities and upgrades as the game progressed. A good example of this is a game like Ori and the Blind Forest which slowly introduces interesting new mechanics that really change how you explore the world and play the game. The controls are fine in Fenix Furia but the mechanics are kept very simplistic throughout and the stages don’t develop enough to keep things entertaining throughout the whole duration. Some players may find the floaty gameplay and difficulty spikes off-putting but if you stick with it then there are some satisfying moments.
The boss encounters do offer a nice break and change of pace to the gameplay and like you’d expect they take place at the end of each world. Each boss does test the skills you have learnt during the game but the bosses don’t stand out from each other that much. A game like Shovel Knight is a great example of how bosses can vary and make you really think about how to approach each battle. To be honest I’ve never really been a fan of boss battles in games in general as they tend to feel generic and never really come as a surprise.
The game has a nice variety of options, with multiple challenge modes available to test your skills you have learnt. As I said before each level has a time to beat and there’s other modes that introduce things like limited jumps and dash abilities. The console version of Fenix Furia has also added split-screen multiplayer mode where two players can play through each level of the game in a race to the finish line. The multiplayer is only local at this time, but it’s a nice option that we don’t always see in current games. The game does have a decent amount of replayability with the timed stages to beat and collectables to find.
The presentation is also very striking and the game performs well. It certainly doesn’t look as impressive as say a game like Ori and the Blind Forest but it does have its own unique charm and art style. The sound design is also well done and is what you would expect from a quirky twitch platformer like this. The music is upbeat, fast paced and the sound effects sound great. I often found that the gameplay was so tricky that I forgot about everything else as my concentration was purely focused on maneuvering through each level.
Overall Fenix Furia is a decent platformer that certainly offers a nice challenge. Personally when I play a platformer like the challenge of having to improve my skills throughout. I would have liked to have seen a bit more variety in terms of level design, abilities and player progression as that would have added more depth to the game. I often feel many games don’t feel its important to have a plot or any kind of narrative, which works in some cases, but I can’t help feel that many games like this would benefit from narrative structure, just look at Ori and the Blind Forest. Even Mega Man games have a lot more depth and back story than you would expect. I would certainly recommend this game if you’re a fan of fast-paced platformers and like games such as Super Meat Boy.
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