Bloody Roar: Primal Fury

Review: Bloody Roar: Primal Fury

To see a fighting game of this calibre so early in the GameCubes life is quite and astonishing sight seeing as in the N64 suffered a heavy draught of good fighters. It's in this light that we welcome Bloody Roar and see that this time round; fighters are here to stay, let's see how well they're going to shape up...


Being a port of the PS2 version, the graphics haven't been re- vamped at all really; this means the GameCubes over-whelming potential is being crucially abandoned. It's quite a shame but the graphics aren't all that bad. They are pleasing and thanks to the GameCubes 'flipper' chip the special effects do look a bit sharper and makes the bone crushing combo effects in this game come alive just that little bit more. Some amazing effects will still keep you smiling such as the re-fined small details like the fur on some of the beast's body's blowing and swaying in the wind. Nicely done.


From a fighter you expect the usual screams and grunts and by sure you get them here in Bloody Roar. Quite pleasingly all the characters have their own sounds and screams specified to different moves and by how much pain they are forced into. An extra little feature is if when you pause the game to take a breather from the intense action, you can hear the wind whistling... a small factor but its encouraging seeing the developers going to the effort to do this. The music though... I'm afraid you're in for some cheesy late 80's rock. It's bad; it may even make you cringe. That's not to say it fits some arenas though, and it can actually suit the atmosphere quite well... sometimes.


Can be addictive that's for sure. Even if you get whooped, the game has that 'next time!' feel. What a fighting game needs though is to be different in some way, else it easily gets tired and old. In Bloody Roars case, it's morphing into hideous beast forms and advancing physical physique and power. Each character has their own beast form and by changing into this figure more devastating finishers and moves can be inflicted onto your opponent. Produce such a move against a wall and be stunned by it crashing through and taking you both to a new location. It's these interactive styles to the arenas that keep things interesting. Unfortunately, there isn't much to it. Floors break through very easily and it happens very early on in a fight so it just doesn't feel that special or that you've done anything good seeing as in it happens every time.

Not only is there your characters 'beast' form though, there's their 'hyper beast' form as well. You change into this by building up your 'beast' meter which fills up depending on how much damage you've dealt and taken. You can change into the 'hyper beast' form at any time but it drowns your meter very quickly so it adds a tactical style of play. However, it hasn't been implemented very well. In easier fights, you can just change into the hyper beast straight away and kill your opponent in 5 seconds flat without worrying about your meter. It's good in most cases and after you've drained your meter, you change back to normal form and if not timed with your opponents form you could be facing their hyper beast... argh! It's this that gives the game its most exciting moments.

The game isn't easy to say the least. After the initial settlement into the game of getting a feel for the controls and style of fighting, the difficulty level steps up. You will soon be victims of deadly attacks and combos from the computer players and be sure to feel the pain with the games sounds and effects surrounding you. Scrunching up your face and shouting 'argh!' and 'noo!' is the pinnacle of fighting games and its certainly evident here and something none of us can shy away from doing. Unfortunately the difficulty is either too hard or too easy…there is never really a middle ground on which a real enticing, close fight can be witnessed.

What's great about this game though is that pulling off combos can be as easy as pressing 'B' four times for example, which means new players can make an impact on playing. Yet, that would make for a very bland game… but more experienced players will have learnt how to master killer combos of up to 25 hits! Don't mess! But doing so is very difficult and leaves the simple premise of attacks and combos being the core of play.


They've got what it takes to have the multiple levels of skill from the experienced players to the new comers. They use the Cubes button configuration pretty well, which is quite an effort seeing as it's not the most forgiving controller for fighters. Some will no doubt favour Button bashing and unfortunately for the better players, it works ever so frustratingly. One complaint is that maybe the kick and punch buttons should be reversed. Most prefer to punch rather than kick and so the A button could be better suited to do that action instead. Small niggle though.


Multi-player will keep this game alive that's for sure. Beating the living daylights out of your mates is a satisfying feeling and one you will want to return to, even if they don't! There's a fair bit to unlock so incentive to play is boosted. With 4 characters to unlock along with 3 arenas you will have your work cut out for you. On the whole with 10 arenas and 16 characters, it's a pretty deep game with plenty of variation in styles and beasts. However, play gets tired out and rather boring on your own after a while and you'll find that the computer Al is either frustratingly hard or too easy. The only real single player incentive is to get all the characters and see all the different endings... but even this might not be enough to inspire you to do it.

Final Say:

As the first real fighter on the Cube, it sure is worthy of your attention... for now. It's good but lacks having any real special feel. It's got all the ingredience of a fighter that we have all grown towards and learnt to love, yet fails to be as good as other fighters. With some potentially great ones coming up in months to come, it's hard to recommend this if not only as a time filler.

N-Europe Final Verdict

As is stands, it's a bog standard fighter yet it does manage to please. Wait for Soul Calibur or Mortal Kombat unless you're desperate.

  • Gameplay4
  • Playability4
  • Visuals4
  • Audio4
  • Lifespan4
Final Score



Beast forms
Accessible play
Interactive arenas


Standard play
Single player
Lacks any ‘special' feel

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