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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
Game Boy
Pipeworks Software
GENRE: Fighting
PLAYERS:   1-4
November 10, 2002
Godzilla: Unleashed

Godzilla: Unleashed

Godzilla: Unleashed

Godzilla: Unleashed

Godzilla: Save the Earth

More in this Series
 Written by Tim McGrew  on March 04, 2003

Review: It's like King of the Monsters, but with the king of the monsters

These past few months truly have been a treat when it comes to giant monster combat. First, we had Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee for the Gamecube, then we had Incognito's original take on them with War of the Monsters on the Playstation 2, and finally we have Godzilla Domination! on the Gameboy Advance. Each game does justice to the experience in its own unique way, but the most familiar to players who actually remember large monster combat from the 16-bit era will be Godzilla Domination!. In fact, as the comment above suggests, Godzilla Domination! is very much like King of the Monsters, an earlier monster combat game released by SNK, in its presentation. Both games share the same pseudo isometric view along with well animated 2D monsters and buildings, but that's where the similarities end and the fun begins.

Godzilla: Domination! is a one to four player romp through massive cities where you select your own monster, of which there are seven in all, and wreak havoc throughout the city. What's unique about Godzilla: Domination! is that it rewards your ability to cause destruction on a city wide scale by increasing your special move meter with each building you destroy and by tossing out items from each building that collapses. The items you collect can have both negative and positive effects on your character by increasing your speed and your special meter or by completely wiping out both making you a mass of slow mush for a time. The fact that the game rewards your sense of destruction is probably the most gratifying experience in the game, likened only to throwing enemies through buildings in War of the Monsters.

Although the game has a few interesting attacks and special moves as well as the block and jump button assigned to the L and R triggers in the default controls, there's not very much depth involved. You can throw enemies, you can hit them with a basic three hit combo alternating between tail and claw attacks with Godzilla, or you can perform the special maneuver afforded to each character through their special meter. Godzilla's scales on his back will glow as you unleash this nuclear blast of energy right on your opponent for some really significant damage and this same method works for each of the seven characters in the game. In its purest form, the game is just basically a button masher with little to no depth in the combat system but remains to be entertaining despite its overly simplistic nature.

Aside from the arcade mode where you tear through all five other characters with your selected one before taking on the massive Mecha King Ghidora, there are a few others which basically take advantage of the GBA connectivity for two to four player combat. The modes include three on one, tag team, one versus one, and battle royal where the game turns into a giant, no pun intended, free for all. The multiplayer requires four carts, four friends, and four GBAs, so this mode may not be worth all that cash considering the number of playable characters and the limited number of arenas. It may be fun for an hour or two, but beyond that, the game's very simple ideas and execution mean you'll be truly done with everything in the game after about six or seven hours total.

The graphics in Godzilla: Domination! are definitely what gives it so much charm. Although they do resemble King of the Monsters in a number of ways, that doesn't make them any less interesting to look at. The buildings themselves hinder your sight of the characters, but after about twenty seconds, most if not all of the city's skyscrapers will be gone thanks to your characters attacks and largely destructive power. Each character also sports a wide range of animations, from getting up to powering up to using specials. These little animations drive it far above King of the Monsters in terms of graphical flair. There's just something so incredibly satisfying about using Godzilla's special nuclear breath attack to wipe out Rodan and blow him through two really large skyscrapers that are no doubt inhabited by many of the cities finest, yet insignificant, population.

The music is fairly basic in Godzilla: Domination!, with very little to take notice of. The music falls off into the background, but that's not necessarily a bad thing since the one thing you'll be listening for is the sound effects. First off, I'm happy to say that each monsters signature cry is intact and plays great through the GBA's tiny speaker. Godzilla roars as he unleashes his special attack and Mothra's wings flap vigorously as he kicks up the wind to send your character flying. Buildings crash and crumble in a blaze of fire as you smash through them and kick them over. The sound just fits the game which is both hectic and chaotic all at the same time.

Bottom Line
Given the games very simplistic style, it's hard to really dislike it. You can basically jump in and bring your wrath down on any unsuspecting foe as you see fit and then seal the deal with a special attack or counter move and that's where the game's charm truly lies. Of course, there's the whole fact that it's the most popular monster franchise brought to the GBA in a very successful way that rewards your destructive nature and that in itself is a great deal to gab about on its own. The biggest drawback with this game is its limited number of characters and arenas, but it's definitely a whole lot of fun while it lasts. If you're a really big (there goes that pun again) Godzilla fan, you definitely owe it to yourself to check this one out.

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