Video Game Review: ‘God of War: Origins Collection’ Transfers Timeless PSP Hits

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CHICAGO – If you ask ten people to name the best game ever produced for the Sony PSP, nine of them will name one of the two highly-acclaimed and beloved “God of War” games, the award-winning “God of War: Ghost of Sparta” and “God of War: Chains of Olympus.” Video Game Rating: 4.5/5.0
Video Game Rating: 4.5/5.0

The two games stand atop the list of nearly every assemblage of the beloved PSP titles of all time and now they’re not only available for gamers too cheap to get a Sony handheld device but they’re been remastered in HD, given some trophy support, and even presented in 3D. However, all the HD bells and whistles wouldn’t mean a thing if these weren’t two of the most well-designed adventure games in Sony’s history.

God of War: Origins Collection
God of War: Origins Collection
Photo credit: SCEA

One of the main reasons that critics were so laudatory in their reviews for the two “God of War” titles is simple — unlike a lot of handheld offspring of console product, these were clearly not mere afterthoughts. Too often, DS and PSP installments in hit franchises don’t compare to their big brothers (I’m looking at you “Resident Evil” and “Silent Hill” fans). Perhaps it’s because these games actually made their debut before Kratos made the leap to next-gen consoles (people sometimes forget the brilliant “God of War” and “God of War II” were actually PS2 games) that more love and care was put into these titles. They are not just cash-ins or placeholders, they are the bridge between the PS2 incarnation and the PS3 incarnation in “God of War III.”

God of War: Origins Collection
God of War: Origins Collection
Photo credit: SCEA

Just as they did with the first two “GoW” games, Sony has elegantly transferred them to the next console. It’s a definite trend in 2011 to try and essentially sell games to people who already own them (we’ll cover the “Ico & Shadow of the Colossus” release later this week and “Splinter Cell” recently received the treatment) and I’m sure there are some out there who would never consider paying again for something they already bought once, even it was a much-smaller version. I can’t blame them with the amazing amount of potential must-own titles on the market, but if you’re one of those people who never played “Chains of Olympus” or “Ghost of Sparta,” then this is a title you simply must pick up.

“God of War: Chains of Olympus” was released in 2008 and STILL ranks as the highest-rated PSP game on Metacritic with a 91. Highest ever. Given the decline of the never-optimized handheld, a machine that never lived up to its potential, it seems clear that “CoO” will forever be the #1 PSP game of all time. Don’t you owe it to yourself to play that? “Ghost of Sparta” wasn’t too far behind, landing with an 86 on the influential critic compilation site.

There’s not much to say about two games that have already been renewed and put on pedestals as high as “Chains of Olympus” and “Ghost of Sparta.” These games are nearly flawless and they’re a great deal packaged as one release. As for the remastering, you can tell that they weren’t designed for the PS3 but not by much. They look great (and are reminders yet again of how few games for the PSP were this well-designed). There are a lot of high-profile titles coming out before the end of the year but we can pretty much guarantee that a few will disappoint. There’s nothing disappointing about “God of War: Origins Collection.”

“God of War: Origins Collection” was developed and released by Sony exclusively for the PS3 on September 13th, 2011. content director Brian Tallerico

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