To say that Furry Legends for DSiware has been in development for a long period of time would be an understatement. In fact, the game became so far removed from gamers' minds that many assumed that the game had been cancelled altogether. But here we are, over two years since the game was first announced, and Gamelion has finally unleashed the game, and while it still features many of the same gameplay conveniences of the WiiWare original, the overall look and feel of the game has changed quite dramatically.
The main premise behind Furry Legends revolves around rolling your Furry to the end of each level. Early on, this will mean no more than simple directional presses on the D-Pad, but you'll soon encounter an assortment of hazards and enemies, not to mention a plethora of puzzles to solve.
There are two modes to choose from that include the Story Mode and the Quick Play mode. Story Mode is the meat of the package and allows you to play the game's levels in order, taking short pit stops in between each level in order to watch the storyline play out. As you complete levels, they will then become playable in Quick Play mode. This allows you to skip to a specific level for a quick dose of platforming action, handy for those times when you don't have a lot of time to play and just want to quickly jump into the game.
The game starts you off slowly, basically allowing you to get your feet wet with how the controls function. Initially, you'll learn how to roll your Furry using the D-Pad. As you progress through the game, you'll be introduced to a wider variety of controls that range from the Speed Boost, which you'll need to gain enough speed to clear some of the larger gaps in the terrain, to the Furry Attack that you'll need in order to defeat enemies that stand in your way.
As if the challenges of the terrain and the attacking enemies weren't enough, there's also a host of puzzle elements. Sometimes this involves nothing more than bouncing on a switch to unlock a gate or doorway, whereas other times it will involve you rolling items like boulders into holes and crevices that you couldn't pass through otherwise. You'll quickly find that as you move further into the game, these hazards and puzzles become quite a bit more challenging and intricate.
The simple control scheme does a nice job of providing diversity without making things overly complicated, but the physics of the game can be a tad sluggish and floaty at times, something that will likely rub gamers who prefer a higher level of precision the wrong way. It mostly comes down to taking the time to acclimate yourself to the slightly unusual feel the game employs, as once you're able to do this, you'll find that the control system is actually fairly functional for the tasks at hand.
While the visual presentation of the WiiWare edition of Furry Legends features a wealth of colorful scenery to enjoy, the developers have taken things a step further with this DSiWare release. There's still plenty of vibrant surroundings to take in, but the added detail of the 2D sprite-based graphics allows for a greater level of smoothness and polish that just wasn't possible with the polygon visuals of the original release. Of course this can be a double-edged sword in some cases, as it sometimes makes hazards and enemies blend into the backgrounds a bit too much.
The tracks you'll be treated to throughout your adventure all feature the same whimsical charm of the original WiiWare release and despite the obvious compression of the tracks, they still feature a solid level of audio clarity. There are also a nice helping of silly sound effects to further carry along the cute nature of the game. There's even an option menu that allows you to adjust the volume of the sound effects and music to better cater to your specific preference.
Gamelion concocted plenty of puzzle and platforming elements for Furry Legends, but once again the floaty physics and sometimes wonky controls keep the overall experience from reaching its potential. There's still plenty of engaging fun to be had and no shortage of levels to tackle, at least for those who can just enjoy the package for the light-hearted platforming romp it is. And those who enjoyed the original Furry Legends on WiiWare will appreciate the added polish of this DSiWare sequel.