Giant Bomb Review


Lucha Fury Review

  • XBGS

Lucha Fury is like a master class in how to make a terrible beat-'em-up.

Lucha Fury is a terrible beat-'em up. That a terrible beat-'em-up can even exist in 2011 is almost inscrutable. The beat-'em-up is among the most heavily populated video game genres, replete with example after example of how to make an exceptionally fun game about walking around and punching bad guys into blinking submission. For examples, see: Double Dragon, Final Fight, Bad Dudes, Streets of Rage, Final Fight, River City Ransom, Golden Axe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, Final Fight, X-Men: The Arcade Game, The Simpsons, Final Fight, Castle Crashers, The Warriors, Final Fight, and so on and so forth.


Lucha Fury shows no reverence to these classics of the genre; it barely even seems aware of them. Imagine a game that makes every rookie mistake a beat-'em-up can make--lousy combat, braindead enemies, uninteresting characters, clunky cooperative play, miserable music--and then stop imagining it. Lucha Fury is all of that, and some other nonsense you wouldn't even normally think of.

Perhaps the developers at Punchers Impact were just so enamored with their concept of wacky luchadores beating up other wacky luchadores that nobody stopped to think about why they were doing any of this. The sheer allure of colorfully silly men and women in ludicrous wrestling masks running around and punching each other was more than enough to set this whole thing in motion. Too bad it wasn't enough to actually create an even remotely enjoyable game.

Lucha Fury grates right from the get-go, with a nonsensical opening cutscene that gives way to a combat system that immediately informs you that you've made a terrible purchase. Controls are sluggish, unresponsive, and further hobbled by sometimes glitchy animations that don't quite hit their mark. Not an issue, mind you, given that enemies are morons. The default dumbasses literally stand still and flail their arms at you. That's their on-purpose default attack. After that, yes, things become slightly more challenging, but it's usually easy enough to clear wide swaths of bad guys just by wandering up and hammering on the X button.

There is an upgradable combo system in the game, but its purpose is elusive. With the exception of a few enemies who are best dispatched via a grapple attack or two, there are few reasons to ever worry about any of the extra moves. More often, you'll be too busy taking your hands off the attack buttons to jiggle the right control stick when you're stunned. Yes, you can't recover from a heavy attack unless you flail the right stick for several seconds. That's precisely as awkward and unnecessary as it sounds.

Some beat-'em-ups can suffer troubled fighting mechanics if they offer up enough personality, or, at the very least, a few memorable boss fights. Lucha Fury has none of these things. There is a story of some fashion, and the characters are presumed to have personalities, but you will care none at all about these things. Despite colorful appearances and misshapen forms designed for maximum wacky factor, the on-screen action offers a shocking dearth of excitement. The bosses occasionally offer up a creative design or two, but the fights range between "over in a couple of seconds" and "laboriously long and drawn out."

The visuals are sharp, but the action never, ever pops.

You can't even play Lucha Fury with your friends online. Co-op play is limited to offline, and drop-in/drop-out play simply doesn't exist. If you're the sort to force your friends to suffer through terrible games alongside you, you'll have to do it in the same space, and they won't be able to leave the game. Unless they just get up and leave, I guess.

It's all quite a shame, because Punchers Impact at least made a game that looks pretty good. The graphics are sharp, bright, and full of nifty cartoonish scenery. Still, good graphics on an abysmal game are little more than a terrible waste. It's like painting a killer racing stripe on a rusted over Corvair... that's on fire.

Maybe as some kind of postmodern commentary on the nostalgia we, the longtime players of video games, hold for the admittedly simplistic and sometimes overly revered beat-'em-up genre, Lucha Fury is an effective tool. I know it certainly made me question whether I had simply been viewing these games through rose-colored glasses all these years, and that in truth, all beat-'em-ups are really this terrible. Then I went and played Final Fight again, and was reassured that no, old beat-'em-ups are fine. It's just Lucha Fury that's miserable garbage.

Alex Navarro on Google+
95 Comments Refresh
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Posted by Solh0und

The only bright side of this game: That female luchador is pretty cute

Posted by ajamafalous

That big guy has some nice tits.

Posted by gla55jAw

Sorry Alex, but that you for playing it for us.

Posted by MOAB


Edited by Brackynews

@PandaBear: @Hadoken101: I dunno, it's a much better running gag for the people who remember that it used to be Alex's job to assign game reviews, and he still took the shitty ones.

But I also enjoy writing 1 and 5 star reviews a lot more, which is why you see that skew in user reviews generally. You couldn't pay me enough to write about dozens of mediocre / OK games.

Posted by Th3_James

This looks not good.

Posted by fastkilr

@TadThuggish said:

Sounds right for a game exclusively about "HEHHH GET IT MEMES!"

Am I missing an obvious meme? I'm not big on them, any have probably gone over my head.

Posted by Godlyawesomeguy
@lordofultima said:

@Tebbit said:

@niamahai said:

since Alex contributes a lot of reviews i think its time he get different cartoon pic for each star.

The time is now! Though a picture of a man holding a sub machine-gun can get you surprisingly far, in many situations.

They actually stated that they're removing those pictures altogether soon. Since everyone can't have unique pictures for every star rating with the same art style.

Dude, what? That is a terrible idea. Is it really a big deal if one reviewer can't have a cartoon of themselves for every star rating?
Posted by Agent47
@lordofultima: While their at it they should remove user avatars as well take all that personality out so we can all stare at walls of texts and the occasional colorful picture.
Posted by Devoid

Great to see that Alex can still "DO THE JOB", but this can't be as bad as Robocop, right? ..right?

Posted by Undeadpool

@krabboss: Every play Arkham Asylum? It's essentially a really, really well-executed beat-'em-up with an open-world attached to it.

Posted by kingando420

What is the giantbomb crew actually doing these days, apart from quick looks?! It seems Alex does all the reviews and Alex & Patrick all the news.

Posted by ShockD

This is a disaster.

Posted by Cold_Wolven

Double Dragon 3 was the highlight of my youth, doing the somersault throw on an enemy and throwing him over the edge never got old.

Posted by Cincaid

@Cold_Wolven said:

doing the somersault throw on an enemy and throwing him over the edge

That sounds like my walks to the grocery store.

Posted by krabboss
@Undeadpool: Batman: AA isn't solely a beat 'em up game. Every game mentioned in this review is a plain old beat 'em ups, the likes of which I was referring to.
Posted by JustKamToo

Yeah we (Europe) get this shit instead of trenched, ah fuck!

Edited by Nekroskop

The designers, or whoever makes the art for for the star ratings, have to make more than one for Alex. He's been reviewing quite a few games now and it's getting ridiculous seeing the same avatar for a 1-star game as a 5-star one.

Posted by Xpgamer7

Near the end there you sounded like Jeff on Duke Nukem Forever.

Posted by Vexxan

@CrazyChris said:

Lucha Deer does not approve.


Oh I and have never heard of this game before.

Posted by dropabombonit

That's a do not buy then, saw someone on my friends list playing it. What an idiot

Posted by Mechanized

The fat dude has really luscious nipples. *Shudders*

Posted by Ramone

I played the trial for five minutes and that was enough to realise what a piece of trash this game was. I'm sorry you actually had to review this game Alex.

Posted by CookieMonster

This review humoured me.

Posted by NoK

A game made completely for Giant Bomb fan's and it sucks so bad, that is so sad for some reason. I mean there could have been a Lucha Deer Quick Look! How awesome would that have been if this was an awesome game?

Posted by jthomas1117

I'd never heard of this, but it would've been nice if it had been dope. Luchadors are the shizz.
Posted by Guided_By_Tigers

Alex needs to get his own reviewing pictures already.

Posted by darkjester74

Luchadeer is not amused.
Also, Final Fight.

Posted by Zolfe

lol why did you even review this

Posted by Example1013

So...TNT this week?

Posted by Mezmero

Once more a absolutely scathing review written extremely well. Alex is the greatest even if the games he reviews are not. I think the last legitimately great spiritual successor to beat-em' ups was God Hand. There still is a place for a 4 player cooperative romp which has been proven by games like Trenched and Left 4 Dead. Personally I would rather see someone take another shot at the Hunter: The Reckoning games. Continue writing as many reviews as possible for both games and movies because I can't get enough of it.

Posted by Baconator

It's a damn shame. I played the free trial version and couldn't believe they messed this one up. I have a soft spot for beat-'em-ups, I love the art style and a Lucha Libre theme for a game of this genre is a no-brainer! This is hands down the biggest disappointment of the year for me so far. How do you mess up the controls for a beat-'em-up in 2011? They figured out how to make this fun DECADES ago! Oh yeah and no online co-op? What were they thinking?!

Posted by Rongaryen

I would love to know if you spent money on this, finished it, and if you decided to review this of your own volition.

Posted by Undeadpool

@krabboss: Not precisely, but it IS the natural evolution of all those games, much like God of War or Devil May Cry.

Posted by spilledmilkfactory

Poor Alex. He's had to suffer through a lot of crap lately, with this and Transformers

Posted by CharAznable

Sorry, but Streets of Rage 2 is superior to Final Fight in just about every way (except the mustachioed mayors department).

Posted by sirdesmond

Well, this game will now go from being entirely off my radar to somehow even more entirely off my radar.

Posted by Chirag4

Why review this? Should have been a quick look.

Posted by ZombiePie

@Unknown_Pleasures said:

Alex needs to get his own reviewing pictures already.

Reviewing pictures are being retired/abolished soon.

Posted by Paulrus

Who can guess the big guy's favorite Pokemon?

Posted by Shadow

Alex really wants to get it on with that star

Posted by Skrams
@CharAznable said:

Sorry, but Streets of Rage 2 is superior to Final Fight in just about every way (except the mustachioed mayors department).

Why do I love Streets of Rage 2 so much
Posted by loopy_101

That bad? Man, they've been pushing this on Xbox Live the whole week.

Posted by Gamer_152

I hadn't even heard of this until I saw this review. It sounds abysmal.

Posted by mracoon

According to Wikipedia this game is no longer up on XBLA. I thought that was worth mentioning 8 months since this review went up.

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