Now this seems like my type of game. A game inspired around the Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling culture but in a old school side scrolling beat-em-up but with modern day comic book graphics. What else could you ask for when it comes to Lucha Fury? Lucha Fury is built around the concept that everything wears a mask. All the characters, bosses and enemies will have their true identities covered and instead will take the roles of the Mexican wrestling tradition.
At the current time there are four different characters to choose from however developer Punchers Impact has yet to name the stars of the game as the team want the names to fit with each of their styles. They range in size, shape and gender and all come with their own unique fighting styles. As you progress throughout the game you will earn style points for how you take down certain enemies and at the end of each mission you will be able to spend these points on additional attacks for your character.
Attacks come in the basic forms of punches and kicks, there are also throws, grapple attacks like suplexes, powerbombs and hurricaranas and also submissions. These submission attacks left me a bit sceptical as you need to wriggle the right analogue stick violently until you make your opponent snap; I can see a lot of broken controllers for the amount of wriggling that is needed to execute a submission.
Progressing through the beautifully illustrated worlds, which are set in three different locations America, Asia and of course Mexico, you’re going to visit unique and wacky levels including a Zeppelin airship, Mexican bar, Scrapyard and a boat to name a few. Rather than the game just being a side scrolling fighter the game will also use vertical platforming elements for some levels leaving numerous paths for your Lucha friends to explore as you battle the dozens of enemies on screen at once.
As you defeat more and more enemies throughout the levels you’re going to be filling up your Fever bar. Once full you’re going to be able to unleash your special attacks for each of your wrestlers, these can include the ability to give all of your party members extra damage for a certain time and even an attack which regains health.
A nifty feature for when you find your health is being depleted rapidly is something called Backfire. When one of your characters is near death the CPU will take over them for a moment fighting off anyone near by and then slowly regaining health. It gives you that second chance between life and death however it’s not overpowered to give you that edge as if you end up getting attacked in Backfire you will die and it will be game over for all of you playing.
You see the game is very co-op orientated, players share the same health bar meaning you will need to make sure if someone is fighting against the odds you have to help him out. Being heavily focused on co-op play it also means the game incorporates numerous co-op special attacks.
Depending on your selection of characters each character will have a totally unique co-op attack with each individual character and the same is visa-versa. For example, Big Daddy can ask the Sketchy character to engage in a co-op move and they will have a specific attack however if the Sketchy character asks Big Daddy for a co-op attack they will then produce a totally different move. It’s a great addition and makes each pairing unique resulting in the possibility of a lot of replayability as you figure out which characters have the most devastating combo attacks.
From the first glimpse of what we have seen of Lucha Fury it looks like a stimulating new concept of a long forgotten genre; I mean what game can boat to having a giant piñata as the first boss? Whether there is enough variety in the final game is to be seen but it’s definitely exciting times ahead for Punchers Impact.
Lucha Fury heads to PC, XBLA and PSN in early 2011.
Watch out for our special report in the coming days as we go behind the scenes with Punchers Impact at their development Studio in France.