Drink a Beer and Play a Game Review Brutal Paws of Fury for the SNES and the Sega Genesis.
Brutal: Paws of Fury
Jim here, and before we start, I just want it on record that I hate this fucking game, and you will see why when the video comes out. I just want everyone to know that Brian is a son of a bitch.
And now...our regularly scheduled review.
Released in 1994, Brutal: Paws of Fury takes the 1990's, puts it in a blender, and pours it into a videogame cartridge. This game was originally released for the Amiga, the Genesis, and the Sega CD. Later in the year, it was released on the SNES. Since we mainly talk about console games, we will leave the Amiga out of this rundown. Also, we are only going to be talking about the original releases on the Genesis and the SNES, as we don't have the Sega CD version, and the 32x version is more of a sequel.
Most of these games revolve around the same basic formula, a bunch of anthropomorphic animals with different backstories and a bunch of wacky attitude. Like we said...90's. The game has 8 playable characters, with two additional ones coming from password unlocks...more on that later. You get rock star lions, rabbit monks, russian strong bears, and greedy cheetahs to name a few.
The game uses a 6 button control scheme. Like many fighters of the time, it uses three buttons for punches and three buttons for kicks, going in order of light, medium, and strong in attack. The game also works for the Genesis 3 button controller. Like other fighters, it uses the start button to toggle between punches and kicks (for the Genesis), and there is no pausing in this fashion. Each of these characters play differently. Some characters are the weak, fast characters like Foxy Roxy, while others are the slow and powerful type like Ivan the Bear. Did I mention that Foxy is a lycra wearing politician and social activist?
This game employs an interesting mechanic, in which as you progress, you can learn abilities that are unlocked via passwords. The passwords that are unlocked are not necessary for the game to be completed, but it does make life a hell of a lot easier. Of course, being a 16 bit era game, the passwords can be annoyingly long. In the single player mode, you see your position on the world map, fighting your way to the castle at the end to fight the main boss. In the Genesis version, it is zoomed in, whereas on the SNES you see the entire map.
Graphically, the game is actually pretty nice. The backgrounds are bright for the most part, and have some varying levels of animation going on. The majority of the backgrounds are static, but are still pretty nice. For both systems, the in game avatars are pretty nice and detailed, with the characters each having a few different animations when they get hurt. Oddly, the characters models are actually a bit smoother on the Genesis, whereas the SNES is a little on the blockier side. The backgrounds, as shown below, vary from a more realistic painting style for the SNES to a very cartoonish and dynamic background for the Genesis. It comes down to a judgement call as to which is better, Brian likes the SNES and Jim favors the Genesis. Each game sports 7 initial playable characters, so there is no big difference there.
The sound is a bit of a mixed bag, and definitely a different experience depending on the system. The Genesis sounds more like a Genesis game, with simply layered tracks that are heavy on the bass. The SNES versions has a fuller, more asian inspired feel, going along with the overall karate/kung fu feel of many of the characters. This is the same with both the opening and in game music, and the quality definitely favors the SNES in this department.
The most important part of any game is the control, and in this game it is not great. Actions are very stiff, and you have to go through the full attack animations before you can go into another one. Like we said, you unlock more attacks the more passwords you unlock, and the farther you progress in the story. Even when you unlock moves, they aren't easy to pull off, and the stiff controls don't make it any easier. The genesis control really gets dragged down by the lack of buttons needed for a 6 button game, unless you have the 6 button control.
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