Nobody can dispute the idea behind SNK's King of the Monsters. Playing as one of six gigantic creatures (including Godzilla and King Kong rip-offs) you trample over several Japanese cities attempting to defeat your equally humongous opponent. The armed forces have kindly provided an electric barrier to act as a ring perimeter and is constantly trying to thwart your efforts with tanks, jets and those crazy laser cannons that are synonymous with the Godzilla series. You'll be glad to know that the army is just as useless as they are in the movies, providing nothing but more stuff to trample on. And that's what makes King of the Monsters so much fun. The graphics are detailed enough to provide plenty of buildings, cars, planes and boats for your monster to destroy, and you are even given a 'casualties' rating at the end of each fight to congratulate a good days trampling. Kicking down the Tokyo tower and causing the world famous bullet train to smash into your ankle is almost as much fun as it sounds. Enjoy i while you can - because this is about as good as King of the Monsters gets.
The actual combat between monsters is nothing but a simple wrestling game - and not a very good one either. Three buttons are used to punch, kick, jump and access a variety of throws and grapples, while a projectile attack is also possible by holding all three buttons down, although the usefulness of this move is negligible. Because King of the Monsters is based around wrestling, in order to win a bout you have to hold your opponent on the ground for more than three consecutive seconds (which can take a long time to achieve). This means bouts can last many minutes and many continues, always asking you to deposit more money. By this time most of the city is in ruins and severe boredom starts to sink in.
The lack of any real variety in the backgrounds doesn't help, and neither does the fact that playing King of the Monsters with two players is almost as boring as one. The gimmick factor lifts this game above the regular unexceptional arcade fare, and for this alone it will always be remembered by myself and many other people as a classic of it's time. But will I play it for more then 10 minutes at any one time? No.