Godzilla Unleashed Review
PS2 | Wii | DS
Godzilla Unleashed box art
System: PS2,Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Pipeworks Software 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Atari 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 20, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
King of the Monsters

by D'Marcus Beatty

Godzilla is one of the most iconic monsters in the world. The misunderstood giant green lizard is recognizable and beloved around the world. Where else can you find a giant, green, super-strong monster devoted to protecting the earth? Okay, not counting the Incredible Hulk. Godzilla's appeal and his epic battles to protect the world make him an obvious fit for a translation to video games, where he and the dozens of monsters made famous by his movies can clash and entertain fans. While the recently released Godzilla Unleashed attempts to convey the monster's appeal to video games, their admirable attempt fails to create an experience that is deserving of Godzilla's prodigious allure.

Godzilla Unleashed screenshot

Godzilla Unleashed begins with the discovery of mysterious crystals that have the ability to empower the gigantic monsters that populate the Earth. The story mode of the game revolves around the different factions of monsters and their quest to recover the crystals, which some of them to unpredictable results. The different factions all have different agendas, so they clash in their pursuit of the crystals. This sets the stage for the monsters to battle. The story isn't incredibly important, nor is it especially compelling, although most fighting games don't require much depth. Like most games, all that is needed to know is that your opponents stand in the way of your goal and that you must take them down.

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The bulk of Godzilla Unleashed is spent in combat. You begin the game as part of the Earth Defender faction, which gives you access to Godzilla, Anguirus, or Fire Rodan. The game gives you a cutscene which introduces the conflict through poorly written dialogue and then places you in an environment where you must battle against opponents from the various factions. Here is where the game falls short in a number of areas, and since the bulk of the game takes place in combat, the entire game feels a bit unpolished.

Godzilla Unleashed screenshot

To begin, the control scheme is a very unintuitive. Your monster is controller by the analog stick, but all of them move sluggishly. This may have been done intentionally to convey their bulkiness, but slow controls in a fighting game, where reflexes can make or break the match, is usually the kiss of death. The attacks are mapped to the face buttons, and throwing, jumping, and energy attacks are performed by using the shoulder buttons. The controls may have worked better for a different game, but the slow moving characters onscreen make it difficult to figure out which button corresponds to which attack, especially for people used to more responsive gameplay. To add insult to injury, the priority seems a bit random, so in close combat Godzilla Unleashed devolves into random button mashing to beat your opponent. The loser is often knocked away from the combat in a floaty arc, where they finally collide with the ground and then roll for an unnecessary length of time before becoming battle ready again. The A.I. makes the energy attacks nearly useless, as they block as soon as you begin to charge an energy blast. Since you can only charge for so long before releasing while the block is indefinite, they seem to block any energy attack that isn't performed while they are otherwise occupied, such as when they are carrying a building to attack you with. The energy attacks aren't very useful anyway, since if you aren't pointed in the direction of your foe you'll fire blindly at whatever object is in front of you until you exhaust your attack, leaving you open for attack. The collision detection is also unreliable, so it is difficult to tell when your attacks should be used. Most of the time it is simpler to complete other objectives when they are available, since in some battles you can win by completing another task like destroying the stage's crystals. Since the battles aren't fun, it is easier to trek about the stage smashing the crystals instead of fighting the opponent, which will probably be busy with your ally on select stages anyway.

Godzilla Unleashed screenshot

Screenshots / Images
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