Godzilla: The Game review

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One of the many games that I was looking forward to this year was the new Godzilla game from Bandai Namco. It had been years since Godzilla had a full-fledged video game, and since the release of Gareth Edwards’ 2014 film, fans of the legendary kaiju have been clamoring for a new one. Being a huge fan of Godzilla myself and having already spent countless hours on the mobile Godzilla game based on the movie, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Godzilla: The Game.

The game mainly focuses on the story mode called God of Destruction. Players can choose their path of destruction between Go Ashore, Invade and Defend. Each offers a different style of playthrough from destroying cities to defending them. Using the game’s branching story system, you can choose between Easy, Normal and Hard Difficulty. Each level has its own unique look and setting and features different monster that you unlock by defeating them. These characters can be used later in the game’s other modes and can be upgraded in Evolution Mode.

Regardless of what mode you choose, your main objective seems to center around the G-Energy Generators and the amount of destruction you cause to the city in each level. Depending on the amount of destruction you cause throughout, the levels will allow your Godzilla to grow in size and power in the Go Ashore Mode. In Invade you get to do something somewhat similar, but you get to choose between different era Godzilla and different Kaiju you’ve unlocked. In this mode the destruction you cause will only increase the powers of your monster.

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There are certain characters that you can only unlock by playing through with specific monsters, which means you will end up replaying the game over and over, and unfortunately there is not that much of a difference between the main story mode (Go Ashore) and the Invade Mode. I did find it fun to see how the other monsters handled compared to the main Godzilla in Go Ashore, and I have to say it was pretty fun being able to play as the new 2014 Godzilla or even the clearly way overpowered MFS-3 Type 3 Kiryu. Aside from a few monsters, it was fun to play as there is really no difference between missions, and the more you play the more repetitive it gets. Defend is a cool idea, but in the end it is the exact same missions as Invade and Go Ashore, only now you don’t have to destroy anything.

Aside from the modes, the gameplay can be also a little underwhelming as well. I love the destruction mechanics and how they were basically spot on with what you would see in any Godzilla film. When you and another monster are just throwing each other into buildings, it is nothing but a pure sight of beauty that could bring any Toho fan to tears. However, the fighting is incredibly unbalanced and the enemy A.I. at times can be down-right unforgiving. Having originally done the first playthrough with the game’s generic Godzilla, I was amazed by how much larger range of attacks the other monsters had compared to the G-man. You can unlock new abilities through Evolution Mode, but some Monsters come already stacked to the gills with offensive power.

In fact some of the battles I had in the game hinged on how well I could spam an attack. I especially had trouble with this problem battling Battra Larva and King Ghidorah. For whatever reason these two just seem to love spamming the same moves over and over, not even allowing poor Godzilla the chance to mount an offense. I would spend most of the matches using the “Emergency Dodge Button,” which was probably implemented specifically because of this problem with the A.I. The “Dodge” isn’t really a dodge at all, as it is an attack the will push the enemy away. I can’t tell you how many times I used this button in-game because the A.I. was so unrelenting that it kept cancelling out any attacks I would try to do. Unfortunately, this also transfers over to online battles as well.

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Aside from the shallow Story Modes and unbalanced fighting, this game does an exceptional job at being true to the source with many of the monsters. As a kid I must have watched Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla at least a hundred times, because it was one of the few VHS tapes I owned. Watching the game’s introduction of the characters was exactly spot on shot-for-shot from what I remembered from the movies. There are little details that Bandai Namco included that would make any fan smile, like the fact that if the disaster level is increased, you will begin to see more and more army units including those tanks in every Godzilla movie with the weird satellites on the top that shoot beams of electricity. Then there’s G-Forece’s Super X, Super X2 and Super X3, which will appear once the disaster level has reached its max. There is also a lot of attention to detail with the monsters. I absolutely loved when I completely blew off MechaGodzilla 2’s head, and he was still fighting just like in the movie, or that SpaceGodzilla can make giant crystals appear straight out of the ground and can fly. These are the little things that fans of the franchise will love, and it is just a shame that the game’s story and gameplay are not up to snuff.

Despite its flaws, I believe that there is enough in Godzilla: The Game to make this a must have. I don’t think this is something for casual fans, but the diehards will be able to find something in this game to enjoy. I still find myself playing this game after its review, even though I have almost all of the monsters unlocked. I still want to play just to unlock Jet Jaguar and see the hidden cut-scene. At its heart, there is a really great Godzilla game trying to get out. I can only hope that with this release, Bandai Namco will see that there is an audience for this game and will focus on bringing a much better offering down the road.

Rating: 2.5/5 Atoms

NR 2_5 Atoms - C-

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Mike Villarreal
Mike Villarreal 1360 posts

Mike once killed a man with a plastic butter knife. True story. #ViolentGentlemen