Primal Rage is a unique fighting game featuring prehistoric creatures. It was developed in 1994 for the arcades and a year later ported to the Commodore Amiga (ECS/AGA only), PC (Windows), 3DO, Atari Jaguar CD, Nintendo SNES, Sega 32X, Sega Game Gear, Sega Mega Drive / Genesis, Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation. The Amiga version comes in 4 disks and both ECS and AGA chipsets share the same quality in graphics, sound and data (thus no AGA chipset enhancements are supported).
STORY A meteor strikes the Earth and causes havoc and chaos. Seven gods (creatures actually) from the ancient times are awaken from their eternal sleep and now use their magic powers and physical strengths to take control of the post-apocalyptic world. These creatures have otherworldly and supernatural abilities and each one is said to represent a different nature's element, as life and death, fire and ice, with each element considered as a single "god" in its respective sphere.
GAMEPLAY Primal Rage is a classic two-dimensional fighting game in which two players select their fighter (a monster) to battle each other in One-Vs-One combat or in Single player struggling to complete a number of fights against the CPU with increasing difficulty. The final battle of the single player game has you fighting against all the other CPU-controlled monsters. The gameplay is OK but the Amiga port needed to be more playable even with a classic single-button joystick, a fact that makes playability too hard to handle.
GRAPHICS Primal Rage is surely not as good as Mortal Kombat II but remains a decent fighting game. Unfortunately, the amount of animation frames had to be drastically reduced and this was a real drawback for the overall quality as this game was pretty impressive (and popular) for its characters' animations. The original coin-op was a big success and its console ports quite popular, but there were always some doubts regarding the viability of the Amiga port. Owning an Amiga with only 1MB of RAM is not enough, thus the game runs only on 2MB Amiga ECS or AGA models. The plan was to cut it down by about 28MB of data, with the animation frames going from 900 to 250 and the colors from (say) 256 to 32. We would expect more support from the enhanced AGA chipsets that can handle more colors and larger memory so that most of the original details to be included. Despite those reductions, the game looks pretty and the sprites are (still) nicely animated. Fighting occurs in some nicely animated post-apocalyptic backdrops. While fighting, human tribesmen will wander nearby to worship their gods whist lava in the volcano-themed levels comes from deep the earth, and so on.
SOUND The sound on the Amiga port is good, including a variety of sampled sound effects, along with a few catchy stereophonic tunes taken directly from the arcade original.
In-game music sample:
Arcades (original version)
CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM. GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once). SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs