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VG Review - Primal Rage

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200px-Primal Rage flyer

Arcade flyer

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Ah, the 90's! The years of wonder, living a carefree childhood, and remembering as an opinion that the past has games that the present can't make, continue, or fix whatsoever! And what was a breakthrough in the 90s as well? Arcade cabinets were best-selling back in the day, but this would seem to decline a bit afterwards. It's okay, but what's so wrong with using arcade sticks in fighting games?!?!?! Now to the final point, what was the one game that meets both fans of Mortal Kombat and the Killer Instinct series to final conclusions? Meet 1994's Primal Rage: a fighting game with necessities made for controversy and otherwise balanced, intense fun! Now originally, Primal Rage was developed and published by Atari Games in 1994 as an arcade game! Now you might say this, but is Ouroburos high? Well, let's find out! Primal Rage is like your everyday fighting game: two players duke it out in one-on-one combat and get to see who takes the glory! Well, whatever glory it is, it better not have dissolved brain chunks in there smelling like urine! :) Needless to say, there is also a single player mode in a campaign-esque style where the player has to overcome opponents while the difficulty increases everytime (A little convenient to say since people playing Primal Rage won't care for that, but instead will keep on trying until they succeed! And that's a good thing, sometimes...). Now let's get to the characters! Much isn't so explanatory here because there are only seven well-designed fighters (only six appeared on the Game Boy Color port! Now WTF?), all having a reason to do part in the storyline. There are two teams fighting over a prehistoric universe known specifically as "Urth": The Virtuous Beasts, and The Destructive Beasts. The Virtuous Beasts (excluding Sauron, since he is an anti-hero) are protecting Urth so it doesn't meet its end by The Destructive Beasts... How catastrophic! I would like to say though that Primal Rage may have the stunning likenesses of both Mortal Kombat and Killer Instinct, but it works a lot more with the MK series (uniquely because of the controversy around the gory violence and fatalities). And speaking of violence, one of the members of the The Destructive Beasts, Chaos, uses a fatality known as "Golden Shower", which dissolves the flesh of your opponents in a jet of acidic urine. This was pulled out of markets and was shortly replaced by a new version (notably in the SNES version, if you attempt to perform this fatality with Chaos, a "No Cheeze" logo will appear on the opposing fighter's side, indicating that you, the player, had been about to use an illegal combo). Have a little decency, controversy... Most of all hate that presence! The true reason such has ever happened was noted from the 1996 issue of GamePro, which in Gilbert, Arizona, an 11-year-old bought and played the Sega Genesis port of Primal Rage and used GamePro's strategy guide to foolishly use Chaos's "Golden Shower" fatality. His mother, Ellie Rovella, became outraged on which she not only took away her son's copy of Primal Rage and then returned it, but also launched a grass-roots campaign in the process! What in God's name was that all about? The woman could've stop her kid from witnessing the game's awesomeness already, but it just never meant to be, and the 11-year-old might have had severe punishment coming towards him. Rest aside, the game was not only released for Sega Genesis and Arcade versions, but several other ports (like the Game Boy Color, Playstation, Sega 32X, and Sega Saturn) saw the game coming. Primal Rage's original arcade port is included in Midway Arcade Treasures 2, with the latter being released for the Playstation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo Gamecube console systems. Rest aside again, the gameplay is very solid and graphics seem like the perfect Mortal Kombat inspiration (don't look at Game Boy, don't look at Game Boy, don't look at Game Boy!!)... Yet a decent reason why fighting games should not be dying out! Even the music in this game is put in the suprised expressions of "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum!". The last I remember playing this beauty was on the Game Boy Color (I was a shameful owner of that version, I apologize...). An okay game, but the black & white graphics and uninspiring fatalities made me quickly lose interest... I then saw the arcade and console ports: all loving fanboy-ism came back and saw those versions as more original and stylish than that pathetic Game Boy port! Now to the point of belief, I have no choice though but to give this one a 7 out of 10. Primal Rage is all the rage (I made a funny!) and is everything a hardcore gamer could ever ask for, but I just feel that this pales in comparison to Mortal Kombat and Killer Instinct, together! Now time to rank!

Final Verdict

Pros

  • Unique storyline and gameplay
  • Graphics are bizarre and off-the-chain styled!
  • Character roster may feel a lot lonely, but a seven-fighter game with unique designs and intense fatalities make them more wild than ever!

Cons

  • A little bland compared to the Mortal Kombat and Killer Instinct series.
  • The Game Boy version just sucks in my opinion, to a full extent... :(

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