|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|
The graphics in Godzilla Unleashed are decidedly last gen. The visuals look like they came from a game at the beginning of the PS2's life cycle. The monsters animate so stiffly that at times it is difficult to discern what it is they are doing, and the framerate seems to jump randomly. The buildings that you pick up look more like painted boxes than actual edifices. There is no feeling of the scale that the game is attempting to convey, so although you are supposed to be controlling giant monsters fighting across a cityscape, you actually feel as if you're controlling plastic figurines traipsing across a toy city. The buildings have almost no feeling of weight and collapse as if they were nothing more than paper cutouts. The human presence in the game is neglible, with military attacks that are nearly unnoticeable, although again that may be intentional.
The sounds in Godzilla are not memorable at all. The background music is largely forgettable and the sound effects during gameplay don't seem to match the epic battles occurring onscreen. Even worse is the atrocious voice acting that accompanies the between battle cutscenes, with bad dialogue and sorry acting. Since the game is world spanning, you'll hear obviously English voice actors attempting various accents with varying degrees of success, although they are all, for the most part, far from Oscar worthy.
One of the game's biggest assets is its impressive roster of monsters. Godzilla Unleashed boasts 23 playable monsters throughout the game, so if you have a favorite, chances are you'll find them represented here. Toho, the original creators of Godzilla, even approved a few new monsters that are exclusive to this title. However, the drawback to the number of monsters is the lengths that you go through to unlock the monsters. You'll have to play through the game to earn credits to unlock monsters, and the number of credits that each monster costs ensures that you'll have to play through the game for a long time. Even worse, before you can unlock a particular monster, you have to unlock the faction that that monster belongs to. After unlocking a faction, you can play through the story mode using the initially unlocked monsters from that faction, but the more impressive monsters require credits to play as. Using different factions to play through the game changes the story and the objectives slightly, but it amount of credits per monster is a bit steep and feels like a cheap way to increase the game's length.
Beyond the story mode, there is a multiplayer mode that supports up to four players in combat with the unlocked monsters. Of course, the use of four human players at a single time can make the fighting a bit messy, with the screen pulling out to show everyone when there is a great distance between players and zooming in on combat when everyone is close. However, with the camera zoomed in it can be difficult to follow the action, as the monsters can block the view of the field at inopportune times.
Godzilla Unleashed is not the best fighting game available by far. Its sole redeeming quality is the incredible number of monsters that are available in the game. Fans of Godzilla may find that to be a refreshing tribute to the icon, but they must decide for themselves if that is reason enough to purchase the game. There is a Wii version that will be available shortly, however, which may prove superior to the PlayStation 2 version. Fans eager to get their hands on this game may want to hold out for the Wii version, which we will be reviewing shortly. Hopefully the Wii, which is more powerful than the aging PS2, will be able to improve upon the visuals and present a better control scheme. However, if you aren't a fan of Godzilla and can't tell the difference between Ghidorah and Mothra, you'd probably do better to stay away.
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director