Ohhhhh boy, I lied didn’t I? Not really, I said next week, it is next week, however the week is not over yet. I still have time to fulfill my promise of reviewing Jersey Devil, which coincidentally, also parodies monster movies to a degree. EDIT: Site changed hosts and then this got wiped and I didn’t know so it took this long sorry.)
I remember when I was thirteen, me and my friends snuck out late with a can of beer from the fridge and snuck in to see the latest monster movie. That never actually happened but I could recreate it again and again because that night is a staple in the 50’s Americana. The developers who were lucky enough to be born in that time decided to make a brawler about just that. Monster movies. The box art is a walking movie poster, complete with old time font and design.
So are the monsters themselves. War of the Monsters features the classics, giant insect, giant ape, giant robot, giant lizard. I just noticed most movies back then took something and made it bigger. Well, the game does that too, it takes those movies to the next level. Combat is loads of fun, and can include up to four players, or three CPU players if you happen to not have friends or a multitap. Before we go over that, I want to touch on a few other things first.
The levels are fully destructible and you can use your environment to pummel, bury, or impale your foes. No kidding, you can yank a giant radio tower off the top of some building and stick it through your opponent! There are cars and other large objects pick up and throw too. In most levels there is a special interactive set piece like a volcano or vat of atomic waste. You can unlock new characters and stages too, although that might take a while. Plus alternate costumes and minigames.
There’s a story mode, but it doesn’t really involve to much of a plot. Most of it constitutes beating the snot out of some monster because they were on your turf or something. Then there are pretty detailed boss fights, my favorite being Outpost X. But apparently your main objective is to stop aliens from invading, not that you’d care being a giant monster. But lack of motivation aside, let’s get to the guts of the game.
The soundtrack features a perfect orchestral score mimicking old monster movies to a T. It really is dramatic and perfectly fitting of the game. The combat itself is fun, however some monsters attacks are slow, making the game more strategic. There are short and long range normal and special attacks, and punching feels extremely satisfying, especially when you send them flying across the map. I wish the health bars were bigger though, although that is slightly addressed by the random pickups. Blue gives you energy, green gives you health, and red gives you one special attack.
All in all, there really isn’t a lot to explain to this game. The atmosphere and aesthetics are perfect for what the devs were trying to do, and they did it very well. It’s a fun brawler with interesting characters and levels and it’s a great way to waste a couple hours. Go get a copy.