Godzilla: Domination

        Taking a break from the Final Fantasy characters, today I’ll be looking at a Godzilla game for the Game Boy Advance, Godzilla: Domination. Like Save The Earth it is a fighting game, though given the system it is for, it is considerably smaller in size and scale. However, simpler though it may be, it is certainly a fun little romp.
        The game has six characters, Godzilla, Megalon, Mechagodzilla, Rodan, and Mothra. All of them play fairly similarly. The A button is a high attack, B button is low, and you can hold both for a charged attack. R is block, and L is guard. There is also an rage meter with three levels to it. Every character has three special moves, the first done by pressing L and R, the second with A and B in the air, and the third is just A and B. The Rage meter fills as you hit the enemies with charged attacks, destroy buildings, or collect rage power ups.
        Power ups can be found by destroying things, which for most objects in this game means simply walking over them, though there are some larger structures that require you to hit them, after which they can be picked up and thrown. There’s health and rage power ups, a speed boost, jump boost, as well as some bad power ups, such as a speed reduction, one that reverses your controls, and the worst, a skull icon that stops you from attacking if you collect it. There is also a random power up.
        Winning at this game can be fairly simple- enough attacks will knock you enemy to the ground, and they take a while to get back up generally. If you time it right, you can catch them in a cycle of this, effectively controlling the battle, though a comeback is always a possibility. I didn’t use special moves much myself, though I really should have, in hindsight- they can be very helpful for difficult fights. Sometimes monsters are stunned if hit enough, at which point they will not be able to move for a while, and can be picked up and thrown by pushing A near them.
        As for the game’s story, a mysterious meteor is hovering over Earth, sending out magnetic waves that are causing monsters to go berserk. Your chosen monster, whoever it is, manages to resist the waves and must stop the others. There are eight stages to get through in various levels and conditions, such as one on one, two on two, three on one, you being the one, and the seventh level is a free for all. There are also two bonus levels between stages where you can get extra points. At the start of every level you see the reporter Connie Matsu talking about where exactly your character is going on the news, and judging from her changing attire, she is actually at the location herself, observing the fights, even if it is down in a giant mine, on the moon, on a glacier, and so on.
        The stages all have different layouts and looks, but most notable are the Moon stage, where you can jump higher thanks to reduced gravity, and the Glacier stage, where you’ll slide around a lot as you move. Some of them have large hills for elevation, Tokyo especially has a lot of buildings, and thus a lot of power ups.
        As for the final level of the game, it takes place in the meteor itself. Now that all of the other monsters have been taken care of, the waves from the meteor are intensifying, so much so that your monster being controlled is inevitable in time. Rather than let that happen, they instead head for the meteor itself to fight its controller. The interior is a mostly flat battlefield with four small buildings. They may rarely produce a skull power up, which is a good reason to leave them alone- also because they’re on the far left, and you shouldn’t be over there. The final boss, in contrast to every other foe, is much larger than you, and doesn’t move from his position on the far right.
        Said boss is Mecha King Ghidorah, who, despite his organic counterpart also being the game, is easily five times the size of every other fighter, nearly filling the screen in terms of height. He won’t move from his spot luckily, but he has a slew of projectiles to hit you with. His two organic heads mostly use fireballs, while the metal one shoots a green equivalent to that, as well as three orbs at once, covering more ground. He can also jump, shaking the ground and doing a lot of damage if you’re on the ground yourself.
        Making matters worse is that you can’t actually hurt the boss like you can other enemies. Instead, you have to strike one of his heads, stunning him, and then strike his core when it lights up. You only have time for two hits, then he will come back to life, and he will try and grab you. If he succeeds, he will throw you to the other side of the screen, doing about as much damage as he jump attack. Luckily he doesn’t take advantage of your fall, instead taking the time to roar at you triumphantly.
        After eight hits, he will lose one of his organic heads, dropping enough rage power ups for you to fill half the meter. Since he lacks a head, he won’t be able to use as many attacks, but it also means the heads are harder to hit. Destroying the second head gives you enough to fill your rage meter entirely. I actually found this part the hardest because with only one head left, he is much harder to actually hit, all while he keeps shooting at me at point-blank range.
        However, instead of killing him, eight more hits instead makes the last head enraged, firing out far more projectiles, to the point that dodging is pretty much a futile prospect. The best thing to do is guard, or better yet, hit him quickly before he can fire, slippery though he may be. Eight more hits will, thankfully, do him in in a massive and glorious explosion, and the day is saved.
        And that’s that. The game itself is simplistic but fun, and the final boss is very hard, but I would say that only adds to the satisfaction you get when you win. I’d recommend to anyone who would like that sort of fighting game to check it out. It’s short and simple, but undeniably worth the time.

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