Review: Lucha Fury (XBLA)

Review: Lucha Fury (XBLA)

Lucha Fury is a good-looking game, and you can tell that Punchers Impact treated the game as a labor of love. Four luchador wrestlers (who are also slackers) come together to stop a shortage of their favorite energy drink only to stumble upon something more sinister; this is no normal shortage. Ancient Gods are stealing the world’s supply of Pollojo, because they don’t think the human race deserves to have it. Quite a silly premise for a story, but is it enough to keep you entertained throughout the game?

Lucha Fury starts out exactly the way it’s meant with its side scrolling beat ‘em up fun. The screen, at first, fills with a few baddies to defeat and keeps adding throughout the level. It’s almost too reminiscent of the 1989 arcade classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, copying a lot of the combat and level designs, but it fails to strike the same chord TMNT did. Where this game does break free of its influence is with the ability to run, and more importantly, the Special Gauge. In order to fill the gauge, you must defeat consecutive enemies in a row without getting hit. Once filled, you can use it to enable a special ability that differs for each of the four characters. These come in extremely handy when facing multiple hostiles and can help clear a screen quickly. The game also runs on a health pick-up system. This really works well as enemies will sporadically turn into chickens that drop health when kicked. I never found myself worrying about finding Pollojo to heal.

The graphics of the game are almost a direct reference to Borderlands. A lot of the style and humor takes a page out of Gearbox’s playbook and runs with it. Lucha Fury makes it work to its advantage and the game does look absolutely stunning.

Lucha Fury starts losing momentum when you get to boss fights. The bosses themselves are hilarious at first, but the hilarity soon leads to frustration as they will pull every cheap maneuver possible. At times, it can be hard to judge if you are in line with a boss that is much bigger than your character, which can lead to being hit cheaply. Some of the bosses have specific ways to be defeated, and will take a couple of tries to do so. My only complaint is that Punchers Impact didn’t make some of those ways very clear.

Multiplayer is this game’s shining beacon. Up to four players can roll through the campaign together. Each of the luchadors offers something different and has a unique move set. Areas that proved too tough for one player are a breeze once you add more players to the equation. Beating enemies turns into an over-the-top brawl as you and your friends co-operatively decimate the foes on screen. Its only drawback is that sometimes you can lose track of your character when there is a lot of action going on at once. This can lead to some extremely cheap deaths, but this should be expected with a side-scroller.

Overall, the campaign runs on the short side and can be completed in a single afternoon. The game has a pretty good save system, so playing it in chunks will not punish you with a level restart. Single player can take up to 5 hours to complete (depending on the difficulty setting) and much shorter with multiple players.

The soundtrack for the game is fantastic, though it can be a bit repetitive. Punchers Impact did a good job with the score and added a little bit of everything. The music is quite catchy and I found myself humming it a few days after playing the game.

Lucha Fury is going for 800 Microsoft Points on the Xbox Live Marketplace or $10 bucks on the PSN store. I highly recommend you download the demo first. This will give you a fairly decent taste to see if Lucha Fury is right for you. You might also want to find out if any of your Xbox Live / PSN buddies own or are going to purchase the game, as playing alone can be somewhat frustrating.


Graphics are attractive,
Soundtrack is great,
Engaging Multi-player
Single player is frustrating,
Easy to lose track of character model
75 out of 100

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