Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rank Up! - God of War series

In 2005, Kratos ravaged and rampaged his way into the hearts of gamers both young and old. This past week the God of War Origins Collection (God of War: Chains of Olympus and God of War: Ghost of Sparta in HD) slashed and mashed its way onto the PlayStation 3. What better way to celebrate the HD ports of these terrific titles than a Rank Up! segment? For those not in the know, Rank Up! is where we list games in a series from least favorite to most favorite. Let's get started, shall we? First, let's see which games we'll be ranking:

God of War (PS2, PS3)
God of War II (PS2, PS3)

God of War III (PS3)

God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP, PS3)

God of War: Ghost of Sparta (PSP, PS3)

Kratos is a mightily angst-ridden character. He was tricked into slaying his wife and child by the former God of War, Ares. Exacting his revenge on him, Kratos then became the new God of War. However, Zeus and the gods plotted against him, stripping Kratos of his powers, and betrayed him in cold blood, sending him down to Hades (familiar territory to any God of War fan). The main trilogy concluded with Kratos getting the best of Zeus in one duel for the ages. Greek mythology was never this much fun!

5) God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP, PS3)

While nowhere near bad (actually it's quite good), the first portable God of War game had Kratos taking on monsters and men alike from the tyrannical Cerebus to other mythological beasts. Players swam, climbed, assaulted enemies with the titular Chains of Olympus, and brought forth Hades upon Kratos's foes. Vengeance is sweet, and God of War: Chains of Olympus is even sweeter. The only problem with this game is its brief length, though some longevity can come from playing on a higher difficulty level.

4) God of War: Ghost of Sparta (PSP, PS3)

The latest entry in the God of War franchise, Ghost of Sparta has Kratos searching for his long-lost brother who was taken from him when he was just a wee lad. The second PSP game is longer than the original, has multiple costumes to unlock, various goodies and treasure to grab, devious puzzles to wrap your brain around, and has incredible boss battles to partake in. Even with all of this, God of War: Ghost of Sparta is still only number four on this list. How can the series get even better?

3) God of War III (PS3)

For the first time the God of War was in high-definition, and boy, was it ever impressive! Who can forget fighting atop a humongous colossus, mashing buttons so our antihero doesn't get crushed between its enormous fingers? The set pieces were bigger and better, the action was more intense than ever, the puzzles were cleverer, and bosses like Hercules and Hades were challenges all to themselves. These chaotic showdowns are the meaning of the overused word of epic. The addition of trophies meant players would desire beating the game on the most difficult setting possible, find all of the minotaur horns, phoenix feathers, and gorgon eyes, and defeat the challenges that the gods place before them.

2) God of War (PS2, PS3)

I knew I was playing something magical and incredible when I impaled a Hydra's head on the mast of a rain-soaked ship. The first installment of this engaging series introduced the tragic life of Kratos who slayed his wife and child thanks to the tricks of the sinister Ares, the God of War. Everything about this game is polished except for one particular and infamous spot in Hades. Who doesn't hate the spinning spikes of doom? Regardless, exacting combos onto enemies, gaining blood to level up abilities and weapons, and brushing up on your Greek mythology were all excellent examples of why the original God of War is the series's second best.

1) God of War II (PS2, PS3)

Here we are with the number one entry on our list: God of War II. It's the game that took the problems of the original game and corrected them greatly. Zeus turns his back on the current God of War, Kratos, and betrays him. Now it's Kratos's duty and desire to exact revenge as only he can do. Who else would be so bold as to challenge the gods? Certainly not this superhero/blogger. From moving across an expansive chain in the sky to attacking a baddie with an axe and a wide temper, God of War II has the best puzzles, combat, and challenge of the series. There's little frustration. If you mess up, it's usually your own fault. Even the beginning of the game starts off with a bang as Kratos is closely and meticulously stalked by the Colossus of Rhodes throughout the opening level. Moments like these send chills down my spine even upon repeated play-throughs. This reason alone is why God of War II stands head and shoulders above other games in this illustrious and ultra-violent franchise.


Rank Up! wraps up for now. Do you agree with the order of games? Share your thoughts in the comments section as well as suggest a game series for a future installment of Rank Up!

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