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Game info

Primal Rage

Primal Rage
DeveloperProbe Software
PublisherTime Warner Interactive
Reviewed byndial
Primal Rage is a unique fighting game between prehistoric creatures, developed in 1994 for the arcades and ported a year later to the Commodore Amiga (ECS/AGA), PC (Windows), Panasonic 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).
Primal RageA meteor struck the Earth, and caused great chaos. Seven gods (creatures) from ancient times awoke, and are now attempting to take control of the post-apocalyptic world. These creatures have otherworldly or supernatural abilities and each is said to represent a different aspect of nature, as in life and death, fire and ice; and they are considered to be a "god" of their respective sphere.
Primal Rage is a traditional two-dimensional fighting game in which two players select characters (monsters!) to battle each other in one-on-one combat, or a single player finishes a campaign of fights against the CPU over increasing difficulty. The final battle of the single player game consisted of fighting all the other CPU monsters.
Gameplay is OK, but the Amiga port had to be playable even with a one-button joystick, which makes playability too hard. Surely not as good game as Mortal Kombat series but still a decent fighting game. Unfortunately, the amount of animation frames had to be drastically reduced, and this was a real drawback to the quality of the game which was pretty much impressive (and famous) for its characters animation.

The original coin-op was a pretty big success as well as the console conversions (being very popular) but there was always some doubts about the viability of the game on Amiga. The amount of animation frames had to be drastically reduced, the colors had to be also drastically reduced. Having an Amiga with only 1MB of RAM was not enough, thus the game runs only on 2MB Amiga (ECS or AGA). The plan was to cut it down by about 28MB of data, with animation frames going from 900 to 250 and colors from (say) 256 to 32 here! I would expect to support the enhanced AGA chipsets (aka Amiga 1200 etc), offering more colors and bigger memory support so that, most of the original details to be included. Despite those reductions, the game looks pretty good, and sprites are (still) nicely animated. Fighting occur in nicely animated post-apocalyptic backdrops. While fighting, human tribesmen will wander nearby and worship their gods during battle whist lava in volcanoes comes from deep in the earth and so on.
Sound is good, offering several sampled SFX along with a few catchy tunes taken from the original.
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Intro/Menu music:  In-game music sample:
Gameplay sample
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+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
The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
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