Ah yes. If I was going to start this thing off, I wanted to start it off on a good note! Now for those who don't know me (and that's about 99% of you guys) I am a HUGE Godzilla fan. I just love the big G, I was practically raised on him. With that in mind, I have always considered the games based upon him to be somewhat lackluster.
And now for History class. Godzilla first arrived in 1954 in the Ishiro Honda film, Gojira. In it, Godzilla was depicted as he (almost) always is: a mindless killing machine on a rampage through Tokyo japan. While this basic premise sounds old and tired today, this was new at the time, and this film wasn't treated like some B horror film. The aftermath of Godzilla's raids were frighteningly reminiscent of the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is hardly a coincidence since Godzilla himself was born of Nuclear radiation. He is a walking Allegory for nuclear war, something which has stayed with him in one form or another throughout the years.
Godzilla has already had numerous games, on numerous consoles from the NES to the Wii, but almost none have captured the true feeling of Goji himself. From sidescrolling beat-em up, to real time strategy game, to fighting game, godzilla is no stranger to numerous genres in the industry, but many of those games, if not all, fell short of the behemoth.
Firstly, and maybe most importantly, the aesthetics of the game. If the tone and look of the game is pinned down early on, the gameplay mechanics should follow suit in a natural and organic manner. Godzilla is a spectacle, no matter what medium he is in. When you look at a game he is in, you should be amazed. To illustrate what I'm trying to say, take a look at the next two images:
Now, which one has a more powerful atmosphere and hits the viewer harder? If you picked the second one, or can't tell the difference, then I feel very sorry for you. I'm not saying the game should have the same style as that first picture, but it should have the same level of attentuion and respect that it has. Perhaps the visual style should emphasise the sillhouette of Godzilla, rather than concentrating on all the details. This could help suspend the disbelief of the gamer by masking the limitations of whatever gaming system this game would be on, while also keeping the mood of the game consistant. Imagine, a person's eye view, looking up between the skyscrapers, and seeing the massive sillhouette of godzilla against the sunset, with only the glow of his fins and eyes breaking his form. Such a visual would look good in both night and day sections of the game, while more realistic shading would make daytime godzilla look... a little dopey.
Another smaller issue is the style of the big G himself. One thing that has become saddeningly common is the style and colorization of Godzilla in all recent games. Rather than update Godzilla's ever changing look, his most recent games choose to only use his more "American Friendly" look from "Godzilla vs Megaguirus" back near the turn of the century. Now, I'm not knocking his look in that film, but that is the one and ONLY time godzilla has ever been green. The look like the one in "Godzilla Unleashed" above is used because it plays into Western pop-culture's view of godzilla. A big, bright, green dinosaur. Sorry, but that's got to stop. Godzilla is Charcoal grey, and has mammilian traits, along with his more prominant reptilian traits. That color scheme and visual look, I personally believe, will allow godzilla to be taken more seriously than the green
and [color=indigo]purple[/color] dinosaur. But, like i said before, it's an overall minor issue.
The plot. This one should actually be pretty simple, since this game would most likely be a reboot to the story. I think it should start all over and set the story in 1954 japan, with an overarching allegory regarding nuclear war, or even just war in general. Now, such a theme is fairly popular in games today, with many a war game or shooter having the undertones of "war is hell". however, what will make this different, I believe, is that you, the player, will be able to see the story from the part of the japanese citizen, as well as godzilla. It's simple and will feel natural to any die-hard Godzilla fan, as well as most nnewcomers I believe. I won't go into specifics on the plot, but that's because it's flexible enough for others to work with and extrapolate upon. This is just a basic feel I want to see in the game.
Music will be simple. Get Akira Ifukube and Koh Ohtoni to do the soundtrack and it'll all be good. Akira Ifukube has been with Godzilla sincde the begining and is responsible for many of the franchise's classic tunes. Koh Ohtani, however, is the acclaimed creator of the soundtrack to "Shadow of the Colossus", and his style would easily suit Godzilla. Also, he has been involved with godzilla before, when he scored "Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidora: Giant monsters all out attack!!" back in 2004, so he isn't coming out of the blue here.
Now for the REAL nitty gritty. The gameplay. Now, one thing that should be established forst, is that I see this game as being a 3-d action/ adventure game, with the story being mission, or chapter based. This is because, as stated above, the story will move back and forth between Godzilla and the Japanese. Now I know what you're thinking, "But I want to be godzilla ALL THE TIME!!!". I'll admit, who doesn't? But in an a game like this, Godzilla would be mostly just fighting the japanese military (and maybe a monster? who knows). While this can easily be fun, it could also become tedious, so it would probably have to be broken up with "people sections".
However, that doesn't mean it won't have Godzilla in those sections too. You could control godzilla in the city at one point, then maybe control the human protagonist(s) in a vehicle as they try to escape the rampaging monster. That way, you get two different types of game (action/ driving) but all godzilla! And it doesn't have to be just escaping. Maybe you could control a soldier trying to stop godzilla with a tank or jet. Maybe gozilla will have underwater missions (he is aquatic). What I'm trying to say, is that this game should not limit itself with its own gameplay. If something feels like it would belong in the game, it should be in there.
The controls need not be complicated either. For vehicles it's just the classic Accelerate, stop and turn, and maybe an action button if needed. For the Big G however, I belive his parts of the game should be based upon strategy, in order to keep it from devolving into a mindless button masher. Maybe only a few attacks will be available, like a melee move and his breath. It seems simple, but if the two moves are made versitile enough, and if the levels are set up more like "puzzles" than simple " destroy point A to point B", then a rich and fullfilling game could be made.
But what's that? what's Godzilla without monsters to fight? Well, to be honest, he's still godzilla, for this game he may not need them. I invision this hypothetical game as being the first in a short series, and therefore would work as an origin story. Monster and such could be added in later games, since to many, they are the selling point of any new godzilla related media.
But if it must be, I would think that Mechagodzilla is the only monster that needs to be introduced at first. He would most likely be made by the humans, and could allow for further variations upon the gameplay. But as I said before, I think Goji can stand alone for this first one.
Well that's all I've got for now. This is my first real article, and it's probably loaded with typos, but I fuinally got it done! If you have any ideas for future topics to cover, let me know in the comments or PM me, and I may cover it!! (BTW, I'll be sure to credit you for the idea!) I just hope all you guys at Destructoid enjoy the fruit of my labor, and tune in as I continue to DO IT WITH FURY!!! read