War of the Monsters Hits PSN Tomorrow, Development Retrospective

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War of the Monsters Hits PSN Tomorrow, Development Retrospective

About a billion years ago, I worked on a PS2 game called War of the Monsters. In fact, it was my first game as a producer — I had the luxury of working with a great team and together we made a really awesome and unique fighting game. War of the Monsters was built on the theme of vintage monster B-movies, with mega-crap-loads of building destruction and tons of hot monster-on-monster action! But totally work-appropriate hot monster action. Get your minds out of the gutter!

We didn’t just have a ton of fun making the War of the Monsters — we were very happy with how the finished product turned out. The game was ridiculously fun to play, and players around the world loved it! So when Jeff pinged me the other day to tell me that War of the Monsters is going to be released as a PS2 Classic on the PS3 I was crazy-excited. Of course, I wanted to write a quick post!

War of the Monsters for PS3 (PSN) - Monster Group Shot

The first thing I did was dig through some of my old archives and find some really cool old artwork from back when we were developing War of the Monsters. The image below is something I put together during the game’s production to summarize the core combat mechanics in the game. We used it internally to make sure everyone on the team understood the basics of game’s combat. What’s really cool is that now, almost a decade later, you can look at this combat sheet and still get a quick overview of the game before you download it from the PlayStation Store tomorrow.

War of the Monsters for PS3 (PSN) - Core Controls

Here’s another cool image I found. It’s an early color comp I created to show the team how we were going to reference old movie posters to develop our color and lighting palette, and how we’d adapt it for our game environments. Man, I’m having fun digging through all my old files. Thanks, Jeff!

War of the Monsters for PS3 (PSN) - Color Schemes

These were internal docs, so cut me some slack on their style. When you’re preparing materials for internal studio communication it’s often not as flashy or super-produced like you might see from a full-up marketing team. And hey, this stuff is almost a decade old!

Oh snap, check these out! These are the level-loading screens for each of the battles when you play through single player battle mode! These were all painted by a super-talented artist by the name of Owen Richardson, who also worked with Dave Jaffe and Scott Campbell on the new Twisted Metal for PS3.

Level_PostWar of the Monsters for PS3 (PSN) - level posters

Here’s another bit of trivia: Bet you didn’t know that I also did some 3D modeling on War of the Monsters too — back in those days everyone had to do a bit of everything! This is Preytor; I had a great time modeling and texturing him. He’s a massive praying mantis with a nimble fighting style, and one of only two monsters in the game with the ability to fly.

War of the Monsters for PS3 (PSN) - Preytor

It’s crazy to look back on War of the Monsters and see those low-poly, low-res PS2 graphics — a reminder of how far we’ve come with the PS3. One thing remains the same though: great gameplay is timeless. Luckily, War of the Monsters is super-fun to play and holds up nicely. I hope you all download this PS2 Classic from your PS3 on Tuesday when the Store Update goes live!

Starhawk for PS3: Cypress - Origin MapStarhawk for PS3: Cypress - Collider Map

And in case you were wondering, we are still totally hard at work on Starhawk! We have a ton of stuff ready for release very soon — including our 1.3 Update, which has a bunch of new features and fixes, as well as the awesome (and free) Cypress Map Pack! Here’s a sneak-peek at a couple screen shots of Cypress, but check back here on the blog real soon for a complete breakdown of the Starhawk 1.3 Update, as well as more in-depth info on the new free map pack!

Stay tuned and, as always, rock on!

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12 Author Replies

  • I always enjoy a good post-mortem story on game development.

    Thank you.

  • I have fond memories of this PS2 gem. Definitely going to pick this one up.

  • If the user has the Twisted Metal: Black from the Twisted Metal Special Edition, does the save data connect with this game!? I really wanna use Sweet Tooth in this as well! One of the Monsters is suppost to have a sweet tooth costume that can only be activated though TM:B saved data

    • I have not played the PS2 Classic version yet so I am not sure you we’re going to be able to unlock the Sweet Tooth Monster.

      But back on the PS2, if you had a Twisted Metal: Black save game file on your memory card, mecha sweet tooth would unlock automatically.

      Need to test it out when its released tomorrow!

  • I speak for hundreds of testers when I say this was a Foster City FPQA favorite during breaks! Those were the days. I hope it benefits at least some from the PS3 hardware.

  • War of the Monsters was easily one of the funnest games on PS2!

  • One of the best PS2 games I ever played (and replayed, and replayed, and replayed). I think it’s singlehandedly responsible for my ongoing obsession with B-movies. I had a great time finding all the hidden weapons in all the stages, like the giant Excalibur sword in the Vegas level, etc.

    An absolute classic… if you’ve never played it before, you owe it to yourself to try it out.

  • is it going to be on EU store TOO ?
    PLZ answer !!!

  • I’m liking these monster designs. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this game until today.

  • I never had a PS2 so I am looking forward to picking this up!

  • Seeing_Red_Again

    Dylan, please make War of the Monsters 2. You guys rock with creating great gameplay. Would you ever want to do that sequel?

    • I would love to do a sequel! I can totally see it as a downloadable game with downloadable monsters that you can buy and collect!

      Maybe some day….

  • One of my most favorite games on the PS2, and Tommy Tallarico knocked it out of the park with the music. Amazing job guys!!!!!!!

  • mike6DemonSlayer

    Just seeing that quote “great gameplay is timeless” brings myself so much good memories from playstation 2 and i would just like to say im glad im a sony fan for life and i will be picking this one up! Great work on this one Dylan.

    • This game was made back when we were all at Incognito Entertainment and it’s really neat to see how the team has moved on to different things. Some are working with me here at LightBox Interactive and some are at Eat Sleep Play!

  • Aw this is fantastic news! I love this game, really need a PS3 sequel. Please folks buy this, hopefully this will revive interest in the series for a sequel!

  • Dylan Jobe FTW!!!

    Tell SuperBot to get some Warhawks and Starhawks in their stages for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale!

    • OMG — wouldn’t that be awesome!

      I got a chance to see All-Stars the other day and play it and holy-crap is it fun!!

  • Most underrated gem on the PS2. Glad it’s getting a second chance at showing everyone how awesome it is.

    I wish it had some sort of presence in Playstation All-Stars. Like some of the monsters coming in and attacking a level.

    Also, Lightbox needs to work with Santa Monica to make a sequel.

  • Can’t wait to play this ps2 classic from my childhood. I am calling up my old buddies and we are going to have a blast tomorrow.

    Also can’t wait for the new Starhawk map!!! You guys at LBI have done well to support your Starhawk fans by making all map packs free.

  • Very nice, I loved the heck out of this game on PS2! I really hope you get to do that PS3 remake/reboot you once mentioned! My friends and I would absolutely LOVE to see this with online play (new monsters, locations, bosses and skins aren’t bad aren’t half bad either lol)! Once again, great stuff, that top imagine is now my new background!

  • I still have my hard copy of the original, sitting right next to my copy of Downhill Domination. That was a fun BMX game, with the exception of the worst choice to place the jump button.

  • I’ve never played this game but have always wanted to since hearing about it since WarHawk (ps3) came out and I became a fan of Incognito. I will be picking this game up tomorrow without a doubt! My kids and myself included are going to love it :-p

    • Hey DeadSpider!

      Yes, such a fun time to let your kids beat you up as they pretend to be a 200 foot tall Monster!


  • ….Oh no it can’t be War of the Monsters? is this a dream?, I remembered watching so many trailers has a kid, it looked fun but I was never able to find it in stores. So glad its coming to PSN.

  • Wow. I’ve never heard of this game until a couple of days ago, when I saw an ad for it on the back of a very old comic book that I borrowed from my wife.

    The ad caught my eye because it had the pic of what seemed like a giant monster corpse that crushed a taxi in NY or something like that.

    What a coincidence that it is coming now to the PSN =)

  • Two things: Why were there never any action figure tie-ins to this game! I’d have an entire wall full of these things!!
    And 2nd…I really hope there’s some starhawk/warhawk love in Playstation All-stars. I’d love to see, for instance, a level dedicated to Wipeout. Theres the hover thingies racing around then next thing you know an all out aerial war breaks down over the skyline and all hell breaks loose…or…if that Bioshock infinite level is indeed real…its in the sky…like those fancy Warhawk planes you make awesome! Jussayin!

  • This game is one of my top 3 favorite games of all time, the most underrated PS2 game IMO. I can’t wait to buy it on the PSN tomorrow. Hoping for a sequel too.

  • Wish they would do SWB2 for a ps2 classic, or even the the first SWB.

    But, i’m still dreaming :)

  • @Dylan Jobe
    i hope its going to be this week for none US !

  • War of the Monsters is an awesome game! It’s great to see it being reintroduced to the world via the PSN.

    The game has a lot to offer for fighting game players of all skill levels. The characters are well designed and very distinctive, in not just their appearance but their fighting abilities as well. The environments are also varied, and packed with things to interact with. It’s a true gem, and an updated sequel would certainly be welcome.

  • Sweet… and SOoN for the maps again lol

    • Hey Klown!

      We have finished the 1.3 Update that includes the Cypress maps and we are now just waiting to have all our world-wide QA departments approve it!

  • Hey! Give me some credit! I was the first one to write an idea for this game to come to PSN on PS.Blog! :/

  • Never knew about this game until I heard about its release on PSN. I’m a huge fan of Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman and and all those other classics. I’ve got my eye on this game.

  • Ohh, why thank you. ;)
    Haha. But ya, I absolutely LOVE this game! I still play it on my PS2. And I’m looking forward to downloading it! I was hoping it had trophies, but, oh well! I’m very exited. :)

  • I always wanted to see a sequel of this game. It really deserved one. Maybe someday…

  • You know how happy this makes me to see this game come to PSN? :D I was one of the only people BEGGING for this to come to PSN for months. For about 2-3 years. I love this game so much. I used to-and still do play this game all the time with my buddies, we all love it! We never stop. My friends and I have been whining that there hasn’t been a new one come out. REALLY hope this game gets a sequel! Best Monster fighting game in the whole entire world. Not even joking. Won’t have enough money to get a PSN card to buy it tomorrow. :( Meh, atleast I can celebrate and play it on my PS2, right? :)

  • BY THE WAY. We need War of the Monster avatars! And a trophy patch….

  • This is fantastic news. One of my favourite games of all time. I have been wishing for a sequel since I first played this game nearly 10 years ago.

    I hope this gets an EU release, and it DESERVES a sequel at some point. New monsters (as well as the originals), plus new levels and updated visuals – that would be the best.


  • This was an AWESOME game. I still love it. me and my brother have fun memories of this. Its still in my top 10 fave games of all time. Please answer a few questions for me:

    1. Any possible chance of a sequel?

    2. Any chance of War of the monsters avatars?

    3. Any chance of Extermination, Drakan the ancients gates and resident evil outbreak getting PS2 classics releases?

    PLEASE answer those. Thanks for developing this awesome game. I will pick it up in the next week.

  • Also as said above, everyone loves this game and it REALLY deserves a sequel. Perhaps there can be a stage in playstation all stars that is the city stage from this game, and a few characters from this. Or a whole new game. There NEEDS to be a sequel. Perhaps you can get lightbox interactive to do it, since your the president. Please??

  • All this game is missing is a Minerva bot to go with the Mazinger bot.

    Hey, maybe you should revive some of these monsters as stage hazards in Starhawk.

  • Luxo_The_Fox ,

    Unfortunately no. Because the files are not saves on the virtual cards for PS2 classics remember? so it will work different. The only way it would work is if they redid the game in HD for us all.

  • Outstanding! One of my all tme favorite PS2 games! I played through this game multiple times with all of the characters.

  • I didn’t realize there were so many other War of the Monsters fans : ) I have fond memories of me and my brother playing this for hours at a time. I will definitely be picking this up tomorrow for sure! And like everyone else is saying:

    (1) It would be awesome if you guys made a sequel

    (2) Some PSN avatars would be a great idea

    (3) I would love to see some of these characters in PS All Stars

    Agamo and Congar here I come!

  • And also I’m not sure if it’s just me or if you can change the controls, but I could have sworn circle (O) was to pick stuff up and grapple. Triangle I’m pretty sure is another attack button

  • Never heard of this game till now and must say it has my full attention. Too bad it doesn’t have Goldar or Rodak from The Space Giants (Ambassador Magma)

  • This game was awesome! Can we please get a sequel? You could get Lightbox and Superbot to work on it. It would be glorious!

  • I would’ve paid Xtra for the HD remastered with trophies and Move/3D support version in a heart beat. C’mom…Dylan use your Jedi mind powers to have Sony right this wrong.

  • Great post and awesome game. I have a lot of good memories playing it.

  • Something like this should have been remastered and bought to the Vita. I watched some gameplay and I’m excited.

    I will be buying this, because I found this game to fun.

  • xFuzylilManPeach

    I really wanna pic this up, i loved this on PS2!! Any word on price though???

  • Does this mean vice city and san andreas are comin??

  • Star wars battlefront please!

  • Thank you so much guys for bringing back such an amazing game this was one of the funnest PS2 Games and deserves to be in the PS2 classics section in the store again thank you so much !

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