You asked for it (didn't you?) so here it is: My full review for God Of War II for the PS2.
Let's start this off by saying that the day that the confirmation email from Gamefly came through that this game had shipped, I think I actually wet myself.
One of the big things that caught my attention was how the game went from start menu to in-game high- res cinematic. I thought that was pretty cool as opposed to a load screen. We are treated to some back story leading up to Kratos being the current God of War, which for most of us would be a win win situation, but not for our boy K-dog. He's just as pissed as ever, despite being flanked by two nubile pixel queens.
Kratos can't keep his godly hands out of things so he comes down to earth to aid his Spartan troops in routing their current enemy. After dispensing some cowboy justice, Athena takes issue with this and shrinks him down to mortal size. This is what begins the obligatory "Tutorial" portion of the game, but those of you familiar the game, this will be old hat although Kratos does have some new attacks. Shorty after mini-sizing Kratos, Athena grants life to the Colossus of Rhodes, a giant statue straddling a harbor entrance. It's a game of cat and mouse from this point, with Kratos engaging and or evading the statue at various points. With all the at goes on in the game, this has got to be one of my favs. The scenes you are presented with throughout this (the first!) stage are beautiful. A sprawling city in flames, Kratos being flung across an entire city, naked chicks in a sauna.....sweetness abounds.
After defeating the Colossus is where the story kicks into high gear. Zeus betrays Kratos after the battle, killing him. In Hades, Kratos is rescued and brought back to life by Gaia, the Titan Earth Mother. She sends Kratos on a mission to find the Sister of Fate to gain control of time and go back to the moment Zeus killed him. Astride his flaming Pegasus (heehee), Kratos hits the road (so to speak).
There are quite a few levels and great moments between here and the end of the game, but I'll highlight my favorite moments(Bear with me as I did not take notes during my game play and I am doing this all from memory).
Battle with Perseus (did he just skewer Perseus on a damn hook?! Ouch.)
Euryale (um, you SERIOUSLY need a boob job)
Atlas (sucks to be you, man)
Steeds of time (Just. Fucking. Beautiful.)
Hey, that's the Kraken! (Where's that little clockwork owl? I wanna break it in half. Annoying fuck)
I would have liked to see more alternate weapon choices as there were only three:
The Barbarian Hammer (waaaaaaay too slow and lacks effective combos)
Spear of Destiny (I thought this one was a weird choice for this game, awkward combos and the lift attack leaves you waaaaaay vulnerable)
Sword of Olympus (looks cool, quick, but short reach)
Also, the recycling of the old magics from the original was disappointing. I mean, after all this time and they recycle Poseidon's rage and the Medusa Head magic? Come on guys.....I did like the Cronos Rage attack though. They really should have put Typhon's Rage as an alternate weapon though. If they would have decreased its power, it would make more sense. I all but forgot about for almost the entire game until I came across some annoying archers. As far as an effective weapon.......meh.
As other reviews have noted, some of the puzzles at first seem challenging, but can definitely elicit a resounding head slap once you figure them out. The most frustrating one I encountered was the one involving the bloated created with boobs all over it on the temple level. I kid you not, I probably went back and forth pulling levers and slowing time for about 15 minutes before stumbling on the solution. That kinda pissed me off. Plus, once you figure out the puzzle, the battle is pretty much done.
The final battle with Zeus is somewhat of a let down.....effective use of Cronos' Rage and some dodging will have Zeus on his back soon enough.
The end of GOW 2 definitely sets things up nicely for the 3rd part on the PS3. Kronos travels back in time to the battle of the Titans and the Gods where he teleports the remaining Titans to "present day" Olympus before they can be stopped. As Kratos rides Gaia up the face of Mount Olympus with the other Titans following, Zeus rallies the remaining Gods against Kratos and his new army.
That's it for my first full blown review, so I hope you dig it.