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Lunabean's Primal Review

Primal
Buy Primal
Strategy Guide: LB Strategy Guide
Lunabean Rating: 8.0
Platforms: PS2
Release Date: 03.25.03
ESRB Rating: M - Mature
Official Site: Primal
Purchase Game from Amazon.com: Buy it now!
Still Stuck?: Lunabean's Forums
Online Play: No

Review


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Primal is a story-driven, puzzle/fighting demon game where you play as either Jen, a "hybrid" half human half demon who can switch into any of 4 demonic forms, or, Scree, your gargoyle partner who can drop ropes, refill your energy and climb walls. You can switch back and forth between characters at any time (with a few exceptions).

Together, you must overcome the power of the evil lord of Chaos, who is throwing the 4 demonic worlds into, well, chaos. You accomplish this by fighting various enemies and solving many puzzles.

In each of the four worlds Jen takes on a certain form. The first of which is Ferai. In this form, she is like Wolverine from X-Men with long claws which she uses for swiping/slashing attacks. The second form is Undine form. This is the water world of Primal. In this form, Jen is basically a mermaid with one hell of a whip attack. The third form is Wraith form. Kind of an undead/zombie like form which allows her to slow down time and move instantly. The final form is Djinn form. This is the fire world and Jen gains a long fire sword, or, fire daggers. She can switch between them and does a ton of damage with the long sword.

There are a good amount of movie sequences in this game, and, that could get annoying, but the voice acting is so well done that you do actually get involved in the storyline and the constant bantering of Jen and Scree. The game also allows you to skip the movies if you want at any point in the movie if you do get annoyed.

Gameplay is fairly intuitive and does a good job of keeping things interesting. Unlike fighting games, like Onimusha where you fight fight fight and enemies keep regenerating, Primal offers a moderate amount of fighting. When fighting (only Jen can fight), you automatically lock onto the nearest opponent, enemies don't regenerate, some enemies need a "finishing" move, and, you can draw energy from dead enemies. All of this works to keep you busy and interested in managing you energy, providing a nice second layer to this game.

The first, layer, of course, being exploring and puzzle solving. As you can probably guess, you need to use both Jen and Scree to accomplish various puzzles. For example, in the water (Undine) world, Jen had to swim through various gates that Scree had to open. Therefore, you would switch back and forth between the two to get Jen where she needed to go. In other cases, Scree would have to step on a switch, while you, as Jen, went through the door the switch raised. The puzzle solving in the game is really nothing new. If you've played games like Wind Waker, Resident Evils, Banjo-Kazooie, etc, then you know what to expect. But, don't get me wrong, they are well done and challenging.

Graphics and loading times are above average for a PS2 game.

All in all, Primal surprised Allison and me. We didn't think we'd like it and we didn't think it would be very long. But it was quite a long game, was well organized, had good characters and voice acting, and was fun to play.

-Jeremy


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