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November 20, 2007



- Godzilla and friends are a crowd favorite

- Four-player brawls



- Framerate and technical problems like a twitchy camera, especially during four-player matches

- Big lumbering monsters make for some slow fights and will frustrate the hardcore crowd



Review: Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee (XB)

Review: Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee (GC)

Review: Earth Defense Force 2017 (360)



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Godzilla Unleashed

Score: 6.0 / 10


In my review of Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee for Xbox, it sounds like I'm jumping up and down out of pure joy.  That was four years ago.  Now I'm playing hopscotch by myself.


godzilla unleashed          godzilla unleashed


With the advantage of retrospect, Destroy All Monsters Melee (DAMM) has been the high-point of Pipework's Godzilla games.  It almost makes me wonder why they needed to revisit the big lizard when they nailed it the first (technically second) time out.  Unleashed is a shadow of what we got with DAMM -- there are framerate problems to point of distraction, especially during fights between three or more monsters, the graphics are blocky and uninteresting (aside from the crudely drawn still cutscenes which remind me of Space Quest 5's art style), and controls that have been the same for the last four years.


There are two different modes of play: Story and Brawl.  The story mode follows what happens after some alien crystals fall to earth and send the resident (and 




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non-resident) monsters into a tizzy.  Like the previous Godzilla games, the environments are destructible, something the player is encouraged to explore since the game rewards you with credits for doing so.  Other actions during a bout will also grant you credits for spending at the in-game store to "buy" concept art, extra characters, and the usual rabble of game extras.



Each fight is a slow process, which is actually something I like about Unleashed.  Fans of the genre, those that munch on the rapid fire action of Tekken, Virtua Fighter, Soul Calibur and Street Fighter, will have to fight the urge to snap the controller in two.  These are big lumbering creatures and there's the real feeling of size but the speed and insane combo strings are often left wanting.


godzilla unleashed          godzilla unleashed


Pipeworks included a new faction system, which separates the monsters into four categories, each with a different set of generalized behaviors.  So, if Godzilla 2000, as part of the Earth Defenders, starts leveling a city during a three-way fight, if there's a Mutant in the mix, like Destroyah, it will actually ally with Godzilla 2000 because Mutants like destruction.  But it will also bring the wrath of any Global Defense Force monsters, like Mech-King Ghidora, because the GDF doesn't take kindly to monsters destroying their cities.  In making use of this feature, some matches can actually be turned into a round of spectating.  You destroy the city while the other two computer-controlled monsters whack away at each other. 


I'm positive that some of my enjoyment is the direct result an immense amount of nostalgia; Godzilla is one of my favorite things.  At some points it feels really good to be controlling Jet Jaguar and thumping Destroyah into submission or hurling a building at a "turtling" enemy.  There are moments like this, but it's offset by the frustration I often felt as the titans smashed each other seemingly through molasses and having the camera flip around to create a brief moment of "Where the hell am I?"  Sometimes nostalgia isn't enough.


- Omni

(December 7, 2007)


NOTE: Though it doesn't have four-player support, Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee for Xbox is playable on Xbox 360, thanks to the magic of backwards compatibility.


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