This game has
been a long time in coming. I may be showing my age here, but I remember
a time when the coolest thing a kid could do on a lazy Saturday
afternoon was turn on the Superstation and catch a campy weekend
matineeJames Bond, Bruce Lee, or, if you struck gold, Godzilla.
Arguments over which monster was the coolest could carry on for days.
Yeah, Big G always won the fights, but cmon, those battles were rigged.
It could just as easily have gone the other way if one of the other
monsters had top billing, or if that interloper Mothra hadnt gotten
involved. Well, old-schoolers and newcomers alike can finally sit down
and settle those arguments with a Gamecube and a few controllers.
Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee is here.
has aliens trying to take over the Earth by unleashing Godzillas most
fearsome enemies to destroy the biggest cities on the planet. Fans will
recognize this as the same "plot" from Destroy All Monsters, the classic
cult film and basis for the game.
the story only serves as a good reason for all of the monsters to get
together and brawl. And brawl they do. Hows this for a roster:
Godzilla, Anguirus, Megalon, Godzilla 2000, King Ghidorah, Gigan, Rodan,
Mecha-King Ghidorah, Destroyah, and Mechagodzilla? Mothra even sticks
his nose, or antennae I guess, into the fray, though not as a playable
character. Each monster is able to fight using hand to hand and other
close range combat (teeth, claws, tails and the like), as well as
special moves and projectiles. All of the attacks are tailored to the
personality of the monsterAnguirus shuffles around on all fours, Gigan
swings his scythes, and Godzilla has a formidable reach with his tail.
The special moves are perfect as well. Godzillas trademark blue flame
is here, Megalon digs underground, King Ghidorah flies and spits
play out on top of six different cities and the infamous Monster Island.
Each city is divided into two or three sections (North Seattle, South
Seattle; Tokyo, Tokyo 2, and Tokyo 3), so there are actually eighteen
different levels in all. During the course of battle, the cities are
demolished realistically with real time physics. Buildings cave in and
crumble, bridges fall, and flames erupt. It is wonderful. Monsters can
pick up various objects like radio towers, even certain buildings, and
throw them at each other. I just love jumping in the harbor and tossing
tankers at my foes. Also, human military forces will enter into the fray
to try to take the monsters down and save their fair cities. The humans
have several weapons at their disposal. Tanks and helicopters are mostly
just a nuisance, but the freeze rays can mess you up pretty bad in a
fighting game, Godzilla has limited appeal as a single player game. The
Adventure Mode is challenging, even on the default setting, but after a
few times through it just becomes a means for unlocking new monsters and
cities. There is a Survival Mode that will test your metal, and of
course all of the versus modes can be played against computer controlled
opponents, but the real fun is in the multiplayer games.
two-player versus mode thoroughly rocks. This is one on one monster
mayhem done right, and it will provide hours upon hours of enjoyable
gameplay. That said, however, this game is all about the Melee battles.
Your favorite monsters from the movies, destructible cities, human
opposition, and three of your buddies to duke it out withit is a dream
come true for Godzilla fans and the best reason so far to have four
controllers for your Gamecube. You can play in a devastating four
monster free-for-all that will leave the landscape in total ruin, in a
team battle, or a destruction contest where you compete to see who can
do the most damage to the city.
This game is
a bit of a button-pounder. There are buttons for punching, kicking,
jumping, and blocking, which are diversified by pressing the directional
stick. There is a rechargeable special meter that gauges your special
moves and projectiles. Power-ups appear throughout the battles. They
include health and energy power ups, rage icons that give you a
temporary edge as well as a devastating "rage attack," and the Mothra
AirStrike. When a player gets this power-up, Mothra joins the fight,
swooping in and attacking the other monsters. However, while this game
certainly doesnt have the depth of a game like Virtua Fighter 4, the
simplicity of the controls make it a great party game. A novice can pick
up one of the Cubes goofy controllers and join in with seasoned players
relatively smoothly. And each monster has enough personality and nuance
that players will develop personal favorites and distinct fighting
styles. There are no generic characters in this game.
and sound are spectacular. The cities are complete with detailed
billboards, street signs, landscaping, and rivers. The sense of scale is
dead on. The labyrinthine cities must be navigated by the monsters and
contain both large buildings to hide behind and sprawling suburbs to
trample. When a monster collides with a building it will shake, the
lights will flicker, and chunks may even fall off of it. And when a
building collapses, dust plumes and the fallout will take other
buildings down with it. The monsters are perfect in their look and
animation. They have that rubbery look and dead-eyed stare that fans
will recognize, but they are animated as if they are real. They even
have detailed facial expressions (snarl, glare, roar). All of the cheesy
special effects are in tact, with Godzillas classic roars and squeals,
King Ghidorahs wobbly heads and "doot-doot-doot" lightning. The music
is taken right from the movies. And all of the sound is rendered in
Dolby Pro-Logic II.
does have its foibles. Foremost, the cities have been divided up into
arenas. While the arenas are actually very large, they are quarantined
by a green wall that hurts you when you come into contact with it. This
can make for a bit of strategyknocking your opponent into the wallbut
it is also annoying and a bit goofy. The final battle against
Mechagodzilla in the Adventure Mode is stacked so unfairly in his favor
that it is cheap and just plain frustrating. You not only have to deal
with him, you must also break through a smaller arena filled with cannon
fire in order to get to the larger city where you stand a chance. There
is also a strange bit of business with player identification. Due to
licensing constraints (Toho is very strict about the use of its
franchise) the developers could not change the colors or look of the
monsters in any way. So, if two players pick the same monster they look
exactly the same. When they get close to each other, the appropriate
"P1" or "P2" icon will appear above their heads. Still, it can be
confusing in melee battles. Not that I have a better solution.
Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee is entirely too cool. From the
moment the opening screens came up showing Godzillas thundering
footsteps and a man stopping in the street to point and yell "Godzilaaaaa!"
I was hooked. They captured the colossally cheesy nature of the classic
films perfectly and yet still managed to make it work in an effectively
modern way. This is one of those games that just has to be played. The
only distinction I would make is between party gamers and solo players.
If you are a solo player, rent it and have your fun while it lasts. If
you are a party gamer pick up a couple of extra controllers and buy this
game. It is an instant classic, and will surely become a standard in
your multi-player rotation.