God of War: Chains of Olympus PSP Demo Impressions

Breathe deep, I know you don’t hear this often: I wish it were 2008 so I could snag the full version of a PSP game. Yeah, it was weird for me too. Anyway, so after letting my PSP charge overnight, I was finally able to dig into the juicy morsel that is the God of War: Chains of Olympus demo, and much to my surprise I’m mightily impressed (and kind of pissed that it’ll be so long until the full game hits).

Since it’s just a demo it was, suffice to say, not nearly long enough, clocking in at a mere 20 minutes or so, but what there is to be had was a load of fun, and it completely captured the feel of the PS2 masterpiece it follows.

If you were worried about the visuals, don’t be. They’ve somehow managed to capture all the fidelity of the PS2 version on this tiny screen, and moreover, they even managed to get the controls to work with an incredible amount of finesse. The demo starts as you would be crazy not to expect, with a frak-ton of combat. You’re immediately dropped into the siege on Attica, with Persian soldiers attacking the city by boat and on foot. Your first task is simply to dispatch said soldiers in a brutal fashion, and then destroy one of the attacking boats by firing off a ballista.

From there you drop into the room below, where you fight off more soldiers–of course–and are then faced with what appears to be a large troll. The troll, as it turns out, is really only there to drop off a massive club, which you’ll use momentarily to pummel a gigantic Basilisk in the eye with. Well, I take that back–he’s also there to feed said hungry Basilisk, but that’s neither here nor there.

Like the other God of War games, Chains of Olympus makes use of a locked camera that the player doesn’t control, but it really does a great job at keeping itself in the action and, which gives the player an excellent vantage point at virtually all times. Gameplay is fast and furious, and the enemy soldiers are no match for you at any point. The boss characters present more of a challenge, and again in true God of War tradition end up letting you throttle them spectacularly with a series of well timed, prompted button presses that don’t disappoint. Well, OK, the scenes don’t disappoint, the button presses kind of do, but it all works out for the best.

In any case, the demo so far gives me high hopes for this game, and from what I’ve tasted so far I have to say that it’s certainly looking like a must-buy for me.

Nintendo still owns Handheld market, and Sony’s pissed


Like a screaming child who’s come to the realization that he’s not getting his way, Sony’s now resorted to calling the DS names. That’s right, folks, Sony’s own Phil Harrison, VP of development, has now resorted to calling the DS “a gimmick”. Well, Phil, maybe it’s a gimmick, but if it is, it’s a gimmick that’s kicking your ass.

What amazes me about these interviews and these incredibly arrogant statements from the Sony camp of late (apparently Kutaragi’s head-in-ass syndrome is spreading) is that it never comes down to them doing anything wrong, making any mistakes, failing to meet the needs of the audience. No, with Sony it always comes down to the calling of names and assertions that the competition isn’t as good or now, that they’re defining feature is a “gimmick”.

This, of course, brings up some other questions.

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Sony loses mind, sues the hands that feed them

According to an article at The Register, Sony has now decided to sue retailers in the UK who’ve been importing PSP handhelds to sell to eager customers.

Apparently Sony has decided that the best way to ensure a product’s success and build a loyal fanbase is to sue those who sell your products for you. As if they didn’t already piss off the European audience enough by pulling their PSP preorders and shipments in order to sell a million on day one of the US release (you know, that shipment that’s still trying to be sold out?), thereby pushing the European launch by 6 months due to their inability to supply an adequate quantity of the units.

The bright side of that news, of course, is that Europeans have been gobbling up the competition like crazy, with the Nintendo DS selling out 77% of its stock (over 500,000 units) within the first 2 weeks of its March launch. With clever decisions and ramifications like this, maybe Sony’s inevitable downhill slide in the Game Console market has finally begun. Personally, I hope it’s a spectacular fall.

PSP launch a Bust?

Well, the PSP’s launch has now come and gone, and it appears that the little black box that everyone expected to explode onto the scene has, well, kind of limped onto the scene instead. According to the linked article at IGN, the reception of PSP appears to be mixed at best, with many retail employees and other readers writing in to report stocks of PSP’s, in some cases more than a hundred at a single store, just sitting there on the shelf.

Personally I don’t find this surprising in the least. or one thing, the pricing of the system is utterly absurd
at $249. For another thing, the bundle Sony decided to ship with the PSP is without a doubt the worst bundle ever. A demo disk with movies of games you could potentially play if you shell out another $50? Not a single playable demo? And on top of that they bundle in a UMD of a movie which, if you cared about it at all, you probably bought on DVD nearly a year ago anyway.

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