9.6

Kratos is back, and just as angry as before. This is one sequel you will NOT want to pass up on.

Another well-made sequel. Lately I have been lucky enough to be enjoying a bunch of good sequels, and this is definately no exception. In fact, this is better than the original in its own way. Be warned that this review is written in the assumption that you have played part one (or read my review for it).

Gameplay (9/10): It is difficult to top the extremely satisfying action of God of War, but somehow they managed to exceed the original. You get pretty much the same fighting style from the original, but you only retain one of the magic spells while the other 3 are different (though one is similar to an old power). They also played out the secondary weapon idea, giving you 3 weapons to choose from and making it slightly easier to switch between the Blades of Athena and secondary weapon. Another addition is the slightly beefed up Rage of the Titans (originally Rage of the Gods). A few button actions have changed (for the better) and there is the addition of spinning the analog stick and alternating L and R for the minigames. That is as far as direct control goes, but there are new types of combat and movement that are added to, like gliding, grappling and more. Really they did a great job of adding a lot to make the new one interesting to veterans and newcomers alike. The Pegasus scenes just add to the fun.

There are also plenty of new enemies and PLENTY more bosses this time around (a complaint I had from the first game). They still managed to make the boss battles interesting even though there are more of them. The puzzles are different yet similar, blending the two together in a way that will allow you to figure out the new ones but will not be immediately familiar. The new areas are nice and different too. Really this game does a great job of taking all that made the first game good, and making it better.

They took a lot more liberty with the mythology this time, and were able to properly fit in quite a few characters into this game, most of which we are all familiar with. The story actually is better than the first, but like any second part in a trilogy, you can expect a beautifully crafted cliffhanger at the end.

Graphics (9/10): I don't know how they managed to make it better but they did. There is still the problem of some textures looking a little plain but overall, everything is more beautiful and detailed. There are even a couple new effects, like bloom. This time around more can happen on screen as well. Honestly, the only thing that keeps this game from being one of the best looking games on the PS2 is the slight quality drop in textures. Like the first game though, sacrifices must be made sometimes.

Sound (10/10): They did it again. Most of the music is original, with only a few integrations of older themes. In fact, those integrations are generally only in areas where the past is involved, or rarely, during intense cutscenes, but not during the game. The orchestrations is wonderful for the new music and it captures the feel of the moment and the game PERFECTLY. It is epic and some movies could learn from this game. The sound effects are spot on yet again, and the voice acting is actually BETTER than the original. I particularly liked Atlas, Zeus, Kratos (of course), Gaia and a certain character most of us are familiar with, but I will not spoil it for you. The majority of next-gen games don't have such beautiful sound as this game does.

Value (10/10): Impressive all over again. This time they put all of the videos on a seperate DVD so you could watch it in any DVD player, which is nice. The costumes, many (if not all?) of which were fan made, which is amusing. There are the challenges again and of course the hardest difficulty. You can also get power-ups to use again in whatever difficulty you have completed (like infinity health and magic) and one feature allows you to fight in a training like area where you can summon up to 3 of any monster you want. They really did do a good job of making sure you have something interesting to do after you beat the game, which is good because this game felt a bit shorter. It took me about 10 hours, whereas the first game took me about 15. In a way it is good it is short though, because otherwise a lot of the awe would start to dissipate if it were longer.

In all honesty, I have no idea how they are going to manage to make the final God of War better than this...then again that is what we thought when we got this. This is one promise you can be sure that the creators did actually deliver on, and that isn't something that happens everyday now. Like always, I really do not suggest you play this without playing the first part, because you won't FULLY understand this game and your appreciation for it just won't be the same. Nonetheless, this game is highly recommendable to those able to play M-rated games who are not against violence and nudity. At least the nudity here is used a bit more reasonably, in fact, it actually makes more sense here. Nonetheless it is present. This game is worth a buy though. Thanks to this and Okami, the PS2 has been allowed to have a GLORIOUS finish. Enjoy

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