Primal Rage

Copyright: © 1995 Time Warner Interactive
Genre: Arcade action

Arcade action

Primal Rage
Chris McMullen of the Games Domain says it all about this excellent
conversion of a hit coin-op fighting game: "Primal Rage has the standard
plot.. you know the stuff.. 'wizard' etc.. blah blah 'parallel dimension'
'imprisoned gods'. Hardly remarkable, but then again, these stories are
rarely read more than once, and usually only provide the flimsiest of
reasons for the combatants to lay into each other with great gusto. But
Primal Rage does have that 'spark of originality' that is so hard to find
in many games. Gone are the scantily clad amazon women and muscle bound
men, and in their place are seven of the most fearsome dinosaurs and and
apes this side of a Michael Crichton film, ready to fight with tooth and
claw for world domination (what else?), taking place over seven different
locations around New Urth. The contenders range from Sauron, a flesh
hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex, to Blizzard, an ape from the frozen wastes,
each defending their own territory. Once you choose your character, you
will be pitched into a fearsome battle, as each dino makes their bid for
survival. And there's blood. Lots of it. Blood! Blood! *ahem* Sorry. The
graphics are also particularly good. While there is no Super VGA mode
(which would invitably slow down the game), the backdrops and animation
are more than adequate. The fighter's movements were captured from a
number of stop motion 3d models, carefully created, and then moved into
position. For example, to get a punch movement, a model's (built on a
wire frame) arm would be moved, just a little, then a capture would be
taken of the model. The arm would be moved a little more, and captured
again, till the whole sequence was completed. Anyone who's seen Jason and
the Argonauts will know what I mean. But don't be fooled.. the animation
is very smooth, and hardly jerky. Each character is, as is now standard,
is equipped with their own set of special moves, which inflict extra
damage upon the luckless opponent. These too, manage to be distinctly out
of the ordinary, and although there are the standard fireball moves, each
fighter is equipped with around 7 unique special moves. In addition to
the range of lethal special moves, each player is also equipped with
three fatalities (as has become the norm since Mortal Kombat), which
allow you to finish your opponent in a number of vicious ways, all sure
to corrupt the minds of gamesplayers everywhere. These range from flesh
eating, to incinerating your opponent, or tearing various organs out.
Gameplaywise, Primal Rage measures up pretty well. There's the usual mix
of punches and kicks, or rather, bites and slashes. It's not too hard to
pull off decent combos, and the moves are pretty easy to access, even on
a keyboard. The moves themselves are pretty imaginative, although there
are a couple of dragon punch rip-offs included. Hits do feel like they
connect, although the characters don't seem to have quite as much weight
as MK2, or Street Fighter 2. Another point, although this can be put down
to the arcade machine, is that after conquering all the lands, the player
has to take on the all the other fighters together, in the Final Battle.
This is an original idea, but I wouldn't have minded a boss character as
well. A skeletal creature, perhaps? All the moves are there, including
all the bonus games from the arcade. Plus, there are a number of bonuses,
including a tournament mode, and access to all the bits of the game that
arcade owners only ever got to see. TWG have managed to produce a game
that blows away every other Rage conversion, and most of the PC Beat-em
up market. " If you like beat 'em ups, particularly Mortal Kombat games
and their fatalities, you will probably like this arcade-perfect
conversion as well.

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