Retro Game Of The Week: Super Godzilla (SNES/SFC)

Super Godzilla
In a week where Godzilla Minus One won a well-deserved Oscar, it would be wrong not to play a Godzilla game. So why did I choose the legendarily bad Super Godzilla to play?

In Retro Game Of The Week I pull a game from my collection and write about why it’s important or interesting. Or in some cases, badly dated and rubbish.

For those who were unaware, I’m something of a Godzilla fan. Not the biggest fan on the planet — I’m sure there are those who are more knowledgable or own more Godzilla merch than I do — but I do OK.

So I was particularly interested (in a way that I’m usually not) with this week’s Oscars ceremony, because Godzilla Minus One was up for best special effects.

I figured it had no chance.

I was wrong.

A genuine feel-good moment, and one that set my mind on the idea that I’d make a Godzilla game my retro game of the week.

The problem here is that… sigh… most Godzilla games are… well… not very good.

I mean, not Bart Vs The World bad… but not good, with a few tending towards mediocre at best, and just a couple of nicely playable ones.

Super Godzilla
Fun fact: Biollante is particularly good at 1-on-1 fighting games.
It’s the extra tentacles, you see, makes button inputs easier.

I could have gone for one of those better Godzilla games, but instead I decided to see if I could find some bright sparks in a Godzilla game that’s almost universally reviled.

To be specific, Super Godzilla for the Super Nintendo (or to be even more specific, Chou Gojira for the Super Famicom, because I’ve got a Japanese copy).

My favourite console of all time and my favourite Kaiju together. What could possibly go wrong?

Shut up Bubsy. Nobody asked you.

Super Godzilla takes your typical mid-70s Godzilla movie plot — aliens invade earth with various giant Kaiju, it’s up to Godzilla to stop them — or in this case you, via a radio transmitter that somehow “controls” Godzilla into walking very slowly around a map finding objectives before facing off against each of six Kaiju to thwart the alien’s evil plans. All sounds OK, right?

It is not. Very much not.

The main part of the gameplay loop involves moving Godzilla around various iconic Japanese locations, but this isn’t Godzilla-the-16-bit-platform game. Damn, now that I’ve thought of that, I wish it existed. That would be so cool. But I digress…

Super Godzilla

Instead, Godzilla is represented on the map by a blue dot. A slow moving blue dot that you have to guide around certain obstacles to avoid damage, onto others to pick up powerups and in-level advice, and finally onto a pink dot, which represents each level’s main Kaiju boss. Does that sound thrilling? It most certainly isn’t.

Godzilla’s energy is depleted by nearly everything in a level. You might think that a Godzilla game would revel in skyscraper destruction, but no, that reduces Godzilla’s energy, as do land mines, tanks and electrical cabling.

Super Godzilla

Want to crush buildings just like Godzilla does in the movies? It’s mostly a bad idea.


Some of these items simply appear onscreen, and unless you’re very quick with changing direction, you will bump into them. Slowly, and painfully.

Finally, though, it’s time for a boss fight, and this is from the era where Street Fighter II came to home consoles. Yeah! This will be GREAT…ly frustrating.

Super Godzilla

Don’t be fooled by what looks like your standard Street Fighter style game. It’s not that.

Instead of a standard animated one-on-one fighter, you get a slower, more tactical gameplay experience.

Godzilla has a variety of attacks, but to land them, you have to first punch your enemy (punching is such an integral part of the Godzilla movies, right?) and then move away from them while a slider shows various attacks with differing strengths. Hit a button, and the cutscene related to that move plays out, depleting your foes’ energy.

Super Godzilla

Godzilla’s Kaiju foes fear his minty fresh breath.


Your foes attack in a similar fashion, except that they cheat like crazy, generally not requiring a wind-up attack to start their own animation sequences. You can block, but only standard attacks, not the cutscene ones, and you’ll see every cutscene a lot of times.

Super Godzilla

Hi. I’m MechaGodzilla, and I’m here to cheaply spam my attacks in a way you could not do, because who needs game balance when you can CHEAT?

It’s not hard to see why Super Godzilla has the reputation that it does, but I did say that I wanted to see the positive sides of this game. So here goes…

  • Some of the attacks are deliberately ludicrous. It’s never not funny to see a flying Godzilla headbutt (I believe it’s meant to be a “body strike”, but it’s a headbutt) or the cheesiness of his tail slap. True story: I defeated Mechagodzilla using only the tail slap, because it worked, even though it would have been the most boring cinematic Kaiju fight of all time. Slap. Slap. SlapSlapSlapSlapSlap. Repeat.

Super Godzilla

Heheheh. Slap. Mecha-Godzilla’s greatest fear, it turns out, is being lightly flicked by the end of Godzilla’s tail.

Super Godzilla

I can’t be the only one amused by the flying Godzilla headbutt of doom… can I?

  • It has the iconic Godzilla roar. The game’s music is OK, though the classic Godzilla theme is just a little slow and electronic for my liking. But the big G’s big roar? All present and correct.

Super Godzilla

Godzilla has somehow found himself trapped in the Matrix. 

  • It tries something different. Sure, it does not succeed in creating a particularly compelling gameplay experience — and it’s not one that’s aged well either — but it at least tries. I can see how this kind of idea, better executed might have been fun with a little more polish on a slightly more powerful system.

Super Godzilla

Also, not having the stupidly annoying but easy to beat UFO enemies would be a plus.

Godzilla does have better SNES/SFC outings — not only the much more SFII-esque Godzilla: Kaijū Daikessen, but also Battle Soccer: Field No Hasha, a soccer game (no, really) that includes an entire Godzilla-themed team.

Hmm. I do own quite a few Godzilla games. Maybe I should do a Godzilla Retro game month. Any takers?

How to play Super Godzilla now

Super Godzilla Cartridge (Photo: Alex Kidman)

That’s my cart-only copy above, secured (as is the case for much of my SNES/SFC collection) from a trip to Japan. From memory, it was around 500 yen, roughly around eight years ago or so. Yes, I knew even then it wasn’t very good, but for $5, I’ll take a punt on nearly anything SNES-related, especially with Godzilla involved.

Sale prices for Super Godzilla on eBay are, honestly, a LOT higher than I expected them to be, with loose copies seemingly going for around $40, and boxed copies fetching over $100.

At a guess, that’s around the mixed Godzilla Minus One and Monsterverse Godzilla movie hype? It certainly shouldn’t be for the quality of Super Godzilla!

Predictably for eBay, there are also chancers aplenty. Got too much money that you just have to burn? Here’s a cart-only copy going for way, way too much money…

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