Since I was a kid, I've always loved the GODZILLA movies. There was something about a giant dragon-like creature that could shoot blue fire from his mouth that I always found intriguing. Maybe it was the scream he did, or maybe it was just seeing a guy walking around in a rubber suit. Whatever it was, I loved it. Unfortunately, nearly every single game based on the license hasn't lived up to my expectations, until now.
While there is a storyline somewhere in DESTROY ALL MONSTERS MELEE, the only thing you need to know is that you are a monster, and as the title states, you need to destroy all monsters (except yourself). GODZILLA really plays like an amalgam of WWF RAW and the old RAMPAGE game, and for once finally captures the essence of what made all the GODZILLA films great (except the one that took place here in America), which is the feeling of being able to completely lay a city to ruins. Man, now I know how all those monsters feel when they make a building explode before their eyes.
Controlling your character is pretty easy although every button on the controller is used. There are three different attack buttons, along with a few other buttons you'll have to utilize during the game. The coolest thing is the right analog stick is finally used in a game again, this time to control your monster's head. Yeah, it sounds weird but it really helps out at times.
Graphics wise, this is the best looking GODZILLA game yet. Seriously, this looks better than the old movies (although I love the giant rubber suit Godzilla). The characters themselves are modeled and rendered exceptionally well, and animations are on par. The only problem I have with the graphics are the cities. Yeah, the buildings look excellent, but nearly every city looks similar. But, when you've got stuff like cars driving around, helicopters and tank shooting at you, it really makes up for it.
While the single player mode is lacking in a few areas, this game really seems to be built for multiplayer. I mean, how many guys can resist bashing their buddy with a building that they just picked up? I know I couldn't. Plus, the game is easy enough to just pick up and play that nearly everyone can sit down and have a little fun with it. Besides the two player versus modes, you've also got Melee, which is a free for all, and Team Play, which is where you a buddy team up to take out two of your other friends. Reminds me of those classic movies where Godzilla would tag-team against two bad guys. Destruction mode is cool too, where you get points for blowing up buildings basically. And yes, you get points if you throw your opponent into a building. The only problem with this is sometimes you can lose your character in four player fights, and also your character may attack in the wrong direction with four players on screen as the camera changes at times. A few minor problems, but it doesn't take away from the fun that much. Plus, there is downloadable content via Xbox Live.
The sound is what one would expect from a GODZILLA game. Be prepared to hear all sorts of roars and screeches, and the music sounds a lot like the music from the old movies. Ah, nostalgia.
While it has its flaws, DESTROY ALL MONSTERS MELEE is one of the best party games released on the Xbox yet. If you've been looking for a fun fighting game to play with some friends, or even alone, this is one to get.