home > review > Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee Review (GC)
GamesFirst! Online since 1995
ups: Your favorite monsters; destructible cities; great graphics and sound; intense multiplayer action; Melee Mode is a dream come true.

View Image Gallery || Get Prices

Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee Review (GC)
game: Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee
four star
posted by: Jeremy Kauffman
publisher: Infogrames
developer: Pipeworks Software
date posted: 09:10 AM Mon Dec 16th, 2002
last revision: 12:10 AM Tue Oct 25th, 2005

This game has been a long time in coming. I may be showing my age here, but I remember a time when the coolest thing a kid could do on a lazy Saturday afternoon was turn on the Superstation and catch a campy weekend matinee-James Bond, Bruce Lee, or, if you struck gold, Godzilla. Arguments over which monster was the coolest could carry on for days. Yeah, Big G always won the fights, but c\'mon, those battles were rigged. It could just as easily have gone the other way if one of the other monsters had top billing, or if that interloper Mothra hadn\'t gotten involved. Well, old-schoolers and newcomers alike can finally sit down and settle those arguments with a Gamecube and a few controllers. Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee is here.

The story has aliens trying to take over the Earth by unleashing Godzilla\'s most fearsome enemies to destroy the biggest cities on the planet. Fans will recognize this as the same \"plot\" from Destroy All Monsters, the classic cult film and basis for the game.

Of course the story only serves as a good reason for all of the monsters to get together and brawl. And brawl they do. How\'s this for a roster: Godzilla, Anguirus, Megalon, Godzilla 2000, King Ghidorah, Gigan, Rodan, Mecha-King Ghidorah, Destroyah, and Mechagodzilla? Mothra even sticks his nose, or antennae I guess, into the fray, though not as a playable character. Each monster is able to fight using hand to hand and other close range combat (teeth, claws, tails and the like), as well as special moves and projectiles. All of the attacks are tailored to the personality of the monster-Anguirus shuffles around on all fours, Gigan swings his scythes, and Godzilla has a formidable reach with his tail. The special moves are perfect as well. Godzilla\'s trademark blue flame is here, Megalon digs underground, King Ghidorah flies and spits lightning.

The battles play out on top of six different cities and the infamous Monster Island. Each city is divided into two or three sections (North Seattle, South Seattle; Tokyo, Tokyo 2, and Tokyo 3), so there are actually eighteen different levels in all. During the course of battle, the cities are demolished realistically with real time physics. Buildings cave in and crumble, bridges fall, and flames erupt. It is wonderful. Monsters can pick up various objects like radio towers, even certain buildings, and throw them at each other. I just love jumping in the harbor and tossing tankers at my foes. Also, human military forces will enter into the fray to try to take the monsters down and save their fair cities. The humans have several weapons at their disposal. Tanks and helicopters are mostly just a nuisance, but the freeze rays can mess you up pretty bad in a close battle.

Like any fighting game, Godzilla has limited appeal as a single player game. The Adventure Mode is challenging, even on the default setting, but after a few times through it just becomes a means for unlocking new monsters and cities. There is a Survival Mode that will test your metal, and of course all of the versus modes can be played against computer controlled opponents, but the real fun is in the multiplayer games.

The two-player versus mode thoroughly rocks. This is one on one monster mayhem done right, and it will provide hours upon hours of enjoyable gameplay. That said, however, this game is all about the Melee battles. Your favorite monsters from the movies, destructible cities, human opposition, and three of your buddies to duke it out with-it is a dream come true for Godzilla fans and the best reason so far to have four controllers for your Gamecube. You can play in a devastating four monster free-for-all that will leave the landscape in total ruin, in a team battle, or a destruction contest where you compete to see who can do the most damage to the city.

This game is a bit of a button-pounder. There are buttons for punching, kicking, jumping, and blocking, which are diversified by pressing the directional stick. There is a rechargeable special meter that gauges your special moves and projectiles. Power-ups appear throughout the battles. They include health and energy power ups, rage icons that give you a temporary edge as well as a devastating \"rage attack,\" and the Mothra AirStrike. When a player gets this power-up, Mothra joins the fight, swooping in and attacking the other monsters. However, while this game certainly doesn\'t have the depth of a game like Virtua Fighter 4, the simplicity of the controls make it a great party game. A novice can pick up one of the Cube\'s goofy controllers and join in with seasoned players relatively smoothly. And each monster has enough personality and nuance that players will develop personal favorites and distinct fighting styles. There are no generic characters in this game.

The graphics and sound are spectacular. The cities are complete with detailed billboards, street signs, landscaping, and rivers. The sense of scale is dead on. The labyrinthine cities must be navigated by the monsters and contain both large buildings to hide behind and sprawling suburbs to trample. When a monster collides with a building it will shake, the lights will flicker, and chunks may even fall off of it. And when a building collapses, dust plumes and the fallout will take other buildings down with it. The monsters are perfect in their look and animation. They have that rubbery look and dead-eyed stare that fans will recognize, but they are animated as if they are real. They even have detailed facial expressions (snarl, glare, roar). All of the cheesy special effects are in tact, with Godzilla\'s classic roars and squeals, King Ghidorah\'s wobbly heads and \"doot-doot-doot\" lightning. The music is taken right from the movies. And all of the sound is rendered in Dolby Pro-Logic II.

The game does have its foibles. Foremost, the cities have been divided up into arenas. While the arenas are actually very large, they are quarantined by a green wall that hurts you when you come into contact with it. This can make for a bit of strategy-knocking your opponent into the wall-but it is also annoying and a bit goofy. The final battle against Mechagodzilla in the Adventure Mode is stacked so unfairly in his favor that it is cheap and just plain frustrating. You not only have to deal with him, you must also break through a smaller arena filled with cannon fire in order to get to the larger city where you stand a chance. There is also a strange bit of business with player identification. Due to licensing constraints (Toho is very strict about the use of its franchise) the developers could not change the colors or look of the monsters in any way. So, if two players pick the same monster they look exactly the same. When they get close to each other, the appropriate \"P1\" or \"P2\" icon will appear above their heads. Still, it can be confusing in melee battles. Not that I have a better solution.

In all, Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee is entirely too cool. From the moment the opening screens came up showing Godzilla\'s thundering footsteps and a man stopping in the street to point and yell \"Godzilaaaaa!\" I was hooked. They captured the colossally cheesy nature of the classic films perfectly and yet still managed to make it work in an effectively modern way. This is one of those games that just has to be played. The only distinction I would make is between party gamers and solo players. If you are a solo player, rent it and have your fun while it lasts. If you are a party gamer pick up a couple of extra controllers and buy this game. It is an instant classic, and will surely become a standard in your multi-player rotation.

Jeremy Kauffman (12/16/2002)

Click images for larger version

Click for larger. Click for larger. Click for larger. Click for larger. Click for larger. Click for larger. Click for larger. Click for larger. Click for larger. Click for larger. Click for larger.