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Only real pros need apply to Brutal school. If you think you have the movies to pin down these masterful mammals (and one reptile), then you'll want to unleash this Brutal game.
What it comes down to, though, is the control, and the control could be better. (We're all used to Street Fighter). It's a similar problem to the one that arose in the Sega CD version. Not a speed issue, it's just that the characters are a bit difficult to maneuver; it's just a little off. But don't get me wrong -- it's fun, it's fast and overall it's a fighting game worth your time.
My only real complaint with this and all other Brutal games has been that you can use one kick over and over and still win. Other than that, this game has got the works: great graphics, sound and a dozen furry critters. If you already own a 32X this is one of the best games for it, so what are you waiting for?
I wasn't too crazy about the 16-bit versions of this game, so understand when I say that the 32X version is only slightly improved. The noticeable upgrades are obvious in the graphics and music and sound, which are very impressive. The thing about Brutal: Unleashed that still pulls the score down is the gameplay. It still feels sluggish and the special attacks seem difficult to pull off. It's still worth a try, though.
Every problem the Sega 32x ever had can be found in Brutal. Now, perhaps it's not fair to compare this brawler with the downfall of the 32x, but it's a good analogy and it's just so darn fun. Instead of Street Fighter II, the 32x was given Brutal. Originally a poorly playing Sega CD fighting game that was supposed to be the wild life parody of an era of brawlers. Problem was that from the beginning the characters lacked almost all play control, yet were packed full of character. With some of the coolest animal fighters ever one wants to love this game, but it's impossible to when it controls so poorly. Even though this Brutal offers a number of new characters, including Chung Poe and Phycho Kitty, they seem like after thoughts and are extremely poorly balanced. It's certainly not just the characters, but a lot of Brutal just feels horribly rushed. For example, the backgrounds are nice looking, but are a long way away from the standards set by the other brawlers on the market.
The bottom line is that Brutal: Paws of Fury is the epitome of mediocrity, the essence of a mixed bag. It succeeds visually, but it fails in the audio department. It's a great game as far as personality and uniqueness goes, but as a fighter it falls short of its goal. Two positives, two negatives. You could certainly do far worse than Brutal, even in the fighter category, but you could also do far better. It's a cheap game, and it will even keep you entertained for a week or two, but it doesn't possess the depth and sheer fun-factor needed to make it a staple of your library.
Brutal is zero fun from start to finish. The fighting is lop-sided, unfair, and rarely enjoyable. The cast is without charm. The two things the game does right -- the progression of special moves and the board game -- are undone by poor AI and bad controls. If you are building a 32X collection, steer wide around this car crash.
This is a mediocre Street Fighter clone that uses cartoonish animal fighters instead of people. The control and style of play resembles Street Fighter 2, but the game does have a few original touches. You can watch an instant replay of each match, but the matches are rarely exciting enough to watch again. There's a fairly accurate on-screen analysis after each match. The backgrounds show some beautiful, exotic places. The techno music is okay, but the limited, repetitive voice samples get irritating in a hurry. There are many special moves, but you'll have to "earn them". Who's great idea was that? Your progress is saved using one of those long character passwords. Let's face it: in the world of 2D fighters, this was never really a contender.
Someday, there will be a book on store shelves called "When Fighting Games go Bad." It will have pictures and information of all the famous fighting games that were hyped by the video game media, yet failed to deliver. This, while being entertaining, is also depressing. The very thought that enough terrible fighters exist to fill a book is remarkable, and Brutal would be close to the front. This is one of those games that got away somehow, appearing on an absurd number of consoles, most of which didn't even bother to upgrade it. It's a sloppy, shoddy, and all-around disaster. In fact, there are times where you even have to question if this game has been finished. At its default setting, the game is unplayable.