Kaiju Panic Review
Some may notice the name Kaiju from Godzilla movies, most will associate Kaiju as huge beasts or the true meaning of Kaiju “strange beasts” that describes the radioactive/alien beasts that terrorize the planet!
“A massive meteorite has struck the Earth causing devastation and panic in the streets, you scramble to the impact site to search the area for survivors and survey the extent of the damage caused. But as if a meteorite wasn’t enough, giant monsters called Kaiju start appearing around the world and begin rampaging in densely populated cities! Jet across the globe as you respond to Kaiju attacks and bizarre natural disasters and unusual weather phenomenon. Rescue every civilian to unlock their ID cards which you can view along with a monster bestiary and tech tree. Progress through a full story campaign to discover the source of the Kaiju threat”
This nod to the Japanese monster scene has been brought to life this time around by UK’s own indie gaming masters Mechabit’s, Mechabit describe there new adventure as “An Action-Strategy game with a bright and unique art style” this blend of real-time strategy and tower defence games has created a new style genre that has lumps and bumps with a very interesting spin. Kaiju has you take control of The Commander of the international rapid response unit, its mission is simple: collect, protect and evacuate all of Earth’s citizens before being destroyed by the awesome and destructive power of the Kaiju. All your time will be spent running around like a headless chicken trying as you might to construct defences in order to hold back the beast from destroying your central headquarters. These giant beast come in a variety of flavours: Explosive, Resources, Acid, Laser and Cannon each with their own style and tactics. The rest is just a matter of survival of the fittest or in my case multiple deaths (obviously a smart ploy the lure them into a false sense of security) kind of.
As previously mentioned Kaiju Panic is at its core a tower defence game but with a twist of unknowing, there was a few time’s where its own design falls victim to unpredictability. The randomness of each wave didn’t allow for any kind of planning or arrangement, it just all came down upon you with no real idea, for me this is a definite area to work on maybe including a brief as to what you are dealing with and details on the type of Kaiju you’ll be up against giving you a sense of tactical awareness and overall control of the outcome to each fight. There was no way to know the overall power of each Kaiju until you started to barrage it with damage making the overall experience a trial and error exercise.
When a wonderfully coloured Kaiju appears they can come from any corner of the map, they will make a B-Line straight for your base of operations and if they manager to get through your quickly arranged defences and destroy your HQ that’s all she wrote, your done!! Oh did I forget if you fail and your HQ is done you will be punished with one of the worst buzzing noises to ever exist. The Kaiju are formed of drones and bosses that come with different kinds of defences, this is where the trial and error play comes in at full swing, you’ll need to quickly figure out what kind of defence they have in order to defeat them. At your disposal you’ll have artillery of powerful weapons like Sniper Laser cannon’s, Quad-lasers and mines to take out these cute colourful beasts.
Giving the style in which Kaiju Panic works you never seem to get the right tools for the job, this was probably one of the most frustrating parts. You may face a certain Kaiju at the beginning and find a perfect weapon to destroy them but you may not see that particular weapon for 5-10 levels making you struggle with other weapons, this was what took away another strategic element to this genre unique title. The wonderful coloured Kaiju are not coded by their colour which mostly surprised me a s this would have been a great defining point to maybe sway the battle in your favour because lets be honest your at a massive disadvantage here unless you unlock the Laser turret then the world is your oyster and all will fall at your feet. Part of Kaiju’s charm is the bobble headed citizens that you scrabble to find and save, this was surprisingly one of the best parts of Kaiju Panic (I still dont understand why but hey who cares right?) you can also assign citizens to to emplacements making head hunting important in its own right.
Graphically Kaiju Panic is simple yet effective in its own right, its simplicity with the colourful monsters and funny bobble headed citizens make Kaiju a fun game to look at, never once did I experience any frame issues even in the thick of things. I really loved the detail into each citizen that gave a fun backgrounds like an American skateboarder with tendencies to rant about the government! True this game has its short comings but it has real character and given the challenge this game gives your longevity a run for its money. The fun artistic style really blends well with the cartoon action perfectly. I wish the same could be said for its very lacking flat soundtrack.
Kaiju Panic is out now on the Xbox Live Marketplace for only £12.79