Friday, November 29, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 152 - Gamera 2000

Ever since its inception Gamera has been playing second fiddle to Godzilla. The giant turtle has never really had the broad appeal, nor the production values, of the King of the Monsters and has always hovered around cult status while Godzilla achieved international super stardom. There is one area, surprisingly, where Gamera has one-upped Godzilla - video games. Or one video game, to be exact. Gamera 2000 for PS1 is kind of amazing and worth a look for kaiju fans. Keep reading for more info and to watch gameplay.

There's been a lot of Godzilla games but, as far as I can find, only a handful of Gamera games that were all released only in Japan. They were generally awful, but there is a shining beacon of turtle-flavored hope in the form of 1996's Gamera 2000 released for PS1. Gamera 2000 is basically Star Fox with Gamera as your wingman and it is kind of freaking amazing. Aside from the Pipeworks Trilogy of fighting games, Gamera 2000 is easily better than pretty much every other Godzilla game. I'm just as shocked as you are.

In Gamera 2000 the monster Gyaos has arrived on Earth to do ... stuff? I don't really get the story. But you hop in a neat Arwing-esque fighter plane and fly around and shoot stuff in corridor-style levels similar to Star Fox. Oh, and Gamera, the giant flying turtle, is also tearing around and screeching and blowing up stuff too. Your weapons are fairly ineffective so the main thrust of the gameplay consists of painting targets for Gamera to attack. It actually all works surprisingly well and is a lot of fun. There are some really awesome looking boss fights, too, and Gamera looks 10x cooler than it has any right to. There are even some different levels where you're on a speeder bike, too, so there is some interesting variety. I really, really like this game.

Interestingly enough, even though it was released exclusively in Japan, pretty much everything is in English. English menus. English spoken dialogue in the (hilariously bad) FMV cutscenes. If you're a Gamera fan, or just interested in the concept of Gamera + Star Fox, definitely give it a look.