To coincide with the predicted destruction and terror of Armageddon Friday, I spent most of Thursday evening playing one of the Dreamcast's earliest titles, Godzilla Generations.The premise behind the game is particularly fitting; as the behemoth Godzilla you cause chaos and destruction by waddling into towns, bumping into buildings, knocking down skyscrapers and then breathing fire on anything that may be stupid enough to try and stop you.
|Godzilla Generations was one of the most anticipated of the launch titles|
Essentially, the game is a time attack in which the objective is to rain as much destruction as possible in a variety of Japanese locations such as Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya & Yokohama, as quick as possible. You get points for destroying everything from the trees, buildings, bridges, and houses but of course, being Godzilla, its not long before the Japanese military comes crashing in Kamikaze style in an attempt to stop you. Non of them are particularly are threat due to your mammoth size and quite strangely, the fighter planes often just fly around you and crash without you even having to touch them? Still, just like in games such as Rampage there is some kind of simplistic fun that lies in the act of stomping all over an entire city. I don't know whether it's the sadist in me but the game can be pretty soothing.
Unfortunately, while the premise is a good one the controls really let the game down. Godzilla controls like an overweight hippo with no legs. He drags out of the ocean, waddles around at one mile an hour and just feels overly clumsy to control. This could be part of controlling a humongous lizard like Godzilla but it just feels too cumbersome, infuriatingly unresponsive and it completely ruined the game for me. The camera is also an atrocity, you have no control over it at all, and at times it only shows you the opposite direction to where you are actually going which becomes infuriating as you are trying to push onwards towards the camera only to find the entire military is stood waiting for you.
|Visuals are not bad for the time but the controls are a different matter|
If you do stick at the game there are a fair few secrets to unlock like additional monsters ranging from the atrocious ’98 American creation to the awesome Mechagodzilla from the Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla movie. For those who bought the Godzilla VMU unit you can battle the monsters you raised in the game's Atsumete Coliseum mode against the computer or in a VS. mode against friends. The multi-player mode is pretty fun and you can have up to three friends playing anyone time. There are also some hidden VMU mini-games to play through which adds some longevity to the game and its great that some companies actually made the effort to implement this kind of connectivity.
|Additional content can be accessed if you have the Godzilla edition VMU|
Another cool addition is the Movie Theater mode in which you can view trailers or brief highlights of all the historic Japanese Godzilla movies. There are tons of different clips to watch with more opening up as you progress through the game.
All in all while it is fun in very brief spurts, Godzilla Generations is by today's standards pretty mediocre, and although it is fairly decent in the looks department makes good use of the VMU connectivity, it has just has far too many control issues to be able to be recommended to anyone other than Dreamcast collectors (it's a fairly cheap game) or die-hard Godzilla fans.