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Review by: Jonathan Houghton
Published: January 16, 2001
Something that becomes obvious after a great deal of time watching the gaming industry is that some genres never translate well to certain platforms. For example, survival horror titles are almost always more fun on a PlayStation or Dreamcast than on a PC. One genre that has provided console players with some of the greatest titles in interactive entertainment is the 3D platform adventure category. However, memorable titles such as Mario 64 are fewer and farther between on the PC. A third-person perspective, cartoony graphics and a heavy emphasis on jumping and puzzle solving rather than shooting everything in sight characterize these games. One of the few products in this style to be released for the PC was UBI Soft’s obscure Hype: The Time Quest. In an effort to capitalize on this underdeveloped portion of the PC gaming market, Bizarre Creations has released Fur Fighters, a 3D platform adventure starring a militant team of cute stuffed animals.
The plot of Fur Fighters might give players a saccharine-sweet aftertaste, but it sets up the action well: Trouble is brewing in the land of plush critters. A nefarious and bitter feline named General Viggo is plotting a global coup d’etat in typical arch-villain fashion. While most of the planet is too weak or lazy to take a stand against the general and his army of inept bears, there is one obstacle that stands between him and his generic plans for world domination: the Fur Fighters. [Ed. note: Cue super heroic music here.] These cuddly little guys can really kick the fluff out of potential enemies, prompting Viggo to remove them from the picture. In a kidnapping spree that would make Mola Ram, the cult leader from the film “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” proud, Viggo strolls into the Fur Fighters’ village and abducts all the children to dissuade their parents from interfering.
Refusing to sit idly by while evil felines enslave all the other stuffed animals, the Fur Fighters team, led by the ghost of General Bristol the Walrus, hatch a plan to defeat Viggo and rescue their missing youngsters. Opting for brawn rather than brains, the Fur Fighters launch an all-out assault against Viggo’s troops, determined to put the insolent kitty in his place.
The Fur Fighters team consists of six different plush animals that will shoot, scratch and kick their way to victory. The leader of the pack is Roofus the Dog, followed by Juliette the Sketchy Cat, Chang the Firefox, Rico the Penguin, Bungalow Kangaroo and Tweek the Dragon. You begin by selecting one character from the six, though you will soon learn that to succeed, every Fur Fighter must be used effectively. The gameplay’s pivotal premise is that you have access to a teleportation system that is powered by little yellow crystals. Much like the star system in Mario 64, you will be able to progress farther into the adventure as you collect more crystals.
Crystal tokens are not the only thing you will need to collect; much of the gameplay revolves around finding the kidnapped babies hidden in each area. As if finding the newborns wasn’t enough of a challenge, each baby is of a particular species and requires its own mother or father to pick it up. For instance, trying to rescue a baby kitten with Tweek the Dragon will result in nothing but frustration. In order to fully complete a level, you must collect as many babies and crystal tokens as is possible.
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