Brutal: Paws of Fury
|Brutal: Paws of Fury|
Brutal: Paws of Fury cover art
|Release date(s)||Mega Drive/Genesis
|Genre(s)||Versus fighting game|
Brutal: Paws of Fury (known in Japan as Animal Buranden - Brutal (アニマル武乱伝 ブルータル?)) is a fighting video game published by GameTek Inc. in 1994. The game features a full cast of anthropomorphic animals as selectable fighters. The game also featured an ability to learn new moves and save them via a password feature. Originally a Sega CD exclusive, it was later ported to a number of gaming consoles.
Brutal: Paws of Fury was published in 1994 by GameTek and Cybersoft in the US and Europe, and Kemco in Japan. The game was released on the Amiga, Mega Drive/Genesis and Sega CD, and was ported to the Super NES later the same year. Another version, Brutal Unleashed: Above the Claw, was released on the 32X and PC in 1995 with two new playable characters and a remixed introduction. The general content and gameplay has remained constant throughout all incarnations, although the Sega CD and 32X releases boasted superior graphics and sound.
The Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis versions of Brutal: Paws of Fury.
Brutal: Paws of Fury (1994)
Every four years on the uncharted Brutal Island, the world's toughest martial artists are invited to compete in the most gruelling tournament, aptly referred to as the Brutal Island Tournament. Only the winner of this tournament gains the privilege to challenge the Dali Llama, the greatest fighter in the world, for the coveted Belt of Heaven championship.
Brutal: Animal Buranden
The Japanese title of the Super Nintendo version.
Brutal: Above the Claw (1995) Four years after the Paws of Fury tournament, the participants return to Brutal Island to once again compete for the match against the Dali Llama for the Belt of Heaven. The tournament is also the Llama's way of "testing" the warriors, judging whom among them possess the deepest "warrior's spirit."
Cast of characters
All the characters in the game are various anthropomorphic animals. The original Brutal: Paws of Fury includes:
- Kung Fu Bunny - A rabbit monk.
- Prince Leon of Kenya - A lion rock star.
- Rhei Rat - A rat who is an accomplished Thai boxer.
- Tai Cheetah - A cheetah who is mentoring Kendo Coyote.
- Kendo Coyote - A coyote who is motivated by greed.
- Foxy Roxy - A lycra-wearing vixen, who is a politician and social activist.
- Ivan the Bear - A bear who claims to be the strongest animal in the world.
- Pantha - A panther who is a member of a sinister cult.
- Karate Croc - A crocodile bar brawler.
- Dali Llama - A llama who is currently the holder of the Belt of Heaven championship.
Note: Karate Croc and the Dali Llama are only playable by means of inputting a secret button sequence.
Brutal: Above the Claw introduces two additional characters:
- Chung Poe - A mole who can transform into an anthropomorphic bat-dragon hybrid during battle.
- Psycho Kitty - A cat who apparently suffers from hyperactivity.
Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Sega CD version a 6.25 out of 10. They praised the music and the cinemas as stunning and among the best seen on the Sega CD, and also approved of the mechanic of learning special moves. However, they criticized the gameplay action as sluggish and unresponsive. GamePro commented that the game tries a few new things, but similarly remarked that the Sega CD version plays too slow, and also criticized that the way the backgrounds often block the view of the action, while intentional, is unduly frustrating.
Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Super NES and Genesis versions scores of 6.5 and 6 out of 10, respectively. Though they again praised the idea of learning special moves, some of their reviewers commented that this mechanic ultimately makes the game less exciting rather than more, and all of them remarked that the controls are weak. GamePro, in contrast, remarked that the controls of the Super NES and Genesis versions are greatly improved from the Sega CD original, and that the action is much faster and more responsive in these versions as well. Though they noted that some of the Sega CD version's content was cut and that the view-blocking backgrounds are still a problem, they gave both versions an overall positive recommendation.
GamePro gave the 32X version a positive review. They remarked that the game can be unfairly difficult, but praised the graphics, lack of slowdown, unique and enjoyable music, and the use of real life martial arts techniques and philosophies. Though the reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly concurred that the 32X version has far better graphics and sound than previous versions, they contended that this is irrelevant since it still suffers from the same shallow and sluggish gameplay and mediocre controls. They gave it an average of 6.375 out of 10.
- "Review Crew: Brutal". Electronic Gaming Monthly (61) (EGM Media, LLC). August 1994. p. 34.
- "ProReview: Brutal: Paws of Fury". GamePro (62) (IDG). September 1994. p. 66.
- "Review Crew: Brutal". Electronic Gaming Monthly (65) (EGM Media, LLC). December 1994. pp. 38, 44.
- "ProReview: Brutal: Paws of Fury". GamePro (66) (IDG). January 1995. p. 44.
- "ProReview: Brutal: Paws of Fury". GamePro (66) (IDG). January 1995. p. 76.
- "ProReview: Brutal: Above the Claw". GamePro (IDG) (70): 60. May 1995.
- "Review Crew: Brutal: Unleashed". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (69): 35. April 1995.