War of the Monsters
by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
If like me you used to really enjoy the Godzilla vs. King Kong type movies when you were young then you're in for a treat. The developers of War of Monsters must have had a similar experience because the game captures the atmosphere of the big monster battle superbly. There is also a distinct B-movie feel to the game (especially with it's introduction and B-movie posters that are showed when a level is loading) with the evil aliens from outer space, that look like large insects, attacking the helpless citizens.
Basically War of the Monsters is a beat (and smash) 'em up, a button basher to put it crudely. Incog have made such a great job of it though that you'll enjoy it even if you are usually turned off by fighting games. The game features both a single player mode and a two player mode. The single player game includes an adventure mode, a free-for-all mode and an endurance mode. In adventure mode and endurance mode you can earn Battle Tokens that will enable you to unlock a variety of extras such as more monsters. The 2 player game offers free-for-all, elimination, and mini games (Crush-o-rama, Big Shot and Dodge Ball) which must be unlocked with the Battle Tokens that you earn from the single player game.
There's a whole heap of monsters for you to play as, although some are initally locked. Names such as Preytor, Togera, Kineticlops, Congar (yes you've guessed it that's supposed to be King Kong) and Agamo to name but a few. They all have their own moves and special attacks too which adds to the replay value of the game. The game uses a very simple control system so you won't get finger tied trying to perform complex combo moves. Super Smash Bros. Melee on the Cube proved that a simple system can work wonders for playability and War of the Monsters reaffirms this.
Incog have definitely got a lot out of the PlayStation 2. The battles are great to watch, as well as take part in, and despite the action the framerate only suffers the occasional dip which is very minimal, but noticeable. The monsters all look great and it's brilliant that all the buildings are totally destructable. Despite the action taking place in quite large areas it is easy to keep track of your opponent, who sometimes will disappear in search of a health boost. The camera is generally good but there are times when it becomes a problem, thankfully these occasions are kept to a minimum.
War of the Monsters is fine for deaf gamers. The monsters give out the usual roars but as you would expect there is no speech. Your goals are simple, defeat the enemy/enemies. There is nothing here to trouble deaf gamers.
War of the Monsters is a very polished title. The monster/B-movie flavour of the game is very refreshing in an increasingly crowded beat 'em up genre, which is in itself a worthy achievement. The single player game probably isn't going to last for a great length of time, although playing through with different monsters can be fun, but the 2 player games will make sure that the game has a good lifespan.
Game Rating: 8.0/10