Do you recall earlier this year when we talked about how Godzilla was such a rarity on the PlayStation 4? That’s mainly because no one really develops monstrous beat-em-ups anymore. Apparently, though, Republic Games heard our cries, because they’ve got a kaiju brawler that’s sure to be our speed when it drops later this year for PlayStation 4 and PC.
In GigaBash, which debuted its new trailer earlier today during E3’s Future Games Show showcase, players will choose from a variety of monsters and attempt to trash their opposition with powerful moves.
Here’s the game’s official storyline:
“For centuries, human technology and culture ruled the surface, yet the deeper secrets of the Earth lay hidden from our eyes. Until one day, the discovery of a new form of energy called forth the ancient terrors unknown to mankind. Thus began the rise of monsters around the world. Their battle against us and their own kind, raged throughout the world, leaving only destruction in their wake.
“Unleash Chaos and go on a rampage with up to 4 players, against friends or family, but only ONE can be KING. Play as giant monsters or heroes, and discover the secrets of their origin. Featuring familiar cities and exotic landscapes around the world, no place is safe from the coming havoc.”
The trailer below gives you a good idea of what you can do in this monstrous universe, as well as the imaginative characters involved. And, yes, you can throw buildings, because…why not.
We can’t wait to get into GigaBash, especially when it comes to mixing it up with friends.
Fans of the classic Godzilla films have been feeling somewhat mixed about Legendary’s newer films in the franchise. While the 2014 Godzilla did an effective job bringing him back into the current monster fold, he was barely on-screen for the film. And for that matter, while Godzilla: King of the Monsters had epic monster battles, it also had a bit too much of the human element – which audiences didn’t really care about.
Now we get Godzilla vs. Kong, the latest in the series, helmed by horror director Adam Wingard. And while it does have some predictable moments here and there – once again with, yes, the humans – it’s probably my favorite Godzilla film in the series to date. Of course, having Kong definitely helps; and the monster fights these two put on are nothing short of spectacular.
When we’re first introduced to Kong, he’s in a large containment facility in Skull Island, being watched over by scientist Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) and a young charge that he’s able to communicate with. It appears that he’s being kept in there for his own good, with Godzilla on some kind of legendary hunt for him.
Meanwhile, a scientist named Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard) is called upon to recruit Kong to find some kind of lost world, hidden beneath the Earth’s crust. But the corporation he’s hired by, Apex, has some sort of dangerous plan; and that’s something returning character Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown) wants to learn more about, alongside a friend and a podcaster named Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry).
There is a bit of human composition here, just like the last films. But Wingard is smart enough to keep it to kind of a minimum here, even with a couple of awkward moments here and there. And it’s got enough flow to keep the film going into its most entertaining parts – the battles between Godzilla and Kong.
The first one, taking place on the high seas, is outstanding, involving exploding jets, battleships serving as platforms and more chaos than you can shake a stick at. It also sets the stage for a huge battle in Hong Kong later on, taking on Pacific Rim for the best neon-lit fight of all time.
And it all culminates with a winner and a loser, of course – and a surprising union when Apex unleashes a monster of its own. And judging by the trailers, you can probably take a good guess who it is. (We won’t spoil here.)
Written by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein, the script for Godzilla vs. Kong moves along swiftly. Again, some jokes fall a little flat, and Henry’s podcaster does go a little nuts at times; but overall it keeps just the right flow for a monster movie. Not to mention that there’s some good explanation as to how this ties in with King of the Monsters, even if Kong was an absentee that time around. (At least we have Kong: Skull Island, which is still the best of the monster movies to date.)
Wingard directs with a swift hand, backed by a wondrous effects team that delivers the goods at every corner. The monster fights are epic, especially on the big screen (though you can watch this on HBO Max as well), and the special effects and shots are spectacular. You won’t get bored in the least here, especially with the final fight, where Kong lets loose with a glowing axe like he’s the next Conan.
When Godzilla vs. Kong strays into the human territory, it’s a bit easy for it to lose its way. Fortunately, that doesn’t last very long – even the ending is a bit abrupt – and the general focus on the monsters themselves is never lost. That makes for an entertaining fantasy that’s easily the best current-gen Godzilla movie to date. Here’s hoping we get a round two down the road.
In 2014, Bandai Namco decided to give Godzilla another try on the console front, after years had gone by since the glory days of Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Melee and Godzilla Save the Earth. So, on PlayStation 4, it released a contemporary fighting game featuring the giant monster and his buddies, trashing everything as best as they could.
The game didn’t quite fare as well as the company was hoping, as it got poor scores from critics and didn’t sell as well as it would hope. And when the license faded, it decided to quietly end its production and move onto other projects.
But then something happened. If you do a quick search for the game on eBay, you’ll find that it’s become an impressive collector’s item, with complete copies selling for anywhere between $160 to $250 – and maybe even higher if the game is brand new and sealed. That makes it the rarest PlayStation 4 game out there, aside from the physical version of Gravity Rush Remastered, which also didn’t get that big a production run.
So what happened? Did the game strike a chord alongside the same levels as the previous PlayStation 2/Xbox/GameCube Godzilla games? Or did fans just want something featuring the big lug, since there are really no other games featuring him?
Even though most critics found the gameplay lacking in the new Godzilla game, there’s no question that its essence is true to the original films of lore. IGN actually noted in its review (with a score of 4.5, by the way) that “the spirit of the old-school monster movie is where Bandai Namco absolutely nails it.”
The game was actually developed by the team at Natsume, a bit of a stretch from the previous developers of Godzilla games. However, the team did its homework, going for that old-school mantra and even going as far as leveling up the destruction so that it took advantage of the PS4 hardware. For good measure, players could also unlock special modes related to Godzilla, such as Evolution Mode, the Kaiji Field Guide, and even the peculiar Diorama mode, featuring a number of memorable monster models. This would allow players to recreate infamous battles from the films.
More than likely, the sheer essence of classic cinematic Godzilla is what makes the game such a huge draw. For good measure, it’s also got a who’s who of monsters from the films, as follows:
Godzilla, four versions (including the 1995 version and the more current 2014 one from the box office hit)
King Ghidorah (Heisei)
Mechagodzilla (both the 1974 and 1975 versions)
Battra (Larva and Imago)
Gigan (the upgraded 2004 version)
Jet Jaguar (YES!)
There’s just a ton of content here for old-school fans, as well as those thirsting for a big monster fight. Again, the controls may not have been as smooth as Melee, but regardless, it set the stage for some big monster encounters – and still kind of does today.
As for why fans may have passed upon it at release, it didn’t get as much hype as many were expecting. That may have been due to the lacking reviews at the time, or the fact that the license just wasn’t as big of a draw as, say, Tekken or Soul Calibur. That’s a bit mind-boggling, considering Godzilla’s universal appeal. And let’s not forget the movie that came out at the same time, too.
But now fans are discovering it and even asking for a reprinting, though the license is likely out of Bandai Namco’s hands at this point. There’s always the possibility of a sequel, especially with Godzilla vs. Kong creeping up on us next month. But, for now, if you want to track down the original, it’ll cost you a pretty penny. But, hey, to some of us die-hard kaiju fans, it’ll certainly be worth it.