|Developer(s)||Pipeworks Software, Inc.|
|Release date(s)||Nintendo DS
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
|Distribution||PS2 Optical Disc, UMD|
Godzilla: Unleashed, abbreviated as GU, is a 3D fighting video game based on the Godzilla film franchise for the Wii and PlayStation 2, developed by Pipeworks and published by Atari. The PS2 and Nintendo DS versions were released on November 20 (the latter as Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash) and the Wii version on December 5, 2007 in North America, and all versions on February 22, 2008 in Europe.
The game is set during a series of unnatural disasters across Earth due to unexplained appearances of large crystals, where the Vortaak alien race are invading once again. The game features over 20 Kaiju and Mechas from all three Godzilla eras; as well as two newly created Toho approved creations; Krystalak and Obsidius. It is a sequel to both Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee and Godzilla: Save the Earth.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 Story
- 3 Characters
- 4 Playable monsters
- 5 Original monsters
- 6 PlayStation 2 version
- 7 Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash
- 8 Development
- 9 Reception
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Like its predecessors, Godzilla Unleashed plays as a 3D fighting game with the option to play with two to four monsters at a time, with or without teams. While the PS2 version involves button pressing for attacks and combos, the Wii version, along with button pressing implements its motion sensing control via the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. Basics punch and kick attacks are through the A and B buttons while more powerful and aggressive strikes require swinging of the remote up, down or side to side while pressing A and/or B. Movement is done by the analog stick on the Nunchuk and by shaking it allows players to jump, where combined with shaking of the remote allows nearby opponents or objects like small buildings and boulders to be lifted and thrown by shaking the Remote or pressing the A button. Weapon/beam attacks also return but are less powerful and accurate, but also can be sustained for a longer period of time. Rage Mode from the previous games is absent but in its place is "Critical Mass" where through destruction of energy crystals found in arenas monsters temporarily glow red (similar looking to Burning Godzilla from Godzilla vs. Destoroyah) and increase in size, boosting damage and endurance, but decreasing defense.
Monsters can also use one of seven "Power Surges", which are temporary abilities that can be used only once per battle, per monster. Surges increase certain traits, like for example the Fire Surge increases damage dealt and Speed Surge increases speed. They can also decrease abilities like Shield Surge, which increases defense while slowing movement. Others can improve and damage others like Radiation Surge that improves health regeneration while impairing that of nearby monsters. Before the Surge is over, monsters can induce a powerful shockwave attack. In the single player Story Mode, multiple Power Surges can be collected through defeating an enemy monster afflicted with the Surge. In multiplayer mode, the Surges are obtained by destroying Surge Crystals that pop up in the environment.
Along with destructible environments, Earth's Military or the Vortaak's Forces are present, depending on the arena/city. Both will attack certain monsters each time, while others can still get caught in the crossfire. Monsters are attacked on differing circumstances. For example Global Defense Force monsters will be attacked by humans if they go out their way to destroy human buildings and military units being on the same side. The same goes for Alien monsters and the Vortaak. Destruction of crystals and use of Power Surges and Critical Mass can also affect military attitude towards certain monsters. In Story Mode, the Atragon appears multiple times throughout but due to the personal attitude of its Admiral, it will attack regardless of actions or faction.
The storyline of Unleashed, taking place twenty years after Godzilla: Save the Earth, begins with a meteor shower raining down on Earth, causing climate shifts and earthquakes. Simultaneously, the kaiju of Earth begin to attack cities across the globe as a result of crystals growing on the ground. Factions form among the members of Earth as well as the monsters attacking them, totaling four monster factions. Choices within the story affect later events, including the relationships between Earth factions and the monster ones. The Vortaak, returning from the previous games, choose to invade and use the crystals to seize Earth, but their mothership is knocked into San Francisco bay. It is revealed in the finale that the source of the crystals is SpaceGodzilla trying to escape his prison that he was imprisoned in at the end of Save the Earth.
- Aliens/Conquer Earth - If you defeat SpaceGodzilla as Alien monster at the Finale mission, Earth has lost hope with Vorticia laughing in victory.
- Earth Defenders and Global Defence Force/Save Earth - If you defeat SpaceGodzilla as an Earth Defender or as a GDF monster, the humans will put their thanks to the player for saving humanity and all other life on Earth. (Both are the same.)
- Mutants Tyrant - If you win as a Mutant in Tyrant mission, the crystals spread at a cancerous rate. Like Alien ending, the Earth has lost hope with SpaceGodzilla roaring in victory. This is the only ending the Mutant faction gets, regardless of how you play.
- Power Surge Tyrant - If you play as any of the Earth Defenders, GDF or Alien monsters but acquire all of the seven Power Surges, you will receive the "Tyrant" ending (instead of the "Hero" ending) upon completing Story mode. Miku says that the player's monster was "our only hope", but has now been corrupted by the power surges.
- Base Commander Tagaki - The base commander is the man in charge when it comes to evaluating situations and ordering GDF's mecha forces into action. He's the cool head in chaotic situations - always keeping his emotions in check. Commander Tagaki began his illustrious military career as a young, hotshot G-Force pilot assigned to "Project-M" (Mechagodzilla). His mettle was put to the test during the Vortaak invasion of 2004 while piloting Mechagodzilla 2 into battle against the alien threat. It was then, in the heat of battle, that Tagaki witnessed firsthand how Earth's monsters seemed to join forces against the aliens to protect the planet. The experience changed his personal views on Earth's monsters being a threat to humanity. His name is never said mentioned during the game.
- Specialist Kenji Miku - Miku is one of many GDF technicians who monitor the global defense grid and all monster activities and the human protagonist of the game. She reports directly to her superior, Commander Tagaki. Miku has been fascinated by monsters since childhood and has devoted her life to the study of them. Because of her knowledge and expertise, Miku has become the commander's top consultant and right hand in all monster-related matters. A mutual respect exists between the two. Miku is among those who believe that Earth's monsters are noble defenders of the planet who rage only when their fragile world is threatened by human arrogance or extraterrestrial forces.
- Admiral Gyozen - The admiral is a semi-retired, hardcore military man who serves as military advisor on the GDF council. But he is a bitter man, having fought and lost many battles with Godzilla and having the scars to show for it. The admiral lost command of the battleship Atragon after a particularly humiliating defeat that resulted in the death of his crew. As a result, he harbors a deep-seated hatred toward all monsters. He is the main human antagonist in the game. Though no longer in active command, the admiral has considerable sway within the council with his bombastic, overbearing nature. He is driven insane by his own hatred, which is amplified by the crystals brought on board the Atragon to power a "Crystal Cannon" weapon, he is then killed during the fight in the Atragon while fighting the player's selected monster.
- Dr. Shiragami - A GDF scientist and the world's leading expert on giant monsters, Dr. Shiragami makes some "fascinating" discoveries regarding the properties of the crystal formations and the alien radiation they produce. He accidentally makes Biollante while experimenting with combinations of G-cells (Godzilla's DNA), crystal radiation, and a bioagent designed to eat G-cells. Later, he presents his findings on the crystals and "Critical Mass" (similar to Godzilla's Burning Form from Godzilla vs. Destoroyah). Shiragami first appeared in Godzilla vs. Biollante, where he created Biollante almost in the same way, but with the DNA of his deceased daughter, Erika.
- Vorticia - 20 years after being defeated by Earth's monsters and Mecha units, the Queen of the Vortaak returns to Earth to "reclaim her prize". She leads the Alien monsters and commands the Vortaak forces into battle against the GDF, Mutants, and Earth Defenders. She is a secondary antagonist in this game. Her Mothership is damaged early on by a meteor, delaying the invasion, and Vorticia has suspicion about "someone or something is after her prize". Crystals appear, and Vorticia sends her monsters to steal them. Repairs on the Mothership are eventually completed, and the invasion is launched. The Mothership is brought down, however, by one of the monsters (generally, the player). Vorticia then utilizes the crystals to make King Ghidorah enter enhanced Critical Mass, unleashing him in Seattle, but he is eventually defeated. The fights still go on, and in the end, it is discovered that SpaceGodzilla, a former ally to the Vortaak, was also trying to conquer Earth. Her fate is dependent on the ending. If the aliens win, she takes over the Earth as its ruler. If any other faction wins, it is presumed that she died as her Mothership was destroyed.
The total number and look of playable monsters differs between the Wii and PS2 versions. In Godzilla: Unleashed, there are 26 playable monsters in the Wii version, and 20 playable monsters in the PS2 version. Monsters are divided up into 4 factions: Earth Defenders, Global Defense Force, Aliens and Mutants. In Story Mode, monsters of particular factions have different goals and so take a different order of missions. Each Faction also has different styles of play and what they consider friend or foe. Some choose to use the crystals while others intend to destroy them and so will reflect this depending on how the player chooses to act throughout. While you gain points with some factions for obtaining Power Surges, obtaining all seven Power Surges will null any allegiances the player has and unlock a secret level called "Tyrant", in which the player's chosen monster is given unlimited Critical Mass but is forced to brawl against several monsters which may or may not have been former allies. The "Tyrant" level is the default ending level for all Mutants, though you do not loose your Mutant alliances if you didn't accumulate every Power Surge.
These are natural monsters that are very instinctive and protective of their territory, Earth. They see the crystals and Vortaak as threats and go out their way to destroy them, even if it means destruction of human cities. Earth Defenders ally themselves with monsters that destroy crystals but because of this, they will attack those who use them to attain Critical Mass.
- Anguirus (Showa) - A large, Ankylosaurus-like creature. He will fight by Godzilla's side to defeat the crystals and defend the Earth until the end.
- Baragon (Showa/Millenium hybrid) - A small, red fire-breathing dinosaur who can burrow underground.
- Fire Rodan - A supersonic species of pterosaur.
- Godzilla 1954 - The Original incarnation of the character (Unavailable in Story or Training mode). (Wii only)
- Godzilla 1990's - The Heisei incarnation of the character (Unavailable in Story or Training mode on the Wii Version).
- Godzilla 2000 - The strongest monster and leader of all of the Earth Defenders, He is an unknown species of dinosaur which has been mutated by a hydrogen bomb who travels all over the world to defeat the crystals invading his home planet and stop any monster that wants to use the powerful energy of the crystals.
- King Caesar (Showa/Millennium hybrid) - A lion-like deity who represents a royal family. (Wii only)
- Mothra (Heisei/Millennium hybrid) - A divine moth deity who protects the Earth from threats like other monsters.
- Varan - A huge, prehistoric lizard with gliding abilities. (Wii only)
Global Defense Force
Human engineered Mechas, built to protect humanity from other monsters, the Vortaak and the crystals. They usually ally themselves with monsters that do not destroy a sufficient amount of human structures and those who fight Alien forces, and fight those that do the opposite. Due to their autonomous minds, Global Defense Forces mechas can fall victim to and become corrupted by the crystals energy.
- Jet Jaguar - A humanoid fighting robot that can change size at will.
- Kiryu - A cyborg built using the bones of the original 1954 Godzilla, Kiryu is the leader of all the GDF Mechas.
- Mechagodzilla 2 - A robotic replica of Godzilla built using the technology from Mecha-King Ghidorah.
- Mecha-King Ghidorah - King Ghidorah resurrected as a cyborg from the future.
- M.O.G.U.E.R.A (Heisei) - A battle robot equipped with numerous plasma based weaponry.
The Alien faction is made up of monsters that have allied themselves with the Vortaak invaders and thus their prime goal is to destroy the humans and conquer Earth. Alien monsters are driven by power surges and so attack monsters that destroy Surge (or regular) crystals or Vortaak forces and buildings. They will on the other hand ally themselves with those who preserve crystals or destroy human forces.
- Gigan (2004) - A cycloptic cyborg creature with bladed arms and a buzz saw in its chest, it shares leadership of the Alien monsters along with King Ghidorah. The Showa version is exclusive to the PS2, while the Millennium version is exclusive to the Wii.
- King Ghidorah - An extraterrestrial three-headed wyvern, it shares leadership of the Alien monsters along with Gigan. The Showa/Heisei hybrid is exclusive to the PS2, while the Showa/Millennium hybrid is exclusive to the Wii.
- Mechagodzilla - The first robotic replica of Godzilla constructed by an alien race. (Wii only)
- Megalon - The "Beetle God" of the underwater civilization of Seatopia that has drills for hands. Is actually a Mutant who sides with the Vortaak.
- Orga - An alien known as a Millennian that was mutated by Godzilla's DNA. Has very large hands.
Monsters from the mutant faction are driven by lust for power more than anything else. Because of this they are drawn to crystals and so will destroy all in their path to get such power; monsters, humans and even Vortaak, and so Mutants will ally themselves with others monsters that do just this and attain Critical Mass. They will fight monsters that do not do enough destruction.
- Biollante - A hulking plant-like beast created by Dr. Shiragami whose DNA is a fusion of Godzilla's, a rose's, and Erika Shiragami's. (Wii only)
- Destoroyah - A beast composed of millions of Precambrian microscopic lifeforms mutated by the weapon that killed the original Godzilla in 1954; this monster came close to killing Godzilla on its own in 1995.
- Krystalak - A villainous entity born from SpaceGodzilla's crystals. Created exclusively for the game. (Wii only)
- Megaguirus - A prehistoric dragonfly queen who has a taste for power.
- Obsidius - A sentient monster made from volcanic rock that was born from SpaceGodzilla's crystals. Created exclusively for the game.
- SpaceGodzilla - The games primary kaiju antagonist, SpaceGodzilla is a creature created when Godzilla's DNA merged with cosmic energy. SpaceGodzilla is responsible for summoning the crystals invading the Earth.
- Titanosaurus - A prehistoric marine dinosaur that wants to use the power surges to get revenge on humanity for disturbing his slumber. (Wii only)
- Atragon – A flying battleship with a drill-like weapon and one of the few unplayable bosses. It represents the Gotengo, here going by Toho's international name of "Atoragon" in the game.
- Bagan - Mentioned.
- Zilla - Was considered but scrapped due to a lack of popularity among fans. Although fans later complained about the monster not being in the game.
Obsidius was selected from a roster of 4 original monsters created by Pipeworks. Under the working names Magmouth, Firelion, the Visitor, and Lightning Bug, IGN ran a poll for viewers to vote on which monster would be developed as a fighter. After attracting 6,000 voters, Magmouth was the winner. Later, second poll selected "Obsidius" as the chosen monster's new name while beating out alternatives "Dotoryo", "Kazango", "Pyrodorah", and "Volcanis". Obsidius was not seen on any official gameplay until September 12, 2007. He was briefly seen on the extended trailer for the game being attacked by King Ghidorah. Obsidius's official biography and character model was revealed on September 21, 2007 in an animatic along with Megaguirus and Mecha-King Ghidorah on IGN. There is also a video of Obsidius fighting Kiryu at Gameradar that was revealed on October 9, 2007.
PlayStation 2 version
The PlayStation 2 version of Unleashed is an update of Godzilla: Save the Earth. Movement returns to a traditional control scheme, instead of the motion controls found in the Wii version. Furthermore, a number of playable monsters are missing such as Godzilla 1954, King Caesar, Varan, Gigan (2004), Biollante, Krystalak and Titanosaurus. The PS2 version of the game adopts few of the mechanical changes from the Wii version, and instead retains those found in Save the Earth. However, it does incorporate most of the music and stages from the Wii version. It is criticized for being only a minor update to the previous game, particularly due to a lack of new monsters as well as Battra and Obsidius being model swaps of Mothra and Orga, respectively.
Global Defense Force
Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash
The Nintendo DS version of Unleashed, Double Smash features gameplay akin to a side-scroller, similar to that of the Godzilla: Monster of Monsters. Although graphically 3D, its 2D gameplay could be said to make the game 2.5D, much like in New Super Mario Bros. or Sonic Rush. Using the two-screen display of the Nintendo DS, flying monsters appear on the top screen, while grounded monsters appear on the bottom screen. A multi-player option will allow for a different player to control each monster.
Critical reaction to Double Smash was largely negative. IGN gave the game a score of 3 out of 10, saying: "None of the recent Godzilla games have been very good, but at least they were fun. Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash cannot make this claim. It looks terrible, and reduces the King of the Monsters to a mush of no-texture polygons, then puts him in a tedious series of punching planes and kicking boats." GameSpot gave Double Smash a 2 out of 10, calling it "one of the worst DS games ever made," adding: "With a perfect storm of terrible game design, bad play mechanics, and uninspired destruction, this game does what oxidation bombs, volcanoes, and Matthew Broderick couldn't: It kills Godzilla." GameSpy gave the game a 1 out of 5, saying: "This brain-dead combat is perhaps the worst part of Double Smash. Slowly plodding through the stale levels, fighting the same enemies, and using the same techniques to win grows old almost immediately."
Monsters in Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash
- Anguirus (Showa): A large, Ankylosaurus-like creature.
- Battra - An evil divine moth created by the Earth to kill lifeforms that were destroying it.
- Destoroyah - A creature spawned the by Oxygen Destroyer in 1954.
- Fire Rodan - A large, supersonic species of Pteranodon.
- Gigan (Showa) - A cyloptic cyborg creature with bladed arms and a buzz saw in its chest.
- Godzilla (Heisei/Millenium Hybrid) - The games titular kaiju protagonist and the King of the Monsters.
- King Ghidorah (Heisei/Showa hybrid) - An extraterrestrial three-headed dragon.
- Krystalak - A villainous entity born from SpaceGodzilla's crystals.
- Megalon - A "Beetle God" of the underwater civilization of Seatopia that has drills for hands.
- Mothra (Heisei/Millenium hybrid) - A divine moth deity who protects the Earth from threats like other monsters.
Unplayable boss characters include:
- Jet Jaguar
- Mecha-King Ghidorah
- The Sphinx (original character)
An IGN interview with Pipeworks states that the title is completely new and is specifically designed with the Wii Remote in mind. There were also plans to use WiiConnect24 support for downloading purposes, but they seemed to never have happened. IGN has a development blog running, but it is updated irregularly. The Wii version of the game, while much more developed than the PS2 version, has been criticized in early reviews for somewhat unresponsive controls.
The Wii, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable versions of Unleashed are in development by Pipeworks Software. The PlayStation 2 version has two exclusive characters unavailable to any other console apart from Double Smash. The PlayStation 2 version has 20 monsters, including the two exclusive characters. While the game was in early development, a screenshot was also shown with the press release on some websites, but it was revealed to be a falsely edited from screenshots of Unleashed and Godzilla: Save the Earth.
On September 14, 2007, two screenshots from an early build of the PS2 version of the game were released, revealing Godzilla 2000 and Anguirus with similar models to their Save the Earth designs, and crystals on a Monster Island arena. It has been speculated that the gameplay would be a rebuild of the Save the Earth mechanics.
On September 27, 2007, IGN posted a new PS2 video showing Godzilla 2000, Destoroyah, Orga, Anguirus, SpaceGodzilla, Moguera, Fire Rodan, Megalon, King Ghidorah, Baragon, Jet Jaguar, Mechagodzilla 2, Mecha-King Ghidorah, Megaguirus and Showa Gigan. This left five monsters to go. It also furthered the idea that it is a rebuild of Save the Earth as several characters are completely unchanged, including King Ghidorah, Megaguirus and Gigan, who were revamped for the Wii version. On the following day, Tohokingdom.com posted an area for PS2 holders to watch. They have placed a character confirmed list on it, which shows all of the characters that were seen in the PS2 video.
On October 10, 2007, it was announced that summonable monsters would not reappear, according to an interview. Two days later, IGN's development blog has revealed that Heavy Melody created the soundtrack for the game and that every monster has a unique theme song that ties to the overall feeling of their faction for the Wii version. On October 19, 2007, IGN stated that the PSP version of Godzilla: Unleashed was canceled; however, if the Wii version of the game sells well there could be a PSP version coming out in 2008.
Atari stated that the Wii version of Godzilla: Unleashed would be released on November 20, 2007, the same day as the Nintendo DS version. Atari later stated that the PS2 version of Godzilla: Unleashed would be released on November 20, 2007, along with the Nintendo DS and Wii version.
On November 9, 2007, GameSpot posted its sixth and final designer diary with Simon Strange talking about the factions' importance. On November 19, 2007, GameSpot put up a Monster Battles feature to have people vote for which monsters they want to face off. Also, Battra was revealed to be in the game, as he is one of the monsters in the character pool.
The PS2 version of Godzilla: Unleashed has 20 monsters. Beyond Battra (exclusive to the system) and Obsidius, the roster is completely lifted from Save the Earth, featuring none of the other new characters in the Wii version. The PS2 version is a modified version of Save the Earth only with Battra and Obsidius. However, Battra is just a clone of Mothra and Obsidius is just a clone of Orga.
On November 30, 2007, Atari put up a contest for the upcoming Wii version. The contest was a trivia game. If the players guessed the answers correctly, they would have a chance to win a poster of Godzilla: Unleashed, 10% off digital downloads at Atari, or Atari T-shirts. Also on the same day, all of the "monster cards" on the official website were revealed. On December 16, 2007, King Caesar won the GameSpot Monster battles while Baragon was in 2nd place. Obsidius got the least amount of votes (9380 votes). On December 23, 2007, Tohokingdom.com came out with the Godzilla: Unleashed Soundtrack.
It was revealed in an interview with one of the producers of the game that there are no plans for a PSP version.
The game was met with negative reception from critics. GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 45.24% and 44 out of 100 for the Wii version; 40.83% and 38 out of 100 for the PlayStation 2 version; and 28.39% and 28 out of 100 for the DS version. Play Magazine called the Wii version "among the best fighters for the system", while GameSpot stated, "Unleashed is the worst thing to happen to Godzilla since getting killed by Mothra's babies."
GameSpy praised the large lineup of playable kaiju as "ample fan service" while showing disappointment over the new original kaiju, Obsidius and Krystalak, being "a shame that these guys make the cut while classic foes like Hedorah and Battra are MIA (or confined to the PS2 version in Battra's case)."
The controls were criticized the most by critics, reportedly being unresponsive at times. Nintendo Power said of the Wii version, "Though Godzilla Unleashed is fairly accessible, even casual gamers may wonder why their creatures don't always do what they want," while IGN experienced "a good deal of lag between when you swing the Wiimote and when your monster attacks." Game Informer, however, more bluntly called them a "complete slop".
The visuals were also criticized with GameTrailers stating that the Wii version's films "are often seen as classics because of their low production values and hokey monster designs. Still, Godzilla Unleashed is simply unattractive with its low-res textures and washed-out color palette."
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