|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Godzilla: Unleashed is a 3D fighting video game based on the Godzilla film franchise for the Wii and PlayStation 2, developed by Pipeworks Software and published by Atari, Inc.. 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.
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.
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
- Battra (PS2 exclusive)
- Battra Larva (PS2 exclusive)
- Obsidius (Clone Orga)
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 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 by the 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 and PlayStation 2 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 received "unfavorable" reviews on all platforms according to video game review aggregator Metacritic. 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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