REVIEW: Avatarzilla

No doubt released to coincide with any ‘Godzilla Fever’ generated by the latest Godzilla reboot1, Avatarzilla ($1.00) hopes you’ll be intrigued enough to plop your jumbo-sized digital self— complete with whatever ridiculous outfit you happen to be wearing— into a cramped metropolis in order to cause a little havoc.

Avatarzilla - Screen

Too bad this mash-up shares more in common with the bland-to-bad-to-terrible 1998 Godzilla reboot2 than the new film (which I hear is pretty good). To start with, you can choose from a whopping total of two(!) special attacks, shooting either fire or a laser from your mouth / eyes. I’m not sure which. The game’s lone map, a congested cityscape, provides plenty of buildings for you to demolish3 and / or walk awkwardly through, using said special powers, or a less-effective (and less fun) combo of punches and kicks.

There is no real single-player option in Avatarzilla. Minus filling the minimum requirement for an XBLIG demo, or the chance to lumber around unopposed (the tiny helicopters that hover around the city do not attack or otherwise harm you) and burn a hole in random buildings, there is no point in loading up the solo option. Plenty of multiplayer-only games have this problem, and while I personally favor shoddy AI bots over a vacant ‘practice’ map any day of the week, you shouldn’t immediately write off a game because of it.

Avatarzilla - Screen2

Or perhaps you should. Even in an empty arena, the framerate dips once you start destroying buildings, slowing things to a crawl when I spammed my laser attack. Of course, some of that could be forgiven if the online battles were intriguing. Sadly, I wouldn’t know. I never once found a game to join, and no players ever entered the matches I created. So in essence, I’m left with a game I cannot ‘play’, one marred by technical issues and boring combat even if I could.   

Coming from the same developer behind Stop the XOID!, a self-confessed beta where I was similarly unable to find online matches (but still enjoyed), I expected better. Nothing in Avatarzilla was given much thought or attention. It plays as such, a quick cash-in product that should just as quickly be forgotten.

  1. A trailer. Walt from Breaking Bad versus Godzilla? Automatically better than 1998 Godzilla
  2. Everything wrong with 1998 Godzilla, courtesy of the always-funny folks at Cinema Sins. 
  3. Sort of. The normal laws of gravity and structural damage do not apply to Avatarzilla. Punch a hole through a skyscraper, and that sucker will still miraculously stand tall. 

20 thoughts on “REVIEW: Avatarzilla”

  1. Sorry to bump but I just have to mention that Godzilla is getting a Sandbox brawler on the PS3.

    Yes I am excited. It is hard to not post in all-caps right now but I can control myself.

    1. Nah, bump all you want, good sir. That’s what comments are for. 🙂

      The game looks pretty solid, actually, and they’re hauling out the whole cast, looks like. Wonder if this’ll make its way West, eventually.

    2. Personally, I’d use the SFX camera. Might make the game more difficult, but it’d feel more authentic. 🙂

      I’m sure most of the diehards will be importing the Japanese version regardless, but you guys might get your wish yet. The PS3 has a huge install base, obviously. Then again, I have no idea on the cost of localization and other fees, licences, etc. I’m not nearly into the fiction as much as others, but I’d certainly give it a play if it made its way here.

    3. I mean, dude, it has Jet Jaguar.
      A personal favorite he is.
      Biollante, King Gidorah, Mothra adult and larva, Kiryu (Mechagodzilla 3), the super Xs. Even maser tanks. Talk about hardcore fanservice.
      If the petition fails, a group of us should roadtrip to japan in a last desperate attempt to move it over to here.

    4. That could work. Form a posse, just show up at company headquarters. Do it in full costume, rampaging around the offices. We’d likely get arrested and placed under psychological evaluation, but hey, it’s a story, right? We’d fit right in with Batman:

    5. Quite a bit, probably. And though a ‘roadtrip’ to Japan would be a memorable one, sadly, no ‘roads’ to Japan exist. That means a plane flight, and depending on where one lives in the world, that can be a long… so very long… ride. Worth it though? Absolutely.

  2. I think we reached the point of no return. XBLIG always had that dubious image of being a platform for clones, Zombie games, boobs and whatnot. But every now and then some awesome games popped up out of nowhere, games that were worth more than the dollar they were asking for. But I think those times are gone now.

    There might be still some good games somewhere down the line, but it slowly goes downhill. I for instance somehow lost interest, which is sad, considering there were times where I checked the marketplace two or three times a day, just to see if there were any new indie releases. Haven’t checked for almost two weeks now.

    And now for something completely different:

    You should check out all of their videos, they’re hilarious.

    1. Sadly, you may be right. This could be a slow, depressing death for XBLIG. Not that I expected anything else, but it is upsetting to see it go this way. Man, even three / four months ago, things were still looking good. Then splat. Now I’m forced to play games I wouldn’t otherwise touch, just to have an article to post. Guess it’s a good thing I started Indiepitome when I did, to have something to fall back on.

      As for ‘Epic Rap Battles’, I’ve probably seen a handful. They’re always popping up on the main page, and I love to take breaks from actual productivity to waste time on the internet. Hitler Vs. Vader gets a thumbs up form me! 😀

    2. Doesn’t surprise me either. It was just a matter of time, and while I always laughed about those ‘Oh, XBLIG is dead bla bla’ articles from one or two years ago, now I would at least partially agree with them.

      And just googled for the most expensive video games and found this:

      Half a billion?! For a bloody video game? That’s 500,000,000 if you write it out. Sorry, but that’s just insane. And I read somewhere else that about 2/3 are just for marketing. Dunno if it’s just me, but it’s getting way out of control now. I know there were games before with a total cost of around 200 million, but if this trend continues they will break the one billion mark by 2020.

    3. Oh yeah, they’re pulling out all the stops for Destiny. Bobby Kotick is signing those checks and letting Bungie fill in the amount. 😀

      Thing is, this is a direct result of videogames becoming Hollywood blockbusters, and fans expecting more and more in terms of graphics and content. That’s why every AAA game has a premium edition and $40 worth of DLC. The cost is always skyrocketing. This also leads to stagnant creativity, as companies aren’t willing to shell out big money and thousands of man hours’ work unless it’s an established franchise. So we get sequel after sequel after sequel. Activision going all out on Destiny is strange, considering it’s a new IP (the same could be said for the risk on Watch_Dogs and The Division from Ubisoft), but they clearly want to establish it as a franchise.

      A lot of preview articles I’ve read on it seem to like the game, but it’s not doing too much new stuff, at least from what has been shown / played. Bungie is a great team, though. I have confidence. They wouldn’t waste 10 years on something that was boring to play. I’m signed up for the Beta on PS4, so I’ll know soon enough, I guess. 🙂

    4. Soosh I lost interest in playing games on the indie channel a few months back. Funny thing is that the big budget games don’t interest me at all either. So what am I left with. Well as I approach 50 years old I’m wondering if I haven’t grown up and away from video games completely.

      NAAAAAaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh EF THAT!!! I think it’s just right now I’m out of everything really. Been in a very blah mood for some time now. Just doing a lot of thinking and less doing. But I tell you what I’m really into Watch Dogs right now and wish I never spent a dime on GTA 5 since I’ve played Watch Dogs at least 4 times as much as I played GTA 5. I do plan on getting back to it. The trouble is I very rarely get back to a game and really get into it.

      I think I own way to many games and can’t stop buying new ones. I mean I own over 250 games for the 360. Including about 50 Indie channel games. Of which I have completed about 15. I think I’m don’t want to finish games because I don’t want to feel like they ended.

      As far as the death of XBLIG and thus the death of theXBLIG site maybe that is the reason for my blah mood. I’m in the impending mourning of the situation. I mean writingsofmassdeduction already gave up his daily postings of Indie Game Gems. Huh, I say already. He went 1295 days of posting a review a day. I means that’s over 3 1/2 years of a daily review of an Indie game and I think I have at least trialed every single one of those and many more. And now I have deleted my indie games off my hard drive?

    5. @Dream Poet: Wow, that’s bears’ picnic got dark really fast. Man, that one was legitimately disturbing. Right before I head to lunch, too. Thank you for the nightmares. 🙂

      As for the games backlog, everyone can relate on some level, I think. I’m guilty of the same. Need to get back to Watch_Dogs before I end up putting it aside. And I really like the game, too! It’s not like it’s boring. That damn E3 makes it even worse, pining for all those shiny new toys! Nintendo hit it out of park this time. I’m actually considering adding a Wii U to my collection after all.

      I know you’ve got your hands full with life in general, but yeah, this XBLIG thing is depressing enough, agreed. I’ve got the two year anniversary of the site coming up in eight days now, and it might turn out to be a very sad celebration indeed. Seeing ‘Writings Of Mass Deduction’ scale back is just more proof. I’ll keep going at it, but it might mean more days between new reviews. Just not enough material out there to cover at this point.

    6. @Tim, Dream Poet: I completely lost interest in AAA titles around a year ago, something which never happened before. Maybe I’m just burned out, but all those big budget titles I played around that time were just meh, most of them soulless sequels. I mean, I’m a gamer for three decades now, so I’ve seen it all, but there was never a time where I was that disinterested. And they could spend 10 billion on a title, doesn’t automatically make it a good game. Hell, there’s so much free stuff out there, stuff I enjoy more than some 200+ million dollar game. But I think I’m in the minority, and as long as gazillions of people don’t mind spending their money for the umpteenth sequel, they won’t change a thing.

      I do realise that it’s getting harder and harder to develop something new, that the main goal of those big companies is to make more money, and the easiest way to achieve that is to release another sequel. And another thing that alienates me is this Day One DLC, premium content, booster pack crap. Sure, I don’t have to buy it, but seriously, I’m just waiting for someone to basically release a game where everything, including the game itself, is locked, and you have to unlock it via DLC.

      For me AAA titles lost their soul a long time ago.

    7. Lot of truth in that, for sure. It’s a business, bottom line, and that means making ‘business’ decisions, whether or not the gaming public wants to hear it. I still enjoy the AAA games, though, so maybe I’m just more forgiving (but not condoning) of the practices. The DLC is easy enough to avoid, and I stay away (mostly) from the Premium editions.

      I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy some $1 indie games over certain AAA titles, though. 😀 Indies should still be careful, as they’re starting to adopt some of the bad habits of their AAA peers.

    8. I do, and I did! Loved that game. I figure, I’m playing these other indie games anyway, why not set up a whole other site and review them as well? Because if there’s one thing the Internet needs more of, it’s my unprofessional opinions on everything! 😀

  3. My list of greivances:
    1. The controls are horrid, as there are many more examples of how to make a giant monster game control. Paticulary Godzilla Save the Earth, as well as the incog original War Of The Monsters.
    2. You get hung up on buildings. Giants are supposed to be able to smash right through.
    3. Minecraft blocks? Seriously? Talk about over used.
    4. Why can’t I have any combos?
    5. Beam weapons are inaccurate, limited, and lack devestating effect.
    6. If you add in helicopters, the why not at least give us a full assortment of military vehichles to combat.
    7. Empty overall with no real AI.

    Short list, but big things wrong here. If you want a godzilla game, Godzilla: Save the Earth on PS2 or Xbox classic.
    If you want the best giant monster fighting game ever, War of the Monsters on PS2 or download it as a PS2 classic on the PS3.

    1. Agreed! Told you your list would be more comprehensive / definitive than mine. You know your monster brawlers! It’s a cheap cash-in game, nothing more and nothing less. I highly doubt there was any motivation for it to do anything beyond that. Even with three other friends, the whole thing is way too bland to impress anyone, and as you listed, too minimal and basic.

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