Godzilla: Kaijuu Daikessen
For my first It Came From Japan entry I tried to pick something special that really showed off some of the awesome import games I have gotten a chance to play in the last couple years. After a lot of deliberation I think I have found a game that is not just awesome but is very iconic for another reason. My first entry is Godzilla: Kaijuu Daikessen which was released for the Super Famicom back in 1994. Unfortunately, we never saw this game released over here in North America for the SNES even though it was shown as Godzilla Destroy All Monsters in an issue of Nintendo Power, only to dash everyone’s hopes when it was never released here.
This was the fighting game all kids who had watched Godzilla movies had hoped for, a game where 2 awesome monsters (kaijuu as they are known in Japan) could fight each other. This game is your traditional style 2D tournament fighter not totally unlike the Street Fighter games with a few things thrown in.
Even though this game never reached our shores, the beauty is you don’t need to know how to speak Japanese to play and enjoy it. Most of the menus are already in English so it’s easy. Controls-wise it’s pretty easy especially if you have played a 2D fighting game before. Everything is quite self-explanatory and now with the internet you can easily look up everything you need to know.
As soon as you turn on the game you hear the awesome theme music right from the classic Godzilla movies, I knew right then this was going to be a good game. Once the title screen loads you see there is a Single Player, Multiplayer (vs mode) and Option menu to choose from. In the Options you find the usual sound options, difficulty setting and controls. Single Player is pretty much what you expect from a 2D style fighting game: You work your way through enemies to get to the final boss, in this case you are fighting your way through Japan to defeat the 8 monsters.
The awesome thing is each of the monsters (kaijuu) are unique and have their own standard and special attacks along with special block moves. There are physical attacks that can be light or heavy (punches or kicks), dash attacks, grab/throw attacks and projectile-based attacks. The monsters all have the ability to roar and stun their opponent, or if you land a succession of hits the monster will grow red in color and is frozen for a few moments. With all the different characters available it will definitely take some time to master the attacks of all these kaijuu.
The game lets you choose who you want to fight as from a list of 8 monsters, with 2 other mystery monsters to be unlocked once you clear the game. If you are familiar with Godzilla at all you should recognize a few of these names. All of these characters are available to be chosen as soon as you pop the game in: Godzilla, Anguirus, Biollante, King Ghidorah, Gigan, Megalon, Mechagodzilla and Mothra. If these names aren’t not ringing a bell then you have to go right now and watch a Godzilla movie!! Trust me you are missing out! But just don’t watch the American Godzilla release… please go watch one of the originals. Anyways, whenever I play I take Godzilla or Mothra. I have a soft spot for these two since I used to play the Godzilla game on the original NES, and Godzilla vs Mothra was one of the first Godzilla movies I saw.
The graphics on this game are quite impressive for a game based on a movie. The environments are detailed, especially the level against Mothra at the fair, and the kaijuu look just like they did in the classic movies where they had the men in the rubber suits, no awkward computer animated looking monsters here! Between the classic movie music, sound effects and great graphics this is a game that anyone who is a Godzilla or monster movie fan cannot miss. Or even if you are just a fighting game fan it is also worth checking out! It’s really a shame we never got it here as it is easily one of my favorite 16-bit fighting games, so I knew it had to be featured on It Came From Japan!