"Not Perfection, But Unbelievably Close Anyway"

INTRO

Aah, War of the Monsters. Easily my favorite PS2 game. WotM is pretty much the definition of a perfect game, but Incog (the game's developer) had to screw it up just a little bit, just to make us want a sequel that much more. Well, let me tell you a little more about this monster's brawl.

GRAPHICS

This game pretty much looks excellent. The graphics are very well done, and still stand up to the current stock of games fairly well. The FMV's are also gorgeous. The levels themselves are beautiful to look at, as are the various explosions, fires, and laser beams. The monsters also look very good, but they are flawed slightly: When you begin a match, the camera sweeps around the battlefield and then focuses on two monsters. The monsters don't look so hot up close, but during gameplay, they look just fine. Some minor things pop up (the pathetic humans running in fear of the monsters are basically sprites), but the gameplay never suffers because of it.

SOUND

This game sounds great. The explosions are deafeningly loud, and the monster's assorted roars and cries sound great too. Some of the sound effects are a little strange (whenever you hit the electrified monster, Kineticlops), but these are small flaws that you will notice, and then quickly forget about. The music in this game is barely noticeable over the explosions and what not, but most of it is fairly well done (the Capitol's opening music comes to mind).

GAMEPLAY

Well, well. We've arrived at the crucial category: the gameplay. This game is pretty much a joy to play, but all of the flaws lie here. The game can't really be compared to anything else, but if I had to describe it as being like something, I'd say it's something like a wrestling game (no, I don't like wrestling...). You run your monster around in these big cities, nuclear power plants, active volcanoes, and all the other places, and kill everything that moves. If you so desire, you can grab yourself a weapon off of the ground to hurl at other monsters/buildings, or to bludgeon other folks with. You can climb up on top of buildings, and even trigger environmental attacks. It's all really fun, and it's really freakin' addictive, too. There are a fair amount of modes to jack around in (Free for All, Endurance, Adventure, etc), so you will be playing the game for a while. However, the games developers didn't quite put in enough stuff; the game feels surprisingly bare after extended play. Why Incog didn't give us a 4-player mode or at least LAN play puzzles me, and online play would definitely been a major plus for me. The minigames also aren't all that great, but they're amusing to me and my friend Dustin when we're both really tired and not thinking clearly. Finally, the game's AI isn't too fun to deal with. The enemy monsters will do very little except:

1: Search for health powerups.

2: Look around for "spear" weapons to impale other monsters with, thereby disabling them.

3: Beat on the monster with the least health.

I don't really consider putting the game on higher difficulty levels, merely because the AI is frustrating even on the Easy level. While this does detract from the game somewhat, you'll be fine after you get enough practice in.

CONTROLS

This game controls fairly well, although the Lock On system is annoying (why do I have to hold down R1 and L1? Couldn't I just tap them once?). As usual, you get used to it quickly. Also, the monsters function on what I call a "Turn and Walk" system: When you move the Analog Stick left, the monster only turns left, as opposed to strafing that direction, or just running that way. Of course, you get used to it eventually.

REPLAYABILITY

What do you think? This game came out in January 2003, and I'm still playing it nearly every day. This game is highly replayable, despite the flaws.

BUY OR RENT?

Definitely buy. The game is worth it, and the flaws are easily overcome by the pure fun of lobbing a gas tanker at a giant monkey and watching him catch on fire, among other fun things. Now, if you don't mind, I owe that freak Preytor a car in the face.

9 out of 10.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/05/04


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