Welcome back to a look at more video games that both furries and gamers would find to be pretty awesome. As a refresher, these lists are focusing on video games that feature animal characters in one form or another, and are also focusing on games I feel aren’t quite as well-known, or as recognized, as common household names like Crash Bandicoot, Sonic the Hedgehog, Yoshi, Ratchet and Clank, and so on. Another rule is I have to have actually played the game, so if a little known furry game isn’t on this list that you like, feel free to talk about it in the comments! I’d love to find new furry games to play! Okay, everyone up to speed? Good, let’s get started.
1: Darkstalkers 3/Vampire Savior – Arcade/PS1
The concept behind the franchise pretty simple: it follows the power struggles behind various creatures of the night, and features a few furry fighters as well, such as the werewolf John Talbain, the human catgirl Felicia, Sasquatch, the human-like bee Q-Bee, and even a merman named Rikuo. Darkstalkers 3, or Vampire Savior as it’s called in the arcades and Japan, is pretty much the last “main” game this franchise has gotten. It does play similar to Street Fighter, complete with quarter circle movements and super moves, however there are a few key changes: you can actually stock a high amount of special meters, giving you more opportunities to let loose on powered up EX special moves and super moves; super moves themselves just activate – there’s no “Charging Up” animation like in most of Capcom’s fighting games; and the game doesn’t actually use rounds, only lives; it’s sort of like how Killer Instinct has the two life bars. This makes fights in Darkstalkers 3 fast-paced, hectic, and exciting. The game’s end boss, Jedah Dohma, is even selectable from the start, and when you do face down with him, he’s actually not a cheap boss, nor does he get a super secret “boss-only” mode. Looking at you, Street Fighter Alpha 3.
Vampire Savior did receive a couple Japan-exclusive arcade updates that featured a couple changes to the roster of characters. These were eventually bundled together and released as Vampire Savior: EX Edition in Japan, and as Darkstalkers 3 in North America and Europe on the PS1. The PS1 port is probably the definitive version of this game to play, as it features characters from the other games in the Darkstalkers series, giving it a larger cast than its arcade cousin. Fortunately, Darkstalkers 3 can be enjoyed easily by owners of the PS3, as it’s on the PlayStation Network. If you want to try out the original Vampire Savior game? Well, either you have to find it in the wild or turn to emulation.
2: PaRappa the Rapper 2 – PS2, 2002
You ever play a game and feel like there’s a bit of magic to it? In parenthesis, let me stress the fact clearly: that’s how I feel about PaRappa the Rapper 2. There’s just something so quaint and genuine about it that always draws me into the paper-thin world of these games. Anyways, this is an awesome rhythm music game, and the third one in the PaRappa franchise; the other two were PaRappa the Rapper and Um, Jammer Lammy on the PS1. Players follow PaRappa on his quest to prove himself to his girlfriend Sunny Funny, which of course ends up being a journey to stop the invasion of the Noodle Syndicate that’s attempting to noodlize everything. So naturally, it’s up to our pup PaRappa to save the day by busting some rhymes in his colorful paper-thin world. Like I said, quaint.
Each level consists of PaRappa either trying to match wits with or learn from another character in a variety of subjects from Romantic Karate, hair cutting duels, cooking burgers, and convincing a bad dude that there’s more to eat than noodles. This plays out with the other character rapping their line, and then PaRappa spitting his own version of it. The game also added in a new “meter system” that measures various aspects of your rapping, such as how close you are to the teacher’s original lines, and how creative you are with making your own. If you score enough points and get your rating to Cool? You get to go crazy with your own freestyle that can net you major points. PaRappa the Rapper 2 also features a two-player mode, and should you complete the game you can start over again and do a harder run of the levels. The only thing is, they change up the original lines and make them more tricky, but it can end up in some nonsense sounding lines; so instead of “What’s your name, what’s your name, fool?” You might get “Your name, what’s your fool, your name what’s your?” on a harder run. But points for trying to add replay value.
If you want to bust your own rhymes, PS3 owners once again luck out due to the PSN store. I believe the original PaRappa and Um, Jammer Lammy are on there as well, and both are definitely worth checking out. Jammer Lammy especially, since you use a guitar to jam instead of rap. And do things like put kids to sleep, steer an airplane, and put out a fire. Like I said, quaint.
3: Gex: Enter the Gecko – PS1/N64/Windows/Game Boy Color, 1998
This was one of the few games I played when I was younger where I had multiple ports – I owned both the PS1 and Game Boy Color ports. The idea behind the game is…interesting. You play as Gex, a gecko who spends way too much time watching TV (he’ll randomly quote things or otherwise make some kind of reference during gameplay) who is tasked with going back into the “Media Dimension” to take on Rez, the villain from the first game in the series, Gex.
This was made during the collect-a-thon craze that happened during the 90’s when everyone and their publisher was making some kind of “Get the objects to win!” game on the heels of smash hits like Super Mario 64 and Banjo & Kazooie. What Gex does is similar, but I feel like it has enough of its own charm to stand out. Gex starts out in a hub world, the “Media Dimension” and can access different TV stations that act as the game’s different levels and worlds that parodies everything from Loony Tunes to Star Wars and even slasher films. There’s multiple Remotes that can be collected from each level that are needed to access more levels and finally make it to the faceoff against Rez. If players manage to collect all the Remotes they’ll unlock a special ending that features some neat concept art. The Game Boy Color port very much had the same idea, though I never got too far in it as it felt like it was pretty difficult. Afterall, this was taking a game that was in full-blown 3D and moving it to a 2D plane. And from what I remember of the GBC port they tried to retain the level designs as best they can. The other thing that’s unfortunate is Gex doesn’t make any quips, as the GBC obviously can’t handle doing voice samples.
The franchise was a short-lived one, though, and while the games seemed to receive positive to average to mixed reviews, ol’ Gex just never got into the mainstream and enjoyed much of a franchise. If you are looking for some media madness adventures, you can game on the PlayStation Network on the PS3, or track him down on one of his multiple ports.
And now, it’s time for some Honorable Mentions. These are games that I wanted to include or have as main items on the list but, for one reason or another, decided to exclude. Let’s take a look:
Croc: Legend of the Gobbos – One of the first PS1 games I owned, this saw you taking the role of Croc as he quests to save his furry friends, the Gobbos. Was another collect-a-thon, only Gobbos had to be saved during levels and weren’t end of level rewards. Added mainly because I haven’t revisited this game in over a decade.
Rockin’ Kats – A curious little NES game I used to play when I was younger. Players quest throughout different levels presented as TV channels in their quest to help Willy stop Mugsy and save their girlfriend, Jill. You used a gun that shot out a retractable boxing glove not only to beat bad guys, but also as a pogo stick to clear obstacles, and also to grapple on to platforms to help swing over hazards.
Primal Rage – created by Atari, this was could’ve been a really great digitized fighting game featuring dinosaurs and even Mortal Kombat style finishers. But it didn’t make the list as I just didn’t feel it was awesome enough – especially when special moves sometimes require pushing up or holding one button, pressing a combo, and then letting go. Don’t try so hard to make unique inputs guys. It’s also notorious for having a safety lock that screws with emulation – even the official Digital Eclipse emulation on Midway Arcade Treasures couldn’t get around it.
Retroblazer – An ill-fated FPS game that aimed to be in the style of Doom and Quake with nail-biting, high octane action. A demo of three levels was released years ago, and was pretty fun but…that’s it. No news has been seen, though the Twitter and Facebook pages make the occasional message every two years or so. Maybe someone else can succeed where this game failed?
Rivals of Aether – A really cool looking fighting game done in the style of Super Smash Bros – in fact, one friend even said it’s basically just Smash Bros, just with furries. I have seen the game myself and definitely have been interested – I just haven’t gotten around to it yet! But it’s definitely on my radar.
So, what did you think of the list? Any games on here you liked? Any you don’t feel deserve a spot? Or do you know any other awesome furry games that weren’t mentioned at all? Sound off in the comments below! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you all next time.