GigaBash Review: Kaiju Fun for Everyone

Kaiju films offer up an undeniable essence of cool. After all, what’s more rad than a giant beast trampling around a city and duking it out with another supersized monster or robot? It comes as no surprise that many video games have tried to recreate this thrill from dozens of godzilla titles to more recent titles like Override 2, although that is decidedly more mech-heavy. The latest offering in the genre is GigaBashand while it lacks any exciting licenses, it makes up for it with creativity and a fun, party-focused vibe.

Inspired by the likes of Power Stone and other 3D arena fighters, Gigabash is quite simple upon first boot-up, as it has a regular attacks and special moves (many of which can be charged to become more powerful). There’s actually more depth here than its simple veneer indicates, such as dashing attacks and being able to throw buildings and other parts of the environment, so going through the quick tutorial to learn its finer intricacies is definitely worth it. There are also some more unique elements, such as Smash Ball-like orbs that give players an ultimate when destroyed and a meter that allows the kaiju to grow even bigger and more powerful when maxed out, all of which give the combat more depth without sacrificing accessibility.

While the loose yet punchy combat remains the same across them, there are three main battle types that will all require different strategies and give the game a wider appeal. The free-for-all battle mode goes up to four players and is certainly the most fitting mode for a party game because it’s chaotic when there’s one person shooting electricity, while two others melee each others, and another is charging up an energy beam to send across the screen. Two-on-two team skirmishes are where strategy reigns supreme as it requires players to work together and find monster pairings that complement each other.

Finally, there are one-on-one duels, which are a lot of fun but also reveal some of the game’s competitive shortcomings. Certain characters will just have huge advantages over others. For example, there are melee-focused fighters that can’t effectively get past ranged attacks and others with easily spammable moves, like the yeti’s giant snowball attack that engulfs players and strike them out. GigaBash excels during team-based skirmishes but isn’t quite honed enough to fully withstand the scrutiny that one-on-one battles bring.

GigaBash Review: Kaiju Fun for Everyone

There are 10 characters in total and while that isn’t all that many, especially for a four-player game, there’s a balanced mixture of melee characters that thrive in up-close encounters, those with projectiles, and monsters with more well-rounded attacks. They all play differently from one another — a vital feature for a roster this small — and even have a solid amount of skins to unlock that give players something to work toward, too.

Yet its 17 different stages are what truly shine and create replayability, as each one offers different hazards and landscapes that can change the tide of battle. For example, Mount Gorogong is full of lava yet devoid of any houses, making sure the hilarious Kongkrete (a gigantic mimic hiding as a skyscraper) can’t use its unique healing ability by eating buildings. Other levels feature hazards such as tornadoes, volcanoes erupting, and interactable spikes that players can be thrown into. Ultimately, there are plenty of strategies to go with each stage, and picking what level to use is just as pivotal as choosing the character.

It’s clear that a lot of thought went into each element of GigaBash to elevate a game that doesn’t have the flashiest graphics or largest budget behind it. The story mode is another example of that since it features four different campaigns, each focusing on one of its playable characters.

While these aren’t particularly long, the stages feature a good bit of variety as there are sections that require the player to accomplish specific goals rather than just bashing a foe in the face a bunch of times (although there’s plenty of that too). These goals, such as escorting yetis to safety and taking down government defenses, make this much more unique than a simple and straightforward arcade ladder. Even though it is unfortunate that only four characters get the story treatment, there’s a helpful glossary that adds in some much-needed backstory on the rest of the creative creatures as well as the stages, too.

GigaBash review

Additionally, there is also a collection of minigames, which sadly are all restricted to just local multiplayer. There’s a shocking amount of variety to these, ranging from collecting items and participating in sudden-death duels to playing “the floor is lava” and battling bosses. In total, there are 20 minigames to play, and they further cement GigaBash as a go to party game. These secondary modes also serve as a good break since they encourage more casual play, meaning they can be a less competitive cooldown after an intense team battle or a welcome respite from a friend that’s wiping the floor with everyone else.

While it might not have the most depth for one-on-one battles, GigaBash is a highly accessible party brawler that will lead to many laughs when played with friends. With a single-player mode that is pleasantly well thought out and plenty of tag team strategies to develop, this is a fighter that has more staying power than its scant roster indicates. Some kaiju games need a popular character like Godzilla to thrive, but others just need a solid mechanical base and a monster that is a giant building come to life.

SCORE: 7.5/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 7.5 equates to “Good.” A successful piece of entertainment that is worth checking out, but it may not appeal to everyone.

Disclosure: The publisher provided a PlayStation 5 copy for our GigaBash review. Reviewed on version 1.003,000.

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