The first thing I want to get off of my chest is this, I have never been a fan, nor have I watched more than a handful of Godzilla movies in their entirety. With that said you now know that I am in no way biased towards the character or it’s array of quality films. Godzilla is a cult classic that has spawned many fans over the years and continues to grow on a daily basis, sure we have had Godzilla games in the past but to be honest 99% of them sucked ass. Pipeworks has crafted a game that takes what Godzilla is all about and creates an interactive experience for all to enjoy, including non-fans of the movies like myself. Having gigantic monsters at your complete disposal is a formula that when well executed can deliver hours of entertainment. Join me my kaiju fanatics as I delve deep into the world that is Toho’s baby, Godzilla.
What Exactly Is Bump Mapping??
As many of you may or may not know this game first appeared on Nintendo’s console a while back and was an instant classic with the fans. Being able to whoop monster ass across major cities was a dream most of them though would never be realized. While stellar on it’s own account the XBox version outweighs the Cube version with the addition of some XBox only graphical features that truly make the game shine. For instance each character is now bump mapped to full glory, scales never looked so good. The buildings also sport reflections and the lighting has been enhanced to take advantage of MS’ green wonder. The frame rate still jiggles about when buildings come crashing down but it doesn’t detain from the frantic pace of the game. While gleaming with style Godzilla isn’t without it’s faults. While the cityscapes may be interactive and beautiful when falling to pieces standing still they are a bit bland. The only differences you can spot between the different cities are certain landmarks and water placement. The XBox added arenas are a nice touch but aside from the giant ring they still feel a bit uninspired. Fear not though once you start tearing them down you truly appreciate the amount of detail this game delivers.
Godzilla DAMM is definitely not for the lonely gamer, fighting your way through the single player game will grow tiring and cause you to question why so many people like watching giant monsters duke it out amongst each other. The computer AI is also frustrating similar to MK. Get to a certain level and the comp will pummel you into oblivion, but continue and his tactics tone down to let you get past him. This sucks because unlocking all of the goodness requires many trips through the single player game, but trust me the reward is so worth it! The new arenas and monsters you obtain are just the fuel you need when three friends stop over because once the party starts it could go on all night! Godzilla DAMM is the finest multi-player game since Smash Bros. Duking it out with your buddies has never been more enjoyable. The simple pick up and play feel the game resides will get any gamer hooked without question and keep him playing until the sun rises. The moves are simple and repetitive ala Powerstone or Smash Bros. but that is what makes this game so fun. It doesn’t require you to dedicate your life to learn all of the moves which makes for a perfect round of ass kicking.
There are also plenty of modes in DAMM that require your full attention. On top of the Adventure mode (which is required to unlock almost everything) you have a Versus mode where you can duke it out with the computer controlled bots or your buddies. There is also a mode called Destruction which is basically an intense 3D version of Rampage. Imagine if you will a full 3D game of Rampage with XBox graphics, oh the sweet smell of classic games! The control is also tight and very responsive and picking it up will require all of ten seconds of your life. You use the Y button to block and the other face buttons for each attack. The black and white buttons serve as your power attacks (which can also be used by clicking in on the thumb sticks) and the left and right triggers allow you to run and jump. Simple enough for even the most incompetent gamer on the planet, good for today’s casual gaming audience (silent grumble)
As if fighting games needed any more cookie cutter plot lines Godzilla DAMM takes the cake. Being loosely based off of an old movie (so I am told I have no clue) Destroy All Monsters Melee has the Vortaak causing the monsters to duke it out. Sure it’s lame and boring but what did Tao Feng have an award winning back story?? The sound comes blaring into your home in Dolby Digital 5.1 but it feels a bit unpolished honestly. Not as clean as other games supporting the highest quality of audio but the actual sounds and music are still phenomenal. The music is ripped straight from the movies as are the sound effects giving the highest caliber of audio delight any Toho fan could want. The best part? You can even use your own soundtracks via the XBox hard drive and destroy Tokyo, NOFX style!
The bottom line is this, if you are in dyer need of a four player brawler for the XBox (and who isn’t the system is basically sans one) then this is your game. The multi-player aspect alone will have you crawling back for months. On top of that you will also be able to download content via XBox Live so the game will never get stale! If you are looking for the next best single player game on the planet look elsewhere. Godzilla DAMM is exactly what it’s supposed to be and that is a true party game. Invite three friends over and crack open a cold one, it’s about to get messy. A solid purchase for fans of the Godzilla universe and anyone looking for the best multi-player action this side of Halo, highly recommended!