Godzilla: Save the Earth E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

We sneak a peek at Pipeworks' newest monster battler featuring the mighty Godzilla.

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2004 is Godzilla's 50th anniversary year, and developer Pipeworks--the maker of Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee--is celebrating by bringing out another sci-fi monster beat-'em-up, Godzilla: Save the Earth. We had an opportunity to view the Xbox version of this brawler in action and witnessed the titular radioactive megalizard being put through his paces.

Featuring massive monster battles in much the same vein of its predecessor, Godzilla: Save the Earth will feature more than 18 playable monsters for you to fight both online and off. Fan favorites like Mothra (and of course, Godzilla) will be in attendance, as well as some newcomers, such as SpaceGodzilla and Biollante. The basic fighting mechanics will be much like in the first game; you'll lock onto your target and go toe-to-toe in a variety of 3D environments where you'll be able to roam freely. You'll be able to pick up pieces of the environments, like buildings, and toss them at your foes, and you'll be able to employ a variety of melee moves and special attacks, like beam weapons. You'll even be able to "lock" beam weapons with an opponent if you both try to use them at the same time, and via a rock-paper-scissors combination of button presses, you'll buffet your beams back and forth. The longer such a lock is maintained, the larger the end explosion will be.

Godzilla: Save the Earth will put an emphasis on its action mode, which is essentially a story mode that will follow Godzilla and his friends through their many battles with all manner of imposing mutants. Each level in the action mode will have a number of objectives to complete. We watched one level where the first objective was for Godzilla to run around a city picking up spheres being dropped by Mecha King Ghidorah. The spheres would explode unless they were defused by submerging them in seawater, so Godzilla had to grab the spheres as they were dropped and lob them into the ocean. As it turned out, throwing the spheres in the ocean awakened the monster Destroyah from the bottom of the sea, and Godzilla then had to defeat the other creature as it rampaged over the city. Different levels will have different objectives, and not all of them will be melee-based. In one level, the creature Moguera (who resides behind the moon) flew through space to descend to Earth, blasting obstacles in his way much like an arcade shooter. In another area, Godzilla needed to move from Tokyo to San Francisco, and he traveled by swimming through an underwater environment.

While you won't have to fulfill every available objective to successfully clear a level, doing so will give you bonus points, unlock minigames (called challenges), and get you upgrade tokens. Upgrade tokens will allow you to upgrade a monster's attributes, like health or defense, or the strength of its beam weapon. You will be able to take monsters enhanced in this way online to battle against the amplified monsters of other players.

Godzilla: Save the Earth will support both Xbox Live and the PS2 network adapter, as well as downloadable content for both systems. The game seemed to be coming along well and should appeal to both Godzilla enthusiasts and action fans fond of brawlers and looking for something new. Interested parties seeking to get their monster melee on can expect to see this title appear on both the Xbox and PlayStation 2 in the fall of this year.

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