Finally got around to seeing this again, since I decided to dig out the old VCR. For me, this one (at least the US cut) is middle-of-the-road.
On the plus side, I found it impressive visually. There are some really cool shots throughout; one standout comes after Godzilla's knocked a building onto the Super-X, and he turns toward the camera and roars while lit by flames. The movie does a good job of conveying Godzilla's size and menace, although I have reservations about the suit's face, and the Cybot belongs here about as much as the promotional suits belonged in GvMG and TOMG before it. Still, there's a good spectacle to be found overall. The musical score is pretty decent, too - not a favorite of mine overall, but there are some really good cues, such as the themes for the Super-X and for the proceedings at Mt. Mihara. It does convey that this is a darker film than anything out of the late '60's and '70's.
But in terms of plot structure and characterization, G85 is of a lower caste. The pacing didn't bother me, but blatantly giving away the ending one-third of the way into the movie is just poor writing, any way you cut it. And I really have no idea which of the human characters I'm supposed to be sympathizing with, at least in terms of the Japanese cast. Goro Maki's a bit of a dick ("I heard your parents were killed by Godzilla. I'm sure this has made you very bitter") and Hayashida isn't developed to a point where I fully care about him. Everyone else just kind of exists, though I guess the wino is amusing enough. Ultimately, I end up siding with Raymond Burr's character because I know who he is and know what he knows about Godzilla. He doesn't do anything but stand and talk, but at least he's someone to attach myself to. It kind of bewilders me that, 30 years after GKOTM, no US-edited kaiju film could match it in terms of integrating new footage with the original film.
It was worth reconnecting a VCR to see G85 again, but I'm not sure it's one I'll be returning to very often. I will say that it's more impressive than many of the subsequent films, for whatever that's worth.
"Available for your home in 1995, only on Nintendo Ultra 64!"