God of War Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta are two of the bestselling games for the PSP. They managed to capture the rage and anger of Kratos, his blood filled rampage and his tragic story all onto their individual UMDs. Now, most people who played those games had the same thought, “Man, this would be so great on the PS3.” Sony, in conjunction with Ready at Dawn and Santa Monica, have answered that call with the God of War Origins Collection.
Just like God of War 1 and 2, the two PSP GoW games also get the HD treatment. Being that this is a compilation pack, this review will be focusing on the presentation and added content that the games offer since the two games already have been reviewed.
Adds Dual Shock support - God of War is one of those games that feel better while playing on a controller. While the PSP did manage to deliver an awesome experience, after a while your hands would hurt after holding the PSP for long periods. Now that the two God of War PSP games are on the PS3, I’m able to go play longer without having that hand fatigue. Rolling away feels much more natural using the right stick of the DualShock3, instead of holding the R button and moving the analog nub on the PSP.
Glorious Treasures - The Origins Collection does come with some extras, such as the ability to play as legion armored Kratos and unlocking the Forest of Forgotten combat arena, both of which were pre-order bonuses for Ghost of Sparta. Trophies for each game have been added so you can show your friends who’s the baddest Spartan around.
Age Hasn’t Been So Kind - Sometimes HD doesn’t look so good for older games. Flaws like jagged edges on character models will show, the shadows of some characters will look off and not in the shape of the object or person casting them. These things can cause the game to look like an early to mid-gen PS2 game. This was the case for Chains of Olympus. The little things that you would never notice on the small screen of the PSP become a bit noticeable on a larger screen. While it doesn’t detract from the overall experience, it’s something that will you will notice especially when not in combat. Ghost of Sparta, on the other hand, looks really great in HD and shows the power that Ready at Dawn was pushing out of the PSP last year.
No Memory Swapping - This was one feature that I was looking forward to since I own both games on the PSP. Monster Hunter 3rd had this feature in Japan and the HD version of Peace Walker will be supporting this as well. As to why this feature wasn’t implemented for this HD collection, neither Sony nor Ready at Dawn have yet to give a reason why. You can’t say it’s the controller because the GOW HD collection keeps the same control setup. And you can’t say it’s because it’s a PS3 game. Why should that matter? It’s a port of the PSP version which only the graphics have been enhanced; the gameplay is the same for both versions.
The two games that make up the God of War Origins Collection are great games unto themselves, providing a rich backstory to one of Sony’s most popular characters. As a compilation disk it holds up pretty nice, adding in a few things and not changing what made the games fun in the first place. While Chains of Olympus will show its age from time to time due to the HD upgrade it doesn’t detract from the gameplay. As for swapping save files, that would have been a great feature to add, allowing players to pick up where they left off on the road. Although both the games are also avaialbe on the PSN separately, it would be best to pick up the disk version due to the fact you get the pre-order content on disk and a documentary called The God of War - Game Directors Live. If you’re a fan of the God of War series, or tried at looking at Kratos on the small PSP screen, then this is a buy.