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CONSOLE: Game Boy Advance DEVELOPER: WayForward PUBLISHER: Atari
RELEASE DATE (NA): November 11, 2002 GENRE: Fighter
// review by Emily

Ahhh! Godzilla! ...he's smaller than I remember...

Does anyone remember the old Godzilla cartoon? I used to watch that show when I was younger and loved it! I haven't seen many of the actual Godzilla movies, but I'm familiar with them enough through various means. Godzilla is basically either a villain or a hero. In Godzilla: Domination, he can be both!

The story is simple and straightforward. The game doesn't dwell on telling you an extensive backstory...which is GREAT! The developers knew that people wanted action, and action they got. The game starts off with a newswoman in clothing that doesn't seem quite appropriate for her occupation. Maybe news stations' dress codes slack a bit in the future to include crop tops and spandex body suits. It's definitely set in the future because the newswoman teleports herself across the galaxy to several different planets and asteroids that have been claimed by the Earth. Earthlings have to get their grubby little hands on everything, don't they?

Anyway, the story goes like this: an asteroid has plummeted across the cosmos and is driving all the big monster baddies to murderous rampage. Only one monster was able to resist the temptation of the spooky asteroid and sets off to give the rest of the monsters a good head bashing. Once the hero monster finds the source of the "disease", he gets rid of it and lumbers back to whatever space cave he came from.

The game offers quite a plethora of monsters to choose from! At first, I chose King Ghidorah (because he looks totally awesome) but found that his stats couldn't even get him past the first monster. Every monster that you can pick as your main monster has different statistics tied to it, much like the karts in some of the Mario Kart games. These statistics are made up of Speed, Strength and... Special? Even after playing the game a few times, I don't understand what the Special stat actually means. Once I decided to go with the ever faithful Godzilla himself, the game became much more interesting and manageable.


It's not easy being green. ...Wait, Godzilla's bright green now?

Godzilla: Domination plays much like a Street Fighter game except for a few differences. The first difference is the fact that the plane of the levels is less of a side-scroller and more of a...diagonal looking down level but still kind of from the side, I guess. What I'm saying is, the Up button doesn't jump, but rather it makes the character move vertically on the game level. Another difference is that you can stomp around crushing buildings or picking up buildings and lobbing them at the nearest psycho monster. You can even manage to loot some of them for some power-ups! Or power-downs, since one of them reverses your controls. Lastly, some of the levels allow you to have a buddy! Sometimes, a level will be 2v1 or 2v2. Unfortunately, I found that most of the time your co-partner in monster bashing is pretty much useless. Ridon will just fly around and bump his head on things, and King Ghidorah just wanders around stomping on things.

Two times the game will give you a Bonus Round. It's nothing really exciting. The levels reminded me of Galaga where UFOs and fighter jets come at you in a specific pattern. It's nothing to write home to Mrs. Godzilla about, and you don't really get many points for getting rammed in the head twenty times in a row.

At first, I was angry. Where was the music?! Why did they leave the menu completely silent? RAWR? Then I realized the sound was off and was greeted with a pleasant surprise. The music is actually decent! Hurrah! I don't remember exactly how it goes or what genre it resembled, but I do remember liking the music and feeling pumped to sucker punch Megalon a few times.

A few things that I found frustrating about the game were the text and the final boss. The text is the first thing that I noticed right off the bat. It was incredibly small and blurry! You almost have to strain your eyes to be able to understand what it's saying. Whoever was responsible for the text in the game should have cleaned up around the lettering better and maybe should have chosen a bigger font. The end boss was confusing as well. I died several times before having to look up exactly what to do. Apparently, you have to hit the boss at a specific spot to injure him. All this time, I thought I HAD been hitting him in the head(s). At least the game gives you health every once in a while. I still died all the time anyway, having the health or not. It's a challenge!

Overall, I found Godzilla: Domination to be an enjoyable, although rather short, game that has an incredible amount of replay value. I enjoyed playing it, and I'm sure Godzilla fans would enjoy it as well (aside from the fact that Godzilla has no laser eye ability). I was pleasantly surprised... maybe I'll try the game again as Mothra!

Up from the depths...
Thirty stories high...
Breathing fire...
His head in the sky...
Godzilla!
Godzilla!
Godzilla!


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