GAMES - Article
11:00 - 1st August 2015, by NEO Staff

Hail To The King

It’s been 61 years since the King of the Monsters first stomped across cinema screens, crushing Tokyo underfoot in the process. When Ishiro Honda’s Godzilla opened in Japan in 1954, it was make-or-break for Toho Studios – they threw everything they had into three big budget movies. The most expensive, due to a marathon shoot lasting almost a year, was Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. Second was Hiroshi Inagaki’s Miyamoto Musashi about the famous swordsman. And third came Godzilla, introducing the world to the wonders of Suitmation, the pioneering special effects technique developed by Eiji Tsuburaya that saw a man in a monster suit – originally it was Haruo Nakajima – smashing up incredibly detailed miniature sets. Fortunately for Toho, which was on the brink of bankruptcy due to the record-breaking production costs, all three films were hits, ranking in the box office top ten for the year in Japan.

The original Godzilla was a serious commentary on Japan’s fear of the atomic bomb. The country is the only nation to have experienced an attack with nuclear weapons, and in 1954 the American military conducted an atomic bomb test near the Bikini Atoll, sending a huge cloud of radioactive ash into the air. So when Honda’s film opened in cinemas, the fear of nuclear destruction was omnipresent – it is also the subject of Kurosawa’s drama Record Of A Living Being. The giant lizard embodies the atom bomb and the flames he unleashes in his attack on Tokyo has historical parallels in the firestorms that swept through Nagasaki and Hiroshima when they were bombed.

While the original was a serious-minded science fiction thriller, Godzilla spawned a franchise that continues to the present day across films, manga, cartoons and toys. Different incarnations have had very different tones, including making the monster the hero. He defended Earth against hostile invaders in Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla, and was similarly benevolent in the 1970s Hanna Barbera cartoon. But he’s always at his best when he’s at his worst.

New Gen Monster Action

Six decades after his epic debut, Godzilla is roaring his way onto the PS4 for the first time in a brand new game from Bandai Namco. The game allows users to control not only Godzilla, but to play as a range of classic kaiju including King Ghidorah, Mothra, Mechagodzilla, SpaceGodzilla, Biollante, Destoroyah and even Jet Jaguar.

The kaiju in the game are powered by G-Energy and the more destruction they unleash, the more they power up. So collateral damage is not only unavoidable, but downright desirable. As your G-Energy rises, Godzilla himself grows in size, from his starting height of 50 metres up to a truly colossal 100 metres. Likewise, his powers increase commensurately with his stature, as new offensive and defensive abilities become available and you can power up his deadly atomic blasts. The only downside to collecting more G-Energy is that the more you have, the more rival monsters will be drawn to you looking for battle. Game features include a special Movie-Style Camera Angle System that allows players to view Godzilla as he appears in the movies – towering over you and raining chaos from above. Gameplay includes three modes – Mission Mode offers 25 stages of monster mayhem, Diorama Mode lets players built the perfect setting for Godzilla to destroy, while the King Of The Monsters Mode is a time trial by combat. It’s all kaiju carnage, all the time.

Godzilla comes to the PS4 and PlayStation 3 this summer from Bandai Namco Entertainment.

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