Godzilla: Monster of Monsters (NES)

Godzilla Box Art

Godzilla: Monster of Monsters

System: NES

Release Date: October 1989

Developer: Compile

Publisher: Toho

Genre: Action

Everyone’s favorite giant radioactive Kaiju monster, Godzilla makes his way to the NES by way of Compile. This is a side-scrolling beat ‘em up, shoot ‘em up action hybrid that puts you in control of Godzilla and Mothra. They are tasked with bringing the fight to the invading Planet X and their Kaiju and conventional army. You have to battle through eight planets in order to stop the bad guys and save Earth.

You start on Earth’s ring field and have to hit all the planets on the way to Planet X. Each planet starts you on the strategic map. You need to get to the enemy base on the other side of the map. In order to get there, you have to cross side-scrolling stages and fight the other Kaiju. Godzilla can move two hexes on the strategic map in a turn, while Mothra can move four. You have to fight through as many screens as hexes you move.

Godzilla has four attacks at his disposal. The A Button throws a punch, which hits high and fast. The B Button throws a low kick, which is slightly slower. If you press down and the B Button, a powerful tail whip is thrown. At the top of the screen is a power gauge that depletes when you press the Start Button, calling forth Godzilla’s powerful radiation breath. You will need to learn all of these attacks and when to use them, as well as when to jump by pressing the Up Button.

Enemies are usually clearly marked. Small ships barely do any damage, but can be annoying to fight with. Many structures will shoot more powerful projectiles at you, but as you destroy many of them, they release a red capsule, which will refill your life bar. There is one enemy that was the bane of my existence. It was a large projectile that would push Godzilla back and do massive amounts of damage. The few times I died was because of this enemy. I learned to jump and trick it as I got further along in the solar system.

Mothra is less powerful than the King of Monsters. Equipped with only an eye beam and a special attack of dropping poisonous spores. Getting hit as Mothra is incredibly annoying, as you’re pushed back and down to the bottom left corner of the screen. Even though you can fly, maneuvering through densely packed enemies is difficult. This problem is exasperated in the one on one Kaiju battles. Mothra can’t effectively use the spores because she can’t fly above the enemies. She just gets pushed back down to the corner.

The Kaiju battles are an exercise in patience. You only have about 40 seconds to defeat your enemy before you’re kicked out of the battle. Sometimes they gain a lot of health back, sometimes a little. Godzilla plows through the Kaiju pretty easily, but controlling Mothra is much more of a challenge. Defeating your enemies will increase your level based on the stage you’re on. Higher levels give you greater maximum power and life. The number of Kaiju increases by one on each new ring field. If you’re a Godzilla fan, you’ll recognize all of the monsters you’ll face, capping off with a battle against Ghidorah. Once you reach the enemy base on Planet X, you’ve officially saved the solar system… for now…

Graphics: 2.0

Everything looks alright, especially the Kaiju, but the screen gets busy and causes some flickering.

Sound: 1.5

Music is fine, nothing particularly special, but the sound effects are kind of annoying.

Gameplay: 1.5

When the screen gets busy, there’s a lot of slowdown, as well. Godzilla is fun to play as, but Mothra is not really that great.

Difficulty: 2.0

It takes some patience, but you can get through this one without much trouble.

Fun Factor: 0.5

Godzilla is dull to play, and a chore to get through.

Overall Grade: 1.5

Godzilla: Monster of Monsters earns a C-. It’s worse than the sum of its parts. Compile can make a competent game, but this doesn’t rise to the level of their better titles.