Review: Fly Fu
Publisher: Invictus-Games Ltd.
Developer: Invictus-Games Ltd.
Release Date: July 19, 2010
Price: $3.49 | £1.99 | €2.49
What I liked:
Neat graphical style
What I disliked:
Boring, repetitive gameplay
Fly Fu looks like someone unpinned a poor sap’s dead insect collection, rearranged them into funny positions, and doodled around them to make scenes. It’s a really cool looking effect, which the game maintains by keeping all backgrounds paper-esque and having “Doodling” instead of “Loading” screens. The music keeps things feeling martial-artsy by employing taiko drums and other Oriental instruments. Overall, Fly Fu has a consistent style that sets it apart from any other game. I have to admire that, which is a shame, because these things are the only positive aspects of the game I can focus on. Every other part of Fly Fu is either poorly executed, uninteresting, or simply not fun.
To start, Fly Fu has two selectable modes: Story and Survival. You can also elect to view an introductory cutscene that sets up the plot, which is basically the same as Double Dragon: bad guys take the hero’s girlfriend, so he has to go get her and punch every face in his way. Speaking of the cutscenes, they’re cute. However, they’re also pretty confusing, since a lot of the bugs involved can start to look pretty similar. There are only five total stages in the game, which are used for both modes. That might not seem like a lot, but wait! There’s even less! Turns out the “stages” refer only to the backgrounds behind the action, and the actual levels are fundamentally identical.
In story mode you fight off a preset number of enemy bugs before proceeding to the level’s boss. You’ll always face a light, medium, and heavy strength bug, though thankfully the insect models change per stage. Since the bugs come at you from all sides, and the levels have no features whatsoever, traversing the stages is unimportant; just kill the requisite number of enemies and you’ll progress. The bosses are larger bugs with slightly stronger attacks and no real attack patterns. Random button-mashing will be enough to get you through these supposed “challenges”. Survival mode uses the same stages as the Story, except that there’s no bosses, health packs, or weapons. The goal is to defeat as many insects as possible before dying. With no leaderboard support, it’s largely pointless, and the only reason to choose different stages is to perhaps wail on different looking enemies.
Fly Fu’s gameplay is it’s weakest aspect. Since this is a game, that’s a pretty terrible thing to have to say. There are two attack buttons, and they produce different moves when standing or pressing forward, but they are nearly indistinguishable from each other. They don’t combo into each other, there are no advanced maneuvers, and there are no new moves to unlock. Can you press X or Circle? Good, because if so, you have already mastered everything Fly Fu has to offer. Beating up other bugs builds up a Berserk mode which, when activated, makes every move a one-hit kill. It builds up so fast and can be deactivated while in use to conserve it, meaning any “challening” moments in the game are easily solved by activating Berserk. Kills in Berserk mode will random cause a gratuitous slow-mo shot of your kill, but the Berserk bar will continue to drain in real time. There are also weapons to pick up, in the form of pins and matches, but they all have the same animations and offer no real advantages.
Beating the full story in Fly Fu took me just over an hour. I played a single Survival level, but since they’re all practically identical, there was no need to try further. For under $1, this much gameplay might be acceptible. For the asking price, I cannot recommend Fly Fu.
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