For those of you who've read some of my movie reviews you already know I'm a huge Kaiju eiega fan. Giant Japanese rubber monsters have always fascinated me ever since I was a kid. If I had one wish it would be to turn into a gigantic fake looking dinosaur with a heat ray at will so I could stomp the human race out of existence like ants in a furiously awesome genocidal buffet of kaiju asskicking.
Unfortunately this game does little to satisfy the killer kaiju urge in me. It's Godzilla, so it's not totally lame, however it takes Godzilla and Mothra and puts them into a confusing side scroller thats just too disconnected from the movies. The plot is the same plot that every Godzilla game seems to have, aliens have invaded the Earth and instead of just wiping us all out with their advanced technology somehow they think it's a good idea to brainwash local monsters to do it for them instead. Kind of like outsourcing the invasion to save money for the alien stockholders or something. Anyway somehow Godzilla and Mothra are the only two good guy monsters left, and have to walk left to right and blow stuff up until they save the Earth.
You start with an overworld map in which you can move a limited number of squares, with the eventual goal of trashing the alien base on each level. This actually adds a little strategy as you can choose to run away from the enemy monster if your health is low. Once you choose a square you have to complete a side scrolling level in which spaceships, mutant birds, and Mantango mushrooms attack you. They look ok, but have black bounding boxes around them for the most part, kind of like they were cut and pasted without erasing around the edges first. The enemies attack in the usual 8-bit patterns that aren't too hard to figure out. Think average side scrolling shump but with Godzilla.
You can choose either Godzilla or Mothra (in a 2 player cooperative game player 1 is always Godzilla.) Godzilla can punch, kick, do tail swipes, or shoot the radioactive beam (which needs to charge up to be effective.) Mothra can shoot lasers and drop poison powder from her wings, and can fly around the whole stage. The two characters are unbalanced. Godzilla is practically invulnerable to the petty generic enemies that attack him and can pretty much just walk though every level punching everything without taking much damage while Mothra seems to fly into the dirt every time she's hit. Mothra always was a whimp in the movies anyway.
At the end of the level you end up fighting another Toho Kaiju before you get to the alien base. These fights are a little more exciting as the evil monster can actually kill you for a change but they're not too hard. In the first levels they consist of you hitting the A button three or four times before they die but in later levels you actually have to like, dodge and stuff. The fights take place in a black neither world without any background. To compensate the sprites are large and detailed (but have crappy animation for the most part.) Plus the evil monsters seem to be the crappy kaiju of the Toho universe. You get to fight Ghidorah and Gigan, but Mysterians Mogurea? Varan? He was only in like one movie. Gezora from YOG? He's not even a real Godzilla monster. I doubt most non-Godzilla people are even familiar with these characters.
Come to think of it the game isn't very balanced. Godzilla just bulldozes through stuff without much problem in the earlier levels but around level 4 the game decides you've had enough fun and decides to start fighting back. At that point you have to fight tooth and nail for every single inch of ground. A more gradual increase in difficulty would have been nice.
It's away's nice to have a Godzilla game with a decent amount of monster buttkicking. Too bad they always have to put some type of dumbass adventure element in with it too. Godzilla games should consist of you as a giant monster crushing buildings and nonchalantly walking on crowds of fleeing people while engaging in hardcore ass-stomping Kaiju beatdown. Any Godzilla game that deviates from this formula is asking for trouble.
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