Review - Primal Rage

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Review - Primal Rage

Post by Trev » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:15 pm

No animals were harmed during the making of Primal Rage. :wink:


Goldstar was late to the 3DO party, and they bailed early. Their unit was more prone to breaking down, and also had a few issues with game compatibility. They brought out one of 3DO’s worst, BC Racers, but cancelled the US version of Defcon 5. (a much more promising game) They left interesting titles in Korea of all places … :?

This review is not to bash Goldstar’s 3DO efforts though. It is to give them props for bringing ‘Primal Rage’ to the multiplayer. It is a very faithful port of a good (if flawed) arcade game, and it was a great addition to both 3DO’s fighting library and it’s small selection of arcade type games.

Boot PR into the multiplayer, and you’ll see a cool opening movie not found in the arcade version. It explains the story behind all the combat that is taking place. Now as a rule, I don’t think the stories found in fighting games are any good. At best they usually feel tacked on, at worse they are just plain awful (see 3DO’s own WOTW, or any Jag fighting game) PR doesn’t offer a bad tale though. Basically it is this … asteroids ravage the earth. Ancient creatures that were prisoners/sleeping/hiding come forth to duke it out and fulfill their agenda of war/peace/survival.

My favorite thing about PR (and probably why the story doesn’t bother me) is it’s characters. No more ninjas, no more big burly dudes, no more token female fighter, or any other that feels like its rolled off the fighting game assembly line. :D Here we have the prehistoric beasts, dinos and apes, that really felt different from what comparable games were offering. The uniqueness in the roster almost makes up for the limited count (only 7 with 2 color swapped) :(

It is worth noting a couple differences between the 3DO version and others. One, the 3DO version has smaller character sprites when compared to the Playstation and Saturn offerings. Having never played those versions (Genesis is the only other PR I’ve experienced first hand), I can only base my opinion on video I’ve seen. But it seems to me that what the 3DO has is a good thing. The huge characters in the other consoles take up too much of the screen, and ultimately would prove to be more of a distraction than anything else I think. Two, If you’d like to see opening cinemas for each character (done in the same style as the opening movie) the 3DO and Saturn are the only consoles that have these (although the Saturn appears to have dreadful load times). A tad pixilated, but a nice bonus nonetheless. :)

Everything in this game looks very good. This should not surprise as the arcade game looked good and, again, this is a faithful port. The characters are very well animated, including some highly amusing animation when defeated. The backgrounds they fight over nicely display a variety of post apocalyptic scenes. Surprisingly large, they give plenty of room to move about scrolling quite far to the left or right. They are very colorful and layered, and eagle eyed players will catch things like lava flowing from volcanoes, and creatures flying overhead. Not to mention the numerous followers that scamper about beneath your feet. Not just graphical extras, they also serve as a source of health.

The sharp visuals are complimented by some cool music and very good sound effects. A variety of truly powerful roars from the beasts, the cheers from the followers after a huge hit, and the chilling voice of the announcer as he says “Rage” … well done stuff. Crank it! :P

When it comes to fighting games in particular, practice is needed to attain any degree of consistent proficiency. The same is true of PR, but it’s control method seems to be different just for the sake of being different. I’d call it backwards with it’s awkward handling of button presses and directional pad movement. Even with a six button pad and the digital stick (#1 choice if you own one) it is still tough and you’ll have your work cut out for you, especially in the early going. Even the booklet needlessly complicates by referencing letter buttons as numbers. What is the point? It seems very silly to me. SFII or Sam Sho this is not!

Thankfully the moves are pretty cool so as to promote persistence. And you can’t fault the 3DO for the control hiccups … the fault lies totally with the original arcade unit. To it’s credit, the 3DO version does offer a bunch of configurable control options … although none address the main problem sadly. This is one are where I would have liked if the game was not just like the arcade.

Plenty of modes are included besides the standard training, 2-player, and arcade. Tug of War and endurance are available from the start. There is also a large number of difficulty setting to choose from too (the most in a console version I think) There are a few other things that I found interesting about PR when compared to other fighters. One, it gives stats at the end of each fight which include the number of combos pulled off, special moves, followers on your side, etc … I also like the games employing 2 life bars, and how dizziness comes into play. And try trapping your opponent into the corner … a block of cheese appears with a red slash through it. :lol:

PR was an immensely popular arcade game (#1 for the year) but I think it’s easy to see why with it’s great graphics and sounds, and it’s unique roster. I’ve fond memories of playing it on an extra large wide screen unit in the mall arcade back in the day. Truthfully though, time has not been as kind to it as other fighting games. Was it a bit overrated back in the day? I do know that it feels somewhat shallow when compared to other offerings of the time. (the small roster doesn’t help) Is it as good as SFII? No. As good as Sam Sho? No.

But, I’d place it 3rd overall on the list of 3DO fighters. The faithfulness of this translation not only makes it a favorite among many fans of the original, but also gives bragging rights to 3DO owners looking to trump up their console. Willing to put in the practice? Like a healthy challenge? If you answered yes, PR is a game for you. If no? Well ... I think there is still enough here to warrant a purchase (2-player mode anyone) Even with it's flaws, I've always liked Primal Rage. :)

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Post by 3DOKid » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:39 pm

3rd? 3RD!? THIRD?!?!?!? Are you insane? I'm surrounded by madness.

1. Street Fighter 2
2. Samurai Shodown.
3. Soldier Sailor Moon.
4. Yu Yu Hash-whazzit.
...

40,000 Ballz.
...
999,999. Way of the warrior.
1,000,000. Primal Rage.
1,000,001. Shadow. War is succession.


3RD? If Satan plucked out my eyes, yanked off my ears, strapped them to his phallus, shoved them in my eye sockets and minced my brain like a slabbering inhuman beast creature that he is, furiously using his Satanic member and my various appendages in a pelvic thrusting manner that would bring shame to a cast member from the Rocky Horror Picture show, eventually bringing me to the level of the average casual-gamer/Wii fan, I'd still only place it 5th.Third? Is that a typo? SAY IT'S NOT TRUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEE, NOT THIRD, NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!*




*I believe my point is made. :wink:

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Post by Trev » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:46 pm

Um, I'm not quite getting you ... are you saying you don't like Primal Rage or something? :?

:lol:

Sorry old friend, but anyone who'd put Way of the Warrior & "Yu Yu-Hash-whazzit" ahead of Primal Rage is clearly already under some Satanic influence. :wink:


Btw, you'll never guess what I'm planning to post next ...

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Post by 3DOKid » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:59 pm

cyber-**cking-dillo.

A wild stab in the dark. Which is precisely... :wink:

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Post by Trev » Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:06 pm

You guessed correctly. Don't worry though ... I'll wait a few days til my Primal Rage review blows over. 8)

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Post by BryWI » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:56 am

Do it now! I wanna see a meltdown!

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Post by Trev » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:25 pm

:lol:

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Post by totaku » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:04 pm

Why are you so angry, 3DOKid? The game is actually cool) Nice graphics and controls, plently of moves) Only the videos are awful. Reading your post in blog (or 1 of your YouTube videos) I saw that you told about bad controls. But they are really good. The thing is that you should press and hold buttons and then press directions. It's like playing on guitar in some way) The way the moves are performed by you give you enough time (and chances) to build up strategy) It is much more strategical fighting than Sailor Moon or Ballz or Way of the warrior)) But my favourite one is still Samurai Spirits))
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Post by 3DOKid » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:55 pm

totaku wrote:Why are you so angry, 3DOKid? The game is actually cool) Nice graphics and controls, plently of moves) Only the videos are awful. Reading your post in blog (or 1 of your YouTube videos) I saw that you told about bad controls. But they are really good. The thing is that you should press and hold buttons and then press directions. It's like playing on guitar in some way) The way the moves are performed by you give you enough time (and chances) to build up strategy) It is much more strategical fighting than Sailor Moon or Ballz or Way of the warrior)) But my favourite one is still Samurai Spirits))
That's not angry.

Primal Rage is a running joke here. well, I hope it is :)

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Post by Trev » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:07 pm

Tis true totaku ... you need to take 3DOKid's comments w/a grain of salt. We are always busting on each other about our opinions of 3DO games. :wink:

Don't worry though ... in spite of our differences (and the way we articulate them) we all love the 3DO here, and we do tend to agree about the consoles grade A titles (Need for Speed, Starblade, etc ...)

Oh, & welcome to the forum also. :)
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Post by totaku » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:34 am

Thanks) I'm writing reviews too) But in russian of course)) And with screenshots. So I'm your colleague :)
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Post by 3DOKid » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:08 am

Primal Rage is rubbish mind you. I don't want to dilute that fact.

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Post by Trev » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:43 pm

3DOKid wrote:Primal Rage is rubbish mind you. I don't want to dilute that fact.
You can trust that we'll never forget how you feel about it. :wink:
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