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A playthrough of Toho's 1990 license-based action puzzle game for the Nintendo Game Boy, Godzilla.

Godzilla for the Game Boy is a game that I remember surprised me quite a bit when I first played it back in the early 90s. I was expecting something along the lines of a cheesy, basic platformer with Godzilla slapped in. I certainly didn't anticipate one of the best action/puzzle games that I'd ever play on the system.

Of course, when I was ten, I didn't realize it was made by Compile - nor would I have cared, since I probably didn't know who Compile was at the time. For those of you that don't know, Compile was a phenomenally talented team that was best known for their shoot em ups, having created classics like Aleste, Zanac, GunNac, and The Guardian Legend, in addition to many classics on the TurboGrafx 16 such as Devil's Crush, Blazing Lazers, Spriggan... the list goes on and on. They were God-tier.

Godzilla seems a bit of a departure from the studio's typical fare, but it's just as well made as their other stuff. The whole idea is that you, as Godzilla, must save Minilla - Godzilla's son - who looks like a girl and for some reason is named similarly to the Philippine capital. He's been trapped in the "Labyrinth of Matrix" and is being held by chibi-fied versions of Showa-era Godzilla rivals including Ghidorah, Baragon, Anguirus, Rodan, and Hedorah.

The Labyrinth of Matrix is a massive maze occupying an 8x8 grid, wherein each of the sixty-four individual rooms host their own puzzle. The goal of each stage is to destroy all of the boulders in a room and to find the exit that will lead you closer to the center of the Matrix where 'Zil Jr. is being held. Most of the rooms have multiple exits, each leading separate ways within the larger labyrinth, and you have to find your way through the correct path to find the end. There is a ton of game play here, if you can hold off on consulting a map. I didn't take the shortest possible route through the game, nor did I take the longest. I wanted to make this a somewhat "representative" video of a standard playthrough, since I doubt the video would hold most people's attention for the 2+ hours it would take to play every single room in the game.

Within the puzzle rooms, Godzilla can climb vines and ladders and punch stuff. The punch can stun or kill enemies, and it can be used to move or break boulders. It's a move you come to rely on quickly, since many of the boulders can't be reached without creating pathways to them. But, it's important to not be too hasty - if you destroy or otherwise render useless a boulder that you need to reach something, you don't have much choice but to kill yourself and begin again, and some of the later stages can become quite taxing. Like Lemmings, but featuring mutated rubber suit monsters.

The game play is excellent if you are a fan of puzzle games. The solutions can be downright devious, but each of the rooms are pretty reasonable and can usually be cleared with a bit of forethought. The graphics and sound also do their jobs nicely, though they probably aren't what you'd expect from a Godzilla game. Besides the (excellent) full-screen portraits at the beginning, almost everything has been done in a simple, cartoony style that keeps everything clear and easy to see - a real boon for planning some of the strategies you have to pull off. They also are well-suited to the blurry screen. The sprites manage to stand out even as the screen-scrolling smears the display, and there aren't any unnecessarily background details to obscure the stuff you need to see. The music is a bit of a love-it-or-hate-it affair. I personally love it, but you will be hearing the same couple songs throughout the entire game - like Bubble Bobble, it will drive you nuts after awhile, no matter how good it is.

Godzilla is a game that I imagine a lot of people could appreciate if they had played it - its simple yet challenging, and it's easy to pick up for a few minutes at a time. If you were ever a fan of the Lolo games, this is a great choice. It's a very good update of the MSX game upon which it was based.

I first got this back in 1991 for my Game Boy, and I still have the cartridge now. It still gets played from time to time, if that tells you anything about how much I really like this one.

And is it just me, or does Manilla look like ET after a round in the toaster oven? I'm not sure what's going on with his belly. Is abdominal prolapse a thing? Godzilla's son might actually be the kaiju world's Goatse counterpart.... but I really, really hope not. Maybe he's just got a constricted potbelly, cinched in by a sweatshirt that's entirely too small. Or a William Shatner girdle.

  • Recorded through Retroarch using the DMG shader*

_ No cheats were used during the recording of this video.

NintendoComplete (http://www.nintendocomplete.com/) punches you in the face with in-depth reviews, screenshot archives, and music from classic 8-bit NES games!

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