Overview – developed and published by Passion Republic Games, GigaBash is a Kaiju Action Brawler with chaotic arena combat, destructible environments and a solid roster of Titans. GigaBash is an arena brawler inspired by classic Tokusatsu and Kaiju film, with the playable titans referencing some of the legendary characters like Godzilla and Ultraman. This title is currently available on both PC and PlayStation platforms, with a link to each version at the bottom of this review.
Disclaimer: before I get into the review, I would like to thank Future Friends for providing the copy of GigaBash that was used for this piece. The provision of this software has not influenced the contents of this review, all thoughts and opinions contained within are my own.
Now with the introductions out of the way, let’s get into the review. I will be skipping the story segment of the review and going straight into the gameplay segment.
Gameplay – GigaBash is an arena based brawler in the vein of Power Stone, where up to four combatants can fight it out in battles of titanic proportions. There are destructible environments that take place all over the world of GigaBash, including Japanese cities, ancient jungles and Alaskan tundra. In these locations, the Titans can throw their enemies into buildings, pick up objects and throw them as weapons to damage opponents.
All of the Titans have their own unique strengths and weaknesses that fit their themes, with these different abilities are broken down into Strength, Agility, etc. These stats vary relative to the Titan, like the hulking Gorogong excelling in strength while the plant Titan Rohanna excels in speed. These different character traits also extend to the character move lists, with their unique skill sets matching their strengths to offset their weaknesses.
These move sets consist of a normal, special attack and a grab/throw, with the normal attack being able to combo together with themselves. The special attacks tie into their themes, with the Yeti Titan Woolley inhaling enemies and turning them into snowballs, as well as the Alien Titan Pipijuras using hidden cannons to attack. These attacks can be augmented by holding down the attack button, pressing attack buttons while jumping and while dashing.
There is also a transformation system that activates by filling the Giga Meter, a bar that is filled by dealing damage and collecting special energy orbs. When the meter is full, the player can activate it to power themselves up and transform into an S-class Titan, increasing their Titan in size and strength until the meter is fully depleted. There is also an ultimate attack that can be activated by breaking a Giga-orb, which will deal massive amounts of damage to the enemies when used.
When starting the game, there are several options for players to select from. These settings are as follows;
- Couch Play – here players (and CPU opponents with adjustable difficulty settings) can duke it out in local multiplayer battles, with three game modes to select from. These options are Free-for-All, where up to 4 players can battle with the last one standing as the winner, team battle where players fight in 2-on-2 battles and Mayhem which features objectives for players to participate in.
- Online – Players can face others online in multiplayer battles via the internet. In three different lobbies (public, private and ranked) players can fight 4-player, team and 1-on-1 battles with Cross-Gen support for PlayStation and Cross Platform for PC (please note, there is no cross play between console and PC).
- Story – play through 4 character stories, with multiple stages, checkpoints and special objectives to complete. The Story mode routes unlock in sequence and feature cutscenes that tell their unique stories.
- Extras – here galleries can be accessed, with lore, character details, music and more to view in this mode. Additional content is added as the game progresses, giving players a reason to return to the extras.
- Others – there is also a Tutorial that can be replayed freely, a Gym mode where players can practice their moves to get used to the controls and options where different settings can be modified.
In the story mode, the battles between Titans are usually single round matches, whereas the couch play mode has additional modifiers that allow matches to be tailored to their preferred style. With the standard settings there is a two life battle system, with the players battling to deplete the health of their opponent as fast as possible. When a life is lost, a shield will be granted for a short time when recovering from a loss, with the last defeated opponent being launched into the stratosphere.
When a battle is completed or story mode stage is cleared, the player will gain experience to level them up in a reward system that provides rewards for each level. There are also additional rewards that can be unlocked, including extra stages, playable Titans and skins/colors for those Titans. The leveling system adds to the replay value of this title, giving players a reason to continue to play after clearing the story mode routes and encourage multiplayer battles.
The combat and moment to moment gameplay is frantic, with the unique combat styles of the Titans meshing together well. The destructible environments, hazards and explosive stage elements really knock the battles up a notch, providing a satisfying and enjoyable brawling experience. There is a slight imbalance between the roster of Titans, but the different possible combinations of characters leads to some very interesting match-ups.
Unfortunately, there are some shortcomings to the experience. The unlock system can be a grind as it can take a significant time to unlock different Titan colors, gallery content and music. The story modes are a little short and the multiplayer can become repetitive, which is made a little worse by the online matchmaking. There are some weaknesses in the matchmaking system, with long waiting times and sadly intermittent connections as the game uses peer to peer connections.
Aside from these shortcomings, there is a lot to enjoy with the smashable cities, Kaiju styled Titans and unlockable difficulty levels to challenge in the Story mode. The only improvement that could be made to this title is the addition of an Arcade mode, as that would extend the playtime of this release outside of the multiplayer once the story modes are cleared.
Now with the gameplay covered, I will be moving on to the other aspects of the game, starting with the controls.
Controls – the controls for this release are simple to pick up, with a layout that works very well with all controllers. The main functions are tied to the face buttons, with the block and dash tied to the front shoulder buttons. There is very little input lag during combat, but occasionally some inputs will activate later than needed during frantic segments. For the PC version of the game, there is an option to change button prompts to fit the preferred controller of choice as well as keyboard support.
Difficulty – there is an inconsistent difficulty curve to GigaBash, with the imbalance between ranged and melee attacks, which can make the game difficult for newer players to the genre. In the story mode, there are 4 selectable difficulty settings that modify the flow of gameplay, with the toughest difficulty being unlocked by beating the setting below. Overall, this is a very difficult and challenging brawler but can be forgiving with the checkpoint system in story mode.
Presentation – the visual style for this release is pleasing to the eye, with the unique designs for the Titans, in engine cutscenes and beautifully illustrated story sequences. The environments each have their own unique look to them, with Japanese themed cities, Hawaiian styled islands and sci-fi heavy military bases. The sound for this title has a lot of weight to it, with impactful sound effects that have a lot of weight to them, along with a soundtrack that has the grandeur of its inspiration throughout.
From a technical standpoint, the presentation of GigaBash is very solid on PlayStation 4, with there being zero issues with lag, textures or frame rate when it comes to the console version. However, that cannot be said for the PC release. Due to the number of assets on screen at once, it can put tremendous strain on low to mid-range PC systems. This is most noticeable during in-engine cutscenes, where textures can load very slowly, as well as the odd moment of frame stutter or skipping.
Final Thoughts – I had not been aware of GigaBash until recently, but I was very interested when seeing the trailers and learning more about this release. The Titans have excellent designs to them, with some having a layer of humor to them, like the Ultraman inspired Gigaman, appearing as an out-of-shape hero that came out of retirement to fight the Titans. There is a lot of content to enjoy in this release, with the story modes, offline and online multiplayer modes.
I enjoyed this title a lot as I am a fan of both fighting games and Kaiju media, but there are some minor hiccups with this title. The unfortunately inconsistent online matchmaking, need to grind a lot to unlock content and lack of an arcade mode do hinder an otherwise solid experience. I can recommend this title to fans of Kaiju media and arena brawlers as there is a lot of fun to have here, but the price point may be a little steep for some that aren’t into online play.
In the end, I give GigaBash a final score of 4/5. This is a satisfying and fun Kaiju themed brawler, with a lot of love put into it that shows through the references to its inspiration, engaging combat and world building that makes for a satisfying experience. I just wish there was a single player mode where I could just smash up the different cities. If you want to check this game out for yourself, links to each version of the game are below.
Link to PlayStation version (HERE)
Link to Steam version (HERE)
Link to Epic Games version (HERE)
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