Chris McMullen of the Games Domainsays 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 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.
The graphics are also particularly good. While there is no Super VGA mode (which would invitably slow the game down), the backdrops and animation are more than adequate. The fighters' movements were captured from a number of carefully crafted stop-motion 3D models actually moved into all the poses. Anyone who's seen Jason and the Argonauts will know what I mean. But don't be fooled... the animation is hardly jerky at all.
Each character has, as is now standard, their own set of special moves. These too manage to be distinctly out of the ordinary. Each player is also provided 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 gamers everywhere. These range from flesh-eating, to incinerating your opponent, or tearing various organs out.
Gameplay-wise, 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 generally 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 really do feel like they've connected, 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 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 and its fatalities, you will probably like this arcade-perfect conversion as well.
Reviewed by: Underdogs