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Bloody Roar: Primal Fury

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Hudson put a new spin on fighting games with the original Bloody Roar, which had its debut in the arcades and then was ported to the PSOne. Bloody Roar 2 improved the graphics slightly but the simplistic gameplay system and poor enemy AI kept it from being any real competition for Namco’s Tekken 3 or other popular games in the genre. Recently PS2 owners got a taste of the animorphic fighting game in Bloody Roar 3 which was a blast to play against a friend with its vastly improved graphics and lighting fast gameplay, but still it offered a questionable replay value for the single player mode.

Unfortunately the GameCube incarnation Bloody Roar Primal Fury doesn’t add much to the single player except some nicer anime cutscenes and some of the best graphics in a 3D fighter. The gameplay is fast and furious with no drop in framerate and still remains an awesome multiplayer fighter but the shaky AI makes the single player mode an exercise in frustration.

The graphics in Bloody Roar are the highlight of the game. Amazing fast graphics and huge characters excellent textures and cool arenas to fight in make the game a marvel to watch. The lighting and particle effects when you morph into your beast persona are great. The camera tracks the action well and keeps up with the insane speed of the game.

Some characters like Gado, Long, and Shina look great when in beast mode as the fur looks almost good enough to make you want to reach out and pet them. The bounce factor on the female characters is a bit exaggerated however.

The sound is top notch. From the bone crunching hits to the roar of the beasts the sound effects are crisp and believable. The music is very anime sounding and can wear on the nerves a little, but it fits the look of the game rather well.

The gameplay though not bad is very simplistic. You have a punch, kick, block and beast button essentially. The triggers are used for side stepping yet you almost never need to use this move against the computer. The combo system is practically automatic and it is almost effortless to pull off flashy but-kicking combos. The gameplay keeps pace with the overall speed of the game, but this is not a technical fighter in any sense. It is a fighter where the button masher can defeat a seasoned player giving you no real reason to play the single player mode to get your moves down or perfect your skill. The only reason to endure the beating you will endure in the single player mode is to unlock the character’s ending movies and a few secret characters.

Once you have played through he one player game as everyone you can try your skill at some of the other modes. In fact to unlock the final character you have to defeat the survival mode of the game. The biggest complaint I have about the gameplay itself is the fact the rather than an advanced AI the game resorts to cheap tricks to win the matches. Remember StreetFighter2 in the arcade or better yet World Heroes 2 on NeoGeo or in the Arcades? Well you will remember the overuse of blocking and then the seemingly amazing ability of the computer to counter whatever you threw at it. Well the old-school difficulty is back in Bloody Roar Primal Fury.

Overall a few minor flaws in the single player experience should not keep you from giving the game a fair chance it is a great game to play against your friends and is easy to get into for just about anyone. So if you own a GC and you itch to kick some digital but or maybe you just want to show off some of your little cube’s graphical power this is a good choice. But if you don’t have friends to play against you may want to hold off until Soul Caliber comes out this winter.

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