War of the Monsters
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4  |  War of the Monsters SUCKS (PS2 Review)
larsoncc , 2/11/2003 4:25:12 AM

load screen (pic) War of the Monsters takes an American institution, the bad horror flick, and turns it into a bad horror flick.  It doesn't start out this way - you'll find yourself filling your heart with false hope.  During the introduction to War of the Monsters, my palms were downright sweaty with anticipation.  The intro movie does a fantastic job of setting the mood.  Three minutes into playing War of the Monsters, I was still be anticipating the excitement that's sure to come.  30 minutes into playing War of the Monsters, I started to wonder what I was so anxious about. 300 minutes into playing War of the Monsters...  Wait a minute, I didn't need to get that far.

I wanted to like this game, badly.  I remember with great fondness the days of Rampage.  Any game where you're crushing cities and fighting monsters SHOULD be OK in my book.  But War of the Monsters is a complete letdown.  The "idea" behind War of the Monsters is a fast-paced, fully 3D fighting game, set in destructible environments.

As you can see by the screen shots, the graphics are more or less...  puny.  This is the complete antithesis of a title with such lofty ambitions as WAR of the MONSTERS.  The characters aren't screen filling behemoths.  They are average "fighter sized" characters.  Sure, there are people down on the streets, fleeing in terrorBut you can't squash them like bugs. 

fighting in vegas (pic) That's not the end of the horror.  You can't move your head in any opposition to your body.  In some games, like MechAssault, you know that you're huge because you move like a tank, and act like a tank.  War of the Monsters plays a lot more like a bad version of Power Stone, and less like a rumbling, powerful monster game.  Since you can't move your head around quickly, it's easy to sneak up on people, and be snuck up on.  It's difficult to readjust once someone starts taking cheap shots, so you pretty much have to stand there and take your lumps.  

But we haven't come CLOSE to finishing the list of SINS that this game commits against the monster genre.  Take, for example, the fact that "unblockable attacks" are a staple of this game.  There's no excuse for that in ANY fighting game. 

Or, we can examine how Sony messed up the projectile weapons.  The beam weapon that each character has is nearly useless because they:

  1. Overloaded the punch button with the fire button, meaning that half of the time you'll punch and the other half of the time you'll shoot.  In medium range combat, this makes both functions difficult (at best) to use. 
  2. Make you get "dizzy" after about 10 shots.  Oh, yeah, I DISTINCTLY recall when Godzilla got dizzy every couple of seconds while roasting Tokyo.

Taking the cab (pic) Am I done yet?  Could it be any worse?  Why, yes, it could.  You're stuck in an artificial box.  There is an "energy shield" around whichever town you're in, so that you don't "wander off".  Weren't we done with this technique in 1996?  There are about 10 moves per character, so it boils down to: shoot your beam weapon, use a couple of "weak" punches, and use a big follow up punch.  Run (jump) away when you're getting your tail kicked, and reposition yourself to do it again.  You can pick up cars and whatnot, but it takes too long to do so - your opponent will be trouncing you by the time that you've scooped one up.  So you need to do that first thing, while your enemy hasn't discovered you yet.  It's not even that it takes that long to pick a car up, but the game moves so fast.

Here's what I liked:  This game has a nice intro and story lines.  The music is fitting.  The graphics of the characters are also very good, if a bit small.  It's possible that War of the Monsters will grow on you as you get more familiar with the game.

OK, I'm done.  This game gets a 4/10.  War of the Monsters doesn't hold my attention, and it's frustrating enough to walk away from without giving it a second chance.

Other Pictures: Fighting at the Edge of the City | Crushing Buildings | Fighting in the Desert | Title Screen | Electric Vegas

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