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.
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 CommentsRefresh
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Avatar image for chickdigger802
Posted By chickdigger802

never heard of this game before o_O

Avatar image for luck3yse7en
Posted By Luck3ySe7en

XBLA beat em up with no online co-op? Why did they even make this game?

Avatar image for cincaid
Posted By Cincaid

Lucha Deer does not approve.

Avatar image for smtdante89
Posted By SMTDante89

Guess I know what not to buy.

Avatar image for chilibean_3
Posted By chilibean_3


Avatar image for _horde
Posted By _Horde

I hate this game. It sits there, mocking me as I look for Trenched.

Avatar image for yummylee
Posted By Yummylee

Ha, where the hell did this come from??? And christ, the size of that fat guy's boobs would make you think he's originally a Soul Calibur character. Or, to be fair when based on cup size., any fighting game character. Hell any video-game.. like Lucha Fury for example.

Avatar image for mistermouse
Posted By MisterMouse

oh man a one star review! what was the last one star review?

Avatar image for getz
Posted By Getz


Avatar image for alistercat
Posted By AlisterCat

@pyromaster222 said:

oh man a one star review! what was the last one star review?

I think there was a quest for viewing 1 and 2 star reviews.

Avatar image for vexed
Posted By Vexed

I was admittedly excited when I saw there was a luchadore themed beat em up coming, as I find both things to be kind of awesome.  Then I played the demo.  Fuck me, this game is garbage.

Avatar image for rmanthorp
Posted By rmanthorp


Avatar image for artie
Posted By Artie

I love that Alex is the one who reviewed this. No matter how far he's come, he will always review the bad games.

Avatar image for nickbott
Posted By NickBOTT

Just by looking at the name and cover art alone I would've guessed this game is crap.  Good to know ahead of time that it is.

Avatar image for prestonhedges
Posted By prestonhedges

The action may never pop, but does it snap or crackle?

Avatar image for tadthuggish
Posted By TadThuggish

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

Avatar image for alwaysbeclothing
Posted By AlwaysBeClothing

One Star?

I guess all that ANTE UP and DMX wasn't interfering with the review process too much.

Avatar image for demoskinos
Posted By Demoskinos

I almost wanted to play this but.... now I see this and well  my points I spent on the Popcap Game sale last week seem justified now.

Avatar image for mrangryface
Posted By mrangryface

If this ever ships on a physical medium this needs to be a box quote: "miserable garbage"

Avatar image for youngbuck
Posted By YoungBuck

Thanks for saving me money on this HORRIBLE game. 

Avatar image for demigodraven
Posted By DemiGodRaven


Avatar image for s0ndor
Posted By S0ndor

Lucha what?

Avatar image for yanngc33
Posted By Yanngc33

And was going to buy this because trenched wasn't out... dodged the bullet there

Avatar image for cannibalferox
Posted By CannibalFerox

Gracias, señor Navarro. I played the demo. It stunk.

Avatar image for video_game_king
Posted By Video_Game_King

And yet Alex still smiles...

Avatar image for ghostnpc
Edited By ghostNPC

Excellent review Alex.  Had no interest in this game, but am awaiting a probably hilarious quicklook.  Also, they need to get Turbo_toaster to give Alex some more portraits.

Avatar image for craigbo180
Posted By craigbo180

Alex writes the best reviews on this site in my opinion. Also this game intrigued me with the concept of Luchador's, multiplayer and fighting but luckily I didn't impulse buy it and I have heard only bad things and this was just the final nail in the coffin.
A coffin that had already been sealed shut with a nail gun. Twice.

Avatar image for sensory
Posted By sensory

I couldn't agree more. What a terrible game and I'm glad I could demo it to know I should stay away from it.

Avatar image for dudacles
Posted By Dudacles

Alex writes the most entertaining reviews on the site in my opinion. Good job Alex. The Quick Look of this ought to be great.

Avatar image for mrangryface
Posted By mrangryface

If you want to fight some luchadores play God Hand.

Avatar image for oni
Posted By Oni

@ghostNPC said:

Also, they need to get Turbo_toaster to give Alex some more portraits.


Anyway, there have even been good fighting games on XBLA that are not remakes/rereleases. Scott Pilgrim, Shank, Dishwasher. This is just unnecessary.

Avatar image for alkie
Posted By alkie

Alex.. you should try "TMNT: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled"

Its easily the worst beat em up I've ever played..

I'd be surprised if this was worse than that.. very surprised

Avatar image for winternet
Posted By Winternet

Alex is way too pleased with that SMG to give Lucha Fury 1 star.

Avatar image for uberexplodey
Posted By UberExplodey

Thanks Alex!

Avatar image for damswedon
Posted By damswedon

And now we hit double digits for the number of 1 star reviews.

Avatar image for fobwashed
Posted By Fobwashed

I hope to high heaven that when I finish my beatemup, this isn't what my review reads like. I think I'll have to at least play this thing to learn what not to do -_-;;

Avatar image for claude
Posted By Claude
Avatar image for flstyle
Posted By FLStyle

That was an absolute pleasure to read. Alex has a talent for transferring (transfarring?) his thoughts of hatred into lyrical form.

Avatar image for swamplord666
Posted By swamplord666

years later and you still can't get away from the terrible games that you have to review.... always remember, big rigs...

Avatar image for i_smell
Posted By I_smell

Oh my god, how much fluff d'you have to write to fill up a game review? The first 3 paragraphs pretty much say "I like good beat-em-ups, but this one is dumb"... And then the last paragraph says that again! I'm reading through this just dieing to find out what makes it so terrible, jeez, this is why I don't bother reading these things.

Still looking forward to the quick look. This game sounds bad.

Avatar image for niamahai
Posted By niamahai

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

Avatar image for generiko
Posted By Generiko

I wasn't sure to be offended or to laugh at the opening cutscene.

Avatar image for ryno9881
Posted By RYNO9881

Great review.

Funny thing is, I enjoyed reading how much you hated it more than playing the game.

Avatar image for krabboss
Posted By krabboss

All beat 'em ups are bad. The best and the worst are indistinguishable for me. 

Avatar image for hadoken101
Edited By Hadoken101

With the last two one-star-reviews being from Alex, is it safe to say that the running gag of giving him all the shitty games is being reborn?

Avatar image for bybeach
Posted By bybeach

I can access the comments now for reviews! Right on...uhmmm game sounds like it sucks, but I never really play beat en ups and such anyways. I kind of got into Batman, Archam Asylum, that is what, a brawler, IDK.

Avatar image for tebbit
Posted By Tebbit

@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.

Avatar image for lordofultima
Posted By lordofultima

@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.

Avatar image for pandabear
Posted By PandaBear

Do they just keep handing Alex the shit games? Haha that sucks for him!

Avatar image for kollay
Posted By kollay

I think... I think it's time to revisit Big Rigs.

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