Developed by: Eighting
Published by: Activision
Feeling Like: Eye of the Tiger
This one definitely holds a special honor on the 500. I toyed with some entries for an hour or two, others hundreds and a select few even reached thousands of hours of gameplay. Some are that deep; they’ll reel me in and refuse to let go. I’m a different person when I eventually stop, hopefully for the better. Memories of epic and grand locations, triumphing with friends across the planet and perfecting my hand eye coordination beyond what I thought possible.
I played Bloody Roar: Primal Fury for 15 minutes in a crappy tent at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, BC.
What kind of sample size is 15 minutes? Maybe it would work if you’re reviewing the first chapter of a book. If you’re only watching 15 minutes of a movie, you probably walked out. How could I possibly hold this much affinity for a fighting game that I played alone, once, while seeking refuge from the rains of the Pacific Northwest in a big tent that smelled worse than it had any right to?
Easy. His name is Shenlong.
The Bloody Roar franchise is a series of one on one fighting games, with a style similar to Tekken or Dead or Alive. The ultimate difference being, of course, that you can change into an anthropomorphic animal halfway through fights and kick incomprehensible amounts of ass.
And Shenlong, (my boy, as Wilbon & Kornheiser would say) can transform into a tiger.
Boy howdy, do I love tigers. From Hobbes, to Tigger, to Shere Khan, to Marcalo De’Unnero the Weretiger, nearly every instance of tigers in both fiction and nonfiction hold a special place in my heart.
I mean, sure, there are other characters, but why would you care? One can turn into a bunny rabbit or an elephant or a bat. I didn’t care. Once I built up my animal meter, with the press of a button, I could transform into a murderous, claw swiping, teeth gnashing, tail whipping, kung fu tiger. I often did it in mid-air, resulting in a terrific looking dash attack that would kill somebody in real life outright due to how awesome it looks.
I’m tempted to put this game hundreds of spots higher, but I really only did play a dozen matches before my cousin dragged me off to go on another rollercoaster ride. I’m not one for thrill rides, especially when all the excitement I need is right here in this…ew, gross, that’s definitely not water next to the kiosk, yeah let’s go.
There’s a reason countless tales of fiction and video games rely on animals to spice up the recipe; they’re almost always awesome. They’re natures superheroes! Gorillas can punch a hole in concrete, common swift birds can fly for 10 months straight, sperm whales can dive past 3000 feet and tigers can spout philosophy, bounce better than anybody, prevent the mancub from reaching his village, attempt to kill Jilseponie numerous times and are the largest cat species on the planet. They live alone, can weigh up to 700 pounds, take out prey fives times bigger, and can leap out of enclosures and kill zoo patrons.
Do not fuck with tigers.
Unless you’re Shenlong the Tiger Warrior, the undisputed champ of Gamecube’s first traditional fighter. While it doesn’t look like much, consider that Bloody Roar: Primal Fury runs at a super smooth 60 frames per second, includes wrestling moves, the ability to keep beating on a knocked down opponent and being the best Animorphs video game possible.