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God of War--My Take

2006

So, after my buddy Longer played and reviewed "God of War" for PlayStation2 last year, I knew I had to eventually pick it up, but recently it went into the Greatest Hits collection, so on a day when Best Buy was doing two Greatest Hits games for $30, I snapped up the epic slashathon.

Here's what I knew even 15 minutes into playing "God of War":

Goodness gracious, this is a fucking great game.

Trust me, you will say this if you haven't already played this monster; from the jump, the game's truly epic storytelling and bigger-than-life maps are breathtaking, strange for a video game that is out on a system that has been in the market for, what, four years now?  Five?  The graphics are killer, but it's the storytelling, puzzles and ideas of "God of War" that made me sit back and say "Wow" over and over again.

The game's only shortcoming is its length (on Normal, I think I got through it in about a dozen hours); otherwise, this is truly the perfect video game.  The control system is tight, featuring magic to go with a number of slash combinations that allow you to knock out nasties all around you with bloody precision.  The right stick allows you to roll out of the way of attacks--never has a game required you to dodge or block attacks like you must in "God of War"--while the parry combos allow you to turn the tables on bigger foes and turning their attacks into some nasty reversals.  There are even opportunities when foes are near death to perform some cool finishing moves; I'm pretty sure my favorite was taking down minotaurs, having to rapidly tap the circle button to force your character to jam his sword down the minotaur's throat.  Great stuff!

Kratos, the lead character, is just a great story to be a part of; a man who sold himself out to Ares, God of War, Kratos has to spend the rest of the game doing the bidding of the gods to thwart Ares and eventually find Pandora's Box to help take down the evil Ares.  The cinemas are well done--albeit over-the-top in their bloodlust--and they help drive the backstory behind what the hell you are doing quite well.  Man, is this game soaked in crimson; from innocent Greek civilians to soldiers to bad guys to Kratos himself, it seems like people are always bleeding during this game.  Hey, if that's how it was back in the day, that's how you gotta roll!

The soundtrack is awesome.  The bosses are ginormous.  The puzzles are great, but never truly mind-boggling.  There is a fair amount of platform-style fall-into-bottomless-hole dying, but you get over that; there was only one moment of true throw down the controller frustration, having to climb successive blade-ridden poles when you visit Hell late in the game.  Otherwise, "God of War" is a thrill ride, one that shan't be missed by anyone that considers themselves even a casual gamer.  You will love yourself for playing this game.

Rating:  Opening Weekend

 

Feedback?  Comments?  Hot doughnut tip?  justin@bellviewmovies.com

 

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 half.com 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/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09