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War of the Monsters

This article is for the video game. For the Gamera film which shares its name, see War of the Monsters (film).

War of the Monsters (known as Kaiju Daigekisen in Japan) is a 3D fighting game for the PlayStation 2 developed by Incognito Entertainment and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game was released in 2003 with January 14 in North America and April 17 in Europe and 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 is presented in the style of a 1950's science fiction and monster movie, making homages to films in those genres.

Gameplay

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 than the traditional one-on-one structured rounds. Instead, fights can include up to 4 players in a Four-way simultaneous fighting structure like the earlier Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee for the GameCube and is not camera restricted to other players, allowing the player to control their camera view from a third-person perspective.

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 completely full, a monster can perform special attacks, whereas if the bar is completely drained, they become temporarily immobilised.

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 in order 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.

Multiplayer options allow 2 players via split-screen, which can be set to merge into one screen when both players a close enough to fit on the same screen.

Plot

The plot is set in the 1950's where a fleet of alien flying saucer warships invade the Earth, causing massive damage. The scientists of the world manage to create a series of secret weapons, which, when activated, let loose shockwaves 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. Through this and follow up effects, the fuel creates giant monsters as a result. 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 Parkwhere a giant gorrila 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 Godzilla styled beast, Togera. After Togera's defeat, Robo-47 and the military show up and attack the lead monster but are defeated as well. At a military base at Rosedale Canyon (similar to Roswell), the lead monster is confronted by a Transformer style robot, Goliath Prime. The military then decide to test their new weapon, Mecha-Congar, on Preytor who was attacking Metro City. Before they could fight the lead monster appears and defeats them both. The lead monster then travels to Century Airflield and defeats Raptros and his mate. Later when Atomic Island suffers from a meltdown, a large plant Biollante like creature called Vegon is spawned as a result, that then must be defeated. Two Robo-47s stop a UFO attack in Baytown and try to slay the lead monster and fail. Even the combined might of Agamo and Magmo in Club Caldera could fell to the lead monster. After defeating two Ultra V robots at "Tsunopolis", the lead monster is abducted by an on looking UFO that take it back to the UFO mothership. There the lead monster has to fend off three Zorgulons before being abducted once more when the mothership explodes, causing the carrying UFO to crash into a Washington DC style Capital city. There, the alien leader Cerebulon attacks in a multi-layered battle suit like the Tripods from War of the Worlds. After Cerebulon is defeated, the lead monster victor watches as the last part of Cerebulon, a small timid insect like creature flees.

Each monster has their own unique end game cinematic that shows how they came to be.

Monsters

Togera

A reptile monster with the ability to sprout spikes from its body. It was created when a UFO crashed into the sea, where its fuel sank to the bottom of the ocean and re-awakened the hibernating dinosaur after it inhaled the radioactive waste pouring out of it. Togera is an homage to Godzilla as well as many other dinosaur-like monsters.

Preytor

A giant Praying Mantis that was created when a scientist fed it some of the Alien fuel to see its effects. This resulted it rapidly growing to massive proportions and then devouring the scientist whole. Preytor is a similar creature to Toho's Kamacuras and that from 1957 film The Deadly Mantis.

Congar

A large ape like monster that produce shockwaves through its own roars. He was once a chimpanzee that was sent into space, but when an off-course UFO crashed into his small vessel it sent him hurling towards Earth as the alien fuel was mutating him at the same time. By the time Congar makes it to earth, his mutation is complete, now a giant gorilla-like monster. Congar is a homage to King Kong and other ape-like monsters based on him.

Robo-47

A US military war robot that packs heavy gauge steel plating and armaments. Robo-47 was shut down, and left in a warehouse in an unknown location but was reactivated after a UFO crashed near the warehouse where Robo-47 was being stored and the alien fuel streamed inside where it revived the robot.

Agamo

Agamo's massive stone structure is believed to be the work of a Aztec-like civilization. Agamo can effortlessly control the molecules binding its rock body together and create a large boulder of massive destructive capabilities. Agamo was once just a moai-like head statue buried in the ground by an ancient civilization, but a remaining native poured some of the alien fuel into its burning fires, bringing it to life. Agamo is a similar monster to that of Daimajin, also an animated statue.

Ultra V

Ultra V is the fifth version of a group of super robots designed by the Japanese to combat the creatures. But when they tried the alien fuel to power it, it went out of their control and flew out of the base. Equipped with state-of-the-art eye lasers, space-age metal, rocket firing fists and an energy sword. Ultra V has a similar title to the Japanese Ultra Q from the Ultra Series, featuring Ultraman. However both his design and attacks are more reminiscent of the 'Super Robots' designed for various anime by Go Nagai fill de puta victor grau canet

Magmo

A four armed golem monster molten rock protected by the cooling of its molten hot lava. When it unleashes its furious Volcano-inspired Special, a hail of lava and fire will come pouring from the sky. Its origin is that a UFO crashed into a volcano, bringing the magma to life.

Kinecticlops

Kinecticlops is a cyclops monster composed of pure electrical energy and a single eye. A UFO crash landed in a power station and the Alien fuel fused with the electricity and struck one of the security guards working there. The alien fueled electricity turned him into Kinecticlops.

Raptros

Raptros is a dragon. In the adventure mode, an air base is under attack by two Raptros that must be defeated by the lead monster. Raptros is one of the two monsters that has to be unlocked in order to play as it, it was created by man in a government experiment.

Zorgulon

Zorgulon is a giant alien that resembles the martians from Mars Attacks! who can use extendable arms and call a small attack squad of UFOs. Despite lacking an origin video of its own, Zorgulon is apparently one of the aliens whose UFOs crashed to Earth. It is the second monster that must be unlocked.

Sweet Tooth

The Sweet Tooth Mech from Twisted Metal: Black is unlockable if the player has a saved file of Twisted Metal: Black in the memory card.

Reception

Reviews
Publication Score
IGN 8.9/10
GameSpy 4.5/5
Eurogamer 8/10
GameSpot 7.4/10
Official Playstation Magazine 5/5
Game Informer 6/10
Game Revolution B-
War of the Monsters gained generally favourable reviews upon release with an average critic score of 79% based on 73 reviews at Game Rankings.

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 the aforementioned Godzilla, the characters immediately appear to be offshoots 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 destructable 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".

References

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