Released back in 1995, starting with the arcade version and then being ported onto multiple systems (i.e. Super Nes, Genesis, Playstation), Primal Rage has drawn a decent following and amassed both positive and negative criticism. In fact, Gamepro touted Primal Rage as the arcade game of the year in 1995. So what makes Primal Rage a decent fighting game worth reviewing? Read on and find out… Primal Rage is the first fighting game to bring in an original concept that not many fighters did before – fight against each other as dinosaurs or, in this exceptional case, dino-gods. These seven dino-gods represent a trait that suits their goals and ambitions, such as evil, good, insanity, and survival. One god wishes to torture the world under his rule while another god wishes to preserve life and nature without any more harm being done it to by the other gods. Each dino-god, like in every fighting game before it, has a set of moves that will aid them in defeating their opponents and conquering Urth once and for all. In addition, each god also has different strengths and weaknesses, thus forcing the fact that there is no equal. What’s great about Primal Rage is experimenting with all gods and seeing what god personally suits your style of fighting. Some gods are quick, others are powerful and others have the best of both worlds. Graphically, Primal Rage was one of the best-looking games for its time. The fighting grounds, ranging from the Strip to the Cove, are a marvelous sight to see, and movement is seen in each stage. Geysers spew from their chasms, birds fly in the air, worshippers watch the battle and sometimes run in front of their god and bow to them as the battle rages on. The dino-gods models are colorful and clear, making these beasts look a bit dangerous, ranging from ape to a tyrannosaurus rex. The speed of the game is smooth enough to allow gameplay to keep on going, but does end up being choppy when too much action occurs on the screen. However, the animation is still excellent and does not mess up the carnage at all. One must tip their hats off to the composer that worked on both the sound effects and soundtrack of Primal Rage, for it fits the atmosphere perfectly. You’ll be hearing all kinds of instruments being played, from drums to synthesizers, adding a lot to the game’s environments. Some of the tunes do eventually get stuck in your head, as they are catchy and perfectly suit the gods and their battles for world domination. The sound effects also do an outstanding job, as you will be hearing constant dinosaur growls, humans screaming when being eaten for energy or you could hear them cheer when you do a combo or act all disgusted when a move is performed, such as Chaos’s Fart Of Fury. Primal Rage, for the Playstation, includes four modes to explore. Single-player is your typical arcade mode – choose a god and attempt to defeat the other gods, including the final battle, where you must face the gods once more, one after another, and rule Urth alone. Two-player mode allows two gamers to choose two gods and battle each other to the death. Tug Of War is simple – two players, again, choose their gods and battle it out, but their lifebar is split in half. Should you bring their energy near the dino-god’s heart, you won the battle. Finally, Endurance allows two-players to choose four gods and fight each other. If one god loses the match, the next god will take their place and continue the carnage for their team. Should the player lose all of his gods, the other player wins. Honestly, while Primal Rage can get boring in single-player action, it is great to go through the game, as each god, and see what happens after they slay their adversaries and rule Urth. However, battling each other with a human opponent is simply much more fun, not to mention twice the carnage. In conclusion, Primal Rage is simply an average fighter, at best, but for those that just want a casual, non-serious fighter, then it’s a lot of fun to play and the Playstation port is the third best arcade-to-home conversation to date. The story is unique, the concept is original, visuals look outstanding and the game’s sound effects and music score is terrific. While the control scheme is flawed and do allow some mistakes to happen, it’s a minor flaw that needs to be corrected for future sequels. A sequel was in the works, but got cancelled in the end. However, even if that was the case, Primal Rage is a great fighter and it should be advised for fighting gamers, who have an interest in both fighting games and dinosaurs, to check it out.
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