Godzilla(R): Destroy All Monsters Melee - GC - Review
Destroyable cities modeled after real locations – check. Four-player mayhem – check. Godzilla – check. Godzilla: Destroy all Monsters Melee for the Gamecube has everything needed to be a successful multiplayer gaming event. Pipeworks Software did a great job as developer in creating a good fighting game using Godzilla characters. It all begins with an alien invasion. The aliens want to take over the world, and to do so they have brainwashed all of the monsters on Earth and are using them to destroy all of the major cities. They claim that none of Earth’s monsters are smart enough to break free of their control, but they are wrong. It’s your job to control one of the game’s twelve monsters and destroy the monsters that are attempting to take over.
At first, only three monsters are available to you: Godzilla 90’s, Anguirus, and Megalon. You then must beat the game with each monster to unlock the next. There’s even a hidden thirteenth character if you get good enough. Each monster is unique in its own way. Each has pros and cons, and they all have their own throws and special moves. For example, Rodan is excellent for a one-on-one battle. He’s quick and has the ability to fly, but he isn’t very strong and he quickly gets knocked out. These features make him a weak fighter when you have to battle more than one opponent. It all comes down to your personal preferences, and the nice thing is that all the monsters are very balanced. Every monster has its weakness, making all the fights seem somewhat fair. Mothra can even be summoned into the fight to back you up. There are exceptions, though, especially when fighting the computer.
If it is your first time playing the game, it would be a good idea to play on the easy difficulty setting until you get used to the controls. In the later levels, this game can get pretty hard. Fights will seem unfair at times, like the enemy knows what you’re going to do before you do it. Keep at it and you’ll realize that this isn’t so. Godzilla: Destroy all Monsters Melee just takes lots of practice. Beating the game over and over to unlock all of the characters can become a chore, though. On average, it takes about twenty minutes to beat it on medium difficulty.
To add more replay value, the developers actually make it worth your while to get good at the game. Instead of just constantly beating the game on easy mode, they reward the players that step up to the challenge of the medium and hard settings. While playing in the harder modes, you may notice an Atari logo floating above the wreckage of a recently destroyed building. Grabbing this will unlock one of the many pictures that can be collected in the Gallery section of the game. The pictures range anywhere from concept sketches to screenshots to add for the game. It’s really a cool way to keep the player interested in the game, and it makes you want to smash the buildings even more!
Destroy all Monsters Melee comes well equipped with cities to battle in. There are many real world locations, such as Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Tokyo, and many more. There are even two fictional locations: Monster Island and the Mothership of the aliens. In the versus modes, you can choose your arena, and then choose whether you fight during the night or day. During adventure mode, the arenas seem to be randomly chosen. Each city is densely populated with buildings, monuments, cars, tanks, helicopters, UFO’s, and anything else you can spot in the detailed maps. All of your surroundings can and will be destroyed. Certain objects can even be picked up and hurled at your opponent.
There are plenty of game modes to choose from, too. There’s the Adventure mode that acts as the game’s story mode. You fight each monster one at a time in a different city until you’ve destroyed them all and saved the world. Then there’s the classic Survival mode where you see how many monsters you can defeat in a row. Each fight you win rewards you with a small amount of health, and you see how long you can survive before using up all your health. In Melee mode, two to four players fight in a free-for-all fight. Points are allocated according to certain factors, such as number of knockouts, number of knockdowns, etc. Everyone fights for a certain amount of time, and then the player with the most points gets a win. The winner of the whole thing is the first player to fill his or her win quota. Team Battle works the same way, except teams are specified. In Destruction mode, players try to destroy the most buildings before time is up. The variety of the modes makes this a definite addition to anyone’s multiplayer collection.
At first I was skeptical, but once I started playing it, I got really into it. The controls, while clunky at first, seem to grow on you. The combos are cool and unique – no two characters have identical moves (except maybe Godzilla 90’s and Godzilla 2000). The interactive cities create an excellent background to the fighting, and being able to use elements of the background as weapons adds to the strategy and timing of attacks. Even if it weren’t based on Godzilla, this would be a great fighting game. There’s enough variety in the characters and modes to make this a great game. Granted, it isn’t as fun to play by yourself, but it has that arcade game magic. There are better fighting games out there, but they don’t let you destroy cities while you’re at it!
At first it can be frustrating trying to control these monsters, but soon you get used to it. Even after playing for a while it can seem like you don’t have complete control over them, though. It’s also difficult to fight more than one opponent at a time since it can be hard to tell whom you’re targeting. The fact that these giants have special moves and combos just makes this game a great fighting experience.
This game is like candy to the eyes. There is so much attention to detail, from the cars and pedestrians, to the damage done to the buildings. You’ll even slowly see the streets clear as the military comes in to save the day.
The music ties perfectly in the game; it feels as though you’re actually playing an old Godzilla movie. All the monsters sound like they should, and so do all the energy attacks. It just adds to the overall experience of the game, pulling you into an interactive movie.
Even with the difficulty set on Easy, the battles towards the end of the game were giving me a hard time. Sometimes it seemed as though the computer opponent would have an advantage over me. The higher I set the difficulty, the earlier I would get knocked out and use up my three continues. This game definitely takes practice.
Blending the ideas of old-school Godzilla and a four-person melee was an excellent idea. Throwing in destructible environments and the ability to summon Mothra just created a deeper more varied gameplay. And come on, how cool is it that you can pull off a three-hit combo with Godzilla?
This is why they made the game. There are plenty of multiplayer games on the Gamecube, but none of them let you duke it out with three of your friends as Godzilla and his many enemies in real cities. This is one to add to your collection if you’re a fan of multiplayer games.
Even though there are some bad things about this game; it creates a new fighting experience that many games like it have not yet done. The graphics are great and the gameplay, though a little sluggish, is just plain fun. If you’re a Godzilla fan or have lots of friends that like video games, this is great game to have.