Though officially released in August 2022, Passion Republic Games’ very own IP, GigaBash, has already been receiving critical acclaim over the past few years.
In 2019, it was named the Indie Prize Winner of the Tokyo Game Show Dengeki Award. Also in 2019, GigaBash swept up many Level Up KL awards, including the Grand Jury Award, Audience Choice Award, Best Game Design Award, and Best Technology Award.
At the Best International Games Festival this year, it won the Special Unreleased Best Game Award.
Coming from Passion Republic Games, which is known for its work in AAA titles, it’s no surprise that GigaBash is very high-quality from its animation work to character lore and designs.
But underpinning all that is the premise of the game, which is simple yet unique at the same time. A four-player arena 3D brawler game, the charm of GigaBash is its larger-than-life cast of film-inspired Kaiju heroes and titans.
Joining this cast of playable characters as of today are legendary monsters from the Godzilla universe. This includes Gigan, Destoroyah, Mechagodzilla, and of course, Godzilla itself.
Did you know: Kaiju refers to giant monsters, typically featured in Japanese fantasy and science fiction films. It’s also used to refer to the genre of such films.
Considering that the Godzilla DLC has just been dropped alongside a major update, now’s definitely as good of a time as any to give GigaBash a try.
Characters and lore galore
To me, one of the core features of a good game is its characters, and such is definitely the case with brawler-type games.
From design to lore to fighting abilities, I find that GigaBash has done a fantastic job at creating distinct and unique characters. In a way, I find that the developers have managed to create some iconic creatures and heroes.
Although distinct, their fighting styles are also approachable and easy to learn.
Not counting the four new characters from the Godzilla DLC, GigaBash features ten playable Titans and Heroes.
Out of this roster of characters, my first pick would be Rohanna, the Ancient Monarch of Tarabak that’s a manifestation of nature’s wrath. She’s like a sentient tree (not unlike Groot, I suppose). I particularly love her ranged attack, where she releases ground spikes.
Other characters include Gorogong, Pipijuras, Thundatross, Gigaman, Skorak, Rawa, Zyva, Konkrete, and Woolley.
Woolley reminds me of Kirby, especially with its special inhale attack. It can also snowball around and releases avalanches as its Ultimate attack.
Meanwhile, Konkrete is a sentient building that rolls around and sends out blinding flashes of energy. It’s an amusing character that I’m sure could be powerful if used correctly.
Then there’s the veteran hero, Gigaman. He’s agile and energetic and fun to play with. His Giga Beam and Hyper Giga Beam (his Ultimate attack) are pretty funny as they’re reminiscent of Tokusatsu films.
These are Japanese live-action films that use a lot of practical special effects. Think Ultraman, Power Rangers, and other mecha-type characters.
The other characters are unique in their own way too, but these are visually some of the more appealing ones, at least to me.
But of course, let’s talk about the DLC characters and what they bring to the table.
King of the Monsters
I’m not even a fan of the Godzilla universe, but even those who have never consumed any of its related content would recognise its status as a truly iconic fictional creature.
Many would think of Godzilla ravaging and razing down entire cities, which makes it perfectly fit into the gameplay of GigaBash.
So far, I’ve genuinely loved playing as Godzilla. Romping about and unleashing the beast’s iconic heat ray is very satisfying. I also enjoy its special attack where it essentially just holds the enemy and throttles them forward.
Meanwhile, Mechagodzilla features a unique Weapon Control System, whereby different attacks consume different types of energy.
Keeping it under control
I’m not going to lie, I’m not exactly what you’d call a good gamer, especially when it comes to fighting games, which GigaBash very much is.
The tutorial gave me a thorough understanding of all the controls and game mechanics, but even so, I died many, many times.
A controller is definitely recommended, by not just myself but the game. But regardless of your kit, the game is pure fun.
In a way, it’s chaotic, albeit intricately and intentionally so. The classic kaiju art and play style are somewhat campy and exciting.
Different maps will require different strategies, and you should be watching the map for any environmental damage too. Each character’s play style should also be carefully considered.
Other than blindly attacking your enemy, you should be breaking down enough buildings for your energy bar that’ll allow you to activate the S-Class Transformation and evolve into your final form.
These are just some of the reasons why GigaBash is so addictive, as there’s just so much to learn and familiarise yourself with.
The various different game modes are also exciting to play. In conjunction with its DLC, GigaBash is releasing its first massive update (Patch 1.1).
Players can now try the new Onslaught Mode solo or with another friend via the co-op Couch Play. In this mode, players can battle against endless waves of enemies while acquiring buffs as they progress and set new records, and perhaps even climb the ranks of the global leaderboard.
There’s also the Arcade Mode, which is my preferred mode of gaming as I have an odd reluctance to play against strangers online.
In this single-player mode, you can challenge eight random AI-controlled enemies with increasing difficulty. This is a great way for players to learn how to work with different characters’ playstyles and attain mastery over all of them.
The update also brings Mayhem Online, a highly requested mode, according to a press release from the developers. In this mode, you can invite friends to goof around in a “wacky collection of minigames”.
Growing the community
An issue that some have mentioned in the Steam comments is that it’s hard to get online matches with this game, probably due to a lack of players being online at the same time.
Despite its critical acclaim, GigaBash’s price tag of RM85.49 might be off-putting to gamers too, especially when there are brawler games out there such as the new free-to-play Rumbleverse, the RM38 Cuphead, and many, many more established Beat ‘Em Up games.
“I might pick this up on a steep discount just to fight bots I guess,” a reviewer writes on Steam.
As a way to mitigate this, though, the team has upgraded its Crossplay feature in Patch 1.1. This lets players across platforms (namely, PS4, PS5, Steam, and Epic Games Store) share the same public matchmaking pool via Public Match.
Still, though, players won’t be able to invite their friends from another platform via Private Match yet.
But all this could maybe be forgiven since GigaBash is still rather new. With continued efforts, updates, and DLCs such as this Godzilla one, GigaBash could very well be on its way to gathering a sizeable community.
Right now, the team seems to be targeting US and EU gamers, offering them a 25% discount on the PlayStation as well as Steam. There were similar discounts earlier this year for Asian players, which hopefully will return in the near future.
Featured Image Credit: Passion Republic Games