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Review: Godzilla

Jul 14 // Jordan Devore
Godzilla (PS3, PS4 [reviewed])Developer: Natsume Atari Inc.Publisher: Bandai Namco GamesMSRP: $59.99Released: July 14, 2015 Half an hour and several levels in, I wasn't sure Godzilla could really be hurt, much less die. That's not an inherently bad thing, as he's supposed to be tough, but I wondered where the challenge was. A few hours later, I found it. Godzilla is far too easy except when it veers into overwhelming, unfair, not-fun territory. Then it becomes a boring battle of attrition against the same old kaiju. A lot of frustration lies in the controls. You use L1/R1 to turn Godzilla, which is weird at first but eventually feels fine. He's got a forward-charging attack (that you'll frequently use given his normal plodding pace), a standard three-hit punch combo, a heavy tail whip, and atomic breath. The latter needs to charge up before you can fire it, but the cooldown isn't terribly long, especially with upgrades. Aiming, however, is a total nightmare; you don't have exact control over it. Say you want to shoot down a helicopter. You'll need to position Godzilla close to it -- but not too close! -- and line up his body. Next, you can turn the camera to confirm his head is more or less tilted in the correct direction. Now fire away and hope that a) the helicopter hasn't moved and b) the blast doesn't just hit the ground. That's my best strategy and it's not even consistently successful. Thankfully, it got me through the aggravating fights in which you're forced to take down a kaiju while multiple aerial vehicles (Super X, X2, and X3) come close, shoot you, then zip away. [embed]296005:59509:0[/embed] For some baffling reason, there's no blocking in the traditional sense. While Godzilla's roar acts like a block to an extent, initiating it is by no means instantaneous. You have to know in advance that an attack is imminent or you'll be too late. There is also this odd invincible dodge move, but it runs on the same gauge as your atomic breath, so it's often unavailable when you need it most. The end result is a slow, awkward fighting system that effectively recreates the movies but is annoying in practice. Although your attacks can and will be interrupted by strings of combos, you can't always interrupt your enemy's moves. To that end, I stuck with Battra whenever and wherever possible (Versus, King of Kaiju, etc.) -- the moth is quick, easy to control, and cheap. The main mode, God of Destruction, is something out of an arcade game. Levels are tiny, bland, and feature the same goal: destroy the generators. That's the focus. Generally, you'll also need to fight a monster, work within a time limit, or both. As you blow up vehicles and buildings, you'll earn points that fuel Godzilla's growth. There's a multiplier to encourage you to move quickly from structure to structure. By the end, he'll be about twice as big as when he first came ashore. Branching levels give you control over which kaiju you engage as well as the overall difficulty. You're meant to replay this mode several times to see all of the (super-light) story and unlock characters, but environments are so similar, so unengaging. I've literally punched hundreds of generators to death. There are variations on God of Destruction that have you invading as another beast, or defending as a protector like Jet Jaguar or Mothra. The format doesn't help. The game's extensive character upgrade system requires even more replays. Godzilla has quite a few moves that are locked until you can find and defeat specific monsters, some of which appear under mysterious circumstances. King of Kaiju mode's six quick back-to-back fights help with gathering resources, but tied to such repetitious content, the progression system is flat-out awful. It was also disappointing to learn that the Versus mode for up to three players is online only. No split-screen support. There are Godzilla-obsessed fans playing, at least, so it's not a total wasteland. The only other bright spot is the Kaiju Guide, a collection detailing the playable creatures as well as quite a few not featured. I adored seeing old stills from the films and, sure, there is a certain appeal to playing as a bunch of these guys. But the feeling fades before long. A love of the movies can only get you so far when the experience is this frustrating and hollow. What a letdown. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Godzilla PS4 review photo
Better luck next time
This was supposed to be the game for Godzilla fans -- an authentic adaptation that captured the look and feel of the films. In some ways, it is. There's a satisfying cast of playable characters including Mothra, Destroyah, an...

This could be the Godzilla game fans have always wanted

Apr 15 // Jed Whitaker
Godzilla (PS3, PS4 [tested]) Developer: Bandai Namco EntertainmentPublisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment Release: July 14, 2015 Fans of the classic Godzilla movies will be pleased, as the development team at Bandai Namco Entertainment has focused on making the new game as close to the original films as possible, and it has mostly nailed it; the monsters feel huge and lumbering, the cities crumble and the fights are epic, camera angles mimic the look and feel of the original movies. Buildings exploding is especially on point, as it looks like the fake, firework-esque explosions from the original Japanese films. The presentation of Godzilla as a whole is really impressive. When I first laid hands-on with the PS4 version of the game I was confused. The left stick makes Godzilla walk forwards or backwards, but the right stick only rotates the camera. After investigating the cardboard instructions stuck to the demo television I was surprised to find that the shoulder buttons, L1 and R1, are used to turn Godzilla slowly left and right. At first I was perplexed. "What a stupid control scheme" I thought, then after smashing through a few buildings and starting a fight with Ghidorah it finally clicked. The turning mechanic mixed with the cinematic camera makes you feel like a giant fucking monster and it is the first Godzilla game I've played that achieves this. [embed]290478:58183:0[/embed] Godzilla isn't the only playable monster as every monster in the game is controllable, each with its own variation of the story. Radio communications by humans during the battles paint a story of destruction and desperation. Each stage has an objective, typically destroying specific buildings, but while doing so can lure up to two other monsters for battle where the game keeps a surprisingly solid 60 frames-per-second. Monsters include Mechagodzilla, Destroyah, Jet Jaguar, Mothra, Mothra Larva, Gigan, Biollante, Hedorah, and more. Even Space Godzilla made it in as one of the exclusives for the PS4 version. The game will be launching this July for PS4 at retail and PS3 via digital. The PS4 version isn't just a direct port of the PS3 game as it has more monsters, an exclusive multiplayer mode, and the ability to battle two monsters at once. Those who preorder the PS4 version will receive Hollywood Godzilla, or the Godzilla model from the recent film, as DLC. If you've been waiting for the defining Godzilla game, this might be the one.
Godzilla goes old school photo
Hail to the king, baby!
I've dabbled in Godzilla games since the NES game Godzilla: Monster of Monsters, a game that for some reason took place in space; Mothra and Godzilla fought monsters and literally kicked rocks in this fondly remembered title....

Godzilla toy photo
Godzilla toy

NES-era Godzilla immortalized as an action figure


You can bend his tail, but I wouldn't recommend it
Mar 20
// Jordan Devore
NECA is on a roll with these videogame-inspired toys, though admittedly Godzilla looks a bit like he's decked out in camouflage here. The 6" figure is modeled after Godzilla: Monster of Monsters, and it comes packaged in a cool faux-weathered box based on the NES game's cover art. It's expected to ship in July 2015, and pre-orders are open for $21.99. Don't make eye contact. [Via Super Punch]
Godzilla photo
Godzilla

Namco's Godzilla confirmed for PS3, PS4 in the West


Summer 2015
Dec 05
// Jordan Devore
Each new trailer for Bandai Namco's Godzilla PS3 (and now PS4) game has looked better than the last but I didn't want to get my hopes up knowing it was only confirmed for release in Japan. I mean, I did anyway, but everything...

Godzilla PS3 photo
Godzilla PS3

Jet Jaguar looks like a real pain in the ass in Godzilla


Still only confirmed for Japan, damn it
Nov 20
// Jordan Devore
Am I going to have to import this Godzilla game for PlayStation 3, Bandai Namco? (Psst: That's your cue to announce its localization.) It's out in Japan on December 18, so ... Nothing? Waiting indefinitely for the game to po...
Godzilla photo
Godzilla

This is the Godzilla trailer I've been waiting for


Releasing in Japan on December 18 for PS3
Sep 26
// Jordan Devore
It may not be technically impressive, but like Brittany, like Elliot, I say that's okay -- it's Godzilla! Frankly, I'm just happy to see this project exist even if, for now, Bandai Namco is bringing it to Japan only. This tr...

Godzilla: Walking in the shoes of the king of monsters

Sep 18 // Elliot Gay
Despite my not-so-great history with Godzilla games, I rushed toward the Bandai Namco booth at TGS to get my hands on the latest title. The demo was about ten minutes long, and I played as Godzilla in what appeared to be some kind of power plant or oil refinery. I was tasked with destroying as much of the area as possible, all while fending off military attacks and annihilating defense structures. After a brief appearance by Super X (of Godzilla 1985 fame), King Ghidorah appears on the island as the final boss of the demo. The whole experience was relatively short, but it gave a good indication of what the various missions might feel like. More than anything else, what stuck out to me the most in my time with Godzilla was the authenticity of every sound effect, piece of music, and monster animation. Much to my surprise, rather than composing original generic themes for the game, Akira Ifukube's legendary music tracks have been utilized. There's something empowering about watching Godzilla stomp around to his own memorable theme. Even the sound effects appear to have been taken straight out of Toho's vault. King Ghidorah's cackle, the sound of his energy beams, and even the maser sound effects are 100% accurate to what fans of the series know and love. The two giant beasts in the demo have been modeled and animated lovingly, with little touches like finger and mouth movement standing out the most. This feels like Godzilla, and that simple fact helped to elevate the whole experience. It's safe to say that they were going for nostalgia, and it works.  Controlling Godzilla wasn't difficult, but it took some getting used to. The left analogue stick on the Dual Shock controls G's primary movement, while the L1 and R1 buttons rotate him left and right. Square button is the basic arm attack, and moving the analogue stick while attacking resulted in a wide-reaching tail swipe. The triangle button fires off Godzilla's signature breath attack, while the circle button is used for grabs and throws. The X button functions as a charge/dash attack. I was impressed by how weighty the monster felt, especially compared to some of the older 3D Godzilla games. You can feel each step, each hit, and each fall; this is no high speed character action game.  It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows though. While the city destruction felt and looked great most of the time, Godzilla has some major slow down problems when too much is happening onscreen. At one point, I used the breath attack to lay waste to a set of buildings, and the game struggled to keep things moving at a decent framerate. Additionally, the textures on some of the environments and buildings weren't too hot. This wasn't immediately noticeable while playing, but during some of the in-game cutscenes it was certainly a bit jarring. The two PS3s running Godzilla froze multiple times while I was waiting in line, so I'm crossing my fingers that that won't be an issue in the final game. I came in with low expectations, but I walked out of my time with Godzilla both hopeful and excited for the final release. The world needs more games about playing as giant monsters, and this looks like it might fit the bill. Hopefully the recent film's success can convince the folks up top to give Godzilla a chance in the west.
Godzilla preview photo
Weighty and janky, just how I like it
Fun fact. When I was a child, my mother sat me down in front of Godzilla films and subsequently burned them into my brain. As a result, I ended up learning Japanese and moving to Japan as an adult. It's not a stretch to say t...

Godzilla photo
Godzilla

I'm still excited about that new Godzilla game, and these screenshots show why


Looking pretty awesome, honestly
Aug 08
// Brittany Vincent
Remember that new Godzilla game that everyone seems to think will fail? I'm still interested, because Godzilla. And since the Blue Öyster Cult saw fit to write a song about Godzilla, everyone knows you should pay attenti...
 photo
Will the big lizard be localized?
The King of The Monsters is stomping his big dumb lizard feet all over the Playstation 3 this winter, but only in Japan. Bandai Namco hasn't really given us much else to go on for this game. Will it come out in the west? No idea, but the recent Godzilla movie from Legendary Pictures did pretty well, so who knows.


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