Review: GigaBash – Big Kaiju Action Goodness

Anyone that has seen a Godzilla film knows how exciting it can be to see two giant monsters duking it out. It’s a whole genre of film called kaiju, meaning giant monsters, where the charm is seeing gargantuan beasts battle for supremacy. That is the hook for GigaBash, a game developed by Passion Republic Games for multiple platforms. While the game has a bunch of original kaiju to smash buildings and duke it out with, there’s also some Godzilla-themed downloadable content to mix it up. Whether or not you know about Godzilla films or Japanese monster movies, you’re going to have a fun time here.

GigaBash plays very similarly to the Godzilla fighting games from the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube. You and your opponents battle within a sandbox city or landscape, where you can smash building structures and vehicles while fighting other kaiju. The controls are simple, mapping all of your attacks and special moves to a few buttons to allow you instant use of all your abilities, as well as a boost that increases your size and attack power. This feels great because the action can be fast and chaotic, especially with up to four players fighting each other simultaneously. It’s an all-out monster melee, where anything and everything goes, and it’s very fun.

However, combat isn’t without its flaws. Hit boxes on some attacks from different characters can vary and at times be inconsistent. Some of this can be due to the camera angle showing the action, where you think you might be safe or able to land an attack at first but proven wrong shortly after. It doesn’t happen often but enough to impact the outcome of matches. This is especially true with the special moves of each kaiju you play with. They can look very flashy, but might not always be accurate upon use. Battles can get a bit murky when multiple fighters become S-class size and cover up a part of the screen, obscuring your view of things on the stage depending on the view. Again, it doesn’t happen often but can impact a match significantly when it does.

There are 10 original monsters to pick and fight with, as well as four DLC characters from the Godzilla universe. Every character has their own unique arsenal of moves and taunts, with a ton of fan service for giant monster fans. Characters like Gigaman are obvious nods to the classic kaiju heroes such as Ultraman or Jet Jaguar, while Thundatross will remind everyone of giant mechs from the Gundam universe. There’s so much more beyond that with every part of the game oozing personality that it fully commits to. All the crazy attacks, intricate designs, and powerful poses from the kaiju genre are on full display, and it’s great.

But what about the amount of content in GigaBash, is there enough to keep you busy? The answer is yes, especially if you prefer to play alone. The game has a story mode that lets you play through four different stories, each with five missions per character. There is some rollover between stories, but it’s not a fully interconnected plot. You’ll see a few battles from different perspectives or conclude with varying outcomes, but each story is still separate. The human characters here are as shallow as what you would find in kaiju movies, but the action comes from everything focusing on the monsters. The plot might not always make sense, but it’s still fun enough to play through. Just don’t expect a high caliber of writing here.

Other solo modes include an Arcade mode and Training mode, which are standard for most fighting games. Playing through all of these will help unlock bonus items in the Gallery. This includes items such as concept art, music, and even bios on every monster and environment. These extras are pretty cool, especially since many more details are laid out that you won’t get from playing through the story mode. There is even a full move list with descriptions of attacks and alternate colors for each playable character.

Unlocking some of these things will require you to level up the rank of each character as you play with them, with goes up when you complete matches offline and online. It can take a while to get enough experience to level up and may take longer to reach a high rank with every kaiju in the game.

Multiplayer and Versus modes are where a lot more fun can be had, especially if you decide to go online. Local multiplayer is great if you have friends who can play with you nearby, the action is just as fun as any party game. Getting into online matches, however, may be more difficult at times. Getting a full game for Mayhem or Team Matches can be tough as you won’t always be able to find multiple people fast in matchmaking. You can sometimes get stuck in matches with three people instead of four, or someone will time out just as a match begins, leaving you at a big disadvantage.

There’s also a lack of customization within multiplayer matches. You don’t have control of certain elements on the stages or other factors of the matches, unlike most other party games that open these options up to you. You can’t change how frequently stage hazards will appear, or how many breakable and throwable objects will be within the stage to use. It doesn’t ruin the battles when you play them, but it does impact the variety of matches you can have with friends when you want to mix things up. The balance between characters can also be a big problem, especially for those with powerful long-range attacks that can hit multiple times and lock opponents down. Unless you get lucky, you’re going to have a tough time against someone exploiting moves that are golden for them.

And then there’s the Godzilla downloadable content, which is very light overall. You get four playable characters from the Shōwa, Heisei, and Millenium eras of Godzilla films. You can play as Godzilla, Gigan, Mechagodzilla, and Destoroyah. Unfortunately, you don’t get any extra stages, alternate costumes, or extra bonuses with the characters that are Godzilla-themed. It would’ve been nice to see something from the Heisei era be included, like an iconic location made into a stage or something similar.

There are profiles of each monster in the Gallery that give details and a breakdown of their moves, but there’s nothing beyond that like the other characters on the roster. Luckily, we still get the classic Godzilla dance taunt and flying kick from the older films that Godzilla fans will instantly recognize and appreciate. It’s good to see stuff like this, but a lot more could’ve been done to round out this downloadable content.

GigaBash is definitely for fans of kaiju films, but will also be fun for everyone else who wants a good party or fighting game to play with friends. The game’s flaws are noticeable, but not a complete deal breaker that makes the experience unlikeable. If you just want to smash up things and make some monsters fight each other, you can have a great time with GigaBash.

What do you think of GigaBash? Are you a big fan of giant monster movies as well? Let us know in the comments below and tell us some of your favorites!

GigaBash
  • 70%
    GigaBash - 70%
70%

Good

This game is fun to play with other people, but can still be enjoyed when playing through the solo modes. There are some balancing issues with matchups, as well as a few match options that are lacking. The unlockable content and gallery items are interesting, especially if you love the genre. The bonus DLC is very cool for Godzilla fans, but could’ve offered a bit more.

Jakejames Lugo

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