879th played so far

Genre: Adventure/Fighting
Platform: Playstation Portable
Year of Release: 2008
Developer: Ready at Dawn
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

There’s still something amazing in my mind about some of the God of War fights – big and impressive at its best, although possibly not always as good in tying them together, from what I remember of the connecting corridors.

I don’t know whether all of this transfers as well to a handheld – not that I won’t be able to play it (the PSP doesn’t lack many controls that a PS2 or PS3 controller does have) but that the smaller screen may not work as well with the big set pieces that are normally the highlight of the series. I have to see how it transfers and whether it stays engaging.

Our Thoughts

Something felt off about the way Chains of Olympus played. There’s something that felt off about the timing in the game – as if there’s display lag stopping you from getting the QTEs right (like we had in PaRappa the Rapper), while with a handheld you shouldn’t have a problem with that. Instead, I guess it’s just an odd input thing that hindered gameplay a bit. I had a similar issue with jumping – at one point, jumping towards a platform to get some goodies forced you to the right platform, but I couldn’t ever manage to jump back, to the point where I always died. It was pretty awkward, made worse by a bunch of invisible barriers in the wrong places. It felt like the game missed some polish here, unfortunately.

Now, the story bits we saw were interesting, in the way most of God of War is. It’s the combat that matters though, with the game feeling as good there as ever. I haven’t seen all the powers yet – the game spreads them out quite well – but they’ve been quite good for the point I got to. Added to that, the combat abilities are used outside of combat to solve some puzzles, such as using parrying to mirror things, which is a neat touch as well. On the whole, when the controls work, the game flows as well as always.

Final Thoughts

Like so many handheld versions of game, it feels like God of War: Chains of Olympus imitates the original games quite well, but doesn’t quite get there. It has the feel of the battles, the big enemies, the stories and even the semi-linear corridors with some side paths for goodies. The controls don’t always live up to it though, including the QTEs, and that’s unfortunate as it means it doesn’t all tie together in the end.