Graphics:
8.8
Gameplay:
9.3
Sound:
9.0
Control:
9.2
Replay Value:
9.0
Overall Rating:
9.1
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
SCEA
Developer:
Ready at Dawn
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
Action
Release Date:
September 13, 2011


God of War is one of the most popular and revered franchises in video game history. What David Jaffe and Co. initially developed for the PS2 has become synonymous with elite action excellence; the combination of fantastic combat, great platforming mechanics, solid storylines, and even a few compelling puzzles has always proven riveting. We already have a GoW Collection for the PlayStation 3 (it featured the first two PS2 titles in high definition), but we can always use more.

Enter the God of War Origins Collection , which features the two PSP installments: God of War: Chains of Olympus and God of War: Ghost of Sparta . Graphically, the earlier entry lags a little, especially when compared to something like God of War III . But that’s to be expected. Ghost of Sparta is definitely the visual gem in this dual pack, as every detail explodes off the screen with fresh, vibrant HD life. I think both games seem a little on the dark side – perhaps even darker than I remember them when playing on the PSP – but that’s a very minor complaint.

The bottom line is that this new HD sheen really helps a great deal, and the audio elements are equally polished. In regards to voice acting, Kratos is hit or miss in my opinion, but the rest is absolutely stellar. The soundtrack consists of epic, sweeping orchestral pieces that augment the ceaseless action, and the effects are crisp and oh so satisfying. Both titles were considered technical tour de forces in the portable world and although this HD upgrade can’t put the games on par with PS3 productions, you won’t be disappointed. PSP games have never looked or sounded better!

In addition to the gorgeous 1080p high definition overhaul, the Origins Collection features Trophies, rumble (DualShock) functionality, surround sound and yes, 3D. Both titles in question play extremely well on the PS3; personally, I often get hand cramps when playing fast-action games on the PSP. God of War is one series I really need to play with a regular gamepad, and I’m so glad I can experience Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta with the PS3 controller and my great HDTV. Honestly, despite Ready at Dawn’s unbelievable handheld efforts, this is how GoW should be played.

If you’re unfamiliar with the two stories, let me issue a brief explanation of each (without giving anything away): in Chains , the evil Morpheus has cast a spell on the world and it’s up to Kratos to save it. He just has to put aside his personal vendetta in order to do so. Many fans will tell you it offers a nice tangent to the plots found in the first two GoW games. In Ghost , it’s another classic story; Kratos must explore Atlantis and save the damsel in distress. In both cases, the gameplay remains the focal point but the storylines are well paced and generally well told.

Control-wise, it’s an almost flawless adaptation. Everything is tight and responsive, and you never feel shortchanged or cheated. One of the most appealing aspects of all Kratos' adventures is the solidarity of the control; you’re powerful but not immortal and if you die, it’s because you failed to execute. It’s not because a combo is unfairly difficult or an enemy is frustratingly cheap. The developers do an amazing job of awarding new powers while continually introducing more powerful enemies; there’s always a challenge, but it’s always fun . It’s never not fun.

The only downside is what appears to be frame rate issues from which no GoW game has ever really suffered. Or maybe it’s inaccurate to call this a “frame rate” problem; all I know is that the game would occasionally pause – not freeze – during certain important moments. It never really affected the intensity of the combat; it was more like the graphics needed more time to…install, or something. I’m no coder or programmer so forgive my ignorance. I can only tell you want I see. That being said, this flaw isn’t enough to cripple your enjoyment.

In terms of longevity, I will admit that other HD Collections might offer a bit more bang for your buck, simply because there’s more total gameplay hours in other packages. Some have three games rather than two, and some titles are just longer overall. Neither Chains of Olympus or Ghost of Sparta will take you longer than 8 or 9 hours and if you rush, you could probably finish both in less than 15 hours. Still, we’re talking about some of the most addictive and fulfilling action gameplay in existence, even if it does have portable roots. There’s little chance you’ll finish one and go, “meh.”

There’s no “meh” anywhere in the God of War Origins Collection . It’s exactly what you would expect: two of the finest PSP titles in existence, re-produced in high-definition with all the PS3-related bells and whistles. It can look a little too dark in places and there’s a strange halt or pause at particular points, but overall, this is a package that absolutely cannot be missed. If you never got a chance to play either title on the PSP, you have no choice; get it now. If you have played them already, I leave the decision up to you. I will say this would be an excellent addition to any game library.

The Good: High-definition overhaul brings everything to life. Great music and effects. Control remains spot-on. 1080p, Trophies, and 3D are great additions. Two of the best PSP games ever are featured.

The Bad: Voice acting isn’t as impressive. Bizarre, albeit rare, gameplay pauses. Questionable longevity.

The Ugly: “Has there ever been anything ugly about God of War? I mean, bad ugly?”

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Xombito
Xombito
10 years ago

Wow! You got it early!

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Yes, and ICO/SotC Collection review comes next week. 😉

gumbi
gumbi
10 years ago

BEN! You devil! I want ICO/SotC next week! I eagerly await your review.

mike rlz
mike rlz
10 years ago

Prediction: 9.3

TheCanadianGuy
TheCanadianGuy
10 years ago

and so it begins! (the fall rush) can't wait for that team ico collection

YashaZz
YashaZz
10 years ago

I say we all thank Ben (and the PSXextreme team) for doing what they are doing!

thanks alot, can't wait to pick this up when it arives!

Kevin555
Kevin555
10 years ago

Sold.

Never played these on PSP as i hate playing games on handhelds so i will gladly pick these up & an enjoy them on the big screen & in HD.

I didn't even know this was out.

Fox hounder
Fox hounder
10 years ago

Second review i've read for this today. I read ign's this morning (they gave it a 9.0), it's a great start for the psp remastered series.


Last edited by Fox hounder on 8/29/2011 11:58:35 AM

TrophyHunter
TrophyHunter
10 years ago

I almost go out running to the store thinking it was out already, have to wait a couple weeks more.

FM23
FM23
10 years ago

hmmm…now I need more money because school fees, school loans, and the cost of life is bankrupting me…lol F*ck my life. I want this though, can add it to my GOW collection.

mk ultra
mk ultra
10 years ago

I'm in the same boat man. At least i'm 25 this quarter and qualify for some free government cash.

Temjin001
Temjin001
10 years ago

CoO I didn't care for much, but I do look forward to doing Ghost of Sparda. For me its the key motivating factor for this collection.

mk ultra
mk ultra
10 years ago

I hope the offer this on the PSN and at a discount for Plus subscribers. I never got a chance to play GoS.

gumbi
gumbi
10 years ago

I want! Played Chains right away and it was awesome, but haven't gotten to Ghost of Sparta yet… shame on me. No excuse now!

TrophyHunter
TrophyHunter
10 years ago

No shame bro, I haven't played any one

TrophyHunter
TrophyHunter
10 years ago

I see two more platinum trophies going to my collection 🙂

PAKINIPS
PAKINIPS
10 years ago

Loving these HD remakes. can't play bad graphics games unless I already played them when they were good

The Doom
The Doom
10 years ago

Graphics aren't that bad. It DID come from a less powerful system after all…

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

I'll rent this. I was expecting somewhere in the 9s since these were fun on the PSP.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

There's that "augment" again. heh. Looks good, I have Chains but passed on Sparta. Amazing that those PSP titles could be made decent on a huge screen.

Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

Played Sparta on a friends PSP… Superb World… why did you pass on it? Just ask'n!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Pandacastro
Pandacastro
10 years ago

Did they hint at Gow4 in the collection?

Robochic
Robochic
10 years ago

can't wait to pick this up as well as the ICO collection as I have never played the ICO games.

TrophyHunter
TrophyHunter
10 years ago

I don't know what it is, but your image looks cute, maybe because my son have a sheep like that 🙂

mk ultra
mk ultra
10 years ago

I'm envious of you Robochic. I wish i could relive the epicness of playing those games for the first time.

Robochic
Robochic
10 years ago

Ya it's Timmy from Shaun the Sheep both my kids just love this show by the creators of Wallace and Gromit
Just waiting for my uncle in the states to find me the Timmy time sleep doll for my daughter.

dmiitrie
dmiitrie
10 years ago

First Peace Walker, now these two. I'm definitely excited to see if this trend of porting PSP exclusives to the PS3 in HD continues.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
10 years ago

It will continue for the bigger titles. My thing is I'm not a handheld person. What happening is these great games are being developed on the psp, which is great for that market. But it isn't good for the fans of the games who don't own the psp such as myself. I get irritated seeing these games go straight to psp, I'm not gonna lie. I'm especially irritated with the new Uncharted going to psp, because I'd love to play that game. That's why I think more psp games will make there way to the ps3, Sony recognizes that potential audience.

dmiitrie
dmiitrie
10 years ago

I agree. If I'm away from home, I usually don't have the time to really enjoy a game and have absolutely zero interest in playing something on that tiny screen if I'm sitting on my couch in front of my large TV. So I, too, am very glad that these bigger titles are starting to come over.

Lord carlos
Lord carlos
10 years ago

Nice
Getting this when it hits

___________
___________
10 years ago

oh how i wish cory and david would team up again and do GOW4!
oh well………
definitely want to get this, but far too many new games to grab to spend money and time on old classics.
plus the GOW collection was not exactly impressive, in fact it looked exactly the same as running the 2 games on a BC ps3.
so thats turned me off it.

___________
___________
10 years ago

sigh, just read on the US blog its exclusive to the states.
$ony strikes again!
why is the ps3 even released outside the states?
$ony, first in line to take your money but when it comes to giving you the content you paid for there nowhere to be found!

lupus
lupus
10 years ago

i just got it awesome Kratos rules eternal