God of War 2 - PlayStation 2
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2007
Like so many of us that have been counting down the days, I picked up my copy early upon its arrival at the store--and probably like a few of you, I was afraid there was simply no way that they could emulate the marvel of the original...oh how happy I am that my fears existed only in my head.

After 16 hours, I've completed the game so I'll tell you why I feel the sequel has just bested the original God of War. Obviously the first is the amazing storyline that not only picks up right where the first installment left off, but it develops the story a considerable amount with regard to the history of the gods (especially Zeus), the titans, and most excitingly, the past great war between both (I'll give nothing away but suffice it to say that the curious might want to grab a decent Greek Mythology handbook to look up alot of the names associated with the new faces).

The visuals are nothing but spellbinding, as we have come to expect no less considering our first experience with "the ghost of Sparta." The game designers have employed the elements of all the seasons in implementing the rich, colorful world through which Kratos must trek. An especial care to detail has been taken to ensure that no single part of the game stands out when compared to the others so that the entire God of War world seems an endless tapestry of rich colors and dark hues befitting our hero's purpose. Very simply every image, background, character, and enemy (the look of Cyclops, for example, is dramatically improved) is painstakingly detailed and beautifully produced on screen.

Only a small word about the musical score will be necessary. That the original God of War won Best Original Musical Score in 2005 isn't surprising...what will be surprising is if GOW2 fails to pick it up again later in the year. Beautiful vocals, percussion and strings strongly complement all the eye candy. But again, no surprises here...we simply expected it.

The gameplay is also much more fluid. For example, you don't have to wait for the slow climb up ladders anymore, you are now able to heave yourself up in quick jumps. Moreover, you are now able to use your swords to climb under cliffs (very cool by the way) making Kratos much more versatile. Some of the new "gadgets" include Icharus wings (earned later in the game) that allow Kratos to glide over longer distances, a device for slowing time, and [at least] 2 new "other" weapons besides your chain-swords (I had an option for three but only procured two in my first time through the game).

And finally, my personal favorite...the in-game movies. This is where the history of the titans and the titan/olympian war literally come into view. Saving just one early close-up shot of Kratos' face, every normal- and high-resolution movie looks fantastic. After unlocking and watching them following the game's completion, it will be evident to all that a great deal more effort went into the production of these little treasures compared to its predecessor with regard to both overall length and depth of storyline.

CONCLUSION:
Superb visuals, addicting gameplay and action, wonderful story, and compelling characters. Overall, my recommendation is this: if you're a God of War fan already, you've already bought it...if you like a good action game, you'll find none better (including the original), and if you're curious about all the hype, then rent it (my guess is, afterwards, you will have bought it within two days)...this one makes it hard for any to be disappointed.

5 out of 5--absolutely no doubt about it.
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69 of 78 people found the following review helpful
It's no secret that the PS2 is on it's way out, and that final death rattle isn't so far away these days. So in that case, it's safe to say that the long awaited God of War II is the last, best original game to hit Sony's 128-bit juggernaut. Picking up right where the first game left off, Kratos was successful in killing Ares, and now resides as the God of War in on Mount Olympus. However, Zeus has grown displeased with Kratos, and the Spartan warrior soon finds himself cast into Hades. After striking a deal with Gaia of the Titans, Kratos is once again on a very long, and very violent, journey of revenge. The first thing you may notice when you pop in God of War II is that the game's graphics are astounding for a PS2 game. The first game pushed the limits of what the PS2 could pump out, and God of War II exceeds it. Besides that, the game ups the ante on just about everything that made the first game so great. The level design is superbly done, and the boss battles are more plentiful this time around, and all the more epic as well. Not to mention that the game's music score is even better than the fantastic one found in the first game. And oh yeah, the incredibly brutal fighting and blood-letting is here as well, and there's buckets more to be found. The kills are gorier than one could ever expect, and the game more than earns it's Mature rating. The puzzle elements are more difficult this time around as well, wonderfully rounding out this package. If there's any downside to God of War II, it's that the fighting system itself hasn't changed much. There are still times when button mashing rules, but Kratos gets a few new weapons and magics this time around too. Besides that, everything else about God of War II is superb: from it's narrative to it's voice acting, to it's overall epic feel; God of War II is one of the best titles available for the PS2, period. This is one of those rare cases when the sequel outshines and outdoes it's genre-bending predecessor, and maybe the third installment will make the PS3 worth owning. All in all, God of War II is a masterpiece of modern gaming.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2007
God of War 2 had a lot to live up to, being the successor to one of the best Playstation 2 games ever released, God of War. The original game had stellar graphics, sound, action, and an overall epic feel. The sequel lives up to its name, and improves upon it in nearly every way.

First of all, the game was released near the end of the Playstation 2's lifecycle, and many consider it to be the last hurrah of the console. Why would anyone spend $50 on a game that's released on archaic hardware, with worse graphics and such than current generation consoles? There's many reasons, and I'll tell you them.

God of War 2 has an amazing graphics engine that shows that the dying Playstation 2 still has some tricks up its sleeve. It really shines in the visuals department and is an amazing feat for the console. Considering most of the game's cut-scenes utilize ingame graphics, you can clearly see how much emphasis was put into making this game look good. Audio goes hand-in-hand, bringing the entire audio/video experience full circle.

As an action game, God of War 2 is one of the best ever released. It has extremely frantic moments where tons of enemies fill the screen, each creature having its own distinct traits and skills. Just when you think you're dead, a context-sensative icon will appear, allowing you to do certain actions at specific times as they appear on screen, causing massive damage and rewards. The pacing of the action seems just right, although a fair amount of dying will be involved.

The one thing God of War 2 captures, much like its predecessor, is the epic feeling of the entire game. Cut-scenes, battles, locations, enemies, weapons, and the overall feel of the game just immerses you in it, much like a film. The production values are some of the best ever seen in a video game.

Really, the only bane of the game's existence are the overabundant placement of puzzles. God of War 2 and the original all have very interesting and well placed puzzles, ranging from quick move-the-boulder to sprawling levels consisting of tens of time-based and skill-based puzzles. The original game had just the right ratio of action to puzzles, but God of War 2 focuses much too heavily on the puzzle aspects. There's really almost more puzzles to the game than action, which can be excruciatingly annoying and demoralizing. Being cut short of continuing the action because you can't time a grappling hook is obnoxious the first time, but having it happen hundreds of times in countless parts of the game is unnecessary.

All in all, God of War 2 is a mandatory game for any Playstation 2 owner, action game lover, or really just any gamer in general. It's a landmark release with some glaring flaws that still can't bring it down, because everything else about it shines so brightly.

Pick up God of War 2 now and enjoy the game as soon as possible.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2007
Yesterday, God of War 2 came out. That was the same day I got it. Let me just say that this is unbelievably exciting from start to (I haven't beaten it yet, but I just know it) finish. IF you played and beat the first one, the second one starts right where it ended.

One thing that made God of War so interesting was the awesome story. As hard as it is to believe, the second story is even better. It isn't just good vs. evil. It is all about perspective. (I'm not spoiling the story, but I'll tell you that Zeus is involved) Kratos wants revenge against someone, while that someone believes that Kratos deserved what he got because of his massive slaughter.

Now it is time to mention what is most important. THE GAMEPLAY! It is just awesome. Slaughtering millions of enemies in a cool and brutal fashion has never felt so good. You kill every person brutally no matter what you do. You also get several weapons and powers to add to your already awesome weapon.

The graphics are just plain beautiful. That is all there is to say. Everything from Kratos to vase smashing in the backround is wonderfully detailed. The cutscenes are breath taking. They match the PS3. The sounds are just as good. There is beautiful music in the backround and every character's voice is just right. Their voices perfectly match their character and personality.

The parts where you must press buttons to make Kratos do something coll is back and better than ever. The moves are twice as violent as the first game. There are also more than twice the amount of bosses which means there are more than twice the amount of cool finishers.

This game also couldn't dig into greek mythology any more if they tried.

The only thing I'm really pointing out is that the gameplay hasn't changed much or at all. This isn't really a bad thing though. So I guess I'm saying that this game is perfect.

I'm just going to say this. If you played God of War, I'm not asking you to get this game. I'm not recommending this game to you.

I'M ORDERING YOU TO GET THIS GAME!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2007
God of War (GOW) was the ultimate platform game on the PS2. Before the advent of the new PS3 the developers of GOW had decided to go for a PS2 release sequel of the genre defining game. This 3D platform renaissance started with the PS1 Bruce Willis vehicle `Apocalypse' and was improved on with the jaw dropping Devil May Cry. Puzzle play enhanced by Shadowman 2. GOW was not only one of the best PS2 games of 2005, but is a big PS2 game, lasting about a week with at least two or three full days play in there. GOW set the standards very high. Can GOW II compete?

The truth is that GOW II could never live up to the newness or inventiveness that GOW had, but it can do more of the same again, so nobody is left complaining. GOW lovers will have no problem coming to grips with the new split-second `mini-game' controls that had not been seen before. These `mini-games' require you to match the buttons displayed on the screen so that your character can perform a combo that results in a messy death. Not only are you required to button bash O to perform various actions (and this is real button bashing folks, so get that coffee table support ready), you must also follow through with various other button pressing timed moves, including analogue stick clockwise half turns and full anticlockwise turns that creates a very impressive array of transferring movements to beat the beasties. Included are power-ups and magical secondary weapons, wielded by the dual blades on chains swinger, Kratos, a muscle-bound ghostly white mortal turned immortal, looses his immortality and supernatural abilities which he gained in GOW and has to win them back.

Starting with The City of Rhodes, Inside the Colossus, Flight to the Lair of the Titan, The Lair of the Titan, Flight to the Island of Creation, The Island of Creation, The Steeds of Time, The Temple of Lahkesis, The Bog of the Forgotten, The Temple of Euryale, The Hall of Atropis, Outside Atropis, Atlas, The Palace of the Fates, The Garden of the Gods, Underground, Temple of the Fates, The Inner Sanctum, The Summit of Sacrifice and The Loom Chamber... literally this game takes you to hell and back, which is more than a sort of a rerun of the original GOW.

There is beam balancing, blade dodging, rope climbing (and along the rope battles), rock climbing (and climbing battles), orb collecting, item collecting, lever pulling, statue pushing, wall smashing and swimming. There isn't as much backtracking which GOW did suffer from and that is a good thing because it makes the gameplay more fluid. However the half way decent story that GOW had is replaced by a very convoluted GOW II story about revenge which is not bad, but hard to follow at times, but probably because this game is so long. In fact it will be the longest platform game you have ever played and if you thought GOW was long, GOW II easily outdoes it. Can it get boring? Yes it can because you have to get through so much to find out what happens in the end.

Overall GOW II is more of a remake of GOW than a sequel. Many of the monsters are back again and except for a changing story, some new magic, new weapons, and new bosses, there isn't a whole pile that is different but that still doesn't mean it's bad. In fact it is far from it. It might not be the revolutionary game that GOW was but this is the #2 platform game out there. And oh yeah... Kratos gets a set of wings too! That alone means it can easily retain a solid five stars.

*Note: This game is strictly for Adults only. There is Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language and Sexual Themes.

Pros:
- Longest platform game ever made
- Mini-games
- Immense level designs
- Explosive action content

Cons:
- Expectations of revolutionary play like mini-games will not be found.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2007
I'll be honest. I don't like American games much. That may isolate me from many gamers out there, but I just like the flare and over the topness(a word?) that a great Japanese game can deliver(Resident Evil 4 anyone?).

Well, God Of War 2 is an American game, and delivers far beyond what i'd expect from many games in it's genre from here or Japan.

The graphics are amazing for PS2(especially if your TV supports Progressive Scan). The sound is great. And the gameplay is fun and addictive.

Kratos' moves are still as wild and violent as they were from the first game, but there are more puzzles and other things to mix it up this time around. There are Pegasus levels that you have where you travel from one place to another. They are done if the view of, oh say, Star Fox. They are a blast to play, and made me wish they had more of them in the game. Everything is well executed in this game, and the boss battles are so over the top, that sometimes you're just like "how the hell am I going to beat THAT?!". That's basically one of the best parts of these games. It all looks so big and complex, but at the end of the day, it's easy and fun to get into.

I love the sheer intensity, style, and bombast that these GOW games have. And I have to give it up to this one as being a bit better than the first one. It's more refined. It has more puzzles this time around, so some fans may not like that as much. Also, the story isn't quite as good as the first one, but it's a logical progression, and I really can't see where else they could have taken it.

All together, God Of War 2 is a must own for the aging PS2. Honestly, there aren't any games on any of the next-gen systems that are this good yet. A must have.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2007
Halfway through the GOW II and I'm in a rush to review it!? This has never happened before and I think it won't happen again.This game is well worth its $50 and even the price of any XBOX 360 or PS3 game.

It's just an epos of grandiose mythology based storyline, frenetic bloody action paused by smartly crafted puzzles, high class fantasy art design and a magnificent musical score that will give you goose bumps!

If you are a parent DO NOT buy it for your kids though!!! It's a very involving masterpiece that could have a high impact on young souls that are still in search of their own path in life.

*****
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2007
Probably one of the best opening sequences for a sequel EVER. I have played only the first 2 levels but I feel I am ready to rate the game. 5 stars all around. The story hasn't missed a beat from the ending in GOW1 and the puzzles so far have been great. There are unlockables as you pass the game on different difficulty settings and a bonus dvd disc. Another reason to enjoy wasting away in front of my television. (just what I needed)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2007
My God, this game is beautiful. It took me four days to beat it (on normal mode, and at 5-6 hours at a time) and while I can't sit here and say it's better than the first GOW (which had a much more challenging finale) it certainly lives up to it and then some. The scenery in this game is breathtaking, especially the level that featured the Steeds of Time (walking on a mile's worth of chains... nice). I can't wait for GOW III, although I guess I'll have to shell out $600 for the PS3.. oh well it'll be worth it:) WARNING: If you played the first game and became really good at the GOD mode, go ahead and select the hard mode on this one. Trust me.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2007
This game is the best game out right now. I know thats a bold statement but not too may games rival this one. I own an Xbox 360 and a PS3, both have been collecting dust since I bought this game for the PS2. Who would have thought that when I was shelling out 600 dollars for my Ps3 and close to 700 for my 360 with all the additional stuff; that I could have just waited to get a good game for 50 bones for my PS2. While GOW 1 was ground-breaking bringing in a new style of game play to button mashers everywhere; this game is all that with the kinks fixed. Smoother gameplay, beautiful backgrounds, great storyline, all while maintaining the intese bloody mayhem of the original. There's nothing like chopping up hordes of people while screaming "I will make you all suffer!" in kratos's raspy voice. Developers got this game right all the way and knew exactly what we wanted to see in a sequal. The storyline is movie material, not sure who could play kratos...Vin Deisel maybe or the Rock?

Long review short:

Graphics- 10 of 10
Gameplay- 10 of 10
Music- 10 of 10
Storyline- 10 of 10
Must Have?- You bet! The last masterpiece on PS2. I'm almost scared to see them butcher it when they move it to the PS3. Just like they have done to all the PS3 titles i.e. Def Jam Icon (need I say more?)
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