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War of the Monsters | review | game | Lollipop

War of the Monsters

(SCEA for PS2)
by Eric Chon

Giant monsters kicking the crap out of everything around them? This is a concept I'll never get tired of. Who wouldn't want to become a giant eyeball of doom just to rain havoc on a few puny pedestrians? Well, now's your chance.

War of the Monsters gives you a host of seven-story beasties to destroy each other (and various cities) with. Since no particular license went into this, we have self-made recreations of popular giant lizard, giant ape, and weird aliens. There's even a '70s-style Japanese robot (a la Mazinger Z) with finger-rockets and everything. The attention to detail is staggering!

Everything is destroyable, from buildings to vehicles and even highways. You can pick up steel beams and wield them like clubs or grab a radar antennae and spear it through your opponent. The action is fast and ferocious and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. And the graphics are excellent. Your monster is colorful and animated; the environments expansive and detailed. It's quite the beauty, even for a PS2 game.

But where does it stand compared to its obvious competition, Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee? Godzilla's 40-story giants, capable of picking up skyscrapers and using them to brush their teeth, are large, lumbering, ultra-powerful bad-asses. War of the Monsters features much smaller, King Kong-sized creatures and it suffers a bit because of this. Sure, you're a behemoth capable of untold millions in property damage, but you don't feel like it sometimes. Instead of stepping on ants (as in Godzilla), you're wrecking a supermarket (the aisles being buildings). Depending on what you want out of your Kaiju battles, this can go either way.

The biggest fault is that you can only rumble with one other buddy. What gives? This is a game that screams for four-player action! Although it's tons of fun (no pun intended) to go at it one-on-one, the lost potential for four-player mayhem makes me weep.

Overall, if you want the best in monster fights, go with Godzilla. However, since that's a GameCube exclusive at the moment, PS2 owners can't go wrong with War of the Monsters.

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