GigaBash channels the chaotic energy of competitive multiplayer “arena” games such as Power Stone and War of the Monsters while paying homage to kaiju cinema.
- Title: GigaBash
- Release Date: August 4, 2022
- Price: $35.99
- Suggested Audience Age: Teen
- Availability: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC
- Recommended for fans of: Power Stone, War of the Monsters, Kaiju Wars
Geek to Geek Media was provided with a review copy of this title.
I love kaiju-themed entertainment. Give me a giant monster smashing its way through a city and you'll have my attention. Let me play as said monster and you'll have my undying loyalty. The developers at Passion Republic Games are well aware of the lack of proper kaiju-themed action games out there and set about to craft an homage to the classics of old with GigaBash. Better examples of the sub-genre are Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee and War of the Monsters, and GigaBash absolutely has the DNA of both, with a couple of other surprising sources of inspiration as well.
GigaBash is a Monster Mash
GigaBash is a multiplayer-focused, competitive action game for anyone with a monster-loving kid in them. It does not feature any licensed kaiju/tokusatsu properties, but that doesn't hold it back at all. With most prominent kaiju archetypes represented, you can easily tell what each monster is an analogue for. The ape-like Gorogong beats his chest like King Kong. Rawa blasts foes with a deadly breath attack that is not unlike Godzilla's atomic breath. Gigaman is like Ultraman… if he had a major case of “dad bod.” The list goes on, and it's great fun to point at the screen like DiCaprio in that OUATIH meme when you recognize a reference.
With ten characters (“Titans”) to choose from, there is plenty of room for experimenting with play style. Those who prefer to smash foes with fists with little mental effort will do well with Gorogong. Craftier players, however, might gravitate more toward the snail-like Skorok, who slowly damages opponents with poison. A personal favorite of mine is Kongcrete, which can only be described as a sentient building that is mostly mouth.
The goal of most modes is to (what else?) pummel your opponents into submission. By default, your character has two “lives” and a life is lost when your health bar is depleted. You can directly go after your opponent to whittle their health down, but filling up your “Giga Energy” gauge is often more important. The Giga Energy Gauge is filled by attacking opponents, damaging buildings, and picking up pink orbs of Giga energy. When the Giga Energy Gauge is completely filled, you can trigger a transformation that makes your character become gigantic in size. In this “S-Class Titan” state, you can only be harmed by other S-Class characters.
More Than Just a Brawl
GigaBash has you covered with several different single-player and multiplayer modes. The Tutorial and Gym modes help you to learn and perfect your favored Titan's combat abilities. Local (offline) multiplayer modes consist of a Free-For-All (up to four players), Team Battle (2v2), and Mayhem Mode. Mayhem Mode is an especially fun way to shake things up, with bite-sized matches with varying objectives. One match might crown whoever destroys the most buildings within a minute victor, while another forces you to avoid spreading lava like it's… well, lava. The first player to win five matches wins Mayhem Mode.
Online play features Free-For-All, Team Battle, and a one-on-one unranked Duel Mode. A helpful “Quick Play” feature lets you jump into whatever online lobby is seeking players, and you know the drill from there. Hammer away at enemies with light and heavy attacks and block and dodge their attacks. You can pick up and throw buildings and vehicles (or your opponents themselves if you can close in enough), or even trigger stage-specific environmental hazards. An elusive “Giga Ball” can also be shattered to grant your Titan a one-time super attack.
Any of the local modes can be played with computer-controlled characters, but there is also a purely single-player-focused Story mode. This mode is currently limited to four chapters, each focused on a different Titan. Chapters are broken up into a series of missions that flesh out the Titan's background and motivation. Missions tend to be fairly simple and short, with hand-drawn artwork and in-engine graphics alternating jarringly to tell the story. You might start by simply destroying buildings and barriers, but you'll inevitably grapple with rival Titans.
Does the Experience Hold Up Online?
In a word – mostly. I experienced a fair amount of lag/slowdown with my (wired) PlayStation 5 connection when playing with three other players online. This isn't as much a deal-breaker as it can be with a more technical, one-on-one fighting game, but it's still a little disappointing. These issues can potentially be the fault of other players' poor connections, but it happened more consistently than expected.
If you're able to gather enough friends and controllers, local multiplayer is the way to go. The overhead camera is drawn back enough to see all four combatants, whether online or off. That is an occasional gripe in itself (it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate Titans when the camera is drawn back too far), but it does keep things fair for all players. If local multiplayer isn't an option, the online caveats are fortunately only limited to the lag or matches ending when a host rage quits.
GigaBash Has a Bright and Colorful Presentation
Don't expect a dark and dreary presentation akin to the recent cinematic “Monsterverse.” GigaBash embraces the childlike enthusiasm that has made kaiju entertainment so enduring over the last century. The kaiju caricatures are all well-rendered and emit their quirky personalities through unique animations. The game is a feast for the eyes, with plenty of on-screen explosions, crumbling buildings, and bright colors indicating special attacks at any given time, with no inherent slowdown.
Music and sound effects impress as well. There are a decent number of eclectic musical tracks, ranging from a heroic menu theme to brass-heavy monster themes to a surprisingly funky tutorial tune. You can listen to each track individually in the game's Gallery, which also lets you view art and read up on the game world's lore.
GigaBash is a solid effort through and through. It successfully pays homage to classic 3D arena brawlers, and while it doesn't bring much new to the table, it has plenty of heart. If you have three buddies that you can experience local multiplayer with, my recommendation is a no-brainer. If not, you're at the mercy of the online mode and questionable connections and tempers. There isn't enough purely single-player content to recommend on that alone, but at least you can experience a brawl against three computer-controlled Titans, which is more than a lot of multiplayer games can say these days. If you like kaiju entertainment, give this game a shot!