Free Pizza Video Game Review - Godzilla (2014) [PS4]
It’s plodding. The tutorial doesn’t really serve to be much help as sometimes abilities just come and go or buttons do something that you were never shown or tipped off to. It resembles none of its predecessors, save for what I’ve heard about the Japan-only Dreamcast game. And, for some reason, I always felt that I was playing the game wrong…like there were things I wasn’t doing right or that there were moves that are possible within the interface that I just had no idea how to do…like blocking. I’m sure other reviewers, either professional or on the YouTube, ran into these problems…as it’s reflected in the game’s Metacritic score of 38%.
And yet, I find myself liking Godzilla on the PS4 anyway.
You see, in the slow, plodding movement of The King of the Monsters, you have time to re-frame your perspective. This is not an arcade-styled kaiju beat ‘em up…it’s actually a bit more like a rhythm game. Weird, right? Still, in the time I had to play it, that’s exactly what I found to be true. If you go rushing in there against another kaiju and button mash…you’re likely not going to make it out of the level alive. Instead, you’ve got to be thinking a couple of steps ahead…all the while looking for potential subtle tells, kinda like in Punch-Out. You also need to keep in mind how long it’s going to take for you to start the attack and when the blow will actually land. Only by doing all that…and maybe even more…are you going to come out of the fight on top. Also, be mindful of your ‘evolution’. You see, by engaging in mass destruction or consuming energy by destroying generators, you evolve your Godzilla…making him more powerful. So, if King Ghidorah shows up on the scene, and there’s a generator between the two of you, take out the genny first…it’ll give you a bit of an edge.
But what about the humans attacking you? To be honest, they kinda feel like they’re there for show. Mere annoyances at best. You can step on the tanks easy enough and use atomic breath on the battleships and maybe a conveniently lined-up helicopter. But trying to take down all of the helicopters or the occasional wave of jet fighters? More trouble than it’s worth…at least that’s how I feel about it after my time with the game.
I should take the time to give a shout out to the graphics. The cityscapes you’re demolishing actually look pretty decent most of the time. The backgrounds can be breathtaking…one example in particular was after I finished giving Anguirus his weekly beating, I looked up and found myself in the stunning shadow of Mt. Fuji…and it just gave me a rare ‘wow’ moment. Also, the models for the kaiju themselves are very well done…but then again, they’re the main draw here, so they damn well better look good. One last thing…the tutorial. The fact that it’s in black and white, paying homage to the original 1954 Gojira…bravo, well done. In doing this, this game follows a proud cinematic tradition: at the start of every era of Godzilla following the original Showa series (Heisei and Millenium), they all acknowledge that the original Gojira happened…but nothing else since then…making Godzilla’s return all the more shocking.
My only real problem with the game is what you have to do outside of fighting other kaiju: smashing the aforementioned generators. Each level feels like little more than get shot at by annoying human ants, smash a generator or two, fight a kaiju that arrives on the scene, beat them, then return to smashing generators until none are left and that’s it. Level over. I know that there are points where you can get the military to get data on Godzilla (in that way, you kinda end up playing both sides in this conflict)…but I’ve yet to really see why this is in the game at all.
Length of gaming session: 1 hour 22 minutes.
We’re dividing that in half and only giving credit to 41 minutes given the very slow, plodding nature of the beast. Still, Godzilla gets free pizza…because who the hell am I to tell him he isn’t?
All in all, I get why most critics didn’t like this game. It sure doesn’t help that, as it ties in with the release of the 2014 Legendary Pictures Godzilla film, it’s got the stigma of a movie tie-in game as a quick, low quality cash grab. If you’re buying the game expecting something like previous games like Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Melee or Godzilla Save the Earth…a quick arcade-style brawler…this is going to end up disappointing you. A lot. If you come at this game with an open mind, well, you might still leave disappointed…but you might also leave having found a diamond in the rough.