Is there anything more fun than monsters smashing up a city? Well how about monsters smashing up other monsters in a city with side scrolling beat em up gameplay? That’s the ticket, strap up for the Dawn of the Monsters.
Developed by the team at 13am Games and published by retro revival enthusiasts Wayforward as mentioned Dawn of the Monsters aims to provide gamers with a brawling Kaiji experience of the likes we haven’t seen for at least a decade.
The Nephilim aka Kaiju are laying waste to the world and you’re part of a resistance group called D.A.W.N, with two brainwashed Nephilim and two Mecha that would make the Power Rangers sweat it’s down to you to layeth the smackdown on the oversized monsters and save the planet.
The story is fully voiced and presented with well drawn static images for the most part, the rest is in game engine and basic at best, while not a knock on the game at all the story seems a lot larger in scope than its design lets it be.
Music, voice acting and sound effects are all sublime with some fantastic vocal talents such as Xander Mobus, Patrick Seitz and Christina Vee, a hefty collection of vocal talents that keeps the story engaging throughout.
Graphically Dawn of the Monster employs a heavily cel shaded art style which looks phenomenal, as colossal monsters smash through the streets it’s like something out of a comic book has come to life.
Monster designs are a mix of familiar looking and wickedly original and the two Mecha characters have that air of Sentai that will have every Otaku grinning from ear to ear.
Sadly the stages don’t really have that much variety and tend to just bleed into each other with dense city areas. Naturally these are giant monsters so area variety can only go so far but a little more variety would have staved off repetition.
So as previously mentioned Dawn of the Monsters is a traditional scrolling beat-em-up but with more than a little dose of Fighting Game D.N.A.
While the gameplay loop sees you walking from the left to the right laying waste to other monsters and collecting items from the floor there is a little more to it than the traditional walk and slap ’em up.
There are cancelable moves and the ability to juggle, several special moves to help you throughout and a weak and strong attack which can be timed with the other abilities to help you claim victory.
Alongside the above you can unlock augments such as extra health or stunning other enemies in the vicinity of your execution move.
The pacing of the combat feels weighty but when you learn how to piece everything together you are given such a satisfying brawling experience along the lines of the behemoth that is Streets of Rage 4.
The game manages to feel really rewarding when you smack a monster with a building, perform an execution then bust out some really clean combos writing off the more dangerous enemies, this is the genre at its best when the game really picks up traction.
With plenty of unlockables such as different costumes and augmentations as well as a scoring system just begging you to collect all S-Ranks there is plenty to keep you coming back to Dawn of the Monsters.
The repetitive nature of the genre coupled with the speed and rather demanding combat system may put some off but for fans of Kaiju and titles like SNK’s King of the Monsters 2 you’ll be hard pressed to find a better time than this currently offers.
Love giant monsters and beat em ups? Kaiju can’t go wrong with this
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