|System: Wii, PS2, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Pipeworks||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atari||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 5, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by D'Marcus Beatty
Godzilla, the giant green lizard protector of Earth, is a name that is known everywhere. It would be probably be hard not to have had some experience with the mutant lizard. The epic battles of Godzilla against other giant monsters should naturally translate to gaming, especially considering the potential for destruction and carnage. Godzilla Unleashed for the Wii is a decent attempt to capture the essence of the Godzilla films, but while the game mainly succeeds as an action title, it falls short as a fighting game.
Godzilla Unleashed tells the story of an uprising of the various giant mutant monsters on the Earth, caused by the mysterious crystals which cause differing effects in the mutants. The monsters are somehow drawn to these crystals, seeking to harness the power for themselves, and humans are also seeking to retrieve the crystals for self-preservation, since the crystals seem to cause the monsters to gain strength and act out in unpredictable ways. There are different factions opposing one another in pursuit of the crystals, including the Earth's defenders, the human-created robotic monsters, and mutants. Your choice of which faction you represent and what monster you choose changes the story slightly and increases replayability, but for the most part the story is largely forgettable and should be ignored. The narrative is conveyed through still illustrations with badly acted voiceovers. For example, an Australian calling for help sounds like an American badly affecting an Australian accent with the occasional 'mate' thrown in for good measure. The voice acting and storyline are definitely not the best part of Godzilla Unleashed.
The vast majority of the game revolves around the combat, which is feels flawed from the beginning. Each monster has a limited repertoire of moves, which includes a punch, a hard punch, a kick, a hard kick, a throw, and an energy attack. Some of the monsters have character specific moves such as the ability to fly. The basic attacks are performed with the press of a button, and the hard attacks are performed with the button press combined with a movement. During my gametime, I found it difficult to consistently perform some of the power attacks, so it seemed sometimes like a crapshoot as to what move I would use when attacking. The energy attacks, which seem to be some of the more effective moves in the game, require aiming that is difficult to focus, so whenever you use it you'll waste some of your time and limited energy simply aiming at your intended target. Finally the throw, which requires a downward motion with the Wii-mote and the Nunchuk, is also unresponsive at times, leaving the character open to all sorts of attacks while flailing to complete the throw animation.
As you progress through the game, you'll have to complete different objectives which usually include either defeating your opponent or destroying the power crystals on the stage you're currently occupying. However, the destruction of crystals probably should have been a secondary objective, as it is far easier than defeating your opponents and decidedly less fun. Sometimes there are more monsters occupying a stage than your opponent, so the target enemy finds themselves distracted by the A.I. while you stroll around the stage, destroying crystals at your leisure, which lacks both challenge and fun. Even more frustrating is the fact that the game lacks a map system or anything pointing you towards your objective, so you'll be forced to wander the stage in search of your crystals or guess which monster (out of a possible three) you've been charged to defeat.
As I stated before, the controls can feel unresponsive at times. Most of the characters move sluggishly, although that is likely intentional since we are dealing with monsters that are a few stories tall. However, sluggish controls do not translate well for a game based around fighting. If you approach this game expecting fighting, you will be very disappointed. If you approach this game looking for an action title though, you will likely find yourself enjoying a good number of the brawls, especially is you are a fan of Godzilla.