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Platform

GameCube

 

Genre

Fighting

 

Publisher

Infogrames

 

Developer

Pipeworks

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q3 2002

 

 

- Godzilla fans will wet their pants

- Great graphics and sound

- Good for those new to the genre

- Homage to the classic Rampage

- Pick-up and play control

 

 

- Godzilla fans will wet their pants, but who will clean it up?

- Fighter purists might be put-off by the accessible controls

- Four-player battles lose sense of scale

 

 

Review: Super Smash Brothers Melee (Gamecube)

Review: X-Men: Next Dimension (Gamecube)

Review: Virtua Fighter 4 (Playstation 2)

 

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Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee

Score: 8.7 / 10

 

Fight fans will argue with me till they’re blue in the face.  The may say Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee (DAMM) lacks depth and isn’t as good-looking as other fighting games such as Dead or Alive 3 or Capcom vs. SNK EO.  Blue in the face, I tell you, because I haven’t had this much fun with a fighting game since… well, it’s been a long, long time.

 

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I have to admit an affinity for Godzilla and practically every movie he has ever appeared in – except the awful Godzilla (set in New York) that came out a few years ago – so actually getting to strap on the most famous rubber suit ever, is like a dream finally made real.

 

There are six fighting modes to choose from: Versus (1 or 2 players), Adventure, Survival (1 player), Melee (2 to 4 players), Destruction and Team Battle (3 to 4 players).  Destruction is probably my favorite as it recalls the classic Rampage – where city destruction is more important than taking on the opposition.  But you’ll be playing Adventure mode the most since it’s the only way to unlock the full roster of monsters for use in the other play modes.

 

The list of monsters includes King Ghidorah, Destroyah, Rodan and Mechagodzilla.  In total there are 11 monsters (not including Mothra and Hedorah who only make cameos), so even though it might seem a cheap way to extend replay value (making you plough through the Adventure mode multiple times) it’s worth every effort.  Fortunately, the AI isn’t over-punishing without being a push over – basically, it’s a challenge but not overly so.

 

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Adventure mode offers a “story” highlighted with a group of over-the-top alien invaders that have taken control of the monsters as part of their master plan of world domination.  It’s flawlessly delivered and also leaves a sequel all but guaranteed.

 

The fighting aspect should appeal more to the button-mashing amateur as the controls and combos are much simpler than most fighters, but more experienced and nuance-loving players will also find something to 

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love.  (There’s the basic assortment of throws, kicks, punches, tail whips, and blocks accented with special moves and combos.)  Each monster has a different set of attributes that can provide an advantage and disadvantage during combat.  Rodan may be able to fly but a quick shot of Atomic Breath will bring him back to Earth.  Mechagodzilla may be a thundering terror but he’s also slower than most characters.  Another variable is the roaming UFO that drops off random power-ups that can restore health, give you Rage power (and access to your special move), energy and the Mothra Airstrike.  If that weren’t enough, small buildings can be leveraged and heaved at your opponents.  Nothing is quite as satisfying as clocking someone with an apartment block as they charge up their “beam” attack, except maybe picking them up and hurling them into an office tower or the Space Needle then putting the “boots” to them.

 

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Each environment is fully (and gloriously) destructible.  The graphics are fantastic!  Equally so for the animations.  At times the movements are entirely man-in-a-rubber-suit like and the small touches like the human military effort to stop the monsters are impeccably done.  And because no Godzilla experience would be complete without massive roars and electrical chaos, Pipeworks has nailed them.  DAMM is one great looking and sounding game.

 

Does Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee have enough to offer you and your friends?  You should probably know by now.  Although it might be termed an “entry level” fighter by purists, DAMM has too much to offer to ignore.

 

- Omni

(November 13, 2002)

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