War of the Monsters Review

War of the Monsters is a tribute to both the sci-fi B-movies of the 50s and the classic Japanese giant monster movies.  While you won't be able to battle it out with any officially licensed brutes, just about every category of monster is represented in the game.  There's a giant ape, a radioactive lizard, and a couple of super-sized robots, and you'll also find some entirely unique monsters joining the fray.  For example, there is a giant stone Aztec idol that's come to life and a bizarre ball of electric energy with a giant eyeball suspended in its midsection.  In all, you'll find ten different monsters in the game - each a 100 foot bundle of destructive power.


Each monster has the same basic moves, but they all have unique attacks and play differently.  Some can hop short distances while others can fly or hover over larger distances.  Some can scurry up the side of a building in no time while others pull themselves up slowly.  In addition to these and other differences, each monster also comes with its own unique special short and long range attacks.  Robo-47 can fire an atomic missile, Magmo can rain lava from the sky, and Congar can blast anything in his way with his sonic roar.

No matter which monster you select, you can control it with ease. There is a heavy attack button and one which serves double duty as a a light and ranged attack button.  Using these buttons in conjunction with the left stick will unleash some combos, but you won't find as many combo attacks as there are in some fighters.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, though, as most fighters don't feature fully destructible environments filled with panic stricken people.

The game's battlefields are amazing.  If you see it, you can probably destroy it.  And then use the debris to pound your opponent.  Radio towers can be broken off and used as spears to impale foes.  Columns can be used to beat an opponent senseless or as a bat to send thrown objects right back at the attacker.  Buildings can be brought crashing down to the ground, but size matters.  The tall skyscrapers can take a beating, losing their concrete shells before the girders finally give out.  If you time it right, you can bring down an enemy standing on the building's roof or topple a skyscraper right on top of an adversary.  The cityscapes in the game are fictitious locales, but are modeled on such real-world locations as San Francisco, Washington DC, and Las Vegas.  There are also levels which take place in less urban locales such as a nuclear power plant and the inside of a giant UFO.

The cities are not devoid of life.  Panicked mobs fill the streets and you can hear their collective screams as you stomp right over them.  Traffic moves through some of the streets and you can grab the cars and trucks and fling them at another monster or the side of a building.  Sometimes the locals fight back, and you'll encounter tanks in the streets and attack choppers in the sky.  This can lead to some frantic action as you must eliminate these attackers while still keeping the other monster at bay.  Of course, a 60 ton tank makes for a very nice projectile...

War of the Monsters can be played as both a single player and a multiplayer game.  The single player game includes a campaign that lets you take control of one of the monsters for a series of fights that constitute the game's storyline.  In a tribute to the game's source material, aliens and radiation are at the heart of the world's monster problem.  Unfortunately, the story is only told through the game's opening cinematics and in-engine cutscenes and there is no narration.  As such, the campaign feels more like a series of brawls with the occasional boss monster thrown in.  The campaign is the same for each monster, but your reward for completing it is a cutscene that explains the origin of your chosen monster and the tokens you pick up along the way.  After you complete each stage in the campaign, you are awarded tokens which can be used to unlock new monster skins, levels, and multiplayer mini games.