Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Melee

Review

posted 5/6/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: Xbox
Quite frankly I never realized what was so intriguing about a guy in a giant rubber suit, pretending to terrorize a city when it’s obvious he was trouncing through a fake city composed of foam blocks and buildings. My disdain towards giant monsters took a turn for the worst when Godzilla 2000 was released, effectively killing any hopes I had of sympathizing with monster lovers who had a soft spot in their heart for the giant lizard. Then I saw Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Melee at E3 2002 and I instantly understood why legions of geeks adored the fire-breathing lizard. Although I only played the game for about 10 minutes I was anxious to see how it would play out in my living room. Simply put Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Melee is everything that a Godzilla fan could have hoped but for casual fans, this isn’t necessarily a good thing.

From the onset of the game you’ll realize that it was created with two-to-four players in mind. The single-player modes are painfully dull thanks to the hit-or-miss AI and some unforgivable gameplay elements. You’ll assume control of creatures who are hundreds of feet tall and the gameplay never lets you forget about this, making you feel like you’re in control of some oil tanker gone wild as opposed to a precise and calculated killing machine. Add in some rather shaky collision detection problems and you have a frustrating game that will only appeal to the most hardcore of Godzilla fans.

Those who have played Capcom’s Powerstone games or Just Add Monsters’ Kung Fu Chaos will be familiar with DAMM’s style of gameplay. You’re set loose in an environment where your main goal is to decimate your opponent by any means possible. Whether that be via your fists, your tail, or a solid chunk of building is up to you. There’s nothing wrong with the basis of the gameplay as it has proven to be a success both in the arcades and at home.

Essentially Destroy All Monsters Melee is a 3D brawler set in the midst of the hustle and bustle of city life. Take one monster, add another monster and let the carnage begin. Sounds simple enough and essentially the game really is. It’s a straight up brawler where rapidly pressing the buttons is more rewarding than coming out with a plan of attack and executing it. Everyone has an energy bar and when it’s depleted that monster is out of the battle, last monster standing wins the battle. As you’ll quickly learn the game was created with more than one player in mind and to get the most out of the game you’ll definitely want to have two or more friends for some maximum monster mayhem.

Where the game really begins to stagger is in the gameplay department. Everything in the game has an amazingly sluggish feeling that makes the game nearly unplayable. Response times between the button press and the actual execution of the action is atrociously lagging and it makes playing the game much more difficult than it should be. It’s impossible to perform any set of maneuvers with any sort of precision because the controls just don’t permit the sort of rapid-input that makes party brawlers so easy to pick up and play. Think of Smash Bros. on molasses and you’ll have a great idea of just what it feels like to play DAMM.

It feels like you’re penalized just for trying to attack your opponent, especially an AI opponent. Because you’re penalized so heavily for trying to be the aggressor chances are you’ll turn into the defender and wait for your opponent to make a mistake so that you can capitalize upon his error. That’s just the problem; this isn’t the type of genre of game that lends to that sort of gameplay. It’s not about blocking and countering, it’s about mashing, mashing and more mashing until your opponent is a bloody pulp in the corner. To make matters worse the frame rate is inconsistent throughout, jumping back and forth even when little to no action is occurring on the screen. The crippling frame rates make the game feel even more sluggish than it already does. As you may have guessed this makes matches trudge on far more longer than you’d like, there definitely is no such thing as “a quick game” when it comes to DAMM.
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