Guest Author - James Shea
A new multi-person brawling game featuring the famous series of giant monsters, Godzilla Unleashed for the Nintendo Wii tries to use the Wii remote and motion-sensing features to make a game worthy of the giant atomic lizard and his compatriots.
The game's story and gameplay revolve around crystals being dropped on the Earth that cause massive disasters in cities, and furthermore upset the various monsters around the globe. The major population centers become warzones as giant monsters duke it out amidst their ruins. The major storyline piece of note is that there are four factions; the friendlier you are to them, the less likely their members will attack you during a battle. The Earth Defenders don't care much about humans, but really hate the crystals and want to protect the Earth itself, so one must destroy the crystals to earn their favor (and not, if possible, use their power). Their members include Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan. The GDF (Global Defense Force) is dedicated to protecting humanity, and thus to get their favor you shouldn't destroy buildings and stomp on vehicles whenever possible. GDF robots include Kiryu, MOGUERA, and Jet Jaguar. The Aliens are invaders who want to use the crystals to take over the earth, and so destroying the crystals angers them. Among their ranks are King Ghidorah, Megalon, and Mechagodzilla. Finally, the Mutants want to wreak as much havoc as possible. Their preference is destruction, and so causing as much destruction as possible in cities will get you on their good side. The mutants include Destoroyah, Titanosaurus, and Obsidius. In total, there are 24 characters, many of which have to be unlocked with points earned through playing the story mode. There is also a multiplayer mode where up to four people can battle it out on whatever stage they wish.
The gameplay is a free-roam fighting game with a 3d field. Players can kick, punch, charge energy, or use their powers. Low-power attacks are made by hitting A and B on the Wii Remote (for punches and kicks). High powered attacks are made by swinging the remote while you press A or B (or both, for the most powerful attack). Using the C button on the nunchuk fires your special weapon - for example, Godzilla's atomic breath. C and Z together charge up your energy to use the special weapon. Shaking the nunchuk upwards jumps; shaking both the remote and the nunchuk downwards picks things up. Targeting seems to be automatic in most cases, though you can nudge yourself towards or away from a specific enemy if you want. Besides other monsters, the military is also heavily involved; they'll usually shoot at whichever player is the strongest with a variety of laser weapons and missiles (they can also be customized in the multiplayer mode). For the most part the game plays well, except the combination of moving the remote and pressing a button for the heavy attacks is a little awkward. The characters tend to also be a little slow because of their size, which means reflexes aren't high on the list of player requirements.
The graphics are decent for a game that is also on the PS2. It's hard to tell if the Wii version is improved at all, but for the most part they're pretty good. The sound mostly consists of the trademark noises associated with each monster (including Godzilla's famous roar) and the military frantically trying to fire upon the different monsters; nothing too dramatic, really, but about all you can expect from such a game.
As a whole, this game delivers what it promised pretty well. There's a wide variety of monsters and playing fields available and it definitely feels like a Godzilla game should. Apart from some minor issues with the semi-dated graphics and Wii controls, this game is pretty good.