Review by MetalGearRexus
Every few years, there comes a game that really defines the system - Crash defined the PlayStation, Mario defined the early Nintendo systems, Halo defined the box, and now the PSP got what defines it - a prologue of the PS2's great outings of God of War. Kratos was never the kind of man that played hide and seek with his friends - he probably slit the throat of anyone that asked him to play tag. Kick-ass men are few and far between, and plenty of them don't fit the role of kickassness they're supposed to be playing, be it cheesy lines they're given or just weak flimsy actions. Kratos, a servant of the Gods after selling his soul to the God of War in the first outing on the PS2, kicks ass and takes names like no other Greek character ever did - in between detaching heads and striking one ton axes straight to Minotaur's faces, he's playing sex mini-games with top-bared beauties.
Enter Chain of Olympus, the game that shows us how it all began before Kratos took the decision of going suicidal on Mount Olympus in the first God of War. The story fits nicely and attaches a nice-chunked jigsaw into the story puzzle. This adventure will take you from the depths of Tartarus to the Elysium and a torn Ghost of Sparta after meeting with a very dear person to heart. All these locales are played amongst pretty cutscenes that depict the story nicely. It is told that the PSP's power has been 80% tapped to achieve the graphical prowess in this game, and it REALLY SHOWS. From the flow of the game - only interrupted by few moments of slowdown - to the beauty of the mythical creatures and huge locales, I can say with confidence that this is the prettiest PSP game to date. Couple that with an amazing musical score of intense dramatic beats and you have one sensual experience.
Adding to the sensuality of a great show-work is a great game-play score with only few hitches in the form of some glitches and sometimes-annoying camera angles - see, the developers had to make sacrifices to get these great graphics on your small screen: in order to kick ass and take names with the Ghost of Sparta in this much of flare, the camera angles had to be preset in order to save processing power and locate them according to the developer's wishes, which isn't that bad of a thing - the camera is quite dramatic, save for a few moments when you start wrestling back and forth between the same screens due to the alternate sides of each camera angle - pressing up will take you forward to the next angle, while pressing up on the next angle will take you back. It isn't much of a set back as a minor annoyance, so carry on.
The game controls are quite well done on so few a buttons compared to a dual shock, and even if they end up as a bit complex, it's still amazing how much you can do with what little you have: you can evade, combo, use magic, add flare to your combos, jump, initiate mini-game brutal kills, and perform plenty of other actions. Now, the MAIN COURSE in the fighting mechanics of the God of War games as any aficionado of the series would tell you are the BUTTON MINI-GAMES: these can range from as little as pressing a button as soon as it pops up on the screen during the played-out animation to perform an action on the intended target, say evade a sword slash and stab the skeleton in its guts, to as complex as a series of button presses and controls, say rotating the analogue stick clockwise as fast as you can, followed by quick button presses, followed by tapping the O button, and so on. It's all plenty rewarding with the sweet animations played out on the screen, so these will make you fall in LOVE with the mechanics without having the game ever feel boring.
You only have two weapons at hand - one unlocked later on, but that doesn't stop the game from being full of flare and combos. Kratos' regular, the chains screwed to his wrists, are as fluid as ever. Using the two face buttons assigned for light and heavy attacks, you can mix up plenty of combos that end up in plenty of flaming light-work. Add to the mix plenty of unlockable moves as you fill your red orb gauge to level up your weapons and you have a versatile weapon that speeds up and slows down to a heavy punch according to your wills.
Complementary to the weapons in the God of War games are the magic skills Kratos has possession of, and in this game, they're aplenty. However, I only found myself using one magic spell in the long run of heat of battles, since most of the other spells are case sensitive and you mostly use them about the area where you end up digging them up. So, to sum it all up, plenty of magic spells but one really helpful one in the long run. By powering up your magic spells, you can extend their range of attack, length of time, and power, so make sure you tuck some red orbs aside for your conjuring arts.
The main flaw in this game is its LENGTH - It's over far too quickly. The developers of the game made up for this by adding reason for replay in the series' famed extras section, filled to the gills with challenges, extra customes, and a new difficulty level to span interest in further finishing the game. HOWEVER, this game is an EXPERIENCE, so no matter how little time it takes you to finish the game, do revel in the fact that you just finished a game so great, it's considered the best on its platform. Ghosts of Sparta all over the globe, kick ass!
If you like this, you'll probably like:
Devil May Cry series
+ How the story ends up on mount Olympus is pretty amusing
+ Great graphical and audio scores
+ LOVELY as ever button mini-games
+ Top-notch boss fights
+ Nice pre-set camera angles
+ Nice extras
+ Plenty of naked breasts!!
- A bit of a slowdown here and there
- A couple o' glitches; hey no game's perfect
- Some useless magic
- Controls a bit confusing
- Short game in the range of 5 hours first run
Story - 9
Visuals - 10
Audio - 10
Gameplay - 10
-Fun Factor - 10
-Controls - 8
-Difficulty - Difficulty levels are pretty much honest
Lifespan - 7
Pretty short, and even with plenty of extras, it ends up being pretty
Overall - 10
The PSP's GREATEST in most sense of plenty of gamers' unified word!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/08/08
Game Release: God of War: Chains of Olympus (US, 03/04/08)
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