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Be brave i said to myself, as the mouse pointer hovered over the four star rating, click, and it was done, anyone who's read my God of War reviews knows i'm a great lover of the series, but with the two titles released on the PSP, one had clunky controls....... and there still there with this one! what on earth happened! My guess is that if you push the PSP's processing power to it's limits this is about as good as you get, but it's still a little frustrating, this game was released after God of War three, it should have been fixed.. This game does have some fantastic features though.
Set after the original God of War this games objective is to tie up the loose ends of the storyline and it does it nicely. The gods believe that their end will come not by the revenge of the Titans of old, but by a marked warrior, they believe this to be Deimos, the brother of Kratos, Deimos has a strange birthmark and the gods believe this to be the sign they are looking for, Kratos tries to stop Ares from taking his brother but is brushed aside, giving Kratos the Scar over his right eye.
Kratos, now the God of War, and still haunted by visions of his past, goes to seek out his mortal past, he is warned by the gods not to undertake this mission, but Kratos travels to the temple of poseidon, protected by the great beast Scylla, and so the first trademark epic first boss fight begins, and these boss fights are really great to see on the smallscreen. Eventually Kratos locates his dear old mum Callisto and she tells Kratos to go and find his brother, and so the journey begins.
There are some fantastic moments in this game, if your a fan of the series you'll adore going back to Sparta and looking around, also you'll get something very special here, the "Spartan Shield and Spear" it is nothing short of my favorite weapon in the entire series, it just feels like Kratos going back to his roots and it is the only weapon in the series that i feel matches the satisfaction you get using the whirly death blades themselves, suffice to say "I LOVED IT"
God of war really is a formula that doesn't really need changing, but even a battle hardened God of War veteran like myself has to say that it's coming to a close now,
Red orbs, Blue orbs, Green orbs, Gorgon eyes and Pheonix feathers (minotaur horns from god of war 3 also), it's time to lay Kratos to rest and i felt that this final installment (if it really is the final installment) was an excellent way to end the series, in my Chains of Olympus review I felt the story of that PSP title was a little lacking, and that's been fixed with this one, there are some truly excellent moments in this game that any fan of the series wouldn't want to miss, you'll meet Kratos's mother, His brother, and the gravedigger returns for another cryptic monologue.
A little change which i thought was a nice touch was the Theras Bane ability, imbuing your blades with fire, adding attack power, and allowing Kratos to destroy heavily armoured foes and pass through some environmental obstacles, this replaces the Rage abilities from the previous titles, i feel it adds a little spice to the mix, and as the formula for the games is so similar throughout, it's a nice touch that feels well needed.
Graphics have been improved from the previous PSP title and they may even surpass that of a PS2 title, it's a very good looking game and the giant set pieces that god of war is known for are back in all their glory and the addition of the city of Sparta is nothing short of superb.
If you haven't read my Chains of Olympus review let me tell you what really annoyed me about the controls in Ghost of Sparta. The L1 R2 analogue dodge roll is back, to be fair on them though, i can't think of a better solution myself but it just feels so awkward to perform, and the game still feels a little bit stiff, it's much better but im' just guessing that it's the PSP processing to blame but i always look back on the game and think there must have been something to sacrifice in favor of evening out the controls.
Overall the game is a fitting end to the series, you go back to sparta, meet Kratos's mother, and of course, meet his brother who is a huge part of the God of War story and meeting him was worth working through some of the little niggles in the game play and such.
I hate to say it but it does feel about the right time to lay Kratos to rest now, by now we know his back story inside out, we know the combat and the upgrade system, let it go while it's still fresh, it would really be sad to see Kratos stagnating in a pool of dodgy spin offs and sequels and prequels and blah blah blah. In service of being overly dramatic this is my last God of War series review (unless they release another game ;)
Kratos is back again on is teenage rebellion against the Gods of Olympus.
Like Chains Of Olympus, the graphics are top notch, with nice features like reflections and splatter. The story is once again engaging, with the need to maximise your combos and collect all teh red orbs and powers you possibly can as you progress through the. Combat is simple with two main buttons, a throw and of course jump, which when coupled with the shoulder buttons, add in evades, fire attributes and combo hits. Combine this with magic & counters and you cna have a rather complex combo system depending on how you wish to play. In some of the special stages, you need to muster all your combat skills to survive.
It is a shame that you cannot control the camers, but this is how the designers have hidden some boxes of goodies. On teh whole, the game is fluid and varied wnough with more weapons, magic and enemies to keep you interested throughout.
The length of the game is slightly longer than Chains Of Olympus, which is good, though it is not really long enough. There is replay value in collecting artifacts that give you infinite energy or new moves and some special levels once you have clocked the game. There is lits of blood and violence, and coming back again is the brothel minigame, where our hero beds 8 women - thus not for kids!