Giant monsters are in vogue. Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Kong have all made their way onto cinema screens since 2014’s Godzilla movie, itself another reboot of the almost seventy-year-old saga. With two TV series confirmed, entitled Skull Island and Godzilla and the Titans, and another Godzilla/Kong movie in the works, Warner Bros.’s MonsterVerse still looks healthy as it approaches its first decade of existence.
Lizzie, George, and Ralph
Yet, it’s not the only vehicle for overgrown lizards out there. In 2018, the movie Rampage was released to decent reviews such as from RogerEbert.com, and, from a purely financial perspective, it was briefly the most successful adaptation of a game in history before Detective Pikachu came out a year later. What many movie-goers might not know is that Rampage was – of course – based on the 1986 video game of the same name.
The franchise listing on GiantBomb.com suggests that Rampage has enjoyed quite an odd life. The original Bally Midway title featured a cast of monsters named Lizzie, George, and Ralph, who had to survive the combined attack of humanity’s forces while trying to destroy the city around them. All of these creatures, a crocodile, gorilla, and wolf, respectively, appeared in the recent movie, albeit with George in the role of a good guy, versus the marauding others.
The game then went on hiatus for the next eleven years, resurfacing in 1997 as Rampage World Tour, a title that played in much the same way as the original. It did have more of a story this time though. In the plot, the creator of Scumlabs, the place where our trio of giants was created, becomes a monster himself in an effort to defeat them. Our antagonist is eventually defeated in the obvious place for a creature showdown – the Moon.
A Lack of Kaijus
Rampage might not have had the biggest impact on pop culture, especially when compared to Godzilla, but it’s still part of a genre that creators love to experiment with even today. Both Pacific Rim and the first Cloverfield entry complement Rampage and Godzilla, for instance, while the aptly-titled film Monsters (2010) took a bit more of a laid-back approach to the creature feature, keeping them firmly in the background.
Unfortunately, Rampage is still one of the few video games that let the player unleash hell on a city. One notable exception is Kaiju, a casino game that can be found on the CasinoDays website, according to the Bonus.ca/fr/ page. The game depicts three amphibian-looking beasts in a futuristic city. Clad in red, blue, and green crystals, they face off against a cast of humans looking to send them back to wherever they came from.
There were actually four more Rampage titles prior to the launch of the 2018 movie, the most recent of which, Rampage: Total Destruction, had a PS2, GameCube, and Wii release. Things started to get strange after this point. There were four separate tie-in properties for the 2018 movie, beginning with an arcade game that’s exclusive to Hollywood Bowl and Dave & Buster’s.
An AR app, a browser game, and a VR title were also released to support the film’s launch, which is quite an ambitious project for what might be considered a smaller, lesser-known franchise. Of course, as all these properties were part of a reboot, this could suggest that Rampage is being lined up for another crack at the skyscrapers. Sadly, with Google saying nothing about the subject, that might just be wishful thinking.