As Godzilla: The Game boots up and the horn section kicks into the iconic theme, I’m hurled back in time to rainy weekend afternoons spent jumping around on sofas watching the old Toho Godzilla flicks. And while it had been proven by War of the Monsters that a wonderfully enjoyable game can be wrought from the fighting kaiju formula, Godzilla shows up and merely stomps our hopes into a pile of atomic rubble.

The real issue isn’t that Godzilla: The Game has many outright problems. I think the most offensive thing might also be it’s headiest feat. You really feel like a colossal, lumbering monster. Mind numbing slothiness would not be the way to describe Godzilla’s finer moments, nor would it be the way anyone would describe Pacific Rim, one of the best kaiju-centric films of recent times. Honestly, I was all smiles going into Godzilla: The Game, but only about a quarter of the way through the forking God of Destruction campaign that magic had been G-forced out of me. As the one and only King of the Monsters you trudge out of the ocean and start to lay waste to poor, poor, coastal Japan. Hunting down three power generators to spur Godzilla’s growth is the prime objective. Along the way various G-Force operators speak at you with urgency and direct helicopters and tanks to stop you, but don’t provide much resistance. Occasionally, information gathering shots show the action from a different angle and will pop up if you properly do a thing at the right time.

Here I go again on my own.

Here I go again on my own.

As you maraud around the relatively limited city areas, flailing and shooting laser beams on your shambling trek to the generators, it’s hard not to notice the shoddy scenery. The short gameplay loop of Godzilla: The Game really does nothing to hide the games rough edges. The worst part? That it needs to be repeated an insane amount to unlock stuff across different monsters. What it amounts to is an incredibly protracted unlock and skill system that requires considerable grinding and ultimately feels unfulfilling. Maybe if the pacing was different, but the glacial pace of it all from gameplay to how fast things unlock makes it nigh unbearable. There really isn’t even much else to do in Godzilla: The Game, although the menu would make you think otherwise, it all boils down to blowing up generators and fighting monsters to grind and unlock stuff.

The way it’s all set up isn’t particularly great either. You play the loveable, scaley kaiju, Godzilla, but are also technically playing as the G-Force. One of the weirdest moments for me was when a G-Force operator bemoaned the loss of their comrades lives while victory music blared at me for a job well done. The moment was beguiling to say the least. You might think that there’s a Deadly Premonition sort of good-bad game in here somewhere and you would be wrong. The game stays true to the slow moving kaiju trope almost to a fault, the areas of engagement are far too tiny and these things culminate in the feeling of being the God of Disappointment more than Destruction.

Ah yes. All the other kaiju. The one shining beacon of awesome amidst unorthodox controls, middling visuals and repetitive gameplay. The single best part about Godzilla: The Game is the iconic monsters. Watching the likes of Gigan and MechaGodzilla go toe to toe with Rodan will always look great in some way to even a mid level fan like me. In this way the Diorama mode that let’s you place and stage static scenes is probably the most enjoyable part about this whole package. It’s a shame that everything falls apart when the game is actually being played. Knocking other monsters into buildings that look like they haven’t changed since the last Godzilla games I played, Destroy All Monsters Melee on the GameCube and Save the Earth on the PS2. While everything is mostly faithful to the source material, it’s kind of difficult to get around the shoddy way it has been presented here.

Mothra will mess you up.

Mothra will mess you up.

Occasionally battles look ridiculous and futile because of the way some combos juggle the poor sod caught in it. It’s an obvious balance issue when opponents (or you!) can be locked in an endless spammable loop of basic moves. One of my personal favourites, King Ghidorah, has a combo that knocks opponents around in such a way that they would never have a chance to regain their footing and retaliate. For good measure, bully the opposing kaiju into a corner and cream them while they bounce off the invisible walls. It gets even worse in some particular kaiju matchups. Trying to pull off a grapple on Larval Mothra as basically any other monster who isn’t Larval Mothra is an exercise in sheer determination. This might not be so bad if the controls weren’t so hilariously bizarre.

Let me set this up for you: You move the kaiju forward and back with the analog stick and turn left and right with the shoulder buttons. Yes. Now, this alone isn’t the worst thing ever, kaiju are large and the sort of turning radius the controls afford make sense. Right, sure. But fused onto the oddball controls is the most spiteful auto targeting system I have experienced in all my days. Dire moments in the heat of battle when escape meant all the difference, I would be spun, dragged even, into facing my opponent while trying to make my getaway. I wish that was it, but almost any flying thing, monster or machine, can pretty much run any other monster’s show. Moves will clip through them as you attack them in the air and their hit and run tactics make it incredibly one sided.

All these forces combined make Godzilla: The Game an incredibly grating experience. There’s some pretty neat stuff in it to be sure, like the Diorama mode and the kaiju Guide, but almost anything related to the actual playing of Godzilla: The Game borders on miserable. And that is the catch 22 of Godzilla: The Game. To unlock the things for these modes one must play Godzilla: The Game. Not even just a little bit of Godzilla: The Game. Decidedly way more of Godzilla: The Game than anyone who isn’t a total masochist should ever want to play. As you toss around the idea in your head that you might be a hard core enough Godzilla fan to endure the gameplay for the sake of these decently cool things… You notice trumpets begin to blare a familiar tune. With seething anticipation you turn and gaze out towards to sea. Suddenly, everything is in slow-motion. Then, from the murky depths something begins to emerge. It’s huge, colossal. It… It seems to be letters. It’s the letters N and O.

Godzilla: The Game Review
I haven't found myself wanting to return to Godzilla outside of the mind numbing time I already spent with it. While I appreciate the roster, the lack of variety and protracted upgrade system has kept me away. Fighting online is neat, but balance issues keep it from really being all that fun. This game is rough and I doubt even devout Godzilla fans will find many redeeming qualities.
Pacific Rim
  • Totally makes you feel like a colossal, lumbering monster
  • The diorama mode and Kaiju guide are great
  • Is a mostly functional video game.
Godzilla with Matthew Broderick
  • My blood pressure rises when I see generators
  • Controlling the Kaiju is wonky/Every mode is pretty much the same
  • Games where things fight each other need proper balancing
4Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

About The Author

Evan T
Editorial/Reviews Writer

Evan is a super serious, real life production assistant, video editor, and current review and editorial writer for Gamer Assault Weekly. A failed knife salesman and former member of a prestigious World of Warcraft guild, renowned for his voice and childlike enthusiasm for video games. Has never broken a bone. Hates possums. Mumble-sings.