Bloody Roar: Primal Fury
Game Info
Platform(s)
GameCube
Publisher
Activision
Developer
Hudson
Genre
Fighter
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Blood, Suggestive Themes, Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Looks really good
• Easy to pick up and play
• Variety of basic modes

The Bad

• Needs more arenas
• Arcade mode could be longer
• Music is pretty weak

 
Grade
B

In Bloody Roar: Primal Fury, you take on the role of a Zoanthrope, a person who can change into a beast/man hybrid, in the Champions' Tournament. While this current tournament has been brought about because of experimentation on the Zoanthropes, each of the combatants have a different reason for being there, ranging from personal gain to a desire to find out about the experimentation. When you start the game, you have a choice to fight in a variety of modes: Arcade, Survival, Training, Versus, etc. You can pick from 16 fighters, each who changes into a different beast, like a wolf, bat, or even chameleon.

Visually, the game looks downright good. While not as "over-the-top" as other fighters, like Virtua Fighter 4 or Dead or Alive 3, Bloody Roar still looks really good. The characters are well modeled and have a good bit of detail. Their animations are fluid and they respond well to the control. The strong anime bend to the character design is nice and the look of the beast characters are really good. Textures on both the fighters and levels are really well done. Running at a great framerate, the game showcases some good particle and lighting effects. Unless you're a graphics whore, you won't have any issue with the way the game looks or runs. The level design is really nice and the use of breakaway floors and walls adds a nice touch to the game. The flashy effects during special moves or when you convert to beast mode really show the anime influence well.

The combat system is easily accessible. While you won't have hundreds of moves to learn, there is enough variety in the fighting engine to keep you from just hammering the same buttons. Everyone seems to have the same set of move controls (button combos), but with a difference in results, so as long as you spend a little time in the training mode, you'll know what to do. "Is it a button masher?" Not really. Like many other fighters, you can get by mashing buttons for a few fights, but the further along you get, the more you'll really need to know some of the moves, and especially the techniques - like sidestepping, blocks, throws/holds and when the best time to change into beast mode is. Once you start to gain a grasp of the basic engine of the game, you'll really get a handle on how to work your way through the arcade mode.

Alongside the arcade mode is also a Survival Mode where you keep fighting until you fall and a Time Battle, where you try to finish the Arcade Mode the fastest. You can also play a Team Mode and even Team Versus Mode. There's a good bit to do here, even if there doesn't seem to be any sideline minigames (like a Tekken Force Mode) to distract from the main fighting.

The audio portion of the game is probably the weakest part of the game. The sound effects are fairly good. The voice acting, while adequate, tends to get old after a while. If you play the game for too long, you'll probably get tired of the limited number of quips each character has. And then there's the annoying hard rock soundtrack that sounds neither authentic nor original. After a few minutes into the game, you may be looking for the sound options to nix the "too cool for it's own good" mock '80s soundtrack.

Outside of what's already been noted, I would have to say that Bloody Roar could have used just a few changes or tweaks to the game. For those who are used to large casts (Street Fighter anyone?), you'll probably find the cast a little small. Myself, I thought it was just fine. I did tend to think that the game needed more arenas. Toss in two or three more places and I'd be happy. Also, I think the arcade mode needed to be longer. And, as with other fighters, the final boss in the arcade mode is a cheap punk. You can whip your way through the others and then get pounded over and over by the last guy. Also, from time to time, the computer would start a round in beast mode and pull super combo on you, leaving you with next to no life left, cheaply screwing you out of a round.

With all that said, I would tend to think Bloody Roar is a downright good fighting game that's fun to pick up and play for some time. It might not have the depth as some of the other fighting games, but it's still fun nonetheless. If you're looking for a fighting game to get a bunch of people together for and you haven't already played the older Bloody Roar games to death, you should check this one out.

- - Kinderfeld

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