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God of War: Ascension

On 06/02/2013 at 06:13 AM by Raised_on_Nintendo

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Maybe it isn't complete trash after all...

I'll mention a few personal observations, but I encourage folks to also read Staff Member Jon Lewis' Review which pretty much nails my perception of the game. Anyway, here's my 2-cents:

God of War: Ascension includes all the ingredients players of the franchise have grown accustomed to in the series.  

Opening boss battle set-piece?  Check.

Red, green and blue orbs to be gathered?  Check.

Blades of Chaos?  Check.

Grumpy Kratos?  Check. 

Digitally rendered boobies bouncing to and fro?  Check.

Grandiose story bound together by well timed narration and cohesive gameplay?  Um, no.

My complaints about GoW:A are summed up in two categories: A - The story isn't that interesting, and gets confusing due to all the flashbacks taking place, and B - The gameplay at certain points seems unbalanced.  

In a game as frantic as GoW, I easily lose track of the story as most of my attention is focused on mastering the controls and conquering hordes of bad guys.  The first main portion of the game (after the boss battle set-piece) has Kratos *ascending* a tower that bears no importance to me at all.  Why is he doing this?  Little narration is given during the 2-3 hours it took to complete this introductory march, unlike previous GoW's which steadily fed me plot points along the way.  Maybe the game told me and I forgot.  It was during this early period when I decided I just didn't care about the story, whatever it turned out to be.  The gameplay was enjoyable enough, although I had no idea why I kept climbing and sliding down huge artifical snakes.

It was also during this early portion when I became completely frustrated, set my controller down, and blogged about my frustration with the game.  I eventually cheesed my way through what seemed an impossible battle, but wasn't happy at all about doing so.  After the early cheese battles, of which there are 4, the difficulty tapered a bit and steady progression was made.  A few tough areas were thrown at me, one of which really, really tough, but overall I felt something was lacking.  And the final boss?  Besides not really understanding who/what I was battling and why, it was a complete cakewalk once I figured out the proper approach.

When all was said and done, I walked away with a different opinion about epic AAA titles.  The crisp 1080 HD graphics look nice, and I'll be damned if GoW:A didn't make me master every single button on the PS3 controller, but that didn't make the game fun or great.  Instead, I felt like my imagination was out to lunch, that there was too much happening at once, and that perhaps the game would have benefitted if more time was spent on polishing the interface and difficulty instead of on all the eye candy.  I won't let GoW:A sour my expectations for all AAA titles, but I thought that maybe some developers' priorities are out of whack.

Other Bits:

- As per the suggestion of Joe Step, I went to YouTube and watched the remaining chapters of Heavy Rain that my glitched out game-save prevented me from experiencing.  It's a shame that had to happen, because I think I would've really enjoyed the last few chapters that were stolen from me.  I was surprised by who the Origami Killer was, and although it was somewhat predictable towards the end, I enjoyed how Heavy Rain told its story.

- Nostalgia won the day a few weeks ago as I made a completely impulsive purchase of Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD on PS Store.  It feels a bit looser and faster than I recall, but I'm enjoying the classic gameplay and music tracks that were retained.  I also like a lot of the ones appearing for the first time.  I never quite appreciated how games like Tony Hawk introduced me to bands I probably wouldn't have discovered otherwise.

- Yesterday, I sold my 15G Xbox 360 with 2 controllers and no games for $80.  I'd simply stopped playing it and needed the money.  Coincidentally, PS3 recently surpassed 360 in lifetime sales despite 360's one-year headstart and PS3's initial hefty price tag.  I'm not much of a console sales fanboy, but I must say that after spending sufficient quality time with both systems, I feel PS3 is the superior console.  The 360 just seems too, I dunno, American?  Mainstream? To me, it exemplifies everything wrong with American culture.  Paid online subscriptions, rushed hardware that failed for many, FPS after bloody FPS...  heck, I couldn't play half the Live Arcade games I paid for and downloaded unless the thing was online.  Good riddance to you, 360, I say.




06/02/2013 at 02:48 PM

Calling any game "complete trash" is an extreme accusation. Such words should be used with care. From an outsider perspective this GOW entry looks fun,fluid,and grandiose which in all honesty are the important things for me. The only bitch-fest I see with some merit is the extreme difficulty spike near the end. I can imagine the fight with the three medusas would wear on my patience too. But hey, many good games have that "one part" that drives us all utterly insane. lol.

I really enjoyed my time with GOW 1 & 2 and I imagine I'd like this one too. (Though Kratos isn't exactly endearing himself to me as a likable character,heh.)


06/02/2013 at 06:12 PM

You're right, used strong verbiage in my previous blog, which I chalk up to back to back disappointment in two games I wanted to enjoy.  And I think I was having a bad day.

i played all previous GoW's, and IMO Ascension is the weakest entry.  Something I forgot to mention in the blog is that the main villains in the game are female.  Nothing wrong with that per se, but I felt awkward when time came for the up close gory finishing moves.  

Overall, I endorse GoW:A, but with tempered expectations.  


06/02/2013 at 06:08 PM

I am Error.  (seriously, I gotta stop replying via iPod.)


06/02/2013 at 09:04 PM

nope, I agree with the complete trash statement. Why? it's simple: PSN Pass. That alone ranks it very low on my list. That reminds me, I need to do a write up on that game...


06/03/2013 at 12:46 AM

Since the game was borrowed I didn't get a chance to play online, due to the pass.  Didn't matter to me, though, I just wanted to play the campaign.  I hear online is cool, just didn't want to get invested in it.  I am annoyed by the passes, too. 

Chris Yarger Community Manager

06/03/2013 at 06:46 AM

You just sold me a copy of GoW:A with the mentioning of boobies.. lol

Seriously though, I'll probably pick this up at some point. My Wife loves the GoW saga, and I'm kind of surprised she hasn't picked this one up as of yet to be honest.


06/03/2013 at 11:57 PM

I never was a big GoW fan. I mean, the original trilogy seemed cool and all, and I tried playing the first game... but this series doesn't speak to me, I guess. There's only so much gratuitous violence I can take. Although I did play all the way through Dante's Inferno and enjoyed it. I used to be a big fan of the first 2 TH games though. So easy to pick up and have fun with. I sometimes bust it out for a little while when I browse my Playstation 1 collection.

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