War of the Monsters
|War of the Monsters|
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Distributor(s)||Sony Interactive Entertainment|
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2
War of the Monsters is a 3D fighting game for the PlayStation 2 developed by Incognito Entertainment and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game was released on January 14, 2003 in North America and April 17, 2003 in Europe. It was later released in Japan on March 25, 2004.
The game is set in the aftermath of an alien invasion of Earth where their hazardous fuels have spawned giant monsters that battle one another in city environments. The game pays homage to Kaiju and 1950s Science fiction films.
It is now available on the PlayStation Network as a PlayStation 2 classic.
In War of the Monsters, players take the roles of large monsters in city environments. The game plays as a fighting game yet works differently from the traditional one-on-one structured rounds. Instead, fights can include up to 4 players in a four-way simultaneous fighting structure. The camera is in third person perspective, allowing the player to focus solely on their character.
Monsters have two status bars in each game, health and stamina. Like the standard fighting game formula, every time a monster takes damage, their overall Health bar drops until it is completely depleted, resulting in player defeat. Stamina determines how much energy a monster can attack with. The bar drops if a monster picks up another foe or performs a ranged attack. If the bar is full, a monster can perform special attacks, whereas if the bar is completely drained, they become temporarily immobilized.
Also unlike most fighting games, players are allowed to roam freely within the city area, which allows climbing of jumping from buildings and cliffs. Monsters can use the environment to deal out damage to their foes by making weapons of various objects found within the city, such as vehicles and rubble as projectiles, steel girders and stone columns as clubs and radio antennae as a spear to impale others, temporarily stunning them. There are also some environment pick-ups, which can increase health or stamina, appearing as green or blue orbs and floating radioactive signs. Buildings can be destroyed if a monster directly attacks or is thrown into it. In some cities, taller buildings can topple over sideways that can crush other monsters, killing them instantly. In the Adventure mode, along with a series of set fights with other monsters, boss battles are also present. They are much larger than the standard playable monsters and required certain strategies to defeat. "Tokens" can also be earned through Adventure mode, which can be spent at the "Unlocks" shop to unlock more cities, monsters, and monster skins. And you also can unlock mini-games like dodge ball or city destruction.
- Congar – A homage to King Kong, Congar is a gigantic ape. Originally a monkey sent into space, Congar's ship collided with an alien saucer on re-entry, and Congar was mutated by the ships radioactive fuel, and survived the crash. Congar's special attack is an incredibly powerful close range roar, which knocks back any monster caught in it. Congar has a ten-hit combo, and is often regarded as the best overall monster.
- Ultra-V – A homage to Mazinger Z. A Japanese giant robot, Ultra-V was created by the Japanese government using the fuel from a saucer to power it, however it quickly went out of control and escaped. Ultra-V's special attack is an extremely long range grapple, launching his hand at an enemy and pulling them straight to him; the ensnared opponent is briefly stunned, allowing for follow-up attacks.
- Robo-47 – A giant robot, Robo-47 was built by the American military, and, for lack of a feasible power source, abandoned in an army barracks. An alien saucer crashed nearby the building and the vaporized fuel crept inside, awakening Robo-47. Robo-47's special attack is a long range homing rocket that can lock on and chase its target exploding on impact.
- Togera – A homage to Godzilla, Togera is a monstrous prehistoric lizard, having slept at the ocean floor. Togera was revived when a crashing alien ship sank into the ocean, its leaking fuel then inhaled by Togera, awakening it. Togera's special ability is to breathe atomic energy out of his mouth.
- Kineticlops – A giant eyeball suspended in a body of electricity. Kineticlops was created when a security guard, investigating power lines struck by a crashed saucer, was electrocuted by the power from the saucer, turning him into Kineticlops. Kineticlops's special attack is firing sustained bolts of electricity which hit the closest enemy, and forks to others nearby. He is also a playable character in Downhill Domination, another game made by Incognito. Kineticlops has the lowest health, but is the fastest and most agile monster in the game.
- Preytor – A homage to the giant mantis from The Deadly Mantis, Preytor is a giant praying mantis. It started out as a small insect when it was fed alien fuel, causing it to grow to enormous proportions and eat the scientist who fed it. Preytor's special attack is throwing a giant leech onto its enemy that drains their health. Preytor is the one of the two monsters that can fly. Preytor is also the second fastest monster, being slower than Kineticlops. The creators have stated that they consider Preytor the main character.
- Raptros – A prehistoric dragon, Raptros's special attack is firing a stream of fire from its mouth. Like Preytor, Raptros has the ability to fly. Raptros's origin is never revealed in the game.
- Agamo – A giant living statue, Agamo was born when an island native poured some of the alien saucer's fuel into a giant carved pyre, causing it to come to life, and rise out of the ground. Agamo's special attack is ripping off his stone head and using it as a weapon, which can be triggered to explode. Agamo has a special costume which can only be unlocked by having a saved file of the PS2 game Twisted Metal Black on an inserted memory card, which turns him into a giant mechanized version of the franchise's character Sweet Tooth. Agamo has the highest amount of health but is the slowest monster in the game.
- Magmo – Made of molten lava, Magmo is a four armed lava golem, born when an alien saucer crashed into an active volcano. Magmo's special attack is launching a barrage of fire balls that can lock on and chase their target. With enough skill and practice, Magmo's combos are among the strongest in the game, if not the strongest.
- Zorgulon – A giant alien invader. Zorgulon appears to resemble the aliens from Mars Attacks!. As an unlockable character, Zorgulon's origin story is not revealed in the game beyond his allegiance to the alien invaders. The creators have since revealed his origin as being the king of the alien invaders, but consumed radioactive waste and became addicted to it. He came to Earth looking for the waste from the spaceships. Zorgulon's long range special involves him summoning a squadron of UFOs to attack a target.
- Goliath Prime – A large abandoned robot at Area 51. He is non-playable. Goliath Prime can transform into a spinning blade form if needed. He is the first boss.
- Vegon – A three-headed giant Venus Flytrap, and the game's second boss. Vegon is non-playable and can spit acid, as well as create thorny roots to attack the player.
- Cerebulon – A giant version of Zorgulon and the game's third and final boss. Cerebulon is in a large mech for his first form, a spider-like walker as his second, and finally an exoskeleton resembling Zorgulon. Upon defeating Cerebulon, the player discovers that his true form is a small (compared to the monsters) insect-like creature, which scurries away as the player monster roars in victory.
The plot is set in the 1950s where a fleet of alien flying saucer warships invade the Earth, causing massive damage. The scientists of the world's nations manage to create a series of secret weapons, which, when activated, let loose shock waves that short-circuit the saucers and cause them to crash. Unfortunately, each flying saucer is fueled by a green radioactive liquid, which leaks out from destroyed crafts as they crash. Through this, the fuel infects creatures, humans, and robots, creating a war between the monsters. The player acts as one of these monsters and battles against the rest in fictional cities across the globe and the remaining UFOs.
The story mode of the game starts out in Midtown Park where a giant gorilla called Congar defeats a wave of military forces but is fought and defeated by the lead monster.
In Gambler's Gulch, the lead monster also defeats the reptilian beast, Togera. After Togera's defeat, a military class mech called Robo-47 and the military show up and attack the lead monster but are defeated as well. At a military base at Rosedale Canyon, the lead monster is confronted by a horde of irradiated giant ants and a mega robot, Goliath Prime. Prime and the ants are all defeated.
In Metro City, the military decide to test their new weapon, Mecha-Congar, on the giant mantis Preytor, who was attacking the city. Before they could fight the lead monster appears and defeats them both. The lead monster then travels to Century Airfield and defeats twin Raptros dragons.
Then, at the Atomic Island power plant, the lead monster defeats a swarm of Kineticlops, living electrical monsters, by causing a nuclear meltdown. In the resulting ruins, the lead monster must battle a large, three headed plant creature called Vegon. Two Robo-47s stop a UFO attack in scenic Baytown and then try to slay the lead monster. Both are repelled and beaten. In the Pacific island of Club Caldera, the rock monsters Magmo and Agamo fight each other with the lead monster caught in the middle. Both are beaten.
After defeating two Ultra V robots at "Tsunopolis", the lead monster is abducted by a UFO that takes it back to the mothership. There the lead monster has to fend off three Zorgulons before being abducted once more when the mothership explodes, causing the UFO to crash into the North American city of Capitol. There, the alien leader Cerebulon attacks in a multi-layered tripod battle suit. After Cerebulon is defeated, the lead monster victor watches as the last part of Cerebulon, a small timid insect like creature flees. A short movie is shown about the monster's origin depending on who the player chooses. The only exceptions are Raptros the dragon and Zorgulon the alien creature.
War of the Monsters received "generally favorable reviews" according to video game review aggregator Metacritic. In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of three sevens and one six for a total of 27 out of 40.
Most reviewers praised the game's style and monster roster, being a homage to classic monster movies. IGN stated that "the game draws its inspiration from movies like The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, King Kong, and Godzilla, the characters immediately appear to be Inspired by from the great Ray Harryhausen", going on to say "each of the game's 10 gigantic beasts are as fun to play as they are to look at" while GameSpot said "a slick presentation gives the game the style of an old drive-in movie or news telecast, and it really works well to accentuate the game's retro theme and characters."
GameSpy was equally impressed, noting the destructible environments, that "WotM captures the joy of destruction more so than any game I've ever played. Did you think knocking over buildings was fun in Rampage? It's ten... no, twelvety times better in WotM". Game Informer, however, complained about certain aspects of gameplay, that "the unblockable attacks are just downright unfair" and that "the lazy camera produces numerous blind spots throughout a battle". Game Revolution noted AI issues, that "the monsters routinely demonstrate a strong sense of self-preservation", which they called "extremely frustrating behavior".
- King of the Monsters - An earlier series of games with a similar plotline.
- Rampage - An earlier series with similar monsters.
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