God of War Collection

Editor’s note: I re-read this one as I was editing and preparing it for re-upload and it’s a bit cringey in places. I fixed a few things here and there but it’s kind of the same review as it originally aired.

This week’s review is going to be short but sweet, since I haven’t actually finished the game (and can’t give it a full review).

The God of War Collection came out for the PS3 a few weeks ago, and after waiting patiently for ANY retailer in my area to have a copy,* I was finally ready to have another go at killing a god.

GOD OF WAR 1

You play as Kratos, another Spartan Badass who decides that having his life spared in return for being a slave for the Greek gods isn’t really what he wanted in life.

Kratos embarks on an epic journey across many different areas (land, sea, fire and surprisingly no ice…) encountering Sony’s take on different beings in mythology such as Harpies, Medusa, Hydra, etc.  in order to retrieve Pandora’s Box to gain the power to kill Ares, the Greek god of War.

The game itself does offer quite a challenging story, including various battles, puzzles and the like, but never in a way that got boring or old.

It was never “find the blue key and jump over the pit three times to locate the red door after completing a short puzzle for the fourteenth-frickin time,” but more of a “kill EVERYTHING that gets in your way, solve a puzzle that shouldn’t take too long and don’t forget to CHECK EVERYWHERE for hidden chests and power-ups.

At the time of this writing I have just descended into the “depths of Hades” (which I’m pretty sure was the PERSON that lived in the Underworld and kept the dead, not the place itself)…

Well skin me alive and call me Shirley, I was wrong: HADES: (from Greek ᾍδης, Hadēs, originally Ἅιδης, Haidēs or Άΐδης, Aidēs, meaning ‘the unseen’) refers both to the ancient Greek underworld, the abode of Hades, and to the god of the underworld.

Hades in Homer referred just to the god; the genitive ᾍδου, Haidou, was an elision to denote locality: ‘[the house/dominion] of Hades. Eventually, the nominative, too, came to designate the abode of the dead.”

Thanks Wikipedia, hopefully teacher won’t ask me to cite my sources as they think using you is… well not good.

Anyway, back to the thought I left: As of now I am nearing the end of the game (seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel if you will) and can safely tell you that playing this game on the PS3 is a good idea, since it has a great story (if you didn’t already know from playing on the PS2) and made the transition to the “current gen” with little problem.

I did think some parts had a little “lag” between when I tried to execute a finishing combo to when (or if) it happened, but I think that animation issue was in the original game as well…

Also fans of the original game remember the quick-time events that usually gave you a more “brutal” execution and more souls (in handy orb form) to power up your weapons and abilities. Yes, it’s all still here.

People new to the game have no idea what I’m talking about, so here’s a crash course: In the original game you had the ability to execute your enemy by completing a quick-time event after their health got to a certain level. Once you initiated the event by pressing the circle button, you would have a random combination of either buttons (or directions on the left joystick) you had to mimic. Once you successfully completed the quick-time event, Kratos would either stab an enemy with their own weapon, rip off their wings and curb-stomp them (in the case of the Harpies) or just rip their effin’ head off (Medusa, I’m lookin at you. Wait, no I’m not). Then you would get red orbs and sometimes some magic or health for your troubles.  So enjoy!

Also new to the PS3 version is trophies (and I don’t know about you, but I’m a whore for trophies…. mmm trophies…) and also as some may already know a graphics update so it runs in HD.

The graphics update is great and all for those that care about how pretty a game is, but I would rather have a playable game with a good story versus something that was a polished turd, but hey, to each their own.

Oh and PS: you can get a trophy for playing the little “mini-game” after defeating the Hydra… called “Rockin’ The Boat”

God of War: Chains of Olympus

Editor’s Note: This post is crazy old!

If you are a follower of God of War, the Award-Winning franchise for the Playstation series, then you know what to expect: Kratos, servant to the Gods travels throughout ancient lands and writes himself into Greek Mythology all the while kicking ass and taking names. If you haven’t ever played any of these games, then my suggestion to you is to go out and at least play the first game of the series, since it is now a $20 greatest hit for the PS2. God of War: Chains of Olympus is definitely a must-have for those with a PSP looking to expand their game library or for followers of the rest of the series.

Visuals: There are as usual stunning graphics (which is surprising seeing that the Playstation Portable has limited graphics capabilities, as compared to the Playstation 2 or 3. One of the only things that I did not care for when playing the game as far as visuals were concerned was that you could NOT skip the cutscenes, which became very annoying if you happen to get stuck in a spot where right after a save/loading area is a cutscene then a fight, or a hard spot to get past. Sometimes the graphics would look blurred or overly pixelated, but you can’t expect perfect translations from the larger consoles. This attempt did make it worth the $40 though.

The controls had little problem in this portable translation, making the mini-game battle finishes easy to control (besides the difficulty of trying to do the right combination when prompted). The only problem was the PSP’s version of the Joystick, which is a “nipple” that can be rotated on top of the PSP itself. This made some of the minigames difficult because it would not always comprehend the direction of rotation. The game is much shorter than the others, clocking in at around 6 hours of gameplay for just the Storymode. Short for some games, but for a PSP game it is actually about average.

The music in the game was as usual, “epic.” Some of the dialog sounded distorted at points but this seemed to be only because of the PSP’s speakers, not the game itself. Sometimes the subtitles needed to be turned on to understand what was being said in the game because of the distortion or overly loud music or sound effects during the cutscenes, but overall it translated very well to the portable console.

For those that have played the game before, you will be familiar with the unlockables that God of War offers. Once you beat the game, you can earn ridiculous outfits to clothe Kratos in the next time you decide to play through the storymode, or depending on the difficulty level you beat, you can open the “Challenges” mode, which leads to even more treasures like behind the scenes videos and pictures. The Challenges mode is actually much more difficult than the story mode in my opinion, so you will have plenty to do after the game ends.

This game doesn’t contain as many puzzles as the previous two, but it makes up for it with the challenge of taking on many different enemies of varying skills at the same time. I would strongly recommend upgrading your weapons and skills as often as you can, because you are going to need them. Also keep you eyes peeled for as many chests that contain the Gorgon eyes and Phoenix feathers you will definitely need to increase your magic and health bars.

The storyline for this game is not as clear as in the first two, but it doesn’t really matter seeing as how players of the previous two know enough to “hum along.” The basic gist of the game is that Kratos has been charged with saving the world from destruction as a mysterious haze covers the land, a god and a titan both go missing and it is up to Kratos to save the day, facing personal challenges as well as countless enemies.