Posted by John on October 2, 2011

From handheld to the big screen

Kratos in God of War: Ghost of Sparta

Kratos in God of War: Ghost of Sparta

As Screen Play has already shared, I spent much of last week admiring PlayStation 2 classics Ico and Shadow of the Colossus in glorious high-definition courtesy of their Sony’s remastered double-pack for PS3.

As a huge fan of both games when they were originally launched, I had supreme confidence that I would enjoy them despite it being five years since Colossus and nearly a decade since Ico was first released.

My only concern was whether Sony might not have paid the games the respect they deserved in terms of the restoration work, but I needn’t have worried. They are magnificent.

On the weekend I also sampled another of Sony’s recent restoration jobs: the God of War Origins Collection.

Booting up the PS3 I had a lot less confidence in the wisdom of the endeavour compared to the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection.

I knew both Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta were high-quality games, but they were designed with the limitations of the PlayStation Portable in mind.

What is a game designed for play on a 4.3-inch portable screen going to look and play like on a 50-inch television?

I remember writing back in 2008 when Chains of Olympus was released that the only compromise for the game’s handheld form was its shorter length compared to its predecessors.

Playing the game on PS3 it’s clear that wasn’t exactly true. Compared to the fully-fledged versions of God of War, both the PSP games have fewer enemies on screen at once, the foes aren’t as impressively epic, and the puzzles rarely complicated or taxing.

But while the scale isn’t as big, don’t think for a moment that you won’t have fun. These are hugely enjoyable games, and the improved presentation arguably makes them even more fun.  

The improved frame rate and the addition of dodge on the right analog stick makes them more playable, too.  

What started off as a quick play out of curiosity soon became an epic session as I enjoyed the furious, violent combat against all manner of mythological beasts.

It’s hard to recommend that even the most fervent Kratos fan should buy them again if they have already played the handheld games, but for God of War fans that don’t own a PSP, the $60 collection is a great buy.  

What have you been playing lately?


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