If ever there was a series that deserved a second chance, it’s Bloody Roar: an incredibly tight, well made, and surprisingly deep fighting series that blended elements of 2D fighters into a 3D fighter. Also everyone in it was a were-beast.
Unfortunately over the years it gained a reputation for being an “unbalanced button masher”. While this wasn’t untrue, it was no more of an “unbalanced button masher” than nearly any other 3D fighter out there. You cannot tell me Soul Calibur 2 is a better fighter than Bloody Roar: Primal Fury. They are, at the very least, equals.
The real issue with the series was it’s lack of an in-game movelist. Few people know how massive the moveset for any given Bloody Roar is (the first game had 200 moves per character and they’ve added more since then) and without proper instruction people tend to button mash. This, like in many 3D fighters, is more effective than it should be. However, a skilled player who really knows their character will always beat a button masher. But, without a movelist it is incredibly difficult to get good enough to be out of scrub territory.
Couple all of that with it’s lack of a competitive scene and Bloody Roar ended up gaining an incredibly bad reputation. I’ve even had people tell me that it was The Worst Fighting Game of All Time! That’s just insane!
You would think this would cause Bloody Roar’s developer, Eighting, to vanish. However, nothing could be further from the truth. You see, Eighting was asked to develop a Naruto fighting game for Gamecube, which they did using bits and pieces from Bloody Roar: Primal Fury. It became a smash-hit in both Japan and America through imports. Heck, the fighting community even declared it a legitimately good fighter despite being a dumbed down and even less balanced Bloody Roar! This alone speaks volumes. However, Eighting’s reign did not stop there. After making numerous sequels that further expanded upon the Naruto fighter, they went on to make many other licensed figters. Their repitouir included Zoids Struggle (Gamecube/PS2), Bleach: Heat the Soul (PSP), Full Metal Alchemist: Dream Carnival (PS2), Battle Stadium D.O.N. (PS2/Gamecube), Castlevania: Judgement (Wii), Kamen Rider Climax Heroes (PSP/Wii), Kenichi (PS2), Fate: Unlimited Blade Works (PS2/PSP), Tatsunoko vs Capcom (Wii), and yes even Marvel vs Capcom 3 (360/PS3). Eighting was one of the go-to companies for solid licensed fighters. Many of these games recieved good reviews* and some were even played competitively in major tournaments like Super Battle Opera and Evo.
With this in mind, it’s a bit of a shame that the game that started their fighting career in the first place had vanished off the face of the planet…or so we though. Hudson just announced on Twitter today that Bloody Roar 5 is in the works! While details thus far are scarce (including if Eighting is even involved or not, though I don’t see why they wouldn’t be). What we do know is that this is going to be a disc release on XBox 360 and PS3 and will supposedly feature the entire original cast. Presumably they mean the Bloody Roar 2 crew that comprises the “core” cast, so no clue if Fox, Nagi, or Chronos will appear though I definately have my fingers crossed.
Now, serious Bloody Roar fans might recall that a new Bloody Roar was announced and cancelled about a year ago. However, that was a PSN/XBLA release, presumably an HD re-release of Primal Fury. This, on the other hand, will be a disc release.
Regardless, I am filled to the brim with excitement. Perhaps now, after a long hiatus, Bloody Roar will finally get it’s much deserved second chance.