By Louise Yang . November 30, 2007 . 4:33am
For a game that strives to capture the B-movie cheese of the original Godzilla movies, Godzilla Unleashed does a fine job, but is that good or bad?
Players can choose from a handful of monsters belonging to the Earth Defense Force with differing stats and attacks at the beginning of the game with other monsters being unlocked later. There are other factions in the game competing for the crystals with their own set of monsters. Of course, I chose to play as our favorite house-crushing monster: Godzilla. Well, Godzilla 2000 to be exact.
The story unfolds in between battles through so-bad-it's-good voice overs and static images. Apparently, a meteor shower on Earth is linked to strange crystals popping up all over the place. The battle agendas are vague but they range from "destroy a bunch of crystals" to "destroy the other monster." The main point is to wreak as much havoc as possible and crush a building or two on the way.
Like the low budget special effects of the original movie, the controls are sluggish at best. The monsters feel slow, lumbering, and clumsy which might be how giant monsters move but many times it's hard to tell if an attack even made contact or not. Collision detection is not one of the game's good points. It also doesn't help that the frame rate drops so low that you end up wondering if the choppiness was intentional or not. Maybe they want you to feel like a clumsy oaf.
Attacks that should feel powerful only come off as feeble thanks to the slowness of movement. Fighting a monster in close range is a crap-shoot since blocking doesn't work most of the time and knock-down attacks take too long to execute. Melee fights just end up being a "push X repeatedly" type of fight. Let's not even get started on energy attacks like Godzilla's laser fire-breath thing. It's great for knocking down buildings and all, but whenever it starts charging up, enemy monsters immediately go into a defensive blocking position and trying to shoot the laser at them proves futile.
Even if you were a die-hard Godzilla fan, it's hard to play this game for more than an hour just because the gameplay boils down to "attack everything and anything around you." If you're urging to have giant hedgehogs stomp over the Golden Gate Bridge, it might be worth playing but Godzilla Unleasehd is so hilariously bad that I can't picture anyone taking the game seriously.