PS2 Reviews: War of the Monsters
War of the Monsters screenshots
The Final Say!
War of the Monsters -
reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 23 April 2003
Review Score 9.0/10
Distributed By: Sony
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In the days of yesterday, there was a style of motion pictures called "B" grade movies that starred huge monsters like Godzilla and King Kong... alien invasions were second nature to Earthlings and Coca Cola was only ten cents. Fast forward to the late 1980's and there was an arcade game called Rampage that featured "clones" of these giant "B" grade movie monsters. This game featured a Godzilla look-alike called Lizzy and the almost identical King Kong doppelganger called George. Add these two monsters to a city like New York, a touch of military vehicles and hundreds of civilians and you have a game made in console heaven. The idea of this game was to smash each other silly and while you're at it, destroy as many buildings as possible.
Developers Incog Entertainment have taken this ideology to the next step with their latest release called War of the Monsters that not only pays homage to many "B" grade movies but also to the 1980's arcade hit called Rampage. War of the Monsters is set sometime after the 1950's were mankind has thwarted an alien invasion. Unfortunately for man, these dead aliens have a radioactive blood in their systems that has leaked into the sewer systems of Earth. This alien radioactive blood has now integrated with Earth's ecological system and has created dozens of giant monsters that are now a threat to mankind. Sure the story sounds extremely cheesy but this is what makes War of the Monsters unique and a breath of fresh air to console gaming.
Once you have selected which monster you wish to control, you must then battle your way through a plethora of different missions that contain giant robots and monsters from famous "B" grade movies. War of the Monsters in its purest essence is a fighting game that in single-player mode has you going head-to-head with other monsters. Fortunately for you, nothing can get in your way besides these huge behemoths and almost everything in the gaming environment is destroyable. The game also features a great two-player mode that is extremely similar to Rampage that has players going against each other in a variety of different gaming modes such as free-for-all or death match.
The control system of the game is a little fiddly at times because you must use your analog stick to control your monster while the d-pad lets you do a variety of different attack move that is sometimes easier said than done. The beauty of War of the Monsters is that they player and players are not limited to just one fighting arena and the gaming environment is fully 3D. That is, you can move about anywhere in the city or desert with almost as much freedom as possible.
Depending on which monster you select, each character has their benefits and weaknesses. For instance, Ultra V is able to fly around the levels while Godzilla... err... Togera has greater strength than Ultra V. The game is also fairly divided with monster powers, so no matter what monster you select, you should have no problem finishing the level. The monsters are also able to pick up a variety of objects in the game, whether television antennas, trucks, cars, helicopters or telephone poles as almost everything in the game can be picked up and used. For instance, a telephone pole can be used as club, whereas an antenna can be used to impale another creature.
The game also contains a variety of power-ups throughout the game and you also collect tokens that can be used to open up different levels and characters that can be selected at a later stage. Once you have figured out the control system of the game, the combat system is great and your monsters can perform a variety of different attacks such as punch, kick, block and various super attacks. In other words, the gameplay of War of the Monsters is great!
Graphically, War of the Monsters is a visual treat on the PlayStation 2 and contains some great gaming perspective. The monsters themselves don't fill half the screen but they do have a sense of scale in comparison to the environment around them such as buildings, canyons, people, trucks and various other objects. The texture detail on the monsters is extremely nice and every character is uniquely designed. There are also some great visual effects in the game such as lighting and explosions. The camera system in the game is also wisely used and there are no problems whatsoever with bad camera angles or camera locks. The game also runs at what appears to be a very smooth 60 frames per second and with so much detail on screen at once, the developers have done an extremely good job. War of the Monsters also contains some impressive CGI cinematics that looks and feels straight out of a 1950's movie.
The musical score of War of the Monsters sounds straight out of a serial from a "B" grade movie with just enough atmosphere to get you drawn into the game. The sound effects have also been professionally implemented into the game such as the growls and roars of the monsters to the screaming citizens that run around your feet. The sounds of punches and kicks from the monsters when they battle each other helps portray a sense of power with epic proportions.
War of the Monsters is not a good game but far from it, in actual fact it is a very good game that features some of the most addictive gameplay to hit the PlayStation 2. If you are looking for a fighting game with a difference, then this game is for you. The single-player mode may become a little boring but fortunately the two-player mode will give you hours of fun with your friends. With amazing graphics, a 1950's style movie soundtrack and professionally designed sound effects, War of the Monsters is a must have game!
- Andrew B
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