Bring It Back: Bloody Roar

Drew Dietsch

Bloody Roar was my jam. I’ve never been very adept at fighting games but Bloody Roar was the exception. It was part of the 3D fighter boom that happened in the wake of Virtua Fighter and Tekken. The thing that set Bloody Roar apart from its peers was its gimmick of transformation. Every character was a zoanthrope, a being able to transform at will into a beast form. You could do this in the middle of battle – even in the middle of a combo – and it would increase the damage you dealt by a significant margin. But most importantly, it was just plain cool.

Bloody Roar – originally called Beastorizor and known as Bloody Roar: Hyper Beast Duel in Japan and Europe – was something of a cult hit when it launched in 1997. Thanks to being included on PlayStation demo discs (remember those?) through Pizza Hut, lots of kids got hooked on this unique fighting game. The series was popular enough to spawn a number of sequels on PlayStation and PlayStation 2. There was even a sidequel that was released exclusively on GameCube and Xbox. Since my brother had a GameCube, I made him buy this entry because I was obsessed with the franchise. The cool character designs and the great flow of combat kept me hooked. I stayed with the franchise until the lackluster fourth entry.

But, after that, the franchise died. There hasn’t been a new game in almost fifteen years. That’s a shame because this is a series that deserves to be brought back.

Why We Need A New Bloody Roar Game

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In all honesty, fighting games are not quite the big deal they used to be. Back in the ’90s, the advancements in gaming development tech made fighting games look more and more advanced. The excellent art of Street Fighter II and the use of real-life models for Mortal Kombat gave the genre an edge in terms of presentation. As fighting games moved into the world of polygons, their specialness began to diminish. Granted, there are plenty of good (even great) fighting games that get released and the communities that love this genre will always stay strong.

However, there isn’t a whole lot in the market that makes these games feel special. A Mortal Kombat game has to resort to adding in horror icons like Jason Voorhees and Leatherface in order to keep certain fans interested. The majority of other fighting games like Marvel vs. Capcom or Injustice: Gods Among Us rely primarily on character recognition. There isn’t really a current fighting game series that stands on its own particular merits.

And that sense of freshness is one of the biggest reasons a new Bloody Roar would be great. To be fair, it is an established property and that will attract certain fans (*raises hand*), but it’s also a chance to completely reboot the franchise. If Killer Instinct can do it, why not Bloody Roar? It’s an opportunity to introduce a new generation of fans to the series in a fresh way while also delivering plenty of fan service to people like me.

Even if nothing happens, I hope this will get some gamers to go back and play the Bloody Roar series. There’s so much potential to create a new game that could very well be the best in the entire franchise.

And I calls dibs on Bakuryu.

bloody roar bakuryu
This mole is not one to mess with.
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