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.
Reviewed by: Underdogs