The Game: It is the year 2XXX (don’t worry, we couldn’t find it on our calendars either), and Planet X has declared war on Earth’s solar system, sending its finest kaiju into the fray. In this time of our most desperate need, Godzilla and Mothra step forward to defend the Earth and fight for humanity, taking out enemy installations, spacecraft and even those pesky enemy monsters. But even Godzilla and Mothra can only take so much damage… (Toho Studios/Nintendo, 1988)
Memories: Not exactly Godzilla’s finest hour, Monster Of Monsters is a fairly average side-scrolling fighting game that just happens to feature the King of Monsters as its star. And while there’s a certain thrill to having Godzilla as one’s on-screen avatar, the game itself doesn’t do a lot to distinguish itself from the glut of similar side-scrolling fighters that was out at the time.
On the other hand, there’s something interesting about the hex map “world view” that hearkens back to the old-school pencil-and-dice games of my youth. And that’s really what sums up Godzilla: Monster Of Monsters for me – there are a lot of elements that could’ve been part of a really intriguing game, but the whole is never quite the same as the sum of some promising parts. At the time this game was released, there were plenty of other fighting games with boss battles out there, and the ones best remembered these days distinguished themselves by doing something unique and different, something a little more effective than leaning on a character license. In that regard, Monster Of Monsters fades into the crowd. The Rampage series, which wasn’t based on a movie/character license, was a much more effective video game statement of what most hardcore Godzilla fans really wanted out of a game.