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It’s perhaps indicative of Sony’s current interest in the PlayStation Vita that its first God of War should be a port of a port. While the PlayStation Portable dined on two exceptional original adventures – both prepared by The Order: 1886 developer Ready at Dawn – the platform holder’s latest handheld is being forced lớn feed on scraps. It’s fortunate, then, that said discarded snacks happen to comprise a couple of classics, with spruced up versions of irked anti-hero Kratos’ inaugural PlayStation 2 outings on the thực đơn in this refreshed feast. The question is: will this repurposed banquet satisfy even the most sizeable appetite, or will it leave you begging to the heavens for seconds?

Well, it’s certainly not going lớn fulfil lượt thích a bespoke bite to lớn eat. There’s a good chance that you’ll have played Sony Santa Monica’s seminal kích hoạt adventures a couple of times in the past, meaning that the shock of beating down sea monsters may have lost its lustre at this point. That doesn’t mean that the games have aged poorly – far from it, they still hold up incredibly well – but with the series stagnating a little over the past couple of years, it’s hard to lớn shake the sense of monotony as you bash out Square, Square, Triangle for what feels lượt thích the umpteenth time. Fortunately, if you’re somehow a newcomer khổng lồ the franchise, then you can skip this paragraph with your purchase intent more or less intact.

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Indeed, the conversion here has certainly been produced with slightly more care than the horror show also known as the Jak & Daxter Collection. Much like The Sly Trilogy, this re-release is based upon the excellent PS3 upgrade of the same name, meaning that the muddy textures of the otherwise dazzling PS2 titles have been replaced by high-definition alternatives. Unfortunately, this version doesn’t quite run at native resolution, so while the improvements over the original outings are easy to lớn see, the package still lacks the clarity of its console counterpart. In addition, the developer has opted khổng lồ chop each title’s framerate in half, tossing out the trademark fluidity of the franchise as a result.

These two concessions undeniably diminish the value of the package, but they don’t mutilate it khổng lồ the point of no return. In fact, for as bad as the above sounds, this is still a perfectly playable repurposing, with all of the original set-pieces present và correct. Granted, the Hydra may have been bested by the Poseidon punch-up from God of War III, but we reckon that the second game’s battle against the bronzed Colossus of Rhodes will forever remain one of gaming’s greatest moments. Và it’s represented here in all of its gruesome glory; from the very first eye-stab right through to lớn the labyrinth-like finisher, this masterclass in game design has certainly stood the demo of time.


In fact, even almost a decade after release, both titles remain textbook examples of outstanding pacing & expert level construction. Environments weave in & out of each other, lending a serious sense of scale to the dilapidated ruins and contemplative temples that you’ll be forced khổng lồ explore. There are moments where you’ll tip-toe cautiously over wooden beams, overlooking the bloodstained tiles of hallways where you fought harpies several hours earlier. Both games are incredibly tightly constructed, & while there are moments in the initial instalment where you’ll ponder what creator David Jaffe & crew were thinking – the infamous spiked column in Hades springs to mind – these occasions are few & far between.

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And unlike most ports, the experience actually pairs well with the Vita to lớn boot. The second analogue stick means that dodges can be executed in the series’ more traditional manner, while the various face buttons provide a suitable alternative khổng lồ the DualShock 2. Where the shoulder buttons were employed in the originals, the developer has mapped actions lớn the rear touchpad. However, while this may seem lượt thích a recipe for disaster, it actually works incredibly well, allowing you to touch any area of the sensitive surface in order to mở cửa chests or push puzzle objects, rather than pump the R2 button lượt thích you’re attempting khổng lồ attain the physique of a Greek God. Speaking of which, button bashing quick-time events have been shortened, making them less of a drain on your patience.

The front touch screen is also used for changing weapons & unleashing the Rage of the Gods, but these are generally well implemented and won’t impede your progress – you’ll certainly still be able khổng lồ see out the Challenge of the Gods without desperately pleading for mercy. It’s a shame that the audio doesn’t hold up as strongly, as it once again falls victim to lớn the compression of its parent console’s miniscule cartridges, và makes Kratos’ irate monologues sound like they’re occurring underwater. Similarly, the pre-rendered cut-scenes succumb khổng lồ a similar fate, and while they never quite rival the late 90s QuickTime approach employed by The Sly Trilogy, they still look like they’ve been captured on an old VHS tape that’s been hit with a hammer a couple of times.


Conclusion

It’s difficult lớn discuss the God of War Collection without sounding like a broken record. This re-release comprises two of the greatest action games ever made, và they’re now playable in the palms of your hands. Framerate flaws and a slightly blurry resolution mean that this may not quite be the high definition remaster that you hoped for, but even those issues can’t detract from the genius design on display here. If you’ve never played the first two titles in Sony Santa Monica’s seminal series before, then you’re probably better off sampling them on the PS3 first – but if, for whatever reason, you need to take Kratos on the go, then this Vita version represents a more than adequate gift from the Gods.

Good 7/10

Scoring Policy


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A true PlayStation veteran, Sammy"s covered the world of PS gaming for years, with an enormous Trophy count khổng lồ prove it. He also likes tennis games way more than you.

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Tue 20th May 2014

Couldn"t agree more with the review Sammy, great games despite the technical issues on Vita I"m playing again since last week và so far so good.


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Tue 20th May 2014

Good games but well both games i cannot get the hardest trophy Challenge of the gods...

Overall gow2 tops gow1 in large amount


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Tue 20th May 2014

I never played GoW before I got this game, for some reason. I don"t know if it"s just because I never played it on the PS3, but none of these problems stick out khổng lồ me. I didn"t notice any of them, except the sound compression, until I read this article. But it"s definitely a great addition khổng lồ my massive Vita library.


Tue 20th May 2014

I"d never played these games, and I had trouble fighting the 3 headed serpent because I didn"t know you could climb up on the sides. I lượt thích it though. Solid game, despite the cut scenes looking worse than the actual chơi game lol...


Tue 20th May 2014

Both are new to lớn me and i don"t know why i always look at Sammy Barker"s pic,i think he is Jon Bon Jovi


Tue 20th May 2014

It"s decent. Shame about the cutscenes, but it"s making a good new lunchtime trò chơi for me.


Tue 20th May 2014

I"ve only played GoW Ascension and didn"t lượt thích it at all, is it particularly poor in the franchise or just more of the same, it"s definitely putting me off dipping in again...


adf86 The problem is, if they"re porting from the PS3, it"ll fall into many of the same problems as these ones. I personally adore Chains of Olympus và Ghost of Sparta, though, so I"d like to see it happen.