Title Primal Rage Game Type Beat-em-Up Publisher Time Warner Players 1 or 2 Compatibility AGA HD Installable No Submission Tom Waddington (firstname.lastname@example.org) Review Primal Rage is a beat-`em-up based on the hit Atari coin-op and it has dinosaurs in it. Of course, being a hit coin-op doesn't necessarily make it a good game, lots of crap coin-ops have been hits. Galaxian, say. However, since I have never played the coin-op, it doesn't really affect my opinion either way. Oddly enough, having dinosaurs in it doesn't make it a bad game. The conversion has been handled by Probe Entertainment via the Sega Megadrive version, the same team that handled the Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat 2 conversions. Perhaps for that reason it feels very similar to those games. The graphics have all been rescaled and colour-reduced from the digitised arcade originals and although they look bland when still, in the middle of a fight they look fine. The dinosaur theme makes the characters more easily classified than in most beat-`em-ups, and they behave much more like they look like they should than most, without needing extensive biographies. Thus, the one facet that could be considered the game's main weakness (how are you supposed to identify with a thirty foot lizard?) turns out to be a great strength; if you prefer a fast and nippy fighter to a lumbering brute it's easy to select the right one without extensive testing and manual reading. The sound is fairly standard for this sort of thing; some meaty thuds and crunches and a few annoying tunes. It doesn't exactly add to the atmosphere, but neither does it it detract from the game. The control system is also very similar to Mortal Kombat's, involving lots of joystick waggling and button pressing. It supports two fire buttons, which makes things a little easier, and you do get used to it, especially if you stick to a single character, but pulling off the more powerful moves is very difficult against the computer on higher difficulty levels; by the time you've managed an A-U-T-T-T-D-F2-D you've been beaten to a pulp. Still, they're more easily achieved than those in the Amiga port of Street Fighter 2, for instance. In fact, the Mortal Kombat influences are apparent throughout: Fatality moves, gore and digitised graphics. I suspect Probe took a few liberties with the conversion so they could make better use of their experience with the Mortal Kombat games. This is no bad thing, though; the Mortal Kombat games were great. A major pain is that the game comes on four disks and although it does recognise a second disk drive, it can't be installed to a hard drive and there isn't yet a WHDLoad or JST patch. The number of disk swaps is kept to a minimum but obviously you can expect to be shuffling them around a fair bit and it does break up the flow of the game. I'm not a huge fan of the beat-`em-up genre, but I really enjoyed this game. There are a plethora of combos and special moves to discover for the hardcore fans and the basic moves and simpler specials are all easy enough to use to make it playable for the casual gamer. All in all, a worthy game. When an HD installer turns up it will be just about perfect.