God of War Collection PS Vita Review: Milking a cash cow that has been milked to death

  • Posted May 6th, 2014 at 09:12 EDT by Dane Smith

Review Score

God of War Collection

PSU Review Score
7.5
Avg. user review score:
9.0

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Summary

Only trophy hunters and hardcore fans of the series will have the need to play through the original games for yet another time.

We like

  • The engrossing soundtrack
  • Various special abilities that liven up the button-mashing

We dislike

  • The wonky touchpad controls
  • Quick-time prompts are cut off due to small screen size
  • Yet another re-hash for the series

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

Another year means another collection bundle has been released by Sony for one of its flagship franchises. God of War I and II are coming to PlayStation Vita to allow handheld enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy Kratos’s revenge-driven adventures in the palm of their hands. Is it worth the re-buy? Read on and find out.

This is a unique experience for me because I'm not a series aficionado. A couple hours of God of War 3 is my only series experience, and only because it was loaned by a friend. Somehow, I had been able to resist the allure of the series since its inception, which made my experience going through the collection interesting. But I’m the target audience for these collection bundles, right? The gamer who never had the opportunity or time to play the games when they originally released.

Since these are re-releases of PlayStation 2 classics, it would be unfair to put a lot of emphasis on visuals, simply because this is not a remake. Environments and characters are going to look blocky because of the nature of the tech at the time, but they appear cleaner and less jagged. They look as good as they are going to get for an increase in resolution without millions of dollars sunk into minor touch-ups.

Both games offer the same gameplay, modes, and story as the PS2 originals and the PS3 collection versions. To put it succinctly, Kratos is tasked with revenge against the Greek gods; there is betrayal, lots of death threats, and a lot of linear button-mashing. Now, there is nothing necessarily wrong with button-mashing--see how much I loved Dynasty Warriors 8, for example. However, the game's story didn't get me excited in the least. Maybe it was because I never found Greek tragedies overly interesting, the fact I found Kratos to be a boring character, or any manner of contributing factors. Regardless, the narrative never clicked with me enough to generate interest.

There was only one major change that had to be made to this version due to PS Vita not having the same number of buttons as a DualShock 3, and that comes via the rear touchpad. Instead of pressing a button or trigger, the player has to use the PS Vita's rear touchpad to open up chests, confirm save points, and other such things normally delegated to the circle or cross buttons. This functionality is not executed smoothly. Sometimes, when the appropriate icon popped up on the screen, the touchpad wouldn't work no matter how many times I touched it--I had to walk away and come back. Other times it worked too well and was too sensitive; as such, I would save the game multiple times before I could move far enough away or remember to grip the Vita differently so the tips of my fingers didn’t graze the area.

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