Modeled after the Super Smash Bros.
fighting genre that hasn't but dominated the children's fighter on console, Tom & Jerry: Fists of Furry
subtly mocks this 2D combat style with an almost simpler 3D representation. In this case, the characters are, if you haven't guessed, the entire line-up from the Tom & Jerry
series, including Tom, Jerry, Butch, Duckling, Spike, and Tuffy. Sounds like the makings of a good game.
A good console game, that is. PC folks are strongly advised to get a couple of game port controllers for the kids (might I recommend the USB compatible Logitech WingMan Rumblepad(TM)?), as this game gives little to keyboard and mouse input. It's a port from the console version, so it plays best when mimicking this system.
I was a bit disappointed by the confined feeling that becomes so obvious in later stages of Fists of Furry. The game starts and ends exactly the same - except at the end, you have one more character unlocked (out of ten). The game's difficulty is of an even greater concern, but enough of this vagueness. Let's get busy on specifics.
The levels are recognized from the cartoon; these include the kitchen, the backyard, the farm, and pretty much all of the settings that you can remember from the show. Don't smile yet, there's a catch, as I can't stress the claustrophobia that becomes so apparent after nearly an hour of playing this game in single-player mode.
The initial reaction to Tom & Jerry: Fists of Furry, admittedly, entices at least a smirk. Expect a halt from passers by, since the immediate charm is unavoidable. Tom's melodramatic scream, Jerry's catch-me-if-you-can attitude, Duckling's pitiful quacking voice...well, you've been warned, but my opinion is that the fun-factor takes a steady plunge as soon as the game is started. The ten tiny levels make up for all of the settings, and the combat system does not unfold.
Oh yeah, the combat system...the only real uniqueness lies in the ability to interact with objects and send projectiles toward the opponent. An opponent with good timing can intercept these objects and send them at a greater speed - resulting in greater damage on your health bar. In actuality, the system works great, and in this respect multiplayer action can be a blast. Single-player mode is unavoidable, however, as the characters have to be earned by defeating the game at least eight times - a feat that even avid gamers will find challenging (and boring).