30 Years of Video Games – War of the Monsters (2003)

I’m waving goodbye to my 20′s and to celebrate I’m counting down 30 games from the last 30 years.  Join me while I countdown 30 great years of game memories.

War of the Monsters

I honestly don’t know anyone who doesn’t love big monsters.  Giant praying Mantises fighting oversized lizards or sentient laser toting robots and destroying entire cities in the process is simply just appealing on the most primal level.  Japan cottoned onto this sometimes latent human desire with Godzilla in 1954 and ever since has been plugging out film after film of giant v giant ever since.  Whether it be monster or machine there is just something satisfying about brawls of epic proportions.

When you think giant monsters you think of pulp 1950’s cinema, after all that’s where it all began, something Incognito’s War of the Monsters for the Playstation 2 evokes perfectly.  The cheesy font, the ridiculous monster designs and the overly dramatic musical score and sound effects feel like a B-movie come to life, and its this style that take a great game and make it a classic.  The game itself is a simple stacks-on brawler where you pick a monster and take it through a campaign where the only real objective is to stay alive long enough to see off the other 80 foot giants roaming the arena.  In some ways it’s kind of a Smash Brothers or Power Stone on steroids with sprawling 3D arenas.  You have your basic brawling attacks, ranged projectile attacks, objects that can be picked up and thrown at opponents, and power ups scattered throughout the level that grant your monster devastating attacks.  And speaking of levels they really encourage players to role-play that King Kong climbing up buildings fantasy with most levels having a serious verticality to them. It is chaotic at times and because of the size of the levels it can be difficult to keep track of exactly what’s going on.  But in some ways that’s all part of the fun and in multiplayer can lead to some pretty entertaining scenarios.


Developer Incognito had incredible pedigree when it comes to all-on-all mass destruction, having brought the incredible Twisted Metal: Black and Twisted Metal: Head On to us for the PS2 and PSP respectively.  So it’s no accident that War of the Monsters feels like Twisted Metal ‘on legs edition’.  It’s also no accident that like Twisted Metal, it is a great game when solo but an absolutely outstanding one with someone sitting next to your on the couch.  It may be simple in concept, but the sense of scale and outrageous levels of over-the-top destruction makes War of the Monsters such a charming and enjoyable romp, regardless of how your take it.


Have a favourite game from 2003?  Tell us in the comments below.  Don’t forget to come back soon for the next game in our countdown.  Miss a year?  Catch up below.

2002 – 2001 – 2000 – 1999 – 1998 – 1997 – 1996 – 1995 – 1994 – 1993 – 1992 – 1991 – 1990 –1989 – 1988 – 1987 – 1986 – 1985 – 1984 – 1983