Bloody Roar: Primal Fury / Bloody Roar: Extreme

"During the Age of Feuding between humans and Zoanthropes, a new kingdom was born. Founded upon and dream of peace and equality, for both, the new land attracted scores of Zoanthropes from far and wide. However, the kingdom was young, and heavily relied upon its Zoanthrope army for security and on its special brigade of Zoanthrope mercenaries for income. Even more troublesome for the infant nation were rumors of cruel experiments being carried out on Zoanthropes to uncover the secret being their ability to transform into fighting beasts. Though nearly everyone, both Zoanthrope and human alike, strongly opposed these experiments, no one could prove that they were actually taking place, much less who was responsible for them.

In an effort to bring the nation together and show off the power of their Zoanthrope army and mercenary brigade, the kingdom decided to sponsor the ultimate Zoanthrope fighting tournament. The winner would not only earn the title "Zoanthrope Champion," but also take home a handsome cash prize. If only the participants knew what was really awaiting them..."
Bloody Roar: Primal Fury / Bloody Roar: Extreme is an updated version of Bloody Roar 3 for the Nintendo Gamecube and Xbox, respectively. Not only were new characters added and gameplay mechanics tweaked, but the overall graphics were improved quite a bit. The higher quality visuals also bring about a "manga / anime-inspired" look to the game. Character models, textures, and particle effects have also received noticeable enhancements.

Primal Fury also adds a few new backgrounds, most of which look slightly better than the old ones, aside from some generic polygonal background geometry. The load times are also much improved over Bloody Roar 3's, which was somewhat of an annoyance in the PS2 version. Other new extras, like a new animated intro and "anime style" character endings also make Primal Fury seem like a fresh title. 

Bloody Roar: Primal Fury character selection screen.

As a 3D fighting game, an experienced player might expect a innovative approach to the staple fighting game recipe. Bloody Roar: Primal Fury's controls almost seem like a mix of 2D and 3D. The button layout includes: Punch, Kick, Beast Mode, and the shoulder buttons for sidestepping in either direction. Most special moves require circular, Street Fighter-esk motions, rather than the complex button presses from the likes of Virtua Fighter, Soul Calibur or Tekken. This makes it easy for beginners to mash buttons and start doing cool things, but not as rewarding for players seeking a skill-oriented fighting game experience. The "finer" mechanics that make other 3D fighting games amazing, such as movement and range, seem to have little-to-no importance in Bloody Roar: Primal Fury. Indeed, Bloody Roar is still a casual players dream: Mash-out those easy 1-button combos, hit the super move = Win.  

Yugo the wolf versus Stun the... beetle?

The single-player game is a breeze, since the computer AI is retardedly easy to beat. If fact, it does a great job at promoting spamming (and teaching beginners poor fighting game fundamentals), since repeating the same old combos over and over works wonders against the CPU. Just like in BR3, many combos can be executed by tapping just one button and a few directional inputs... pretty uninspiring considering the intricacy and deep strategy found in other 3D fighters of the era. The laughably overpowered super moves from vanilla Bloody Roar 3 have been toned down, but will still take chunks of the life bar without requiring even a shred of skill. And following series tradition, transforming into "beast form" is more of a gimmick than a well thought-out gameplay system. And if you ask me, "giant fighting bunnies" and "leopards with boobs" just doesn't have any real lasting appeal. It's actually rather disturbing, in some weird way.

I suppose all is not lost if one is looking for a casual, non-completive fighting game experience. Dedicated CPU-destroyers can earn some halfway entertaining extras, including "Kids Mode," which humorously alters the faces and facial expressions for all fighters. Other unlockables, include: No Wall Mode, Weak Wall Mode, Slow Motion Mode and Speedy Game Mode. Other than that, Bloody Roar: Primal Fury's mode selection is fairly standard, featuring most of the staples: Arcade, Versus, Time Attack, Team Battle, VS Team Battle, Training, Com Battle, Movie Player, Cheats and Options. Considering some of the "groundbreaking" bonus modes appearing in other recent console fighting games, Bloody Roar: Primal Fury still seems somewhat lacking as a console fighting game, overall. Worth mentioning, Primal Fury was one of the first fighting games to appear on Nintendo Gamecube, which definitely earned it some quick popularity points.









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Page Updated: April 28th, 2024
Developer(s): Hudson Soft, Eighting
Publisher(s): Activision
Platform(s): Gamecube, Xbox
Release Date(s): Mar. 18th, 2002          Gamcube
Apr. 25th, 2002           Gamecube
May 3rd, 2002             Gamecube
Mar. 27th, 2002          Xbox
July 17th, 2003            Xbox
Nov. 28th, 2003          Xbox
Characters Yugo, Alice, Long, Shen Long, Uriko, Gado, Bakuryu, Busuzima, Jenny, Shina, Stun, Uranus, Xion, Cronos, Ganesha

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Featured Video:

Related Games: Bloody Roar 3, Bloody Roar, Bloody Roar 2, Bloody Roar 4, Street Fighter EX3, Soul Calibur 2, Soul Calibur 3, Virtua Fighter 4, Virtua Fighter 4: EvolutionTEKKEN Tag Tournament, TEKKEN 4, TEKKEN 5

Gameplay Engine  6.0 / 10
Story / Theme  5.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  7.5 / 10
Animation  7.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  5.0 / 10
Innovation  6.0 / 10
Art Direction  5.0 / 10
Customization  4.0 / 10
Options / Extras  6.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation  7.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  5.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  4.5 / 10
Characters  5.5 / 10


 6.1 / 10

 Review based on Gamecube version    


Final Words: In 2002, hardcore 3D fighting game players were devoting their precious gaming hours to the likes of SoulCalibur 2, Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution or Tekken 4. If one was also a fan of 2D fighting games at the time, there were also some other "little" fighting games such as MVC2, CVS2 and SFIII: 3rd Strike... to name a few? Indeed, the latest Bloody Roar title was a bit late to the party and slightly behind the curve at launch. 2002 was certainly not the time to be a "mediocre" 3D fighting game.

Casual fighting game players maybe found something to like about Bloody Roar 3... with the updated Primal Fury / Extreme enhancement being the definitive version of the game. The anime intro and updated visuals are a nice offering, but a fighting game is definitely more than just a flashy intro. Gameplay-wise, BR3 offers a playable experience... but the depth and overall mechanics leave much to be desired and don't have much replayability.

Overall, Primal Fury / Extreme was a fairly decent-to-mediocre Xbox / Gamecube fighting game... but not nearly the best the genre had to offer in 2002-2003. Love them or hate them, Bloody Roar's character designs at least look the best they ever have in Primal Fury.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen
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