Review by Gluttony18
Simply a single-player masterpiece
First let me start off by saying that this is the first and only God of War game I have played thus far. Out of the many games I have for the PSP, this is one of my favorites and will be retained in memory for quite a while.
I own quite a large selection of PSP games, some are multiplayer and others are single-player. I have come across some truly great games for the system, but none of the single-player games match the prowess of this epic masterpiece.
Graphics: Graphics are not all that important to me when choosing a game. Good graphics do help, but they aren't game-breaking, unless it hurts my eyes. This game is stunning. Everything is gorgeous from the textures to the character models. Many of the levels and level designs make your mouth drop open in awe. This should be the standard in graphical beauty and in level design. The levels are designed intelligently. You won't ever run into any invisible walls nor will you get the feeling that you're wasting your time with any of the levels. Each level has it's graceful, artist, Greek mythological flow and feeling. Nothing feels out of place. Everything has it's place a purpose and it's exactly what you would imagine it to be if were transported to that time period.
Story: The story is excellent. It is set as a sequel to the other God of War games. Basically, Kratos (main character), is serving the Gods in a hope that they will make his past be forgotten in his memory. That's all I can say without spoiling anything. In short, it has a great storyline with epic Titans and God appearances. You will fight Gods and see many of them. The game has a great deal of depth and is fairly thought provoking.
Sound: The sound is great. Each character has his/her/it's own voice and sounds. The in-game music is never distracting and goes along with the current level. The characters dialog isn't shabby either. Each voice sounds real and there is true inflection in the voices which helps to great a sense of depth and attachment. The sounds are all believable and blast out of the small speakers. The sound is even better with a pair of headphones. The troll sounds are awesome and so are the bosses. They all sound excellent. When your weapon hits is probably my favorite sound in the game. Especially when you obtain the Fist. The Fist has a solid "Thwack!" or "chunck" sound when you successfully hit something. When Kratos goes to open a chest you can hear him grunting as he opens it. Everything is polished, even the sound.
And of course, the all important Gameplay:
The gameplay doesn't disappoint. There are two main weapons Kratos uses. There are the classic Chaos Blades and there's this giant friggin fist you get too. Both weapons are great and have their own uses. The Chaos Blades are excellent for crowd control and the fist is great with fewer monsters. There is a respectable amount of combos you can pull off, many of which I've heard perform near exactly like the PS2 counterparts.
Then of course, is the magic. It doesn't disappoint. The first spell you receive is probably one of the better spells you earn, but there are others that have plenty of uses. There is a use for every spell and weapon in this game. There is also a shield you obtain which is very effective if used properly.
Fighting monsters is pretty straight forward. Usually, you'll enter a section of the level and have to fight off a wave (or more) of monsters that spawn out of dark portals on the ground. You can't go back or forwards until you defeat the set monsters. However, you won't just be doing this tedious work. There are epic bosses and cyclops' that you'll run into.
Also noteworthy is the fact that there are hardly any load times. The game progresses smoothly from area to area, without a single load screen. However, if you go back far enough into a level where you are close to the end, you will incur a HUGE loading time. However, you shouldn't ever be going backwards to where the game doesn't expect you to go.
The replay value isn't that great though. Which is why I've chosen to give this game a 9.8. Once you beat the game that's about it. You'll unlock the God difficulty, and the challenge modes, but the unlockables are pitiful and underwhelming. I suggest you beat the game on the hardest difficulty first, as the game will last it's fullest that way. Then complete it a second time on the hardest difficulty. Yes, it's worth beating a second time.
Summary: An Epic masterpiece of a single-player game and a stunning performance on such a small system is what describes this game. This has gone farther than 99% of any other PSP game. True, there is no online or even ad hoc, but you don't need it. I encourage you to purchase this game. Not every game needs a multiplayer to be worth the dollars.
Final Score: 9.8 (Did a 9 for the GF review because no game in my opinion deserves a 10 as every game has a flaw or 2)
Product Release: God of War: Chains of Olympus (US, 03/04/08)
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