GigaBash Review

GigaBash Header

Everyone (that isn’t getting stomped on or having their city destroyed) likes giant monsters, don’t they? Drawing on the beloved history of Kaiju cinema, GigaBash imagines these iconic battles as a 3D arena brawl with up to four gigantic adversaries. Whether you’re climbing buildings, throwing tanks, or using giant branches like a baseball bat, the aim of GigaBash is to be the last one standing. You’re going to have a lot of fun in the attempt.

GigaBash plays host to ten gloriously ugly/cool/insane monsters, each with their own unique sets of attacks. You can do a remarkable number of moves, keeping the action interesting beyond the expected regular and special attacks. Different button combinations add in more powerful attacks, and you’ve also got the option of picking things up to chuck at your opponents, including whole buildings and advertising hoardings. Arenas often look pretty bare once a full round has been played, but that’s because giant monsters have stomped all over it!

I love the character design in GigaBash, though it’s fair to say that I’d like to have more than the ten monsters currently making up the roster. Gorogong is the first you’ll encounter, a hideous volcano-dwelling  rock-punching titan who’s been disturbed by silly humans stealing his stuff. There’s a host of creatures stood in his way, including the adorable abominable snowman Woolley, Thundatross, a Gundam-aping mecha, and the ridiculous Kongkrete, a kaiju building. Seriously, this thing can regain health by eating the other buildings, or hide while the other monsters take each other out. It’s both stupid and brilliant, and with Kaiju that’s pretty much exactly what we’re looking for.

GigaBash Kongcrete

There’s also the inevitable Godzilla-like in the shape of Rawa the Dragon King, as well as Gigaman, an Ultraman-aping giant superhero, and then there’s Svorak, a giant snail who may just be the most annoying character in the whole game. At least my six-year-old manages to make it feel that way. At various points I’ve thought that one of these characters is overpowered, but you soon find a way to rebalance the scales.

The best moment of each battle is undoubtedly when they become overpowered on purpose. Attacking and receiving damage, or collecting Giga-energy from around the arena, eventually allows you to transform into an S-Class Titan, which suddenly makes them twice as big as they were before. This can instantly turn the tide of battle, and it’s pure, joyous chaos when it happens. There are shrieks of delight every time it happens, and as rounds go on it becomes more likely that every monster will become an S-Class at the same time, culminating in an immense Kaiju spectacle. It’s exactly what you want from a multiplayer brawler.

Arena battlers are all at their best when played with others, and as it’s currently the summer holidays, GigaBash has launched at the perfect time. A solid understanding of small children will tell you that they rarely do anything unless they want to, but playing GigaBash is still on the list of daily requests two weeks in. This is remarkable in its own right, smashing its way into the regular household gaming alongside Minecraft, FIFA, Roblox and the indomitable Lego Jurassic Park – seriously, how there is still any enjoyment left in that game after 400 hours I don’t know.

GigaBash Brawler Combat

While 3D arena brawlers can be limited by their focus on punching things, GigaBash offers plenty of variety to keep you coming back for more. Alongside the multiplayer battling, which is available for local couch play and online, there’s four individual campaigns focussing on a quartet of characters, with each tale told using comic-like art panels. They certainly help to flesh out these characters, though it’s a mild shame there’s not a separate campaign for every creature.

One thing I appreciate is that there’s a sequence of unlocks that occur through extended play of both the campaigns and multiplayer. Where many fighting games will just give you the full roster right away, here you unlock extra characters and arenas for use in multiplayer. It’s a good way to keep you engaged with the game.

While the campaign and regular brawling will keep you going for a good while, there’s also a Party Mode that is really the star of the show. This drops you into a series of challenges with different rules and modifiers deciding the winner. That can range from seeing who can collect the most falling stars – though your opponents can send you back to zero if they knock you out – to making a round have one-hit kills. It’s a great mode that brings enough variety to the mix to keep you bashing for a very long time indeed.

Summary
GigaBash is a love letter to Kaiju cinema, assuming that a love letter can involve throwing buildings at each other. Raucous, entertaining, and brilliantly designed, GigaBash deserves to stomp its way into players' hearts around the globe.
Good
  • Great visual design
  • Hugely entertaining battling
  • Plenty of modes
Bad
  • A few more characters would be lovely
8
Written by
TSA's Reviews Editor - a hoarder of headsets who regularly argues that the Sega Saturn was the best console ever released.