DAI KAIJYU DEBURAS / Data East / NES
This game was published by Data East, but I strongly suspect that some or all of the Climax team was involved, as both the gameplay and the music are very reminiscent of Shining Force. Instead of fruity elves and sturdy dwarves, however, you are defending modern Tokyo using heavy military units.
Apparently Deburas is actually a member of the giant rubber family that repeatedly trashed Tokyo in so many 1970s movies, albeit one of the more obscure and silly-looking ones. Even with his moobs, he still manages to be a pretty intimidating figure simply for the fact that he's quite capable of wiping out an entire military squadron in one shot.
Most maps have you trying to shuttle a monster egg, which is the target of Deburas' wrath, from one side of the map to the other. Deburas tends to make a beeline for the egg, so you have to use tanks, choppers, jets and even foot soldiers to impede his progress and slow him down enough. Of course, the damage they do to Deburas with each attack is trifling, whereas the best result you can hope for when Deburas attacks you is that he doesn't *totally* trash your unit. Units that have barely survived a horn beam or lightning attack from Deburas can be navigated to a base, where they are fully repaired in a turn.
The game pretty clearly had a decent budget, as the production values are pretty high for a 1990 NES game. Encounters with Deburas take place in big, cinematic cut scenes, the graphics and color are good, the music is very decent, you even get a nice digitized Godzilla-style roar from the big beast when he attacks. The interface is also simple, smooth and intuitive.
Ultimately a couple of things trip it up, and they are unfortunate, because they could have been fixed with some small tweaks. Most of the game's maps have you transporting an egg, and the amount of spaces you can move the egg each turn is determined by a random dice roll. You can, and will, get a bunch of really shitty rolls in a row sometimes. When you can only move one or two spaces for four or five turns in a row, Deburas basically wins automatically in most cases. The randomness can add an extra spice to the strategy, and I see why they added it, but it really shouldn't have been possible to get 1s and 2s so many times in a row, as it eventually becomes impossible to escape.
Every now and then, you get a map where there's no egg transport - you just have a bunch of units and have to go all out against Deburas until you whittle his HP down. There's really no strategy to this, as there's only one tactic that works - set up everything you have near a repair base, wall the base off from Deburas, and cycle units in and out of it as he trashes them until you tediously manage to chip his HP all the way down.
The save system is also a little goofy - you can save at any point in the map, which is nice, but the game forces you to take an egg movement roll before it allows you to save. Also, if you save in a bad position and can't win a map, and then die, there's no continue - you go back to the beginning.
It's a good concept and a fairly fun game, but the randomness gets annoying and after a few maps the pattern of gameplay gets pretty repetitive.
30% Translation Patch
* Gameplay Video