Wii

North America

Godzilla: Unleashed

by Zachary Miller - December 14, 2007, 5:43 pm PST
Total comments: 39

4

And you thought Godzilla's Revenge was bad.

When I previewed Godzilla: Unleashed a few months ago, I was genuinely excited. Back when it was originally released, Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee (DAMM) rocked my GameCube. It was a simplistic brawler, sure, but Pipeworks really did justice to Toho's rubber suit franchise, and the game channeled that old Neo Geo classic, King of the Monsters. Then Godzilla: Save the Earth came out for the PS2, and while it was basically the same game with a bigger character roster, it added bland “missions" to the fights. For awhile there, it looked like Unleashed, a former Wii exclusive (now also on the PS2), would combine the fighting with some purposeful environmental destruction. But most importantly, players would punch and kick their way to victory using motion controls. I just played the game for several hours, and although it hurts me to say this, Godzilla: Unleashed sucks!

I almost suspect that Atari sent me a beta copy, because I just can't believe that the final game is this unpolished. Unfortunately, it's not a beta copy. Right off the bat, you'll notice that the graphics are far worse than DAMM. I'm not sure how this is possible, but the clean, sharp models of that GC original are now fuzzy, poorly textured, and don't animate smoothly. The environments look worlds worse than the monsters, though. I don't know about you, but I thought that the word “blocky" went out with the N64. Buildings don't crumble—they sink into the ground. The water effects look great—until you set foot in the water. Godzilla weighs between 20 and 60,000 tons (depending on which series you're watching), but he doesn't splash. You heard that right—there are some pixilated water drops, but no splash. Some of the monster energy weapons look pretty swanky, but the manner in which they're activated is so horrifying (I'll get to that in a minute) that you'll never use them. The game's cutscenes are told through poorly-drawn slides. This wouldn't bug me on the DS, but it's unacceptable on the Wii.

I don't think the motion controls could've been any worse. In DAMM, the various punches and kicks were activated by pressing A or B and a direction on the stick, as in Smash Bros. Not here. In Unleashed, you start swinging the Remote in a certain direction, then press and hold A (or B) halfway through and pray that the game registers your movement. More often than not, your beastie will just stand there. Sometimes, he'll do a regular punch instead of a motion-activated punch. Once in a very great while, Godzilla will do the uppercut you asked him to do. And it doesn't stop there. You're forced to deal with motion controls for throwing, jumping, flying, charging, and special attacks. And because the sensitivity is so awful, your monster will get his ass handed to him while you're busy swinging your arms like a freaking orangutan.

The HUD is confusing. You must manually charge your beam weapon, and then weep as you notice that stuff other than beam attacks requires beam energy. And when you try to use the beam weapon itself, half the time it won't work. The other half, it will work, but you have to twist and angle the Wii Remote to aim it, rather than use the Control Stick. There are big crystals around each cityscape, and they have different effects on the gameplay. Destroying bright blue crystals gives you some HP, while yellow ones give you beam energy. Destroying enough giant crystals will put you into "Critical Mass," in which your defense goes down, but your offense goes up! Critical Mass also "costs" one HP tank, and the military will begin attacking you. What fun! Finally, depending on your actions during a given level, you will gain or lose face with the different monster "factions", which doesn't have any consequence whatsoever as far as I can tell.

I've failed to mention the awful heavy metal music that pollutes the menu screens and monsters battles. I've never understood why, even though the series has Toho's blessing, the main Godzilla theme is never used in any of the recent Godzilla brawlers. All of the monsters have their trademark roars intact, but their SKREEEONKS and CHEE-CHEE-CHEES seem really quiet compared to the thumps of battle and ambient music. I gotta say, though, it was a kick to hear MOGUERA for the first time since Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla.

The game has two selling points. Although poorly rendered, virtually all of the Godzilla series monsters are here, and their trademark roars have been kept intact. And when I say all of them, I mean it. Biollante and Varan are in this game! Unfortunately, they must all be purchased with points that you earn by completing missions in the Story mode, which is a painful experience. This is also how you unlock concept art and movies. Ideally, a player would go through the Story mode with each monster, but since fights just aren't winnable thanks to the hideous motion controls, you might never beat Story mode the first time!

Ultimately, Godzilla: Unleashed is just awful. Even the biggest Godzilla fans among us should not have to suffer through this piece of trash. Watch the movies or just play DAMM. You'll have a much better time.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
4 4 3 5 3 4
Graphics
4

The monsters are well-represented, but they sure don't look good. The textures are fuzzy, the environments are unfinished, and your giant monster doesn't even make a splash when he hits the water.

Sound
4

The only saving grace is that the monster sounds, while quieter than they should be, are faithfully reproduced by the game. The music is appallingly bad.

Control
3

Let me use my GameCube controller, please!

Gameplay
5

The crystals add a hint of strategy to each match (throw your opponent into crystals to force them into Critical Mass, thus infuriating the military), but the missions are tedious, and the fighting engine hasn't evolved at all since DAMM. The new moves, like charging and super attacks, are poorly implemented and barely useful.

Lastability
3

There is so much stuff to unlock! New monsters! Artwork! Videos! It's a shame that you have to play the game to unlock it all.

Final
4

I'm incredibly disappointed because Godzilla: Unleashed had so much promise! I'm not sure whether it was rushed out the door or just phoned in, but overall this is a terrible game. You would have much more fun with the other two Godzilla brawlers (DAMM is the better than Save the Earth), and there is simply no reason to suffer through Unleashed.

Summary

Pros
  • Virtually all of the Godzilla monsters are included!
Cons
  • Graphics are terrible, especially the environments
  • Motion controls are unforgivably bad
  • Opponents are cheap, preying on your inability to attack
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

GoldenPhoenixDecember 14, 2007

This review phails. face-icon-small-wink.gif

Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
This review phails.


Now after all her Alien Syndrome bashing GP is the one defending a game that has received some very poor reviews.

CalibanDecember 14, 2007

She's got Kairon-itis, everyone stay away from her, she's maaaaaaaaad dangerous. I'm just kidding obviously.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: insanolord
Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
This review phails.


Now after all her Alien Syndrome bashing GP is the one defending a game that has received some very poor reviews.


Actually many of those "poor" reviews were based off unfinished copies of the game. Can't say the same about Alien Syndrome can we? Seriously the controls are not that hard to get used to, and I am someone that hates poor controls. They are different but like SSX Blur they are able to be learned. In regards to aiming, while I haven't had a chance to test it, you need to point the Wiimote at the screen.

::waits for Arbok::

ShyGuyDecember 15, 2007

Apparently this game got worse since I played the preview. Or this review dabbles in HYPERBOLE.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 15, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: ShyGuy
Apparently this game got worse since I played the preview. Or this review dabbles in HYPERBOLE.


You played the preview?

ShyGuyDecember 15, 2007

Yeah, at PAX. I was Mecha Godzilla.

MorariDecember 15, 2007

CENSORED FOR YOUR PROTECTION

WHAT! ... I love the Jet Jaguar song...

MorariDecember 15, 2007

CENSORED FOR YOUR PROTECTION

GoldenPhoenixDecember 16, 2007

I was playing Godzilla a bit more today with someone else and the controls are actually quite responsive for the most part. The only trouble I had after a little practice was aiming the charge shot (though I'm getting better). Not sure about the graphics, I'd need to go back to the previous Godzilla games though if anything I don't see them as worse. The game is still good fun and the controls actually seem to add to it more than it takes away especially once you get in tune with them.

NephilimDecember 16, 2007

"Let me use my GameCube controller, please!"

or buy the gamecube version for 5US on ebay, only game as bad as universal studios

Terranigma FreakDecember 16, 2007

The water doesn't splash? Are we talking about the same game here, or did the folks at NWR managed to get some mysterious super version no one else has?

ArbokDecember 16, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
::waits for Arbok::


Well I love the game... reason why I haven't been on of late is because I have been playing it hardcore when I have some free time. Is it flawed in some areas? Oh yeah. Is there a large learning curve to the controls? Without a doubt. Can they be mastered? Yep.

I found this review odd though for a number of reason. First being the criticizing of the AI... and I mean, it is bad. However, it's not too hard, like is hinted at in the review, but way too easy. The AI is just down right forgiving, not cheap, and I have only died in the game once or twice against them (one of those times being when I decided to go rogue against my faction and they all ganged up on me in a slaughter fest). My main concern is that they will never go after crystals and there are times that they just stand around blocking for too long. I feel that Pipeworks took the criticism related to the challenge from Save the Earth a little too far... yet this review is claiming the opposite so to each their own.

Now time for the direct quotes:

Quote

Originally posted by: Zachary MillerFor awhile there, it looked like Unleashed, a former Wii exclusive (now also on the PS2), would combine the fighting with some purposeful environmental destruction.


Unleashed was never Wii exclusive. What happened, though, was that the PSP version was moved to the PS2 during production.

Quote

Originally posted by: Zachary MillerRight off the bat, you'll notice that the graphics are far worse than DAMM. I'm not sure how this is possible, but the clean, sharp models of that GC original are now fuzzy, poorly textured, and don't animate smoothly.


Sorry, but that's a bold face lie right there. I was playing DAMM right before Unleashed was released, and the difference is really night and day. Characters like Orga, Godzilla 2000, Anguirus and others look umpteen times better than the Gamecube game that I can't fathom how that statement could be made. None of the DAMM characters look better, not even close, and DAMM's animation was as stiff as could be (see the G2K bobble head victory stance for example).

Quote

Originally posted by: Zachary MillerThe game's cutscenes are told through poorly-drawn slides. This wouldn't bug me on the DS, but it's unacceptable on the Wii.


Agree there. Didn't like this presentation style in Red Steel, don't like it here. At least they had English and Japanese audio options, though.

Quote

Originally posted by: Zachary MillerIn Unleashed, you start swinging the Remote in a certain direction, then press and hold A (or B) halfway through and pray that the game registers your movement. More often than not, your beastie will just stand there.


If you pressed A or B your monster should never stand there. Period. They should at least do their default A or B move if you actually pressed the button.

Quote

Originally posted by: Zachary MillerFinally, depending on your actions during a given level, you will gain or lose face with the different monster "factions", which doesn't have any consequence whatsoever as far as I can tell.


See the former... try killing someone later in the game who is on your team and see how the rest of your faction takes it. face-icon-small-wink.gif You'll have to play story mode quite a bit to understand exactly how your actions impact the game, though, as you will see new missions and what not depending on what you decide to do.

Quote

Originally posted by: Zachary MillerI've never understood why, even though the series has Toho's blessing, the main Godzilla theme is never used in any of the recent Godzilla brawlers.


The answer to this is simple: Toho charges a hefty fee for each theme from the movies that a company wants to use. Atari bought the Godzilla theme for DAMM, you can hear it during the credits, and bought it for STE as well but never ended up using it. For this game, they just saved the money, or likely used it to acquire more monsters for the game... as Toho also charges companies for each of their copyrighted characters that they want to use.

Quote

Originally posted by: Zachary MillerI gotta say, though, it was a kick to hear MOGUERA for the first time since Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla.


Moguera doesn't say anything in Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, though... he has always been mute, even the 1957 version in The Mysterians was this way. The "Moguera" sound that they use in the game is off a old two disc SFX set, which had a computerized pronunciation of each name stated before the roar or SFX for them kicked in.

Quote

Originally posted by: Zachary MillerAlthough poorly rendered, virtually all of the Godzilla series monsters are here, and their trademark roars have been kept intact. And when I say all of them, I mean it.


Lack of Hedorah is noticeable.... *sniff* A lot of people were requesting to see the Smog Monster this time around but they said it would take too long to get the transformation stuff right given the time frame.

Quote

Originally posted by: Zachary MillerUnfortunately, they must all be purchased with points that you earn by completing missions in the Story mode, which is a painful experience.


Incorrect. You can acquire points from doing training, story mode, destruction mode, customs, etc. Basically, every time you play you have the chance to acquire points. Me and my friends were raking in about 6K a match thanks to the points staking for everyone playing. In the case of Varan and Biollante, though, you will have to actually explore some of the stages in Story mode to find them before you can buy them (Varan is hidden in the Mothership and one of the Aliens will have to smoke him out, while Biollante is hiding in Tokyo Bay for the Earth Defenders).

I'm starting to think I got a different game from you guys. In the game I recieved (through the mail, with shrink-wrap), there is NO water splash, the graphics are AWFUL, the controls are unresponsive, and my opponent thoroughly kicked my tail in TRAINING MODE.

Seriously.

MOGUERA never made a noise in Spacegodzilla? I'm gonna have to watch that movie again...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. If nothing else, they've left me extremely confused about what game I was playing...I'd really like to play the version that GP and Arbok are playing, because it sounds fun!

GoldenPhoenixDecember 17, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Halbred
I'm starting to think I got a different game from you guys. In the game I recieved (through the mail, with shrink-wrap), there is NO water splash, the graphics are AWFUL, the controls are unresponsive, and my opponent thoroughly kicked my tail in TRAINING MODE.

Seriously.

MOGUERA never made a noise in Spacegodzilla? I'm gonna have to watch that movie again...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. If nothing else, they've left me extremely confused about what game I was playing...I'd really like to play the version that GP and Arbok are playing, because it sounds fun!


Just to make sure I played the game again, and there is indeed water splashing when you are walking in it. I was playing the San Francisco level and while it isn't spectacular (more of a mist splash) it was there. So this is quite odd, I heard reports about reviewers getting beta copies from Atari that weren't completed, maybe the idiots at Atari are still sending them out? Because I can confirm there is indeed a splash when you are walking int he water or when you are thrown in it, complete with a splashing sound. I just beat the crap out of Rodan too in a Vs mode too, and the controls seemed responsive enough, yeah SOMETIMES they may not do exactly what i want but they at least did some move, though overall they work. Grapple is especially responsive (heck I was beating up Rodan with more grapples than anything). Perhaps the most genuine complaint is the beam attacks being hard to aim but even that is improving some though I doubt it will be perfect.

NinGurl69 *hugglesDecember 17, 2007

See this? Gaming sites should cut media ties with game companies, pronto. It's nothing but a blood-red world of confusion and deceit.

This is Atari's way of sabotaging Wii software perception in order to point out Wii's hardware inadequacy and justify development for REAL next generation game systems.

NephilimDecember 17, 2007

I see it more of the sonic disease, average person hates it, while the fanboy is blinded

LuigiHannDecember 17, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: DeadlyD
I see it more of the sonic disease, average person hates it, while the fanboy is blinded


I don't know if that applies to licensed games. If I loved Godzilla, I'd be angry and insulted if the game were terrible, not trying to defend it.

MorariDecember 17, 2007

CENSORED FOR YOUR PROTECTION

Quote

Originally posted by: LuigiHann
I don't know if that applies to licensed games. If I loved Godzilla, I'd be angry and insulted if the game were terrible, not trying to defend it.


It applies even more to licensed games. See: any Star Trek game.

Quote

Originally posted by: Morari
Plus free promo copies inherently make the review at least somewhat biased, whether it is realized or not. I can guarantee that I have different feelings concerning what is fun while playing a bad game that was free as opposed to a bad game that I personally wasted $50 on.


You're right. If you buy a terrible game for $50, you're more likely to justify your purchase by defending the game. In general, the most likely result of free review copies is that the reviewer would be overly kind to the game, but you don't see many complaints around here of our reviews being too lenient, do you?

NinGurl69 *hugglesDecember 17, 2007

I'll start complaining about reviews I don't see AT ALL.

BWii

GoldenPhoenixDecember 17, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: DeadlyD
I see it more of the sonic disease, average person hates it, while the fanboy is blinded


Then explain why the reviewer states that something like water splashing isn't in it when in my copy it does? Unless he is mistaken, there is something wrong with either his copy or my copy.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorDecember 17, 2007

I just wanted to say that Zach is right. The game he played appeared totally retail. The publisher didn't flag it as being a different version in ANY way. If it is somehow different, something is seriously screwy.

That said, let's play conspiracy theory here. All of you saying you are seeing different results, are you running in 480p widescreen or 480i 4:3?

I don't see why it would make a difference, but I'm at least curious to hear. GP, if you are playing it in 480p like i imagine you are, try hooking it up through 480i and see if anything different occurs.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 17, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Pale
I just wanted to say that Zach is right. The game he played appeared totally retail. The publisher didn't flag it as being a different version in ANY way. If it is somehow different, something is seriously screwy.

That said, let's play conspiracy theory here. All of you saying you are seeing different results, are you running in 480p widescreen or 480i 4:3?

I don't see why it would make a difference, but I'm at least curious to hear. GP, if you are playing it in 480p like i imagine you are, try hooking it up through 480i and see if anything different occurs.


I won't be able to check until tomorrow but I'll definitely see. Maybe Arbok can beat me to it. The reason why I bring up the unfinished thing is that I've heard from the developers that copies other reviewers got who had early reviews were based on an unfinished game and they were working right to the end which is beyond stupid if Atari did that. And if it turns out this is also the same thing, someone at Atari really needs their head examined.

UltimatePartyBearDecember 17, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
Quote

Originally posted by: DeadlyD
I see it more of the sonic disease, average person hates it, while the fanboy is blinded


Then explain why the reviewer states that something like water splashing isn't in it when in my copy it does? Unless he is mistaken, there is something wrong with either his copy or my copy.


Maybe you're just seeing the same thing differently. You said, "while it isn't spectacular (more of a mist splash) it was there." He said, "there are some pixilated water drops, but no splash." That really doesn't sound all that different to me.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 17, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: PartyBear
Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
Quote

Originally posted by: DeadlyD
I see it more of the sonic disease, average person hates it, while the fanboy is blinded


Then explain why the reviewer states that something like water splashing isn't in it when in my copy it does? Unless he is mistaken, there is something wrong with either his copy or my copy.


Maybe you're just seeing the same thing differently. You said, "while it isn't spectacular (more of a mist splash) it was there." He said, "there are some pixilated water drops, but no splash." That really doesn't sound all that different to me.


That could be possible. Maybe Halbred can clear that up.

Quote

Originally posted by: DeadlyD
I see it more of the sonic disease, average person hates it, while the fanboy is blinded


By the way, Zach is a Godzilla fanboy. He still didn't like this game at all.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 17, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Jonnyboy117
Quote

Originally posted by: DeadlyD
I see it more of the sonic disease, average person hates it, while the fanboy is blinded


By the way, Zach is a Godzilla fanboy. He still didn't like this game at all.


I'm not even really a big Godzilla fan and I'm enjoying the game the more I play it and get used the controls. face-icon-small-wink.gif

Here's what happens, in my game, when Godzilla LEAPS into the water:

No splash effect. You can tell that the water is just a suspended texture. Why? Because the camera dipped below the water surface and, in fact, everything is the same color underwater as it is above. Also, when Godzilla hits the water, a bunch of pixels erupt as a sort of "fog" animation, but there are no water EFFECTS. This isn't Wind Waker. Also, when Godzilla is moving through the water, the only noticable effect is that pixels fly out behind him.

And when I say pixels, people, I mean it. They are WHITE, and they are UGLY.

CalibanDecember 17, 2007

Videos please...actually Professional666 would be the most indicated person to get some videos and see who's not right.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 17, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Caliban
Videos please...actually Professional666 would be the most indicated person to get some videos and see who's not right.


Wait don't you have the game? What do you think of the controls?

CalibanDecember 17, 2007

Lol, I do have the game.
I just didn't play enough of it to say anything of relevance. I played 3 or four missions I think, but from what I played I can agree with the few of you in the opinion that the game is fun but the controls take some time getting used to.
Actually, I'm surprised that GoldenPhoenix likes the game even though she's not a fan of Godzilla, as it is the point that I would certainly use to say to whom this game is good for.
On the other hand the reviewer is a fan of Godzilla, yet he's not having as much fun.
Quite wierd, isn't it.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 17, 2007

Well I wouldn't say I'm not a fan of Godzilla, I'm more of a casual watcher of the movies since they are usually great, corny fun. If I see a Godzilla movie come on TV I'll watch it.

Whereas I have every Godzilla movie on DVD, minus Godzilla 1985, Godzilla vs. Monster Zero, and Godzilla vs. Biolantte, because they haven't been released on DVD yet. I do have them all VHS, though (although my VCR broke).

MorariDecember 17, 2007

CENSORED FOR YOUR PROTECTION

ArbokDecember 17, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
The reason why I bring up the unfinished thing is that I've heard from the developers that copies other reviewers got who had early reviews were based on an unfinished game and they were working right to the end which is beyond stupid if Atari did that.


One of our staff members talked with the producer, and this was only an issue with magazine outlets, as they had to get the copies way in advance. It shouldn't still be occurring.

Quote

Originally posted by: Halbred
Whereas I have every Godzilla movie on DVD, minus Godzilla 1985, Godzilla vs. Monster Zero, and Godzilla vs. Biolantte, because they haven't been released on DVD yet. I do have them all VHS, though (although my VCR broke).


Invasion of Astro-Monster (Godzilla vs. Monster Zero) is out on region 1 DVD. In fact it has been released twice:

http://www.tohokingdom.com/dvd/godzilla_vs_mz_sim.htm
http://www.tohokingdom.com/dvd/invasion_astro-monster_cm.htm

No, not that one. I already have it. I mean Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monsters, which is the prequel to Astro-Monster but for whatever reason has not been released yet. That reminds me, Megalon has also not yet come out on DVD. That's probably a good thing, though.

Sorry--the American titles of the Japanese movies always throw me off.

ArbokDecember 17, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Halbred
No, not that one. I already have it. I mean Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monsters, which is the prequel to Astro-Monster but for whatever reason has not been released yet. That reminds me, Megalon has also not yet come out on DVD. That's probably a good thing, though.

Sorry--the American titles of the Japanese movies always throw me off.


Oh... well Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster is also out on region 1 face-icon-small-wink.gif

http://www.tohokingdom.com/dvd/ghidorah_cm.htm

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Godzilla: Unleashed Box Art

Genre Action
Developer Pipeworks Software

Worldwide Releases

na: Godzilla: Unleashed
Release Dec 05, 2007
PublisherAtari
RatingEveryone 10+
eu: Godzilla: Unleashed
Release Feb 22, 2008
PublisherAtari
Rating7+
aus: Godzilla: Unleashed
Release Feb 29, 2008
PublisherAtari
RatingParental Guidance

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