Format: GameCube Genre: Fighting Released: 2002 Developer: Eighting
I have fond memories of this game, partly because of how I came to own it.
I was doing work experience at CVG at the time, where my responsibilities mostly centred around taking the odd screenshot and tidying up the games cupboard. Thankfully though, after I’d been there for a while the editors started letting me handle the more important stuff: like filing the competition entries and recategorising the photo library.
I won’t lie to you, it wasn’t exactly a thrilling job. And to make matters worse, I was actually losing money every month – I didn’t get paid for my time at CVG, and my part-time bar job wasn’t even covering my bills. But the prospect of actually writing for a games magazine kept me hanging around, and eventually my patience paid off. Sort of.
Mole versus elephant - wonder who's going to win this one?
The publisher decided that the magazine was going to be bundled with a free tips book every month, and they decided to give me the job of compiling it. Unfortunately though, this wasn’t a case of me playing through dozens of fantastic games and scribbling down my carefully considered directions on how to complete them. Instead, I was given the unenviable task of trawling through hundreds of pages of html code from a tips website owned by the publishing company, then painstakingly extracting all of the code artefacts and knocking it into something resembling English.
But on the plus side, I had my name in the front of a book AND a big ol’ cheque for 150 quid. My months of hard work had (almost) paid off.
The humiliation of being smacked around by a bunny. Fail.
So what to do with my new-found wealth? Did I use it to pay off my mounting debt? Or perhaps spend it on some more exciting and nourishing food than the baked beans and economy pasta I was subsisting off at the time?
Of course not. I spent it on a GameCube.
Several months previously, one of the first GameCubes to arrive in the UK had landed in the CVG office, and ever since then I’d been coveting it. I seethed with jealousy when the writers were each given a GameCube of their own FOR FREE (b*****ds!), and I drooled over news of the games that were in development: Metroid Prime, Zelda: The Wind Waker, the Resident Evil remake… Actually, I remember when the preview code for Resident Evil came in – it was one of the few games that stopped all work in the office (along with Ico).
As you'd expect, most rooftop battles end with one of the protagonists giving the pavement below a close inspection.
However, when the GameCube was finally released in the UK, the launch games weren’t exactly mind-blowing: the lack of a Mario game was a big disappointment (Luigi’s Mansion didn’t quite cut it for me I’m afraid), Wave Race: Blue Storm was fun but not exactly innovative, and Super Monkey Ball got pretty dull after a while (with the exception of Monkey Golf, of course).
The one game that really stood out for me was Bloody Roar: Primal Fury. Not only did it look fantastic, it gave you the opportunity to turn into a mole and lay the smack down on an elephant. And those kinds of opportunities seldom come up.
The guy on the right turns into a chameleon - an unlikely fighting animal perhaps, but surprisingly effective.
So, once my cheque had cleared, I proudly marched down to Virgin Megastore and bought myself a GameCube with a copy of Bloody Roar, which was the only GC game I had for a loooooong time – mostly because I couldn’t afford to buy any more. But did I get bored of it? Nope. In fact, I still had Bloody Roar right up until the time I passed on my GameCube a couple of years ago, and I was still playing it even then.
I never did get a job at CVG. Eventually a writer position came up but, to my utter dismay, they gave it to the other work experience guy (who, to be fair, had loads more experience than me and actually remembered to bring his portfolio to the interview). But at least I had Bloody Roar.
Obviously, a job would have been better, but Bloody Roar was pretty good anyway.
(Screenshots from http://www.mariocube.nl; cover from http://www.mobygames.com )