Godzilla: Domination!Order this gameThe Game: As the lone monster not affected by the mysterious magnetic waves being released from Magnetic Meteor X, it’s up to you to fight your way through a series of crazed monsters and defeat the ultimate villain, Mecha-King Ghidorah. (Infogrames/Atari, 2002)

Memories: There’s a fine line between adding to a genre and simply copying it, a line that Godzilla: Domination is never quite able to cross. The makings of a fun game are all here: giant monsters battling throughout multiple interactive playfields, but unfortunately the formula has been done before, better.

Godzilla: DominationIn story mode, players can choose one of six Godzilla-related monsters (King Ghidorah, Rodan, Mothra, Megalon, Mechagodzilla, or Godzilla himself). Each monster has different speed, power and special attack ratings along with unique special attacks. The thinly-draped plot explains that a mysterious meteor (Magnetic Meteor X) is causing every giant monster on Earth (except the one you’ve chosen) to go crazy. The goal of the game is to defeat every other monster in variations of one-on-one, two-on-two, and one-on-three matches. These matches take place in an assortment of locations, everywhere from Tokyo to the Moon. Each level has interactive (read: destroyable) buildings.

Godzilla: DominationAs fun as all this may sound, a complete lack of strategy pretty much sucks the fun out of the game’s battles. Godzilla: Domination quickly spirals into a stereotypical button-masher. A and B perform separate attacks, with other button combinations performing various character-specific special attacks. For the most part these special attacks are unnecessary; most enemies can be beaten simply by cornering them and punching them repeatedly in their monster faces. Power-ups that boost (or occasionally detract from) your abilities randomly appear in each arena, but again whatever competitive edge they give you are largely unneeded.

Godzilla: DominationBy simply pummeling opponents with repeated attacks, the game’s story mode can be plowed through in fifteen to twenty minutes. The same cannot be said for the game’s final battle against Mecha-King Ghidorah, a fight so frustratingly hard that I gave up on after the first hour.

Outside the story mode, Godzilla: Domination also includes two separate battle modes fighting against the either computer or your friends using a Gameboy link cable. One nice feature is that you can play head-to-head against your friends using only one copy of the game, however in this mode everybody has to be the same character, and after a few minutes you may find those same people are no longer your friends.

Godzilla: DominationGodzilla: Domination is essentially a rebranded version of Neo Geo’s 1991 King of the Monsters or Epyx’s 1986 Movie Monster 1 quarterGame, both of which exhibited more depth and beat Atari to the punch by over a decade. This is a watered-down, overly-simplified and ultimately boring version of Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee for the Gamecube; check that out instead.