Let’s take a look back at one of the PlayStation earliest fighting game series’. No, not Battle Arena Toshinden. The other one. No, not Tekken, come on, the other fighting series. Yeah that’s ri– No, not Dead or Alive. You know, the one with all the animals and monsters and stuff. Yeah, that’s right:
Growing up I loved me some fighting games. After the release of the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo, I found a lot of enjoyment playing games like Street Fighter II: Champion Edition and Mortal Kombat with my brothers and our friends. It was pretty great learning new moves, seeing new, awesome combos unfold right before your eyes, and maybe sometimes you’d even pull of a super move or fatality!
After realizing fighting games were literally the best genre imaginable at the time, I remember looking for other fighters to sink my teeth into. Tekken lead to the way to worse and worse games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (I’m sure it’s good, it just wasn’t for me) and Brutal: Paws of Fury. Some games remained fun, like Clayfighter and Eternal Champions, but a lot were rentals at best (Tobal No. 1) and entirely avoidable at worst (Shaq-Fu).
But one game stood out to me. One game was definitely mediocre but somehow became the top of the pile of “meh” to reign as king. Only one game let you turn into a killer bunny to decimate your foe. There could only be one Bloody Roar.
Well, that’s not entirely true, as there are like, 5 Bloody Roars, two even on the original PlayStation. But ever since playing on the PS1 way back in the 90s, I’ve held the game close to my heart as one of my favorites.
Bloody Roar II was my favorite of the bunch. Not because it was the bloodiest, but rather because I just played it the most. I remember thinking how cool and novel an idea it was to be able to use what is essentially a super meter to turn into a badass anthropomorphic animal to straight up wreck your foes. Alice the Rabbit. Yugo the Wolf. Busuzima the Chameleon?! They were all awesome in their own right.
The combat and gameplay wasn’t all that bad. I think it peaked, at least for me, with the GameCube game Bloody Roar: Primal Fury (I see what they did there with that title). The battle system there just felt smooth, and the polygons were certainly better looking on the superior hardware. It made making your way all the way up to the boss, Cronos, super fun to play, only to be decimated by the boss herself (as one does in fighting game boss battles).
Sadly the game hasn’t really been around the past two decades. The last entry in the series was Bloody Roar 4 on the PS2, which I actually have yet to play. I don’t even own it, for that matter. In the world of fighting games, if your fighting system and mechanics didn’t offer a level of depth required to hold a tournament, you were left in the dust. Still, those that played Bloody Roar, I like to think had a good time. I mean, you don’t just have a series with multiple games on multiple consoles unless people enjoy it to some degree, right?
So what are your thoughts on Bloody Roar? Personally I thought the game was pretty great, with an equally ludicrous, albeit par for the course for fighting games, story to tie everything together. Fighting game stories, now there’s a topic to discuss at a later date. I don’t know if I would want a re-release or collected anthology, per se, but rather a brand new game in the series. Something to reinvigorate the franchise. I don’t think Bloody Roar 5 is going to turn any heads and show up at EVO or anything. I just want a fun game where I can turn into a mole-man and beat up on some tiger dude.
Is that really too much to ask?