Games Meet Metal: Looking Back With Bloodshot Eyes: A Series Retrospective!!!

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Looking Back With Bloodshot Eyes: A Series Retrospective!!!

This generation of video games might as well be called the re-hash period. Companies are going ga-ga over re-releasing many of their older catalog titles in glorious HD. For some, it's a chance for often forgotten classics to get a second chance. Beyond Good And Evil is a fine example, as it found new life on Xbox Live and PSN with beefed-up visuals for a budget price. The Ico/Colossus package also gives Ico a chance to stand equally with it's spiritual sequel instead of being overshadowed by it. Other times, it gives older titles in established franchises a chance to be rediscovered by fans that became involved later in the series. Metal Gear, Sly Cooper, Splinter Cell, Resident Evil, and eventually Devil May Cry are all guilty of double dipping. However, one series had to start the trend, and it just happens to be one of the best of all time. Since it's second collection of HD remakes just came out today, let's take a look back at the first collection and make our way to the end of the series.

Ladies and germs, I present the God of War Retrospective Part One!!

God of War

You know the story here. There's this guy Kratos. He's pissed. Real pissed. The God of War, Aries, fucked him over good by tricking Kratos into killing his own family. All to make Kartos the best soldier in the world, says Aries. Suck my balls and die, says Kratos. Thus begins the greatest tale ever of vengeance and anger told through digital media. Kratos has to fight through a destroyed Athens, one of the most perplexing dungeons of all time in Pandora's Temple, and then engage in of the greatest boss battles of all time with Aries himself.

What made it so peanut butter pancakes awesome?

God of War took the action of fast-paced games like Devil May Cry and fine-tuned the combat to pure smoothness. You can thank the creation of the Blades of Aries for this. The Blades, which are technically huge knives that act like whips, gave combat a form of controlled chaos that no other game had even touched before. It was very cathartic to discover a new combo that sent your hapless into the air in blood-splattering glory. We also saw the evolution of quick-time events in fighting, where you would get your enemy weakened enough, then a few button presses of stick rotations would eviscerate your chosen enemy in such a brutal fashion that it would make you turn to your friends and say,"Holy fucking balls! Did you see that shit?"

It also accomplished something else: an incredible sense of depth. People were generally losing their shit as it was with the opening stage and the boss fight with the Hydra, regarded as one of the best beginnings to any game ever. After you battle through the Gates of Athens, you see your nemesis Aries, and he is HUGE!!! It's shown in perspective as he's several miles away, but you can still tell that that the guy is a monster, and the idea of actually killing the God just seems impossible at that moment. Plus, Aries looked incredible, as the graphics were absolutely eye popping. The scenery and mythos of Greek mythology allowed for many great scenes (the crumbling Athens, the architecture of Pandora's Temple), not to mention great enemies to kill over and over again. Did you lose your cool the first time you saw a Cyclops lumber up to you? Satan knows I did.

Does it still hold up?

Action wise? HELL YES! Nothing can replace the joy a gamer feels as he controls Kratos while in the thrall of his bloodlust. In fact, I believe the first God of War is the hardest of the series, thus giving it unbelievable replayability. On the downside, even with HD-enabled visuals, the graphics of the game are beginning to look very dated. It's seen a bit in the fighting areas, but most so in the cut scenes. Those things are starting to look very polygoney.

Still, it's one of the best action games ever made and worth every moment of your time. Play it! NOW!!!!

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