Ever since I first saw Jurassic Park on the big screen, I wondered what it would be like to play a dinosaur fighting game. Forget tiny humans, I wanted to take a Tyrannosaurus Rex into battle and literally chew on my enemies. It's an idea that practically writes itself, what could possibly go wrong? Primal Rage is proof that sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for.
Based on the 1994 novelty arcade fighting game, Primal Rage pits monstrous dinosaurs against each other in order to win worshippers. Think of it as Mortal Kombat meets Jurassic Park. In fact, Probe is the same company that brought Liu Kang, Raiden and the whole gang of Mortal Kombatants to the Genesis.
The gameplay is simple enough, featuring four attack buttons and plenty of special movies. Players can even perform a finishing move at the end of the match, further humiliating their opponent. One such finisher involves the player literally peeing on their downed foe. This perfectly represents the level of sophistication found in Primal Rage.
Mortal Kombat was able to get away with a lot of its juvenile antics by masking everything in a thick fog of mythology. Those games always hinted that there was more just under the surface. You don't find any of that in Primal Rage. There's no real motivation to be found, outside of winning over worshippers. There aren't even endings when you beat the game. It's just you picking a dino and fighting. That's it.
None of the characters are especially easy to control and I often found the moves difficult to pull off. I also found myself uninterested in the character designs, none of which stand out in any meaningful way. In the arcade, Primal Rage was able to stand out with its ferocious visuals and incredible backgrounds. This Genesis port looks more like a cave painting of Primal Rage's former glory.
With only a few characters to choose from and horrible graphics, I find it impossible to recommend Primal Rage. What wasn't especially strong in the arcade is made even worse thanks to shoddy development and questionable cuts. On the other hand, this is the only 16-bit version of Primal Rage that lets you pee on your opponent.