Review by wolverinefan

Reviewed: 03/17/08

Kratos in your pocket

The original God of War was one of those games that defined gaming as art. It recreated a mythical time and brought us one badass who was cool not only in looks but had one kick ass weapon. It's sequel had al of the same going for it but I personally found it lacking when compared to the original, mostly for story and setting reasons.

Along came the PSP title which can ultimately be played without having experienced the original two titles. In this adventure Kratos must stop some evil woman. I honestly don't remember much of the plot outside it introducing Atlas and the world getting dark but also with Kratos dealing with his more mortal instincts.

While I don't remember much of the plot doesn't really effect it as whole. The problem is the plot kind of takes a back seat to the action and while it assumes you know Kratos and his history you won't need that history to enjoy the game.

Much like the original game this is the one title you can show to friends and have them be truly wowed by the power of the PSP. While not as sharp or crisp as the original games, this one has some stunning visuals for a hand held. Kratos has very fluid animation which makes the combat feel more rich than it really is. Not only that the CGI scenes are almost as good as most games on the Playstation 2 and the locations are splendid with the mountains, chains and much later in the game we meet Atlus who consumes the entire landscape and gives you a true sense of awe.

Perhaps the only real down side to the entire game is the soundtrack. The original game had an epic soundtrack and even offered it for free via download (my code didn't work but they kindly mailed me a burnt cd of the music, thanks guys!). This soundtrack really seems to lack the oomph that the original had. While the instrumentals are decent enough, they don't bring an epic presence that the game needs.

None of that should matter much because what we really want is the action we are use to in the God of War universe. This time around Kratos only gets hold of two types of weapons. One is his trusty blades which are awesome and the combos, while limited, also look dead sexy. His other weapon is to be had much later in the game and reminds me of the god hand weapon found in Devil May Cry 4. It's more of a fighting style but it's very powerful and just flat out kicks butt.

We also get some magic this time around but to be honest I rarely used it until the final boss when the shooting spell made it much easier than it should have been. Other wise we have a fire spell that deals massive damage and I'll admit to using it on a few of the enemies that were large and always blocked.

The enemy variety is also fairly decent. I actually liked a lot of the designs and thought they fit the realm much better than some of the enemies in the second game. This game also has one of the cooler bosses in recent memory in the form of a certain hooded person. Not only does he look awesome but his move set rocks and he's pretty tricky if you don't notice his weakness.

Sadly the game is lacking in bosses and I think you may find no more than four in the entire game. It is full of puzzles though but almost all of them are switch based or require you to push blocks. There were only two that stuck out. One involved some stairs and another involved you moving some stuff around to bounce light. Neither were overly original but made me think a little outside the box.

Control is normally an issue for these PSP games but the analog stick works perfect and my only problem was my thumb cramped after the first two hours which resulted in me having to take a break. otherwise find every aspect of the control to be responsive and as fluid as those found in the Playstation 2 versions.

The games biggest flaw is it's length. My initial play through lasted me a measly 2.5 hours which at $40 isn't worth my time, and even a rental fee isn't worth that amount of time. We get a few extra features like harder difficulties, challenges and some minor unlockables but a scene viewer is also unlocked from completing the game so you never have much need to revisit the game. I hear the higher difficulties will make it last longer but I'm not the type of person who really replays games too often.

God of War fans will eat this up and for those looking for a solid PSP title should give it a rent. I just can't imagine dropping the money on this title when it's play time is so short. However you can do much worse so if you want something that you know you'll replay over and over then this is a game that offers excellence in every category but length.

Story - 6/10
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 8/10
Control - 9/10
Game Play - 10/10
Replay Value - 5/10

Final Score - 9/10

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: God of War: Chains of Olympus (US, 03/04/08)

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