Mail Order Monsters
This is an ancient game, but it was always a fun, even if the graphics and music are now completely outdated. The basic premise was that you built monsters and then used them to battle opponents. Consequent wins gave you more points to spend, losses damaged your creature, and then you had to spend money to restore its health. It’s a familiar concept these days, but it was pretty unique way back in the dark ages of computing.
Given the popularity of Pokémon and other monster games like it, I’d say this game could be an easy revival, especially if whoever developed it aimed it at the more mature gamer market. Sort of a game that kids who grew out of other monster fighting games could get into.
It could even end up becoming an E-Sport, with monster makers pitting their creations against each other in online matches.
There were quite a lot of monster types to choose from, but my favorite was the squid. It was awesome and deadly with the Psi-blast attack, but that was very powerful and used up lots of energy, so I always had a backup weapon while the Psi-blast was on cool-down. Some of the other types of monsters were a T-Rex, a giant crab, a Lion Bear and a man-like creature called the Hominid. Weapons ranged from simple guns and energized melee weapons like maces, to needlers and a monstrous weapon called the multilas. Remakes have been rumored but nothing’s ever come of it. Maybe it’s time for someone to step up and make a clone?
Lizzie the Godzilla-ish lizard. George, King Kong’s lesser known brother. Ralph the giant werewolf. Back when video games were encased in boxes, lived in arcades and ate quarters, Rampage always drew a crowd, and you had to wait your turn, silently wishing doom upon whomever was controlling your favorite monster at the time. Waiting for the right monster was sometimes a chore, and you’d have to settle for one of the other two, despite your preference.
Rampage is a simple enough concept, the three giant monsters smash buildings until they fall, destroy military enemies like tanks and planes and eat people (though too many weren’t good for you) and other tasty snacks found while smashing the building. You also needed to avoid accidentally eating dynamite and poison or grabbing live wires exposed in the buildings.
Rampage has done better than most of the games on this list; its last title was released in 2006 for the Wii and PS2. Still, it would be awesome to have an updated version to play.
Like Rampage, Toho’s Godzilla has a long run of monster games that are both good and bad. Mostly he fights other monster and aliens and destroys everything in his path. He takes breaks between games, but eventually he shows up again, just like in the movies. The radioactive lizard’s last game was Godzilla: Unleashed in 2007 for the Wii and the PS2. But there’s a new movie coming out from Legendary pictures in the near-ish future, so that means there’s almost certainly going to be a game as well. Rumor has it that there’ll be some Godzilla movie related news at Comic-Con, so maybe we’ll get a tidbit about a videogame soon after that. Fighting other giant monsters never really gets old, so I don’t expect any grand departure from that formula, though I’d love to see something with a bit more of a story to it.
Godzilla’s ape counterpart kind of gets the shaft in games. His smaller cousins are everywhere, but for some reason Kong just doesn’t grab the video game audience. While his last game followed Peter Jackson’s movie in 2005 and was well reviewed for the most part, Kong still can’t catch a break. Several bugs prevent PC players with Windows 7 from enjoying the game (no fix is currently available) and if you’ve got the Xbox version, there’s no backward compatibility for it with the 360. So while the game might still be available for those who missed it and want to try it out, there are some barriers that can make getting it seem less wothwhile.
I’m not sure what a new Kong game could offer, but it’d be nice to be able to smash planes and cars and battle prehistoric monsters as the big guy, and maybe have an alternate ending where he manages to survive.
If only Toho and Universal would decide to work together, then Kong could be present in some of the Godzilla games as well, expanding his profile quite a bit.
After a massive cataclysm, the Urth (earth) is ruled over by giant monsters and vicious dinosaur-like creatures with fearsome powers. The few human tribes remaining worship one of these creatures, hoping their prayers will spur it to victory over all the others and allow it to gain the rulership of Urth. A fighting game designed to capture the attention and quarters of the Mortal Kombat crowd, Primal Rage featured dinosaur-like monsters, bloody fatalities and the devouring of your opponents worshippers. It actually managed to out-gore Mortal Kombat, which was quite a feat.
This game is ripe for a re-imagining, and is the one I most want to see happen (though Mail order Monsters is a close second.) I want to thrill to new and awesome models of Vertigo, Armadon, Chaos, and the rest, and maybe see some new creatures that developers would come up with.
So what’s the chance of these reboots/re-imaginings happening, you ask?
While there are plenty of threads about a new Mail Order Monsters, EA just doesn’t seem to want to tap into the monster market at this time. You can play the original with an emulator and just dream of the glory that could be if they remade it . . .
Rampage may get a new game sooner or later. Developers of all things giant monster related are going to want to cash in on the wave of the new Godzilla movie, so hopefully it’ll happen soon.
I fear Kong will languish on Skull Island, forever watching his smaller counterparts do weird things in all kinds of games.
There’s a big push for Primal rage to be remade, but so far nothing solid has emerged.
While seeing these games again would be great, new and fresh takes on the giant monster videogame genre would also be a good thing. If you’re so inclined, check out http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/14214732/kaiju-combat an indie project that hopes to put out a new giant monster game if they can get funded. Their ideas are cool, and I’d love to see the game get made.