There have been plenty of bizarre Godzilla films that nearly got made. I wrote about a few of them a little while ago, and while it's always nice to discover that the millionaires who make your favorite movies are way more insane than you'll ever be, it also made me a little wistful. Because those were films that we'll never get to see, pools of craziness that we'll never get to belly flop into.
But there are other media, like TV, music, books, and most importantly video games, which have featured their fair share of Godzillas. Godzilla may never be as popular as, say, Mario or Dr. Skyrim (that's the main character in Skyrim, right?) in the gaming world, but the monster has been in enough of them that there have been some definite outliers. Godzilla might be the story of a magical, mutated, unkillable dinosaur and his dozens of equally unkillable, giant friends, but there are Godzilla video games that still don't make sense in the context of that.
So let's look at five of these Godzilla games that are so real and bizarre that you have to go check them out. I'm sure you have a job and a family that depend on you, but trust me, when it comes to these games, they can wait.
Super Godzilla Featured a 'Lost' Godzilla Monster
Super Godzilla was one of the first games that I ever got for my Super Nintendo, and as a young Kaiju fan, I was so pumped to be able to wield the Big G. So, imagine my joy when I got to finally play as Godzilla... sometimes.
Yeah, there is a side-scrolling monster battle that ends every level of Super Godzilla, but for the most part, you just kind of control a blue dot (meant to symbolize Godzilla) through a city that is chockful of surprise tanks. In Japan, there is a tank or a mine or a cluster of missiles at the end of every block, and man, their aim is impeccable. By the time Godzilla reaches the boss monster of each level, he has been torn apart by the barrage, so the fight becomes less about strategy and more about just kind of hoping that MechaGodzilla is having an off day.
But the best part about Super Godzilla, aside from the killer score...
... is Bagan, a monster that was supposed to show up in two Godzilla films before then. He was originally meant to be the antagonist in The Return of Godzilla back in 1980, but that movie was scrapped. Then, he was meant to be the bad guy in Mothra vs Bagan in 1990, but after Godzilla vs Biollante performed under expectations, Toho (the company that makes Godzilla films) decides "No new monsters! King Ghidorah FOREVER." This mandate would last three years, because a "space" Godzilla was apparently too creative of an idea to ignore.
So Bagan shows up out of nowhere in Super Godzilla as the ultimate foe. Sadly, he's not too hard to beat, since in that level, you turn into the titular "Super Godzilla," where every attack has lasers added to it. So a more appropriate (and badass) title for this game is Laser Godzilla. Get on that, Toho.
Make Your Own Godzilla Movies!
Did you just say the word "Godzilla" out loud? Expect a cease and desist letter from Toho, a company that is infamous for bringing down the hammer of god on anything that uses Godzilla's likeness in even the slightest of ways. However, Toho did publish the Godzilla Movie Studio Tour game, which lets you edit clips of Godzilla movies and put them together to create your own movies. So maybe this is a "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself" thing. Or, more likely, it's a "Look at this fun game! If you steal from it, we will end you."
Godzilla Movie Studio Tour is really neat if you're a Godzilla fan, but kind of a nothing experience if you want to make any movies that don't include Godzilla. I don't, so it's perfect for me. Along with the movie making stuff, there's also a wealth of Godzilla information and art and sounds, so it's not only a movie studio but a library, too. Again, I don't know who this would interest other than Godzilla fans, but for Godzilla fans, it's something to clutch tightly to your chest as you're lowered into your grave. Or something to play, whichever comes first.
Play as a Person and Try Not to Get Stepped On
When you're making a Godzilla game, or any game about giant monsters, your first instinct is probably to make something where people play as the monsters. Why? Because it's fun. It's escapism. And aside from the jerk Derek, we're not monsters. So we get to see how life is on the other side, if the other side was three hundred feet tall.
But not in City Shrouded In Shadow. In this, you play as a character that is desperately trying not to get squished, and you interact with other characters that also hate the whole squishing thing. And that's what a ton of the game deals with: When you're faced with giant monsters coming from every direction, it can make people a little irrational. So your choices can either help them out, or turn them against you. But it's not done in a "It's the HUMANS that are the REAL monsters here" way, but in a "The MONSTERS are the real MONSTERS, but that guy over there is a butthead" fashion.
The game only really disappoints when it comes to the monsters, and that sucks. They mostly serve as roaring set decorations, so you never feel all that scared that you're gonna be eaten by Gyaos or robot-ed to death by MechaGodzilla. So, if you get the chance to play it, just imagine it as a team-building activity simulation that happens to be filled with atomic reptiles. You know, that old premise.
The Godzilla Version of Donkey Kong
The Game Boy was a great system if you like Tetris or The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons or Pikachus, WHICH I DO. However, if you're expecting some kind of massive experience that rivals what you'd get out of bigger consoles, you'll be disappointed. So when a Godzilla game came out for the Game Boy, you couldn't expect an exact recreation of the bombastic movies. However, you probably could expect something more than... this.
In Godzilla, Godzilla fights other monsters, but he does so in a jungle of vines and blocks that he climbs around on like Donkey Kong. There are no grand, world-ending stakes. Instead, chibi Godzilla and his pals tap at each other until you win the game. Godzilla's one power is a punch, and he must use this single ability to save his son. However, considering that this whole thing is the video game equivalent of slowly eating an uncooked potato, you're way more likely to get a few puzzles in and decide to leave the baby to just hang out forever while you go back to playing Kirby's Dream Land.
What do monsters do for fun? Take hikes? Swim laps? Debate who would win in a people fight? I know for sure that they play soccer, mainly due to this scene in the movie Son of Godzilla, where, facing down huge insects, Godzilla instinctively kicks a rock at them. It's second nature to him, and definitely the work of the Monster Island forward (Anguirus is probably the defender, as Mothra is more of a midfielder.)
The creators of Battle Soccer: Field no Hasha also figured that Godzilla would be pretty good at soccer, and so would a bunch of other classic Japanese tokusatsu and anime characters. So the Godzilla Fighters (Godzilla, Rodan, King Ceasar, and Jet Jaguar) can take on the King's Soldiers (King Ghidorah, Mecha Godzilla, Gigan and Titanosaurus) or the Ultra Heroes (Ultraman, Ultraman Ace, Ultraman Great, Ultra Seven, Ultraman Taro) or the Gundam Warriors (ZZ Gundam, Gundam F91, Gundam MK3, Hyaku Shiki, Gundam), along with many other teams. I was honestly surprised by how many characters are in this game. I imagined that it would be a case of "Oh, great. Team Godzilla, which features Godzilla, and ten other identical Godzillas."
I'm not really into sports games unless they involve Waluigi playing tennis, so I can't really compare this to other actual sports games. That said, if you're looking for a game that will make you chuckle over the fact that you just used Godzilla to steal a ball from Kamen Rider, this game is a wonderful daydream, man.