Fur Fighters: Viggo's Revenge Review
Although being released in early June, Fur Fighters: Viggo's Revenge has not been forgotten here at PSX Extreme. However, after diving into this devilish cartoon styled game, maybe it would have been better if it had. The title was almost lost in the array of quality games being released on the PS2, and it seems that nobody is the wiser with its virtually silent release. Developed by Bizarre Creations, possibly the company knew it was a lost cause advertising for this game, and hoped it would be swept under the rug. I personally never felt a connection with this game, and struggled to continue playing it even for review purposes. On the other hand, I did have a few moments with this game that made me think that some level of enjoyment could be achieved, but what I was left with was a dizzying control system, and a plot that simply put me to sleep. As soon as I engaged myself for the opening movie of Fur Fighters, I knew I was in for a game that was not thoroughly developed, and lacked quality time that should have been put in. I began my quest with a slight surprised look on my face as I was presented a very unique graphical system, but was shot into a state of disarray with the first step I took, literally. With Acclaim as the official publisher, it is apparent to me that they purposely kept this game low profile so they're name would not be associated with such a poor title. Please stay away from Fur Fighters: Viggo's Revenge, as I will go into detail the numerous aspects this game possesses.
Graphically, as I've stated, Fur Fighters has some very good qualities to marvel at. I found it somewhat intriguing to watch my almost 2D character roam this fully 3D environment. The game has cel-shaded characters and backgrounds, which adds an unusual appearance that aids in the cartoon look Bizarre Creations was going for. From detailed rock cliffs to realistic winter settings, Fur Fighters had a chance of being an above average game. Each character had its own eccentric personality, and appealed to gamers in a light-hearted sense. While providing decent visuals, the overall atmosphere of the game was nicely set. But as you've probably noticed with the other scores of this game, the graphics could not pull this title even to mediocrity.
Fur Fighters: Viggo's Revenge is set around the retrieval of your character's family from the evil General Viggo. You will venture through 7 poorly constructed levels that leave you even angrier than you started. The "hubs" include The Village, New Quack City, Beaver Power, Cape Canardo, Dinotopolis, Anatat Tatanatat, and your final showdown at Viggo A-Go-Go. All of the character's babies have been trapped in various levels, and it is your job to rescue them and return to the village. After you have rescued a certain number of babies, you will be allowed to challenge a boss of the level, which happens to be the Fur Fighter's spouses except in one case, the character's mother. All of this gets exceedingly old especially as you are forced to continue gathering gold tokens to enter levels. Another element this game provides is the ability to teleport characters. In each level, there will be numerous teleporting devices that will alter your state of being. This proves to be dreadfully important as only one specific character can retrieve their child. So if you have explored the level and finally find a baby, you may have to go all the way back to a teleporting devise to change character. Every level has an assortment of enemies, so even if you have killed an incredible amount, if you go back you may have to deal with these difficulties again, making you more and more frustrated.
Your characters of species include Roofus (hound), Chang (firefox), Juliette (pussycat), Rico (rockhopper penguin), Bunglow (kangaroo), and Tweek (dragon). Each creature has its own special skill and will once again prove useful, as various obstacles will need to be obtained throughout your adventure. Also, you have the ability to pick up weapons from enemies that you kill along the way. The entire weapon arsenal comprises of a pistol, shotgun, plasma blaster, neutron gun, freeze gun, bomb launcher, and rocket launcher. As you move to higher levels, more powerful weapons will become available, and will make it easier to take care of enemies in your path. This, of course, is the basic plot of the game. Go through levels eliminating opponents and gathering your families, while occasionally encountering bosses that you will have to eradicate to get them out of the power of General Viggo. Finally, you will be lead into Viggo's domain for your final showdown. For me, all of this just wasn't exciting, and the game's control is the main cause for my distaste. I could hardly concentrate on the scheme this title was attempting to deliver, and found myself wanting to continually put down the controller.
The sound in Fur Fighters is average, and does not deserve to be hailed anything better. The sound effects are very limited, and the voice acting, although occasionally amusing, gets annoying. What truly puts this game under is TERRIBLE lip-synching in both cinematic dialogue and short gameplay cuts. If you believe converted Japanese movies to English is bad, please don't even bother with Fur Fighters. I absolutely could not believe how off the timing their mouths were to their voices. Not even old time PC dialogue compares with this. Fur Fighters: Viggo's revenge is one of the worst lip-synched games I have ever seen. However, luckily, gameplay dialogue does not bother with this. You simply see your character, and hear its voice coincide with its surroundings. Weapon sound effects and other environment sounds are decent and by no means take away from the game. As much time as Bizarre Creations probably spent on voice acting, they certainly didn't pay attention to any up-close dialogue.
Well, prepare yourself for some out right unsympathetic criticizing in the department of control. If you thought I was displeased about a few sound features, you definitely don't know the rage that is involved with this titles control scheme. Let me start out by saying that you can choose from eight different controller setups, which by-the-way, make absolutely no difference in the overall feel of the game. What indefinitely crushes this game is a horrific camera setup that changes awkwardly every time you simply move your character. If for some reason you are moving up a flight of stairs, the camera will almost go to the top, completely causing your character to disappear. As you move around corners quickly, the camera angle is so dreadful that you may just simply want to stay in one place and let the enemies come to you. Also, the accuracy system is so flawed in shooting your opponent, that all you're left with is this auto-aim structure that pretty much makes you just flail your aiming device around in the area of the enemy. To make matters worse, the bull's-eye that you use to lock on to an opponent gets lost in the background. You pretty much have to continually move around your joystick to even find the thing. This wouldn't be such a problem if it weren't the entire idea of the game, and the only way to progress through levels! Man, how hard can it be to just have a steady camera angle and aiming device.
Well, in terms of replay value, there almost isn't any. It really isn't that difficult to complete the game, as the levels are very short, and the bosses not too difficult. What I would question, however, is why you would want to beat this game more than once. What can be gained by finishing this title in multiple quantities? Simply put, if for some reason you are driven to complete this game, you will not have a motive to start up again. What for, I say, to roam around in complete disarray again, and simply struggle with the entire control system? I would hope one is smarter than this, and realizes that what they've just done is pointless.
Overall, I guess you can see that I wasn't real pleased with Fur Fighters: Viggo's Revenge. Hmm...what could it have been that made me feel this way? Was it the one-dimensional storyline, the awful lip-synching, or maybe one of the worst control schemes that has ever been enlisted in a game? I guess it's just too hard of a choice. But please, let me make a choice for you if you have not already done so, stay clear of Fur Fighters: Viggo's Revenge. You will not be pleased with yourself if you do otherwise.
8/2/2001 Matthew Stensrud