Fenix Furia on PS4
It’s been an interesting journey for Fenix Furia. From its original release on PC as Fenix Rage in September of 2014 to its turbulent name change courtesy of a cease and desist from another game developer, this brutally-difficult action platformer from 3-man studio Green Lava has had quite the struggle. True to their word and want, though, the small Costa Rican company pulled through and the game has finally come to home consoles.
I had the pleasure of playing the PC version of Fenix Furia before its recent makeover. It was great, if immensely difficult, and all of the changes that Green Lava has carried into the newly-revamped version simply add to that greatness. Redesigned levels, local multiplayer, and a player-friendlier easy mode sit atop the list of the changes players can expect in the game’s new form.
Fenix Furia plays much like many other titles from the precision-focused action platformer genre. There are, however, some features that truly help it stand out against the crowd. Our title hero, for instance, is not bound by the laws of double-jumps or short-distance dashing. Unlimited jumps and dashes can be strung together, giving players a serious sense of freedom and mobility that’s rare in the genre, and the level design is heavily influenced by this unrestricted play.
If this free-flowing movement sounds like it would make Fenix Rage easy to approach and play, toss that idea right out. If anything, having this kind of mobility means that Green Lava was even more capable of putting together some truly intimidating levels. Players will have to master quick, precise use of all of Fenix’s abilities in order to proceed, and while some of the early going isn’t too rough, Fenix Furia steps it up quickly and consistently.
Now, most of this is pretty much in line with Fenix Furia’s prior release and gameplay. What Green Lava has stepped up in the latest version really shines through to those of us who enjoyed that first go-round. About 25% of the game’s over 200 levels have been overhauled, including a ton of fine-tuning on the latter stages to eliminate the feeling that luck is needed to move on. Randomized elements were removed from the game, as well, meaning each stage is now a honed-in experience.
Adding to Fenix Furia’s overhaul is the introduction of a new character, Undead Fenix. While this bizarre creature doesn’t feature in the main gameplay, it does allow for a split-screen multiplayer that brings an entirely new way of approaching the challenges ahead. By adding this in, Green Lava truly hit a home-run that helps this re-release stand well above the previous title. If nothing else, this should be enough to entice fans of the game’s original PC release.
Fenix Furia is, if nothing else, a story of perseverance and dedication. Though numerous delays cropped up, pushing the release back more than six months from schedule, Green Lava stuck to their guns. The result is a finely-tuned and much-improved release of a game that was already damn good. The new features alone make the title worth its $14.99 price at the PlayStation Store, much less the 20% reduced price going now. Fenix Furia is also available for Xbox One.
Score: 4.5/5 – Great