Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Oh My Fucking God (of War)

I'm stuck in God of War, and fucking pissed as fuck. Why? Because the last fucking level is nothing but a bunch of rotating spike  things you either have to walk  across or climb up.



It's God of WAR, not God of Spikey Death Traps!!! But I've been trapped in the last level for a total of over two hours. I have it stuck on the "YOU ARE DEAD" screen right now. Because I beat one of the above spikey walls, but I keep dying on another, and the checkpoint is in between, and the nearest safepoint is quite a bit before the first rotating column. So. If I turn the system off, I lose the first one, so I feel just as trapped as Kratos, the dude you play as.

And spare me any thoughts on how this proves I'm not really a gamer or just not good  enough. These fucking things aren't about how good you are at video games, they're about abysmally monotonous game mechanics and a system setting you up to fail. Honestly, when the only time I've ever had the game offer for me to change to easy mode happens because of stupid challenges and traps like this, even though the mode only affects combat, there's a problem.

I was hoping to be able to give this game a good review, but shit like this makes me wary of going higher than a 6 on a scale from 1-10.


I mean, don't get me wrong, for a PS2 game, the in-game graphics are actually pretty fantastic, and so is the world design. But for fuck's sake, it shouldn't be this hard to push a box around or get through a room because of rolling blades. I've died more times because of booby traps than I have in combat, and that's bad. The dudes making this game made  the challenges too difficult. What's the point in offering to make it easier if that's not even going to distill what keeps killing me?

It's all fun and games until someone loses a hand.


The combat has been good, though- I've even come across a few battles where I know I was supposed to have magic left (yay online walkthroughs with tips), but  didn't, yet still hacked and slashed my way  through.

But the fact that I keep relying on the walkthrough is a bad sign, too. There have been times where I've spent nearly an hour wandering between the same two rooms  or something before resorting to the online guide. Not that I think they're inherently immoral, but I'm usually pretty adamantly against walkthroughs because I feel like I should be able to complete a game by, you know, playing the game and  not relying on an outside source (even if it's from the game company itself). Yet for this game, I really felt like I had no choice. And yes, I think this speaks poorly for its overall gameplay. I should be able to get through all the rooms without seeking an outside source for help, but without it, I wouldn't have made it through the first level. 


Also, it's a hack-and-slash game, which in itself is  fun,  and I got some sick pleasure out of the couple  battles where killing peasants actually gives you health and magic back. But this game  is definitely a game for dudes, by dudes. Case in point:


God of War also means  god
in the sack, apparently
At the very beginning of the second  level, you wake up in bed  with some prostitutes that ask you not to leave, so you jump on the bed and the "camera" focuses on that vase to the right. Then the game prompts you to rotate the directional joystick in various ways, left, right, left, right, each time the ladies making pleasured sounds while the vase shakes. Eventually it has you keep rotating as the ladies make sounds like  they're cumming, and the vase falls off the little side table.

And it powers you up.

And you can do this more than once in a row. Seriously, I stuck around  just to see how many times it'd let me, and I eventually just got fed up with it. 


I just... I mean... Really?

And there's a part where you're swimming around a bunch, and you basically have to rape little water sprites (Poseidon's daughters, that part is made explicit, so they're definitely female- plus the voices, and the boobs). No, sorry, you "embrace" them...by sneaking up on them... and they struggle against you at first, then go limp, as if they've given up the fight. 


So yeah, it's objectifying and rapey, too. YAY!


The story is okay. You're a dude that wanted to be a badass in war, so you ask Ares to help you. He gives you the Blades of Chaos, some awesome sword things on chains, the chain parts embedded into your arms. Some shit happens, you decide to say, "FUCK YOU, Ares!" to get your soul back or whatever, so now you're sort of Athena's puppy dog, running around doing what she wants in order to save Athens from the terrible Ares. Gasp! Just like in regular mythology, the gods use mortals for their whiney sibling rivalry!

So you get stuff from other gods/goddesses along the way. Athena gives you "Rage of the Gods," essentially like the star in Mario Kart- you become invincible  and your hits are worth more damage while it lasts; there's a fancy sword from Artemis; Poseidon gives you badass lightning; Venus gives you the "Gorgon's Stare" which turns baddies into stone (which you then can smash into bits and pieces). My favorite is Hades- he gives you fucking souls that eat the baddies for you, and even the lowest level for them is so fucking awesome and does serious damage (so no wonder one use takes all your magic juice). And the lamest is Zeus, bolts of lightning you're supposed to throw at enemies but I find take too long and aren't strong enough (unless you're going to waste time powering them up, I imagine). Hades and Poseidon's magics are the coolest and most useful in combat, and Artemis's sword is hella awesome. The Rage thing comes in handy, but it takes a long time to build up the power for it.


The design is nice, too. As in the worlds within each level are all richly complex and look pretty. Lots of detail- it may be monotonous to some, but I actually really like the bits where I have to do something like  ascend a spiral staircase. I mean,  that shit takes effort, and it looks really good. So props to them on that. 

So you run around  killing things, and you collect three kinds of energy, red, which powers up your stuff, blue, which fills your  magic meter, and green, which is health points. It actually reminded  me  a LOOOT of Onimusha  Warlords, a series of games in which you're running around killing things and collecting their souls in order to, well, power up, magic up, or heal up. And  hold the phone, which one came first? I'll give you a hint: It's not the main game I'm talking about, here. Hmmmmm.....

(Sidenote: I should repurchase those. I loved those games.)


My pseudo-classicist in me is angry because they're getting a lot of the monsters wrong- like  having a million minotaurs and cyclopses, as opposed to one of each, for example; yeah, I know there was more than one gorgon, but  not that many. And there was only one Cerberus, not ten thousand. And he didn't go from puppy-sized to full-sized, either. Nor did he rotate and knock  shit over like Sonic the  fucking Hedgehog and spit fire.

So anyway, these gorram rotating spikes.


What. The. Fucking. Fuck.


I mean, seriously, what makes them so hard to get around is the fact that you use the joystick for movement, and it's really easy for the controller to think you're pressing it differently than you are- it keeps making me jump sideways when I'm trying to jump upward, or the other way around, or it'll make  me jump diagonally. And I'm just mad as Hell. There was another part earlier in the level that had me trapped for a long time- the spikes were instead on logs you had to walk across, and you had fucking harpies chasing you as you were going, too. I know I skipped some chests filled with souls to power up in order to get through that part, but I got so tired of those fucking logs, I didn't even care. I didn't want to die because I was being greedy. Here, it's not like that at all. I just can't get high enough to escape these gorram spikes.

Ugh.

So yeah. Not a very happy review, and yeah, it's written out of anger. Still, prolly only a 6/10. Between the rapey  stuff, and the fucking difficulty  to just get through a room sans combat  for fuck's sake, even the lovely graphics and world design can't save this game from ire. 

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