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Fuga: Melodies of Steel - A game that tanks, but in a good way

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Did you ever want to play a game with animal people in a World War 2 inspired environment with characters and plots that have anime aesthetic as you drive a literal kaiju tank through the countryside and melt away your opponents in turn-based tactical combat? Well, that request was rather specific, but Fuga: Melodies of Steel is here to fill that void.

You find yourself in control of six youths who find themselves piloting a powerful weapon of unknown origin after they are forced to fight back against the Berman army that has been attacking their homeland of Gasco. As you journey, you will find others to help along the way, develop friendships between the characters, and power up your machine of death as you move forth to free your captured relatives.

However, things may not be so simple. Aboard this tank there is also a mysterious voice on a radio driving the crew forward, and a strange ghost that seems to haunt the halls. Also this monstrous tank, named Taranis, has a dormant weapon that sleeps, awaiting a desperate hour to arise and unleash its devastation, but at a great cost.

If you like tactical RPG combat with good art direction and an orchestrated soundtrack, then you would do well to play this one. More details and minor spoilers found past the divider.

Furries Are Being 'Cancelled' for 'Feral Porn Art' - This Is a Problem

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (18 votes)

About 2 years ago, I started to see a growing debate about 'feral' NSFW art, and it was mostly more calm. The first time was when FurryLife.online started to ban most feral furry pornography, which has sparked a lot of debate online here (in the comment section), Twitter, and some other online sites. In the discussions, there were a lot of folks defending it with a fair amount of logic, mainly explaining that human levels of intelligence creates a difference. There were also folks reasoning that many of such ferals being attractive were exactly the same reasoning why furry characters such as Nick Wilde would be considered attractive by many other furries, by the fact that they have animal parts.

After such drama emerged, it felt as if it was dying down, thankfully. However recently on about June 19th, a popular furry known as KaimTime has been publicly “exposed” after some furries found out that they had a “feral” focused NSFW Twitter account known as Feral Fawcet. As a result, angry furries accused the person of being into “zoophilia”. as well as many Twitter folks ending up doing the whole “if you support this, block me” style posts. There was even one popular YouTuber, Crying Blossom, who made a call-out video against KaimTime mainly for KaimTime having the separate Twitter feed with this art on it, and their response video defending their right to have this separate page and fantasy. All of this, likely because of a furry artist partly having an interest in having fantasies with anthropomorphic animals on all fours.

Klonoa's new remake is coming out!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Klonoa is a franchise by Bandai Namco that got its first release in 1997 for the PlayStation. Having reached great sales in the Japanese market, it got modest earnings in the west, large enough to approve a sequel, Klonoa 2, for the PlayStation 2. Both games got great reviews, and are platforming classics, but unfortunately diminishing sales killed the franchise, with one last re-release of the first game back in 2008 for the Wii.

The franchise is now being revived after all these years with a new remake of Klonoa 1+2, with great care and respect for the source material. Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series comes out July 8th for PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and Steam (PC). Consoles get a physical release in Europe and Japan, with US receiving digital releases only.

Ursa's Major Issue - Confident self-promotion vs humble passionate skill, and a voting system's favoritism

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (10 votes)

UrsaVoting.jpgUrsa, we may have a problem. Or at least so it may seem. Over the past few years the number of people voting in the furry fandom’s popular choice awards appears to be dwindling once again, despite continual growth and booming attendance at our conventions - COVID aside - revealing the growing audience and community beneath this stagnation.

But if less people in proportion are voting, is there a reason for this? One option may be that the system may be lead to some strange victors based on popularity of a franchise or personality rather than other considerations. But is this just a coincidence or could it be how the system was inadvertently crafted?

This article’s goal is to highlight why the current system is so sensitive to favoring artists who self-promote or whose fans rally on their behalf, at the expense of voters that weigh more toward judging the quality of the pieces nominated without authorship considerations. It will then propose a small change to make it more fair to both types of voters and creators, without stifling out those who show up with a passion for their artist.

Be wary, this gets long and technical. But if you’re reading this up to this point, I’m sure you knew that’s what you were in for.

Tunic - The hero's adventure reforged

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

TUNIC.jpgThis game is going to be tough to review, in essence the game’s strength only remains a strength the less I say about it and what makes it so good. I suppose the best way to approach it is how it displays on its surface. A fox protagonist in a green tunic raises his sword and blue shield to go on an adventure. Many would instantly connect this iconography to the Zelda franchise.

The game can be Zelda-like for sure, but it’s important to know that not all of Zelda’s Link’s outings are created equal. So the best way I can describe this is that it’s a Zelda-like, also known as a “Hero’s Adventure” game, that feels very much like the franchise before it went into a heavy handed narrative focus.

Streaming review: 'Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers' (2022)

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (3 votes)

'Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers' movie posterChip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers is the Disney+ streaming service's newest exclusive movie, directed by Akiva Schaffer and starring John Mulaney as the voice of Chip and Andy Samberg as Dale, the titular pair of cartoon chipmunks. The movie is mostly live action, but features cartoon characters interacting with this live action world. The movie's relationship with the Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers animated television show is a bit complicated. This movie is not a sequel or reboot, but instead takes as its premise that the characters of that show were actors playing parts in a world where cartoons and humans coexist.

The obvious point of comparison is the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit, made even more obvious by the fact that Roger Rabbit himself makes a small cameo in this movie. If anything, a few people have interpreted this as taking place in the same world as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, though I'd argue it's actually a bit more meta than that. Unless I'm getting this wrong, the Roger Rabbit that cameos here is another actor who played himself in a movie that is equally fictional in both our world and the world of this movie. Cartoon actors share their names with their characters, for whatever reason. But, the point is, the movie is very meta like that, and though it never explicitly acknowledges it's own fictionality, it's showbiz savvy characters are likely to treat their situation as if it were a movie.

Also like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a major appeal of the movie is nostalgia for its animated characters, both specifically for its titular duo, as well as a series of cameos and walk-ons from others. While this sort of thing can be fun, it can also come off as a cynical branding exercise. However, the movie manages to avoid the pitfalls of this sort of thing better than most.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale - Heartful, Artful, and another anthro 2021 Game that's wonderful

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

Chicory.jpgWhile 2021 was a pretty crappy year overall, for anthro gaming titles it was certainly a renaissance. It also did an excellent job curb stomping my 2018 statements that visual novels seem to be the genre of choice for anthro game developers. In 2021 we had a Metroid-vania mixed with a brawler in Ursa Nominated FIST. We had an isometric top-down combat adventure in Ursa Nominated Death’s Door. Now we have a game that is a narrative and art focused 2D grid exploration and creativity game in Chircoy: A Colorful Tale. Unfortunately this one didn’t get a nomination, because I would not have complained if it did.

This game is interestingly one I would recommend to furries who are artists more than gamers. While it doesn’t require being an artist by any means, and traditional gamers would be able to complete the story just fine, the narrative has more reflection on the power of being a creative type and the stress of societal expectations that comes with artistic pursuits. Imposter syndrome, having people demand things from you for exposure, and other such tropes in the artist world are addressed through your character’s trials.

There is a full world to explore and color to your heart’s content and it's more about the journey than the conflict. But there is no art without some struggle. While your character named after your favorite dish may have started their adventure wanting to wield the magic brush of this world, heavy is the hand who wields.

To avoid spoilers stop reading at Art within the Art

Movie Review: 'The Bad Guys' (2022)

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (8 votes)

The Bad GuysThe Bad Guys, a DreamWorks Animation film directed by Pierre Perifel, should be a slam dunk, right?

With a voice cast of personal favorites such as Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina and Craig Robinson? Full of anthropomorphic animal characters in a kid-friendly Tarantino take-off? And there's even a furry vixen in the mix? What, is it my birthday? (Actually, that's Saturday.) [Happy Birthday! --The editors]

Featuring a criminal gang of five predatory animals, meet Mr. Wolf (Rockwell), Mr. Snake (voiced by Marc Maron), Miss Tarantula (Awkwafina), Mr. Shark (Robinson) and Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos).

After a television interview with the local governor, a vixen named Diane Foxington, Mr. Wolf is goaded into carrying out a ridiculously difficult heist. Which correspondingly goes ridiculously wrong. The gang are put in the care of Professor Marmalade (Richard Ayoade), a guinea pig who tries to teach them how to be good guys.

Review: 'Sonic the Hedgehog 2'

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (9 votes)

sonicthehedgehog2.jpgSonic the Hedgehog 2 is that thing which, as a furry reviewer, I feel like I should run into more, but actually don’t. It is a perfectly acceptable kid’s movie. Which is a bit of a problem, because that makes it the worst type of movie to review. A movie that’s just okay. It’s fine. Alright, even.

I’m tempted to write more about how the Sonic the Hedgehog movies bookend the Covid-19 pandemic, which is just a coincidence, than this movie. I'll keep it short, but I want to make clear I’m a guy who reviews kid’s movies for adults, not a virologist, so while I may feel safe enough to go back to theaters, you do what you feel comfortable with.

It’s okay enough, and the Sonic franchise has a passionate enough fanbase, if you want to spend full price for a movie ticket, I won’t judge too much. But it’s not so good I don’t still recommend waiting until it hits streaming.

Do furries deserve conventions? Fandom assemblies in danger from foul behaviors

Your rating: None Average: 4 (7 votes)

A letter coming out of Motor City Fur Con highlights a situation that furry conventions may need to be made aware of, and to take actions protecting against. This opinion piece will go over this situation, and why it's important that our community address this situation, and against possible weaponization of it.

Primarily, conventions are a big deal in the furry world. These organized efforts of staff and volunteers are an excellent opportunity for friends from great distances to come together and meet one another. Something that can seem quite simple on the surface creates great stress to those at the helm. Earlier this year we found a small group of furs overburdened and liquidating a company when they took on too much workload. The tragedy being there was probably no ill intention, but their small group taking on too much created vulnerability and eventually it all came tumbling down.

Leaders of conventions, and those that volunteer, sacrifice a lot in order to keep these essential functions for our fandom running. This sacrifice was emphasized through recent news out of Detroit’s Motor City Fur Con when the convention chair of FurSquared announced that in order to attend Motor City Fur Con, he lost his job. Now Alkali, a convention chair who has done an untold amount of hours for charity work and running panels at other various conventions, looks for subscription support in order to focus on creating content for the fandom he loves with his spouse Xanni. And in spite of this rock to his world, he is still running FurSquared this very weekend.

While Flayrah has been critical of leadership of conventions in the past, today the focus goes in the other direction, toward the attendees. Because the loss of employment of one of the volunteers of Motor City Fur Con was followed up by another troubling letter from the same convention about how other attendees chose to spend their time.

Every winner of the Best Animated Feature Oscar, ranked

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

WhoAreYouWearing.jpgThough it’s the baby of Oscar categories, the Best Animated Feature Academy Award will turn 21 this Sunday, meaning it would be old enough to drink alcohol in America, if it could actually do that. Encanto, Flee, Luca, The Mitchells vs. the Machines and Raya and the Last Dragon will compete to become the next recipient of the award.

First introduced in 2001, Best Animated Feature is the only “new” category to be introduced this century so far. Like many new categories, a few animated features had earned "Special Achievement" Oscars, starting with the original American made animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, with another going to 1997’s Toy Story, as well as one to the live action/animated hybrid Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Other movie awards followed the Oscars, adding their own animated categories, though the Annies, which are for animation, had obviously been awarding Best Feature for a few years.

Since 2001, 20 movies have won the award, which is a nice round number for doing a countdown, worst to best. The following ranking is based on my opinions, and my opinions only. But, even if you think my rankings are horrible, no good, absolutely wrong, well, I’ve also included a lot of factoids and trivia, so that might be worth reading. Also, not all of the winners have been particularly furry, but most have something of interest to furries going on in them.

'Turning Red': Does this make you uncomfortable?

Your rating: None Average: 2.9 (12 votes)

Turning Red Does this sound familiar?

Pixar's newest movie is a woman-directed, coming-of-age film where a red-headed daughter finds herself rebelling against an overbearing mother during the course of an adventure involving human-to-animal transformation of a bear-like nature; that worked out so well for all involved last time.

Let's see: they replaced Brenda Chapman half-way through production, and her career still hasn't recovered; the movie was the first non-Cars Pixar movie to not reach a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes; and, most importantly, readers didn't like my review of it very much. Seriously, the best thing to come out of Brave was the line "She's from the other studio." in Ralph Breaks the Internet, which unfortunately was the best thing to come out of Ralph Breaks the Internet.

Alt-Right furry, Benjamin "Polybun" Smith, charged with murder of 60 year old Portland woman

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (16 votes)

The OPB reports that Benjamin Smith, known in the fandom under his fursona name “Polybun”, faces murder and attempted murder charges after he confronted protesters before opening fire into the crowd. Four were injured and one, Brandy Knightly, a sixty year old woman, lost her life in the attack.

Connections to the fandom were fished out by the local Portland community furries as images of the attacker made the rounds. One of the first to report on this to social media was Triss Winters, a furry left-wing activist out of Portland who recalled when Polybun was removed from one of his house parties a decade ago due to him brandishing a knife and threatening to stab someone who took a photo of him at the event.

F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch - Part Brawler, Part Metroidvania, All Fur Fighting Fun

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

FIST.jpgWhen some Western furries hear about anthropomorphic content from China they may typically think of web pages that sell knock off fursuits, but F.I.S.T. is here and gives that stereotype a good solid punch in the face. This original property developed by the Eastern developer of Bilibili for the PlayStation (4 & 5) and PC pounds in the action and exploration of any player willing to fight on behalf of the furtizens being oppressed by the Legion’s mechanical beings.

Furtizens, by the way is not my word, but the game’s own neologism describing the furry citizens. It is such a simple word, and it amazes me that of all things a game would be the etymology of it and not from popularization from furry fans (visa vi: fursona). The story’s main conflict is on two rabbit characters: Ray and Cicero.

It is one of three furry games I played released in 2021, and is certainly going on my list of nominations for this year’s Ursa Major. It is a game of two main elements that have been blended together quite well. Combat is intimate and has the feel of a brawler game of old like a more polished Double Dragon, but it takes place in an open and explorable world where your weapons can double as traversal items, putting it in the Metroid space. So it’s part brawler and part metroidvania and it blends these two elements seamlessly.

Opinion: The top ten movies of 2021

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (8 votes)

Top ten movies of 2021

Streaming services such as Disney+, HBO Max and Netflix were important for movie fans in 2021 due to the still ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. My review of Raya and the Last Dragon began with a lengthy digression involving the pros and cons of streaming before going into whether it was worth watching (more on that in a bit!). Sing 2 was the only movie I reviewed last year that I actually watched in a theater – the non-theatrical Rock Dog 2 was the only other movie I didn't stream to review, but instead watched on a rented DVD. It feels like 2022 could go either way; I might get to watch movies in theaters more often, or I might not. But that's the future. Right now, we're talking about 2021.

This is a year-end top ten list. If you're at all unclear on what I'm counting or not counting as a "2021 movie", I used to spell it out, but in recent years, I've just linked back to the older lists. One thing to note: though obviously you're on a furry site, this is not specifically a furry list. However, I traditionally name a best furry movie in addition to a best movie, period; for 2021, it was Raya and the Last Dragon. Each title links to IMDB or a Flayrah review, with better descriptions of movies you're unfamiliar with than I can give in this format.