Graphics:
9.8
Gameplay:
9.5
Sound:
9.5
Control:
9.0
Replay Value:
9.0
Overall Rating:
9.5
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
SCEA
Developer:
Ready at Dawn
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
Action


How does Sony manage to do it all the time? No, allow me to rephrase that. How does this franchise always manage to do it? How does it manage to not change its formula, but always win us over? God of War: Ghost of Sparta plays not much differently than the GOW games before it, and yet, we don't care. Has this franchise stumbled upon something that defies age? I'm not sure just yet, but what I do know is that I wholly enjoy this game. Much like every other God of War title, you're thrown into the eye of the storm immediately, so the game wastes no time in delivering the goods – and that's par for course. Traditionally, GOW games were never about long and tiresome training intros, and that's because the game is so accessible, there was never a need for them. Yes, occasionally you'll get gameplay hints towards the beginning, but they aren't very intrusive and allow the gamer to focus on the action.

And that's what makes God of War so great. Not just this game, but the franchise as a whole. It has never strayed from what's made it a superb series in the first place; it never lost its focus. God of War never tried to be something more than a balls-to-the-wall, super fast, super violent action game, and I respect that. It never decided that it had to become an RPG midway through, or that it needed strategy elements. No. God of War's focus has always been: 'pressing a series of buttons makes the character furiously whip around and spill lots of blood'. Perfect. And those boss battles? Let's face it, the reason we love them so much isn't because of how epic they can be, but it's because of how gruesome the boss' death ends up being. Those are just some of the reasons why we love God of War, and all of the reasons continue to exist with Ghost of Sparta.

The upgrades, the mayhem, the weapons, the boss battles, and even the always engrossing storyline – Ghost of Sparta continues the faithful God of War tradition of being the total package, despite coming in a package that only fits inside the UMD slot of your PSP. Perhaps the only drawback to all of this, and this may be considered a technical limitation, is that Ghost of Sparta is nowhere near as lengthy as other games in the series. The UMD can only store so much, and that impacts the length of the game to about eight hours. Though are a variety of challenge modes for you to partake in once you finish the game, which increase the amount of time you can spend with it considerably.

Bar none, Ghost of Sparta is the best looking PSP game available today. The same way that the franchise has set a bar on the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3, it has done the same on the PSP. Chances are, considering the age of the PSP, it's unlikely a better looking game will come along and unseat Ghost of Sparta – I simply don't see it happening. So not only is Ghost of Sparta one of the best playing games for Sony's handheld, but it's the best looking one. Ready At Dawn has pushed this little unit to its limits by increasing the texture clarity, smoothing out the edges around game characters, allowing the framerate to run silky smooth, and employing some really spectacular effects. Chains of Olympus already looked great, but Ghost of Sparta simply looks better.

If you're a God of War fan, you know what to expect from the audio. Voice acting courtesy of TC Carson, who continues to deliver some of the best voice acting this industry sees on the regular, in addition to a soundtrack that's made to raise your tension, thanks to its fully orchestrated arrangements. Ghost of Sparta's brilliance knows no bounds, as the audio will leave you in a more than satisfied state. I also found it best to have a pair of nice headphones plugged in while playing, because the audio simply sounds that much more rich when it's streaming directly into your ears, as opposed to the PSP's speakers.

All in all, God of War: Ghost of Sparta is the PSP game you should have no reservations about. It's a well deserved $40 purchase that'll stay in your collection of portable titles for a long time. It's the ultimate example of the full console experience in the palm of your hands. God of War: Ghost of Sparta boasts everything you'd expect out of the franchise: superb visuals, great audio, massive gameplay, epic story, and great controls, all in a package that fits in the palm of your hand.

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frylock25
frylock25
10 years ago

very nice review Arnold. havent seen much of you around lately. will you be doing the gt5 review?

this game is what i expected it to be and i am glad you are reassuring me of that. i played the demo and could tell it would be great. i am def going to pick this up when i have the cash and time to play it.

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
10 years ago

Yes, I will be handling GT5 indeed. NFS Hot Pursuit as well.

Pandacastro
Pandacastro
10 years ago

Does the game explain the unanswered questions in gow3?

Saffleur
Saffleur
10 years ago

Ghost of Sparta has nothing to do with GOW 3.

It's between GOW 1 and GOW Betrayal.

It furthers the story of Birth if Beast seen in GOW 1. Kratos goes on a journey to discover his origins. Meets Callisto (His mother) and Deimos the brother.

I won't spoil it but it is a great game and definitely deserves the 9.5

Pandacastro
Pandacastro
10 years ago

I mean do they explain who 'the other one' is when gaia and zeus where talking in the end of gow 3.

sawao_yamanaka
sawao_yamanaka
10 years ago

Deimos is the other one they spoke of.

Saffleur
Saffleur
10 years ago

Yes, Deimos is the other one. That's why he was originally taken away. The prophecy said a strangely marked warrior. Deimos has crazy birthmarkings so Zeus naturally assumed it was him. In the end it was Kratos instead.

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

Thanks for the review, Arnold. Definitely will check it out.

hellish_devil
hellish_devil
10 years ago

I wish trey'd port this and other great PSP games to the PS2, like Vice City/Liberty City Stories or Silent Hill Origins. I want to play these games, but I don't really like the PSP. The other day I went to my friend's and I played Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. It was really cool, but the PSP is so little and unconfortable (for me at least). I think I'm to used to play on consoles.


Last edited by hellish_devil on 11/13/2010 7:46:34 PM

SolidFantasy
SolidFantasy
10 years ago

Sounds awesome. I can't believe Game Spot only gave this an 8/10. I just lost a lot of faith in them.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
10 years ago

Holy mother of GOD OF WAR!

I need to get this!

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

This game is great. Just finished it a couple of days ago. Going to start my second play through shortly.

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
10 years ago

Damn, I need to get a PSP.

Saffleur
Saffleur
10 years ago

Target is gonna have the PSP-3000 for $127 come Black Friday. Perfect chance!

Temjin001
Temjin001
10 years ago

I will be playing this one. I thought the demo was top notch and I'm eager to see more.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

The genre of this game is "Genre" 😉

SmokeyPSD
SmokeyPSD
10 years ago

So Ghost of Sparta is reviewed quicksmart but not Peace Walker… Shameful

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
10 years ago

Unfortunately Konami never sent us the game. Blame them. 🙂

SmokeyPSD
SmokeyPSD
10 years ago

Ah fair enough. Stupid Konami

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
10 years ago

Picked it up earlier today… and I didn't realise that I left my memory stick at home… I don't know why I took it out. Anyway, I've been playing it for about two hours, and will be please to replay it when I lose what I've done thus far. A gripping one indeed.

___________
___________
10 years ago

I FREAKING LOVE THIS GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
this is EXACTLY what GOW 3 should of been!
its a technological masterpiece, AND its a sh*t load of fun, AND it has the best story in the series to date!
Finally fills in kratos childhood, why hes so angry, why he goes after the gods, and who is his brother.
finally all of kratos family issues are revealed!
put this game on the ps3, with the zipper tech and it would get a instant 10, and would probably be the best game to ever release for the system!
though, it does compliment the PSP nicely, and im soooooooooooooo glad i bought a PSP just for this!

Banky A
Banky A
10 years ago

i am happy for you 🙂

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Oh nonsense. God of War III was just as good. Your complaints with III are so laughable its hard to believe you even played the game.

Slick Rick
Slick Rick
10 years ago

9.5 for psp game,now what does that tell u abt the quality of 2days Ps3 games,bt then again its GOW

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

It tells you nothing about PS3 games at all, it's a PSP game. Are you saying that if a PSP game get's a high score it somehow invalidates games on the PS3? Sorry, that makes absolutely zero sense.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
10 years ago

@Slick Rick,
More like your logic says a lot about your intelligence, or lack of it.

Alienange
Alienange
10 years ago

There's certainly no doubt that Kratos always brings the fun. Glad to see Ready at Dawn has kept up their skills and delivered another great game for the PSP.

Ninja_WafflesXD
Ninja_WafflesXD
10 years ago

I was definitely going to buy this game but sadly my psp just died on me, literally a couple of hours ago!!! DX How sad is that? Saving up my money to buy this one game (along with KH: BBS) and my psp just goes kaput!

Is it fair to say that I have the worse luck in the world??
Lucky for me both my PS3 and PS2 are still up and running…. -_-"

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

Funny avatar pic. Microsoft is indeed the source of a lot of profanity.

javon_27
javon_27
10 years ago

Microsoft, or Mario Kart?

Ninja_WafflesXD
Ninja_WafflesXD
10 years ago

It was actually Mario Kart….but now that I think about it, Microsoft would possibly be a better fit….possibly XP My stress levels are still high from that cursed Rainbow Road….

hehateme
hehateme
10 years ago

if i could spare the money i would have it… im getting this monster on christmas it will go nice in my ultimate gow collection wont it? lol man so many good quality games out i havn't even had a chance to get mod nation racers

Gamer46
Gamer46
10 years ago

Awesome game, no doubt about it. As much as I liked GoW III, I think I enjoyed this one more. Easily one of the best releases of 2010, I didn't think there'd be a game on handheld systems to top MGS: Peace Walker for quite a while, but hats off to Ready at Dawn, this one did so.

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10 years ago

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Ultimate_Balla
Ultimate_Balla
10 years ago

Just read the review. Sounds over the top! And don't you just love it how [email protected] inserts a new story between the PS2, and maybe 3 in the future, installments? I'll get the game whenever.

Abubakar996
Abubakar996
9 years ago

Powerful and interesting,this game is a Bomb,god of war 3 is good but this one is better.ghost of sparta has better gameplay, enemy kill animation,voice acting excluding Kratos, environment.The next god of war in the PS3 should be like this,or even improve more

Gordo
Gordo
8 years ago

I know it's a bit late, but for any Vita owners out there this is a no brainer as a $10 download.

Does take a 1GB chunk out of your memory card but it's brilliant to just had a bit of Kratos now and then on the move. Still looks good and reminds me of GOW III more than Chains of Olympus as the animations are a bit more up to date.