Collection : Atsumete Godzilla VMU

On a recent trip to my local games shop here in Tokyo something caught my eye in the retro section, amongst all the endless copies of winning eleven 2 and Virtua Fighter selling for 10 yen a piece, I found this little green thing. As you can see it is in great condition (even has the "Dreamcast compatible" sticker) and is even sealed!

 I remember when the Atsumete Godzilla VMU was first shown in Edge and Sega Saturn magazine back in 1998. It was talked about as it was the first example of the memory card which would be used for the upcoming Dreamcast. Yet, the Atsumete (Japanese for "collect") Godzilla VMU unit was actually released a good four months before to coincide with the release of Hollywood "disaster" movie Godzilla in Japan, where it was sold at movie theaters which showed the film.

These days, boxed copies are becoming quite a rarity but what is it?
Well, back in the ninties the world was going virtual pet crazy, as a virtual pet owner, you had to feed it, take it to the toilet, play with it and generally made sure that its digitized existance was a pleasent one. These days, I honestly don't see what was so entertaining about being a slave to a digital badger or whatever you chose, but they were huge and lead to the creation of tons of imitators, and games such as Digimon and Pokemon, that went on to create genres in their own right.

Similarly, the objective of the Atsumete Godzilla seems to be to care for and raise your very own Godzilla which can entered in an 8-bit mega graphic battle with others by linking two VMU units together. These can then be traded for monsters on other units and there were even limited edition sets that came with figurines of various Godzilla types which I will be showing later. I played around with Atsumete for the grand total of four minutes before placing it back in it's box. To be fair though, that is two more minutes than I played Godzilla Generations for.