Flash programmers have, for several years now, been struggling with fitting every gaming niche into the frame of a browser, and from what I've seen fighting games usually prove the most problematic. There's just something about frantic one-on-one combat that doesn't translate well to a browser game.
FvF is another such game to make this dangerous foray. Has it succeeded? Er... probably not in the way that was intended.
FvF has, as far as I can tell, no story. The premise pits two furries (hence FvF, I'd imagine) against each other in mortal combat. Beat the critter on the opposite side of the screen into pulp and you can move on to another. If you've ever played Street Fighter or King of Fighters or any such game, you'll understand what's happening here in an instant.
The fact that there's no discernible story hurts FvF. Granted, most fighting games are ABOUT fighting, but there's usually at least a token amount of lore behind the characters. Given the colourful cast of interesting characters you'd think FvF might have SOMETHING, but... oh well?
FvF is much more complex than the average browser game in terms of control, and understandably so - just hitting the attack button over and over would get pretty tiresome. Consequently you can execute a series of rather crazy combo attacks and defensive measures with a fairly small number of buttons, which is much appreciated. The tutorial piles a few too many moves on top from the get-go, though practice will help you learn 'em all eventually.
So, yes, the controls are good. The PROBLEM stems from this game's laggy nature. Unless you have a fairly powerful computer - which, given my laptop, I don't - the controls will seem both incredibly unresponsive and, with enough input, self-powering. At one point I sat and watched my character run through about two dozen moves without any input from myself, because the game was still catching up to my commands. (Fortunately, the end result was a victory. Somehow.)
FvF's graphics are by far its strongest aspect. The screenshots don't look BAD, but they also don't do the game justice. You need to see FvF in motion to understand the true art behind this game, as the characters are incredibly fluid in their movements and really fun to watch in action, even if they are slowed by lag. I especially liked the energy weapons.
That said, I think the intense visuals play a big part in making FvF laggy. There's too much going on in each scene for Flash to properly process unless you're using a strong computer.
FvF's music is kinda shunted to the background, the result of which is a soundtrack you'll probably ignore. It's not bad - some rocking battle tunes, stringed together throughout the levels - but it's hardly memorable.
Yep, you can do two player combat on FvF. I didn't have a second player, so I couldn't test this mode, but I can see a big problem: neither player is allowed to use the arrow keys to control their character. Two players using only the letter keys to run around and attack is gonna get damn cramped in a hurry, regardless of the size of your keyboard. (Good luck on my tiny little Mac.)
FvF isn't that difficult a fighting game, even on higher difficulty levels. The ability to dash makes avoiding attacks fairly easy, especially if your machine lags, and it's quite easy to catch enemies with devastating attacks that can drain a lot of energy in a hurry. It's a good fighting game for beginners who want to cut their teeth on the genre.
The REAL challenge of FvF, for those of us using not-so-great laptops or PCs, is putting up with the lag. This game is just too much for Flash to handle. Consequently...
... FvF shouldn't BE a browser game.
There's a lot of potential in FvF. It can be a REALLY fun title, given the proper platform. Flash, however, isn't the way to run this game, and will just give it a black eye before it has a chance to properly prove itself.
My recommendation? Turn it into a downloadable title. The Xbox, Wii and PS3 could all do FvF proper justice, as could an independent executable engine. That way the programmer could expand the combat options and earn FvF some well-deserved money.
I probably won't play FvF again as it is. Watching my character fight without hitting any buttons is really frustrating. Port this sucker to a different platform, though, and I'll be happy to partake.