(http://www.GodofWar.com)  Rated M for Mature by ESRB.  God of War: Ghosts of Sparta is the fifth entry into the God of Wars series.  This is the second entry into the PSP side of the God of War series, and like the first, it helps flesh out more of Kratos’s history, in this case, fleshing out what happens between God of War 1 and God of War 2. Ghosts of Sparta have promised players of a longer gameplay than previous PSP version, an enhanced combat system, and a new plot. This is definitely a welcomed addition to the God of War series. 

(http://www.GodofWar.com)  Rated M for Mature by ESRB.  God of War: Ghosts of Sparta is the fifth entry into the God of Wars series.  This is the second entry into the PSP side of the God of War series, and like the first, it helps flesh out more of Kratos’s history, in this case, fleshing out what happens between God of War 1 and God of War 2. Ghosts of Sparta have promised players of a longer gameplay than previous PSP version, an enhanced combat system, and a new plot. This is definitely a welcomed addition to the God of War series. 

 

 

 

**WARNING** The following video may contain content inappropriate for children**

 

Presentation:
You play as Kratos, a Spartan warrior who recently has risen to the rank of Godhood. However, in his rise, he was promised that the visions haunting his mind would go away with his rise, but they have not. Against Athena’s wishes, Kratos sets out to understand why these visions still haunt him even now. This is all portrayed in Greek mythology that will be very familiar to anyone who has enjoyed any of the many Greek themed movies, shows, or even comics that exist. As you work your way through the game you will come face to face with many of the monsters and creates popularized by Greek mythology, including giant creatures that could squish you with ease, and other Gods who can smash you as you would smash a fly. All in all this leads to a very brutal, destructive, and excellent amount of carnage.

     

Graphics:
The graphics are impressive for a handheld system. The visuals were top of the line across the board, Kratos and his many enemies looked great but even the scenery including the well detailed backgrounds lent to an excellent visual treat. This is definitely one of the most visually stunning games for the PSP to date. Like in other God of War games, the camera can’t be controlled, but instead is set to a specific position, which actually makes the game more fun, as you do not have to worry about aiming the camera while in the middle of the battle, you can simply enjoy thrashing the enemies instead. 

Sounds:
The sound and music of the game are well composed and matched with the plot and environment.  That is exactly what I felt, as I played the game, smashing enemies and walls, listening to Kratos speak, or people scream for help, or monsters scream in rage, it all fit so well, that I was never once dragged out of the experience of the game to wonder what I was listening to.

     

Gameplay:
If you have played a God of War game before, then you already have an understanding of how the controls work, the buttons are fairly straight forward, a light and heavy attack button, dodge buttons, spell buttons and such, and you proceed to combo these buttons together to create chains of destruction. They are easy enough that you will be ripping enemies apart in no time, and as you progress, you learn even more powerful spells and combos leading to you dealing out massive amounts of damage to your enemies.  Also, the combat system now allows you knock down enemies or toss them up in the air for aerial chain combos.  This is a nice addition for creating uncanny chain combos that will demolish the enemies. While not absolutely necessary to have played any of the other God of Wars, the story may not make as much sense as it could if this is the first place you have started.

I especially enjoyed this game on the easy setting to start with.  While the A.I. was not as diligent, it was still good enough to toss me around a little when I wasn’t paying attention.  After turning up the difficulty, I did see the computer get even better, blocking and dodging my attacks a little more often in return for my excessive bashing, and trading me for a few more blows then I would otherwise like. Whether you’re looking for a fun and easy experience, or a challenging thrashing, this game offers you both.

     

Innovation:
Not much is new here, if you have played a God of War game, you won’t find anything surprising or groundbreaking, but instead you will find the same excellent game play you have already gotten comfortable with over the last few years.

Longevity:
 Depending on your skill level and difficulty level, you’re probably looking at a good 6 to 8 hours of game time before you beat it. There are a few unlocks like harder difficulty settings as well as skins and other things that lend a little more intrigue if you choose to play through a second time. The game is definitely fun enough that I am about to start my second round to see how well I can handle it on medium.

Conclusion:
God of War: Ghosts of Sparta continues to reign as one of the masterfully composed action adventure games. The quality of the gaming experience is not compromised by being a handheld gaming title.  With a similar gaming experience as prior God of War series, an enhanced combat system and detailed graphics, this game fills in details of Kratos personal background and history through its plot. Whether you are looking for a challenging and brutal experience as a God of War Fan or you are more like me and looking for enjoyable action game on a handheld system, prepare to destroy everything in your path and truly feel like the God of War.

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