Review: Godzilla Unleashed

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There are times when being a reviewer is painful. Godzilla: Unleashed is probably my most painful moment. Why? Why abuse the Godzilla license in such a way? I am, admittedly, not a big Godzilla fan, but I know enough about the series to realize such a game definitely does not do him justice.

From the poor, near PS1 quality, graphics and crappy animation to a weak ‘Story’ and the sad realization that you seem able to pass a stage whether your character lives or dies (doesn’t seem to matter if the enemies die, either), this game can be summed up by asking: Why was it made? I have played many fighting games, including monster-fighters from King of the Monsters on Neo Geo to War of the Monsters on PS2. Unfortunately for those two great games, Godzilla: Unleashed is in the same genre. This game simply tarnishes the entire monster-fighter genre. The developer of this game made Godzilla: Save the Earth as well, which was much better, so it’s definitely perplexing to compare the two.

In addition to bad graphics/animation, sluggish controls, poor collision detection, and stifled sound effects, you get plenty of slowdown. How awesome! This game would be an awesome deal, if it came with money inside that totaled more than what you paid to own it. Oh yeah, the generic rock music is pretty awful and it plays NON-STOP! For fans of the original music by Akira Ifukube, be prepared for even more disappointment – his music is nowhere to be heard!
For the ‘Story’, you get a little blurb about what’s going on in the area you select and, sometimes, some lame, still pictures (complete with cheesy voice-overs!) that reveal details from the human’s perspective. Whatever ‘cinematic’ you get, it’s not at all intriguing.
You can earn points in various ways, tallied at the end of each stage (the story still progresses if you die ? what the hell?!? – I know I mentioned this before, but I want to make it very clear how bad the design is). Up for purchase are factions, concept art, and videos that you can see for free when you first load the game. When factions are purchased, you can use the unlocked characters in Story or Brawl mode. What a waste of time!
I didn’t bother to try the Brawl mode, which is an up to 4 player free-for-all. There’s no way I’m going to subject any of my friends and/or crew members to this nonsense!

But wait, there are some good points:

  • You can actually choose Japanese dialogue (with subtitles, if you fancy them) for the ‘cinematics’, though they are hardly cinematic in either language, especially since the voices and sub-titles are off cue a bit.
  • Some combos are interesting, though they are so poorly animated and executed that it detracts greatly.
  • You win even if you lose ? Anyone can be good at this game in seconds! Wait…that’s not a good point!
  • Godzilla (and the other monsters) have their original voices in the game! Wow..
  • Knowing you can turn off your PS2, take this game out, and put in any number of stellar titles instead!

In closing, unless you are a collector of all that is Godzilla, good and bad, then I’d recommend steering very clear of this game. Even if you are a collector, this game will likely be the portion of your collection that has the most dust on it!

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