Review by KasketDarkfyre

Reviewed: 02/22/03 | Updated: 02/22/03

Oh Hell Yes...

When it comes to brawling games, you might think of games such as the Tekken series or maybe Mortal Kombat and even most of the Smack Down games. You’ll find that with other titles that attempt to recreate the feel and overall mayhem that a good fighting game is supposed to offer, there is something lost in the translation. War of the Monsters is a game that allows you to play through several different arenas and with several different old-school monsters that you might remember from old 1950’s style movies. Capturing the grace and the style that these old movies have to offer with huge, ridiculous monsters and cities to smash, War of the Monsters is well worth your time.

My, What A Large Monster You Have…

War of the Monsters is all about busting up your opponent and whatever city you happen to be floating around in at the time. Through the selection of different monsters, you’ll be able to find combinations, throwing moves, general mayhem and usage of objects that you might have only dreamed of. With the single player mode, you have the sense of fighting through a story that is truly worthy of the old B-style horror flicks of old. If you can’t really cope with that, then you might find that you have something well worth playing through with a friend in the multi-player stages. In either case, there is plenty here to unlock and plenty here to play with if you’re willing.

The single-player mode allows you to select the monster of your choice, from the standard Godzilla like character, to the ultra snazzy looking robot monster. Through careful selection of your character, you’ll find that speed, strength and overall attacking ability is all different with each character, allowing you to have a diverse selection of characters to fight with depending on your ability. Each character has a certain amount of moves, but you’ll find that the battle engine and the overall combat system is very simple to learn and play with. The further you get in this mode, the more tokens you’ll earn in order to unlock different aspects such as more characters and different looks for them.

The multiplayer battles really do add a little more to the game in which you and a friend can go head to head and beat the crap out of each other. You’ll find that the environment around you allows for objects to be picked up and used against your enemy in a variety of ways to up the combat just a little more. As you progress through the game, you might find that the control takes a little getting used to, as there are several ways that you can get at your opponent from anywhere on the screen. With projectile moves, combinations, throws and other various functions, it’s like playing a wrestling game, but with a simplified result.

Control itself takes some time to get used to and you might be a little disoriented once you start battling with the computer. Because the environments are free roaming, you’ll have to learn how to use the lock-on system with the shoulder buttons while moving your character with the left analog stick. On the same token, you’ll find that shooting projectiles at your opponent is only useful depending on your distance from your enemy, which leads to proper placement of your character in the middle of the battle. All of these things make up for a challenging control function that gives you the power to make battles last as long as you want them to, rather than a couple of minutes.

You Big Hairy Mother…

The character designs of War of the Monsters are truly epic in the way that the characters are designed and the way that they move. You’ll find that all of the monsters are well detailed and move fluidly through the stages with little or no real problems. The further you move into the game, the larger the arenas that you fight in become. Where most fighting games have some token movement in the backgrounds, you’ll find that there is plenty to look at that has nothing to do with the battle at hand. Buildings explode and crumble before your eyes when you’re tossed through them and crowds of screaming people run rampant through the streets away from you. Cars and helicopters will circle around and try to escape your deadly rage before being used, all of which makes for a fulfilling visual experience.

What…Is That…

The music in War of the Monsters is theme filled with plenty of 50’s style music that is reminiscent of the horror flicks of old. Keeping the theme in a game such as this without giving you the reward of repeating tracks, the music is a constantly flowing tune that keeps the beat and never stops until the battle is over with. The sound effects on the other hand are constantly changing and really give you a sense of being in the middle of a full-scale battle between huge monsters. There is nothing like listening to people scream in the streets and buildings explode while you’re serving up a huge plate of whip-ass to your opponent. Listening to the exploding cars and objects in the stages while throwing off energy beams really does go a long way and you’ll find that this theme never grows old regardless of how much you play.

Twisted Metal Monsters…

Considering that the boys who gave us some of the Twisted Metal games have developed this game, you might think that vehicular combat is the only thing that they would be good at. With this title though, you’ll find that there is plenty here that sets the pace for a really well thought and well planned fighting game series. If there is something that can be said for War of the Monsters, its that the presentation and game play featured here is top notch, with plenty of choices and flaring effects in both the visual and audio effects. For those of you who are looking to play through a fighting game that has more substance and longer battles than it really does all out fighting, then you’ll find that War of the Monsters is just what you’re looking for. Worthy of picking up and adding to the collection, those of you with any doubts should at least rent it out and see what the entire ruckus is about.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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