Primal Rage


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 5

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 4


Potential. It's something that so many games have, yet whether it's for one or a hundred reasons, so many games fail to reach it. Primal Rage is one of those with a perfect concept, and some terrible execution. It should be a classic, but instead, it's a sub-par, barely playable fighter with a goofy, unmanageable control scheme.

primalrage_2.jpg (82231 bytes)Stop motion dinosaurs have taken over the world, and apparently, the world's population couldn't fend off a meager eight of them. Now they've decided an entire continent to themselves isn't enough, and they're going to war to take it all over in sanctioned one-on-one battles. Someone also seems to be keeping track of rounds and time. You tell them they ran out of time.

The major problem here is how loose this game plays. Hits seem to connect when they want, the animation is too quick, and the beasts move too much when striking. The latter sounds rather stupid, but unless you've studied this one, you'll never know just where an attack is going. Most of the slashes and bites don't even look like they should damage anything.

Adding to the problems are the special moves. These require a ridiculous amount of dexterity, requiring multiple buttons to be held down alongside the usual fighting game motions. After years of other games in this genre, it's impossible for this to feel natural. The fatalities, while worthwhile (you will NEVER forget the first time you pull off the Golden Shower), are just as hard to get off.

It's also hard to understand how giant, flesh eating dinosaurs can qualify as bad character design. Since the roster is so small, and there are two giant apes and two Allosaurs, it's really less than that. You can spend the time learning the discrepancies; it's just not worth it.

This 32X port suffers from a disappointing lack of color. The backgrounds have taken a major hit. The size of the sprites remains just a little smaller than in the arcade version, just with far less detail. All of the animation seems to be here, though it's difficult to judge considering how fast these attacks go by. All of the music is here, just toned down. It's recognizable, and it's a fair cartridge port. The roars and sickening sound of flesh being ripped apart are here too.

As sad as it is, this is the best 2-D fighter on the console. It only earns that distinction because the competition is so awful. Even if this was a perfect port, it would be a perfect port of a terrible game. If you're a Primal Rage fan, there are better versions out there, and you'll be happier there (PS One, Saturn).


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 04:41 PM