Review by Dark Shadow X

"The sleeper hit of the year comes and smacks you in the face."

It came out of nowhere. Until recently when the demo of War of the Monsters came out in Official Playstation Magazine, January 2003, I had no clue about War of the Monsters, nor was I very excited about it. But after playing the demo, it's made me think...Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?

Story: 6/10
The story is the usual monster stuff. Radioactive goop makes all these monsters really big and they all fight each other and the aliens, as well as the military. The story comes alive through cutscenes before each battle in Story Mode. These are simply amazing to watch, especially how they change a little bit depending on which character you use. But really, when you're destroying cities and monsters, do you need a storyline?

Controls: 8/10
Controls are spot on. You use the square and triangle buttons to attack (light and heavy attacks), the circle button for actions (grab your opponent, pick up stuff, climb buildings), and the X button to jump. R2 blocks, and L1 and R1 strafe. My only complaint is that often I find myself wasting a special because I'm hitting the square and X button at the same time by accident. Why couldn't it be assigned to a single button? And the lock-on should have been a single button, too. No one wants to press L1 and R1 at the same time just to lock on. But other than that, everything is fluid and easy to control.

Sound: 9/10
The sound is very well done. It sounds like it was taken straight from the movies. The only problem is that there aren't too many songs...a couple for different boss battles, but the normal battles are all the same tune. But it never gets repetitive.

Gameplay: 9/10
This is where WotM really shines. Incog nailed this aspect. Every element that you would expect from a 3D Monster Brawler is in there. Think Rampage, only in 3D. You can pick up anything--Cars, gas tanks, even pieces of rubble from a fallen building. Which reminds me...The explosions in this game are simply the best I've ever seen. Fire looks like fire, the buildings crumble like they would in real life. Watching your opponent get crushed by a falling building really adds to the excitement of matches.

My only complaint is that the CPU is kind of cheap. They know where all the health is, and they bombard you with projectile attacks constantly, not giving you a chance to just have fun and break stuff. But with practice, you can shove that right back in their face/statue/claws. And also, when playing a battle with 3 other opponents...It's not a free-for-all battle. It's a 3-on-1 battle, which isn't very fun at all.

However, add a buddy in, and you've got pure chaos with 2 other CPU bots. The multiplayer is awesome, with new mini-games you can purchase, characters, and levels. This is one game that really never gets old.

Buy or Rent?: Buy
With a game that is just oozing with replayability, this game is a steal for only $40. Stop reading this review and go pick up War of the Monsters. Blow some stuff up.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/18/03, Updated 01/18/03

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