The Neo-Geo arcade cabinets and home console were among the best around during the 80s and 90s, with some excellent games carrying the Neo-Geo logo on startup. The console and games for use at home were prohibitively expensive at the time, but that didn’t stop me wanting one, a dream I have still yet to fulfil. This weeks RetroTech100 Arcade 20p (2 credits) Challenge is the Neo-Geo title King Of The Monsters.
I will start off very early by saying that I did not do well at this challenge, see the video at the end of this post to see how badly! That said, the King Of The Monsters isn’t a terrible game, but it did seem a little unfair at times, but let’s start a little further back, the game is a basic fighter, you play as a monster battling other monsters for supremacy over the whole world. The monsters are very well imagined (frogger in monster form, a lizard scorpion thing and many others) and you get to choose from 3 characters to play as, a Godzilla style monster, a robot with a sprung head and a radioactive dude. Fighting is standard fare, punches, kicks, jumping and special attacks.
Now onto why it feels unfair, as you start playing all is going ok, and you are walking along destroying American City, or French City (discernible by well known landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower) and getting shot at by human controlled planes, tanks etcetera. Then after you have been attacked a few times the monster battle begins. This is not the complaint as the human foes do little damage, no, it’s the big bad monsters who do real damage. They attack, do a massive amount of damage, and can hit you again while you are down. Your attacks do hardly any damage to the big bad monsters, but they are destroying you. Try as I might I could not defend, the special attacks are difficult to achieve and so you lose lives quickly.
As we said, King Of The Monsters isn’t a bad game, it has some nice animation, great monsters and some OK sounds going on. It is just a very tough game indeed and there is no respite once you are down, you get kicked some more. In summing up I didn’t dislike it but wasn’t a big fan at the end of it all. See my awful attempt in the video below.