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"God of War II"


The first "God of War" for PS2?  Epic, bloody, awesome, thrilling.  "God of War II" has the exact same engine, exact same controls, pretty much the same magic system, pretty much the same way to find secrets, many of the same enemies, and a very similar (if not exactly the same) soundtrack.

But, in "God of War II", there are a LOT more bosses.

This one change--in addition to making the puzzles challenging but not mind-blowing and featuring none of the annoying platform elements of the first game that left you dying at an epic pace--makes "God of War II" the one PS2 purchase you should make this year.  While the PlayStation3 is off to the races, there will not be many games that make you say WOW on PS2, but thankfully, "God of War II" is one of them.

Our man Kratos is back, and naturally, being a God hasn't changed his bloodthirsty power lust, so Zeus puts Kratos in his place by stomping Kratos's beloved Sparta and making him a peon once again.  Kratos spends the rest of "God of War II" building his power back up so that he can eventually reach The Three Fates to turn back time and stop Zeus in his tracks.  Killing everything and everyone in his path doesn't get old, and the roughly 15-hour adventure (the first time, anyway--you can probably shave some hours off of that once you learn how to beat all of the puzzles and bosses) is rife with so many carcasses you almost can't believe someone allowed this product to be made available to the masses.

But, in keeping almost everything the same from the first game, "GOW II" doesn't feel as mind-blowing or as ground-breaking as that first game; certainly, I give kudos to the game's producers for making it slightly harder by adding even more huge bosses to take down throughout the game, though.  Overall, I think that I'll get through "GOW II" just once and then put my PS2 in a box to quietly die by itself, because when the experience is over, you know that the good ol' Black Box is kaput.

It's worth a trip, though, to ride "GOW II" for that initial experience.  Seriously, some of these levels are just hilariously ginormous.

Rating:  Opening Weekend


Feedback?  Comments?  Hot doughnut tip?


Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09