Terror of Hemasaurus and Shin Ultraman – Two great tastes that taste great together?

Let me get this out of the way upfront: I’ve never been huge fan of Godzilla, so it’s weird that I’d be drawn to a game like Terror of Hemasaurus. The main reason I was drawn to it, really, is because I am a huge fan of the developer’s (a Finnish dude named Lorne Lemcke) first game, Super Blood Hockey…which is a rather excellent “heightened” sports title that has a satirically humorous story/franchise mode on top of its slick, hockey action that plays great deal like Ice Hockey on the NES.
Another weird thing about me is even though I don’t really “get” the whole Godzilla thing; I do have a long-standing affinity for another Japanese pop culture icon, Ultraman. I’ve loved him since I was about five-years-old and would religiously watch the reruns of ‘60s TV show then drive my poor parents nuts by zipping around the house pretending I was Ultraman for the next hour or two.
Yes, I fully understand that Godzilla and Ultraman are essentially the same thing – just guys in rubber suits kicking the crap out of one another on a scaled model of a city or whatever. So, that’s why (to me at least…) it’s an odd coincidence that these two things somehow came together in my life this past weekend while I was fighting off a rather nasty stomach bug. I got to play a good amount of Terror of Hemasaurus and also watch the latest movie featuring Ultraman, Shin Ultraman (New Ultraman).
Terror of Hermasaurus is basically the arcade classic Rampage on meth…and I mean that in the best way possible. Much like Rampage, you can choose from several different giant monsters with varying strength and abilities that are brought back to life (via a conveniently melting glacier) by a cult who want to use this creature’s power to wreak havoc on a world that’s indifferent to the perils of the rapidly changing climate. The majority of Terror of Hemasaurus’ gameplay mechanics are very similar to Rampage’s as well – just jump on the various buildings, smash ‘em up, kick over cars, eat the terrified civilians…rinse and repeat.
But you most certainly do wreak glorious havoc in this game. In fact, it’s really all you do, but it sure is fun as the amount of unbridled carnage you can create on each level is quite impressive and awe-inspiring. I mean, there’s something to be said for the visceral, formidable feeling that slithered through my body while I was whipping squealing humans at police and news helicopters while four skyscrapers were crashing and burning directly behind me in a most spectacular, pixelated fashion. The only real issue with Terror of Hemasaurus is, again like its predecessor Rampage, things get a bit same-y after four or five levels, but the best way to alleviate that is to add some friends to mix because the game supports up to four players in local co-op play.
Shin Ultraman sports some pretty glorious havoc as well, but the havoc found here is more in the traditional kaiju cinema variety. In the film, several giant life forms classified as the “S-Class Species” invade the Earth, so the Japanese government establishes the S-Class Species Suppression Protocol to eliminate further threats. Shortly thereafter, the SSSP attempts to stave off a kaiju attack on a large city. It’s during this onslaught that a silver extraterrestrial giant dubbed “Ultraman” streaks down from the heavens to defeat the beast and save humanity. However, he inadvertently kills SSSP member Shinji Kaminaga during his battle with the monster. Ultraman subsequently takes over Kaminaga's appearance and place in the SSSP, leaving the real Kaminaga's body in the forest where he died…because that’s what extraterrestrial heroes do, apparently? In the guise of Kaminaga, Ultraman then forms a friendship with SSSP analyst Hiroko Asami (who has a weird thing about grabbing her own butt), but she is unaware of the original Kaminaga's fate as Ultraman continues his battles with the various alien foes still attempting to invade the Earth.
The first two-thirds of Shin Ultraman are just flat out awesome. It harkens back to the original, ‘60s show that completely captured my imagination as a kid. It achieves this in all the right ways with subtle (and not so subtle) visual and auditory cues throughout. The special effects are well done too as they seem to be a combination of both old-school practical effects and new-school CGI techniques. As I texted a long-time friend the other day in regard to this film: “If little Jer saw this movie when he was a kid, his tiny mind would have been blown.”
The last third of Shin Ultraman gets a bit muddled, unfortunately, as it tries to be too clever for its own good. This is a movie about a giant space alien superhero who kicks the everlovin’ crap out of monsters on a daily basis. There’s no need for political intrigue, subterfuge, and Judeo-Christian God and Jesus allusions in a goddamn Ultraman movie. It’s my sincere thought that the filmmakers here should have been reminded of the K.I.S.S dictum: Keep It Simple, Stupid while they were writing the screenplay.
Terror of Hemasuarus is now out on Steam, and it’s coming to consoles in early December. Shin Ultraman came out in Japan in May, and was shown at a couple U.S. film festivals in late July. It doesn’t have a true North American release date as of yet, but apparently it will be coming to Netflix “very soon” which makes sense because Netflix produced two seasons of a new animated Ultraman series that’s actually pretty cool as well.
And to answer the question posed in my headline: You’re damn right Terror of Hemasaurus and Shin Ultraman taste great together…just like chocolate and peanut butter, baby.
💬Have you ever watched any of the Ultraman movies or series before? If so, what are your favorites? Please share them in the comments down below! Also, are you a fan of the original Ultraman manga titles? Tell us what some of your favorites are as well!
Mentioned games
Jesus Salbedia
Jesus Salbedia
lisa you want that game terror of hemasaurus
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