Games Review

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Platform: PlayStation 2 Exclusive
  • ESRB: Teen
  • Genre: Fighting
  • Players: 1-2
  • Online: No
  • Developer: Incog Inc.
  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Suggested Retail: $39.99
  • Graphics: B+
  • Sound: B
  • Gameplay: B+
  • Replay: A
  • Fun Factor: A
  • Reviewer's Wild Card: A-


B-Movie monster action on the PS2

By James Stevenson     January 10, 2003

Imagine a game that will take you back to the days of the epic monster movies. Where Godzilla had to battle different foes all while the people of Tokyo ran away and where King Kong climbed the Empire State Building. The folks at Incog Inc. want to help you bring back the good times with the upcoming release of WAR OF THE MONSTERS for PlayStation 2.

This is one of the more unique fighting games I've played recently. Instead of a small arena in some odd shape, or a 2d plane, the game's fighting takes place in massive city environments that you can destroy. The debris, cars, and pieces of the buildings can also be used as weapons, and power-ups litter the surrounding environment. This all extends the replay value, and makes the gameplay much more interesting.

What makes WAR OF THE MONSTERS unique is its effect combination of ranged and close-up attacks. Each character has long range attacks (that use up your special meter) as well as short-range attacks including a special attack of each type. These moves are complemented by a combo, throw and counter system that is intuitive and of course all of the different weapons in the level. At first, the game may seem shallow, but as you get into the blocking system, you'll realize it's quite a bit deeper.

The game's one-player mode sends you through a story where you'll fight the game's cast in different locales, including some epic boss fights. Ultimately, the one-player is fairly shallow, but it does allow you to unlock some cool stuff.

That cool stuff is the additional monsters and multiplayer modes. In addition to the regular mode, there are a few mini-games that you can unlock to play with friends. The true mode is where it's at though. This is accomplished in large part thanks to the camera system that was implemented.

In the game, when the two-players are at a distance you'll each have your own split-screen. However, when you get into close combat, the screen merges into one. This could've have been a major disorientation problem, but somehow Incog pulls it off perfectly. The transition is seamless, perfect in every way, and brings the multiplayer together in a way that lets the game work.

It would not be the same game without that transition. The camera system, in some way, helps to make this one of the best fighting games to come out in a while.

The graphical presentation is that of an old drive-in movie theater. The options menu is the snack bar and the mini-game menu is the old arcade machine. All very cool stuff. The levels are pretty big with tons of things to throw. There are some minor graphical issues from time to time, but nothing that will significantly retard your enjoyment of the game.

The sound is just kind of there. The music has been composed in a very B-movie-style. The sound effects are cool, lots of screaming and roaring from the monsters. Nothing spectacular, but all representative of the genre.

All in all, WAR OF THE MONSTERS is the first good early year release. It's a worthwhile pick-up for anyone who likes fighters or Monster movies.


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