War of the Monsters


posted 1/29/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PS2
There’s a very funny sequence in the latest Austin Powers flick, Goldmember, in which a parody of the famous Godzilla films transpires. Austin Powers runs his vehicle in to a replica of the fiery lizard and drives slowly through Japan. The people, obviously frightened by the beast, run in terror and then the scene is wrapped up in one excellently delivered exchange:

Japanese Man 1: Run! It’s Godzilla!!
Japanese Man 2: It looks like Godzilla, but due to international copyright laws it’s not
Japanese Man 1: Still, we should run like it is Godzilla!!!
Japanese Man 2: Though it isn’t.

It’s sheer comedic genius at its finest that succeeds because it doesn’t take the source material too seriously. War of the Monsters succeeds on this very merit, choosing to exploit the campier and sillier aspects of its source material to deliver a very amusing and entertaining experience.

It can be argued that there hasn’t been a decent giant monster game since the rebirth of Midway’s Rampage franchise and even then, that series has taken a turn for the worst, trying to capitalize on the increasingly popular puzzle-game genre. So leave it to Incog Inc., the makers of Twisted Metal Black, to step up to the plate and deliver the proverbial home run. Much like the aforementioned title, the game is all about destruction, but not in a serious, gory, oh my god I just tore that dude’s limbs off sort of way. If you’ve seen the commercial for this game with the monster at the drive-in then you’ll know that this game was never meant to be taken seriously. It’s filled to the brim with humor, to the point where you’ll probably find yourself laughing out loud during the first 10 or so bouts.

Hey baby, what's your sign?

Forget Godzilla, forget King Kong, instead we’ve got what appears to be their bastard off-spring but the game is much better for it. While the creatures do in fact bear a striking resemblance to some 50s and 60s monsters they feature enough nuances to differentiate themselves on a visual level. The levels themselves are also knock-offs of real-life locales, obviously drawing inspiration from some famous movie settings. Combat takes place in spoofs of Tokyo, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York and much much more.

Much like Twisted Metal Black, the majority of the environment can be destroyed and manipulated. As a step above TMB, however, the environment plays a much larger role in the action. You can throw your opponents through buildings or choose to climb up them for a quick breather. When the buildings become decimated, and trust us they will, you can often find some useful weapons amongst the rubble. In fact the usage of weapons is encouraged, often times netting you a health bonus.
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