Godzilla Generations: Maximum Impact (Dreamcast, 1999)


With the recent release of Godzilla for the PS3 and PS4, plus the 2014 movie and an upcoming Japanese movie, it's a good time to be a Godzilla fan. Here's the trailer for the newest game:

 
 

It looks pretty dope, right? Well, back in 1998 and 1999, Sega released two Godzilla games for the Dreamcast that appear to be the general basis for this game. Godzilla Generations was released in 1998 to pretty middling reviews, and Godzilla Generations: Maximum Impact was released just a year later to more positive reviews. They're basically the same game, and what good is playing the original if you don't play the sequel? Or something. 

Godzilla Generations: Maximum Impact is, essentially, an on the rails shooter with you playing as Godzilla. Each stage is broken into two or three parts, with one part walking across a city causing as much destruction as possible while shooting down planes, helicopters, jets, and tanks. The second part is a boss battle. If there is a third, it is also a boss battle. Godzilla is the only playable character and there is only one mode. So lets get started. 

 
 

Unlike the fighting games of the PS2/Gamecube/Xbox era, there is not even a loose framework story to explain anything that happens in this game. Since there are no talking heads or even text explaining anything, I'm going to assume the story of this game is that Godzilla awoke from his slumber and felt like taking a walk to get some air. He was then attacked by the JDF and other monsters.  Curiously, the title screen and menus are all in English. As are the credits. Even though this was a Japanese exclusive.


Stage 1-1: Osaka

Now, I've played this game before. I probably beat it. But it took me a bit to remember what to do. The first thing you notice when playing is how weird Godzilla's walk animation. Dude straight up looks like he's doing the Flair Strut, creeping into a club looking to bone down. It's so awkward and amazing. The second thing you notice is that it is very dark. Pretty much every stage is like that. Godzilla is VERY slow. You can somewhat move him across the screen, but basically just to the other side of the street. Godzilla moves on his own and is always pushing forward. The goal here is to get to the end of the stage alive. I've seen reports that you can actually not touch the controller and beat this stage. It took me about a minute before I remembered how to actually play. Press and hold the A button and use the stick to lock onto targets. That's it. The longer you hold the button, the more powerful your atomic breath becomes. If you fully charge it, it releases a shock wave around Godzilla and makes him invincible for the duration of the breath. You have a radar in the upper left hand corner so you can see what's coming, and you can see air vehicles at the horizon way before they reach you. Later in the game, you'll also have annoying tanks, which show up as red on the map. Very easy stage. 


Stage 1-2: Biollante

The first boss battle. It's basically the same concept as the regular stages. You hold A and lock on to targets and try to avoid the projectiles. Godzilla stays mostly in the same spot for these fights. For these stages, using the triggers will make Godzilla shuffle to the left or right. That's your only defensive move in the entire game. And, much like the Fargo Strut, it looks hilarious. I didn't even figure it out until near the end of the game, so it shows up in a later video. This battle takes place in what appears to be a foggy crater of a dead volcano. Or something. I don't know. Biollante was such a dope looking monster. That movie is so underrated in the series. I'm not sure any monster throughout the cannon of Godzilla is as impressive as Biollante. For this fight, you want to blast the tentacles when they pop up, which sets up a shot to the head and body. Biollante can shoot a green acid from its mouth, while the tentacles can shoot little fireballs and bite you. Very easy battle. On to stage two.


Stage 2-1: Tokyo

The capital city is about to get fucked. This is the same as the first stage, but with Tokyo landmarks. The highlight is busting open the Tokyo Dome, which appears to have a baseball game going on in it. The Tokyo Tower also gets it. There are more enemies in this stage, with more complicated flight patterns. You get a combo multiplier for hitting so many in one breath. The points don't do anything, though. Just give you the satisfaction of being able to type in your curse word of choice in three letters at the end of the game. Again, very easy stage.


Stage 2-2: King Ghidorah

Most people seem to consider King Ghidorah to be Godzilla's arch-nemesis. I find Ghidorah to be an annoying cunt in a lot of shitty movies. All of the movies with Ghidorah are so bad. All eras. Which is such a shame, because Ghidorah LOOKS so rad. Ghidorah's attacks are lightning beams from his stupid heads and just flying into you. If the beam hits you flush, Godzilla will slowly fall over. The most annoying thing about this is that the controls are so slow that you frequently will miss opportunities to hit the atomic beam while Ghidorah is flying around, because Godzilla can't turn fast enough and you end up facing the opposite direction. Frequently. This is an issue that pops up in all but one boss fight for the rest of the game. It's annoying as shit. I blew his dipshit heads off one at a time and moved on to stage three, free of having to hear those annoying ass shrieks for the rest of the game.


Stage 3-1: Mothra Larva

Well, this doesn't seem fair. The larvae literally look like shit. There are three of them and their only attack is shooting their silk. They also hide behind rocks. This is the easiest boss battle by far. And then you feel like a dick for killing babies. Do the larvae have their own hidden temple?


Stage 3-2: Mothra

Mothra is pretty pissed. Naturally, you just killed her kids. All Mothra can do is shoot a laser from her head and drop some of her fairy dust. The flying around thing is an issue again, but it's very easy. Like everything in this game. The OG Mothra vs Godzilla is probably my favorite in the entire series. Such a wonderfully shot movie.


Stage 4-1: Chiba

I don't know much about the city of Chiba. This game would lead me to believe it is probably best known for being an industrial type of city, since you end up destroying a lot of plants and factories. The very end of the stage has a theme park that you get to crush. Whatever. This game is so repetitive and easy. And ugly. But at this point in the game, I realized it's missing Akira Ifukube's classic and iconic music. The music is almost as iconic and memorable as Godzilla himself, yet this game has none of it. No music cues for any of the other monsters, either. Just generic arcade music. Even the atomic breath has a completely generic sound. Sega, you're telling me you got the licenses for all the monsters, but not the music and sound effects? 


Stage 4-2: SMG-IInd

This would be Super MechaGodzilla the second. No idea why the game uses "IInd" instead of 2nd. Or just 2. This thing looks dumb as shit. It has what appears to be a MechaGhidorah head, massively bulky legs, tiny waist, giant cannons on its shoulders, a giant tail, and laser cannons for hands. Godzilla is about 1/3rd the size of this thing. It doesn't fly, but it is rocket powered, so it zooms all around you like an asshole. There was a point in this stage that started making me ill from all the spinning. Piece of shit was just spinning in a circle around me. The weapons for SMG2 are quite a bit more diverse than the previous bosses. It has a shield, rapid fire lasers from its arm cannons, sustained beams from its shoulder cannons, a yellow beam from its head that swipes across the screen, and it can put hooks into you and spin you in the air. If you use the side step, it's easy to avoid the cannons. The head beam can be avoided if you are far enough back or close enough. You're fucked if it gets its hooks in you. This is the first stage I died on, mostly because I didn't even realize until this point that your health carries over between stages. With a full energy bar, its hard to lose. But this dude did annoy the shit out of me.

What a piece of shit

What a piece of shit


Stage 5-1: MGR-IInd

One has to assume this is a second gen M.O.G.U.E.R.A, considering it has the "face" part built into the design. Whereas M.O.G.U.E.R.A was essentially a Jaeger/MechaGodzilla machine, this thing is pretty much a direct rip off of the HK-tank from the Terminator series, just with the M.O.GU.E.R.A. face on it. It shoots a huge yellow beam from its chest and missiles from its cannons. The main thing it does is go so far back that you can't aim at it and shoot its beam at you. Which is easily avoided if you just shuffle to the side. 


Stage 5-2: Fukuoka

This stage at least has something a little different. Giant crystals are up all over the city. They damage you if you run into them, so you have to avoid them or use the very little control you have over your atomic breath to destroy them. At the same time, there are projectile crystals that come in faster and with less time to react to than other projectiles so far. It's kind of a pain in the ass. It took me two tries to beat it. Still, the "challenge" of this game seems to be about having to deal with the super slow controls than anything else. 


Stage 5-3: SpaceGodzilla

Obviously. If you didn't know SpaceGodzilla was next, you must have never seen the movie or played any Godzilla game after it. This crystallized fuckhead has a few moves. Atomic breath, what appears to be missiles from his crystals but are probably lasers/lightning/energy/whateverthefuck, and a net beam that grabs you and spins you around like SMG2's hooks.  He also has his crystal shield and god damn does he spam the shit out of it. It took me two tries to beat him. SpaceGodzilla had some pretty cool battle scenes.


Stage 6-1: Haneda

Fuck this stage. It takes place at the airport and is clearly the stage designed to be the cheapest and most annoying. The enemies are swarming the entire stage, there are missiles coming your way, there is a new space jet thing with a blue beam to fuck with you. It's a real pain in the dick, but at the same time, the first mission with any kind of challenge that makes you feel like you're really playing a game. It took four or five tries to make it to the end. I kept getting within a few steps and then dying. What makes this stage even cheaper is that you can also take damage from the exploding planes when you stomp on them. Walk right through a building in the rest of a game, but stepping on a plane is too much. 


Stage 6-2: Super X3

What the fuck. After all the build up of bosses and stages getting increasingly harder, you beat that one hard stage and the boss battle is a plane? This thing ain't shit. It's as easy as Biollante and the Mothra larvae. What the hell. 


Stage 6-3: Destoroyah

Oh shit. Destoroyah is legit. One of my favorite Godzilla movies and monsters. When that cunt killed Godzilla Jr., I got misty. What a piece of shit. This fight is far and away the most difficult, and the most time consuming. It took me quite a few tries before I beat it, and the battle itself is 3 times longer than the other boss battles. He's basically an amalgam of all the other monsters. The side swipe beam, direct beam, grab and spin your ass beam, shield, flying right into your face. The greatest hits. The one thing that separates Destoroyah from the other bosses is that he has a mode where he sends his aggregate form after you as well. This one is really a challenge (in comparison to the rest of the game) and you really have to grind it out to beat him. This is the final battle and once you beat it, the game immediately goes to a video and to the credits.


 
 

Finally, the classic theme pops up...as a terrible EDM remix that uses Godzilla's roar as an instrument. Holy shit is it bad. The credits are all in English. 


FINAL VERDICT: 

All together, it took MAYBE two hours, including loading times and retries. If you don't die on a stage, you can beat the game in a little over the hour. It's not very good, not challenging, looks ugly, is extremely repetitive, is missing key music and sound effects, has zero story, and is extremely short. At the same time, if you consider it to be an arcade game, it's kind of fun. This game seems like tablet game. It probably would be fun to be updated and remade for iOS and Android. I would recommend it only you are really into Godzilla.

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