torstai 8. marraskuuta 2012

REVIEW - Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters | NES | 1991

GENRE(S): Strategy
RELEASED: February 1991

After their first 8-bit Godzilla game turned out a bomb, Toho started working on a game starring Rodan, one of their most popular daikaiju creations besides Godzilla. However, virtually nothing was known about this character outside Japan, so Toho ended up making another Godzilla game instead - one that's completely different from the Godzilla - Monster of Monsters! game, but still called Godzilla 2. Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters, to be exact. And it stinks. From end to end.

There goes Tokyo

Japan is under a large-scale attack by a group of monsters from outer space, spearheaded by the one known as Godzilla. The Self-Defense Forces are on the move against the alien menace.

"Dad! Dad!"
"What is it, son?"
"I found this really cool-looking game! Buy it, pleaaaaaase?!"
"...Are you sure you want *this* game? Remember, you'll only get one game this whole year."
"Yeah, yeah, look! It's got Godzilla on the cover, and he's blowing shit up! It's gonna be an action game for the ages!"
"OK, son..."
"You're the best, dad!"

A couple of hours later:

"I fuckin' hate you, dad."

First things first.
This is just the kind of game that made Nintendo kids hate their parents, as well as their parents' judgement. So, once I heard of a dad who bought Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas to his seven-year old son thinking that it was "a nice little driving game". That's plain stupidity, but in the 8-bit era, parents made errors in judgement because all they had was the vague box art. Nothing to tell them what the game was really about. No disclaimers, no ratings, not much advertising. Just the vague box art of, say, Godzilla looking down at a burning Tokyo, and by the looks of it, smiling. The back cover highlights the action screens, not the screens on which 90% of the game takes place. The summary does tell us what kind of a game it is, but back in '91, this summary might've been a little tough to understand, since there weren't a whole lot of turn-based strategy games on the NES. Why? 'Cause the damn thing was not made for them. So, first of all, Nintendo kids of the past, it was not your dad or mom's fault that you got a bad game in nice and misleading packaging. It was the developers'. Secondly, it was YOU who wanted that particular shitheap of a game due to that nice and misleading packaging. Thirdly, I hope you hung on to this particular shitheap of a game, 'cause it sells for nearly 200 bucks on eBay. If you can't sell it, burn it. Releases some nice colours when scorched, I hear.

The graphics are simply horrible across the board, and it doesn't come as a huge surprise or letdown, but the music is in a sphere of its own when it comes to purely sucking - it could at least suit the atmosphere! Luckily you can turn in-game music off, but that doesn't spare you from the theme song, which is just as badly sequenced as the previous game's basically catchy title tune, but a horrible song as well. It sounds like something from a licensed platformer - hard to imagine a devastating intergalactic war set to this cheery, generic melody.

Gee, thanks Doc! Now tell me: where to get an
A-BOMB? Where to get a trailer? How to "load"
the trailer? Doc? Doc?
Not only is this game ugly, it's plain incomprehensible. So, even while the back cover promises something else - not anything good, though, as it looks just about the weirdest one-on-one fighting game ever, with tanks and monsters getting it on - it's indeed a turn-based strategy game. Turn-based strategy is generally a little bit closer to my heart than real-time strategy, but I don't love it either. If something like this had made its way to my 8-bit box in '91, I would have avoided this genre like the plague, and missed out on masterpieces like Worms due to the description alone.

You have basic military vehicles at your disposal, and many scenarios to choose from. The basic agenda's always the same, though: prevent a huge monster from blowing some waypoint to shit. You'd think I mean Godzilla, but he's just the name to get this shit to sell - he's actually just one of the seven aliens attacking Japan, none more common or strong than the rest of 'em. Everything you do seems a wasted opportunity, and all the scientists meant to help you with "tactical advice" speak common 8-bit gibberish, extremely vague hints, or come out with it honestly: "I can't help you." I like honest people.

I'm not wasting any more time with this fluff. You want to try it, go ahead and make your own judgement. To not beat around the bush any longer or question game developers' "vision", Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters is one of the most terrible wastes of 8-bit cartridge capacity I've ever seen.

+ The cover art...

- ...And how it betrays
- Looks and sounds exceptionally horrible
- Incomprehensible and tedious gameplay
- Every option besides a straight-on attack is useless - and even that doesn't seem to count for much

< 1.4 > 

...Oh yes, and before I forget. Since I'm moving on and leaving the rest of the Godzilla reviews to a later date, perhaps the next episode of Monster Mash, here's something to end this part of the Godzilla-thon on a positive note. One of the greatest rock classics of all time, "Godzilla" by Blue Öyster Cult - enjoy.


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