Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee (Atari, 2002)


GameCube Art (US)

We've been told that this year is the "Year of Gigan," and not much has happened in that direction yet (we haven't officially wrapped up the "Year of Hedorah" at this point, but hey, what's the hurry), but there is another Godzilla anniversary coming up this fall, and that is the 20th anniversary of the DESTROY ALL MONSTERS MELEE video game!

XBox Art (US)

Only the 7th Godzilla video game to be released in the United States, Pipeworks Software did everything they could to deliver the Godzilla game that everyone had always wanted:  not platforming, not strategy, not a puzzle game...but pure unadulterated kaiju combat, including 11 different monsters (plus Mothra could be summoned for an attack). 

GameCube Art (Japan and UK)

Was it a perfect game? No; in fact, lots of people prefer the sequel (SAVE THE EARTH), and I'd probably agree with that, but it was super fun, obviously a labor of love, ground-breaking in the history of Godzilla video games...AND had an equally ambitious ad campaign.  

We could talk all day about this game, its soundtrack, concept art, etc., but it's this ad campaign that I want to focus on today.  I only recently found out (20 years later) that the poster included with Nintendo Power was completely different than the one included with other magazines! Here is the front of both fold-out posters:

My kind of centerfold.

And here is the back of the poster, if you bought NINTENDO POWER Vol. 162 (November 2002):

And here is the back of the poster if you purchased another magazine (in this case, GAMEPRO #170, also from November 2002):

Who knew? Not me, for a couple decades anyway.  As you can see, it has the clever Japanese newspaper-style artwork that we will see more of in a moment.  I originally thought the alternate back must refer to the XBox, but it turns out that the game wasn't released on XBox until the following Spring of 2003! 

Now, onto the newspaper-style ads, which actually began at the E3 convention that year.  Above is a poster/flyer announcing the game, which I just recently added to my collection.  It measures 13 x 21", is printed to look like a newspaper, but on much heavier stock, and was apparently only distributed at the E3 show.  Here is the back:

The attention to small details really sell the concept--here are some close-ups of some of the photos and their captions:

These design elements were also used for comic book and magazine ads at the time.  It's unclear exactly how many there were; I've always intended to buy out lots of comics from 50-cent bins from late 2002/early 2003 and see if I could track more of them down, but it's a daunting task (made worse by the lack of 50-cent bins anymore).

There was a television commercial, as well, which you can find on YouTube:

Also, there was a Stategy Guide book released for the game, by Prima.  Remember strategy guides? This was the only Godzilla game in the U.S. that had one.

Finally, mention should be made of the companion GameBoy Advance title that was simultaneously released in 2002, but despite what anyone says, it's not the same game, or even a port.  GODZILLA DOMINATION utilized the same cover art, and the same basic concept, but was completely its own animal...er, kaiju.  And was tons of fun.  You could be Mothra in that one, though. 

Of course, Pipeline/Infogrames/Atari would return a couple years later, for a sequel, but that's another story, for another anniversary!

No comments: