God of War II

God of War 2
God of War 2 Cover
Platform PS2
Genre Furious Action Hack and Slash
MtAMinutes to Action 3
Score 9  Clock score of 9Gameplay: 8
Fun Factor: 9
Gfx/Sound: 10
Story: 6
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This is my first post on The First Hour, reviewing the first hour of the game that inspired me to create this blog in the first place, God of War 2. The first hour of this game is really good, loads of action, decent introduction to the characters, and lots of blood and gore. Well, let's get right down to it then.

Minute by Minute

(minutes are in bold)
00 - The timer starts when I hit New Game. This is my second time playing through the first hour of God of War 2, but I choose to play on Normal difficulty again, don't want to stress myself out too much over the next hour, this series can be really hard. I beat God of War 1 two years ago, and had a blister to prove it (I have no such blister any more so I can't prove it I guess).

01 - The opening video starts with barely any loading, the game is off to a good start in my book. We see Kratos, the current God of War, hanging out in his godly palace, watching a battle take place below him. There's a whole lot of blood and limbs flying all over, so if you didn't know by now, this game is rated M - for mature. Fortunately, I am about six years over the strict maturity line, and thus am prepared for the brutal violence to follow. Anyways, some female god strolls up and yells at Kratos about too much fighting, whatever.

02 - Kratos decides to join in on the action and jumps down to Olympia. We see a flyby of the city, including the Colossus of Rhodes, something we'll be seeing a whole lot more of over the next hour. All of a sudden, giant Kratos starts glowing blue, indicating something horrible is about to happen.

03 - The Colossus starts coming to life (horrible thing #1) and Kratos starts shrinking (horrible thing #2). Then we're thrust into our first bloody fight. During this I scored like a 300 hit combo, a personal best in both game and real life.

05 - Colossus is peeking in at me the whole time I fight, not sure why he doesn't just try and smash me with his arm right now, but I guess it's a good thing the programmers were lazy and/or designers lenient. I get to lift my first door (Kratos is too good to just open them normally) by tapping O.

06 - Hey! My first green chest! It contains green souls which I absorb for life. Much like Ninja Gaiden before it, God of War 1 and 2 slyly* steal the soul absorbing technique from the Onimusha series. I also get a ladder tutorial, how thoughtful. *blatantly

08 - My first real interaction with Colossus, I get to catapult into him, too bad he just grabs me and throws me against a wall, rather harshly too.

God Of War 2 Kratos Colossus Of Rhodes

10 - Turns out you have to wear him down a bit, and then stun the Colossus to successfully catapult yourself at him. How one stuns a giant statue, I may never know. After I smack into him and do my first Shenmue-esque timed button sequence combo thiner, Big C throws me across town.

11 - I promise I will never call the Colossus of Rhodes, Big C, ever again.

12 - Kratos lands in some bath and there's some funky music playing. I wander over to two women behind a screen who are enjoying the water (their words, not mine), and share an intimate moment of whispering secrets and tickling. The neighboring peeing statue gets a kick out of it though.

14 - Being in and out of there, Kratos finds his first save point, some glowing yellow thing. I get to pull my first lever and swing on my first grapple of the game. Exciting stuff. But seriously, Colossus' foot almost stomps and kills me, but I'm still a god at this point (I think), and fight him off.

15 - Colossus is outside waiting for me, looks like I need to stabby-stab him some more.

17 - Okay, this guy is annoying. I know he's one of the Ancient Wonders of the World but how much can this guy take? Anyways, I'm almost dead and using all my magic on him, well, trying to at least, it's hard to tell if I'm actually hitting him. Eventually I just swing my weapon at him and he falls over. Now I jump on him and slice him and stuff.

19 - I'm almost dead again, I suck at being a god. I finally knock him down again and have to tap L1 and R1 back and forth a bunch to escape his grasp. Finally I jump on his head Mario style and rocket across the city.

21 - My epic jump somehow restored all my health and magic so I head into a palace. All of a sudden I start experiencing deja vu from my Prince of Persia days.

22 - Get to save again, and then some archers start shooting me. You know what, I can't stand archer enemies in games. Especially when I have no long range weapon myself to fight back, it's just not fair.

23 - Oooh, a box and switch puzzle, the best kind.

24 - Take an elevator up after killing a bunch of soldiers. Surprisingly, no surprises on the way up. But then Colossus peaks through a window and I get to slash his eyeball, yay!

God Of War 2 Zeus Kratos Wife Child

25 - A little cutscene plays with Zeus talking about some sword. Zeus is supposedly the best or most powerful or hairiest god as he has a booming voice. He throws the sword down to earth (hundreds of feet away, mind you) so I guess I have to take Kratos over to get it. It's glowing blue (there's that blue again) and Zeus says something about losing my god powers when I take it, whatever.

27 - More archers!!!

28 - A really obnoxious balance beam with archers shooting at me, quite possibly the most annoying combination ever.

30 - I finally make it over, that had better be the last balance beam I ever see in this game (probably not).

31 - Cool little sequence where Colossus knocks the bridge I'm strolling on out from under me and I gotta run along it all quick like. The sword is right in front of me, but I'll have to fight Colossus a bit before I can pick it up.

34 - I finally knock the World Wonder down (must be that extra trade arrow he grants to each square of the city's radius that gives him extra health). Now I'm draining Kratos' red souls into the sword, bye bye.

35 - Knock Colossus down again and then lose my magical blue souls.

36 - At last, my green souls are getting sucked away, but I successfully draw the sword out of the ground. Not sure it was worth it considering all my special moves are gone and I have less than half the life I had before, and no magic.

38 - I tap square a bunch, slowly creating a hole in his chest cavity for me to jump into. Once it's big enough, I jump in.

39 - A bunch of platforming my way up the Colossus' spine. Thank you for double jump, gaming's greatest creation. I also receive a Hint Message: "You have just received a hint message. These provide hints on how to solve puzzles." Thanks.

40 - Accidentally jumped to my death, whoops. Another shout out thanks for checkpoints.

41 - Another balance beam boss, I live.

42 - Some falling pieces of wood knock me off and I fall to my death again.

God Of War 2 Game Over You Are Dead

43 - While staring at the magical blue spinal column, I fall... but not to my death! I actually land on the balance beam and an enemy falls down with me. We both walk slowly along the beam, and then I fall even further.

44 - At this point, I think falling and living is actually worse than falling and dying. At least when I die I get a checkpoint and teleport back to where I was before.

45 - I'm stuck. Well, I finally figure out that I have to shimmy along a circular plank. A note on shimmying: this is probably the worst form of movement ever developed and used in a video game. Shimmying slows the game down to a literal crawl and forces you to be bored and scratch yourself while your character moves like a slug across 20 pixels of narrow space. I hate shimmying.

46 - Almost as bad as shimmying is a minute long rope climb. At least it wasn't as hard as the ladder boss from Metal Gear Solid 3.

47 - An annoying beam of light puzzle, I want to kill more things!

48 - Kratos reaches Colossus' open mouth, and I fall to my death while writing down what's going on. I revive and jump out! However, always cocky Kratos gets squished by Colossus' right hand and we lose the sword!

49 - Kratos throws up some blood and stumbles towards his sword. All his soldiers make fun of him for his weakness and I can feel the pain in Kratos' heart. Or not. The worst part is I can't double jump right now.

50 - Beardy (Zeus) shows up and mocks me. Zeus and Kratos have a discussion about betrayal and such and then Zeus grabs the sword!

51 - We get into a fight but I can't do anything since I can't double jump, so I lose. Zeus stabs Kratos through the abdomen and an FMV starts.

52 - Zeus kills all the soldiers in the city with some super attack. Kratos gets really pissed but then he dies, so he can't really do anything about it. Some creepy hands come out of the ground and start grabbing for the body...

54 - We start seeing a flashback of God of War 1 storyline: Kratos becoming Ares' servant of war, Kratos killing people, his typical stuff. But then this woman's voice starts talking with various people's heads, including a naked woman with an oddly shaped rear end. The creepiest part is where she talks using a little girl (I think it may be Kratos' daughter).

55 - Kratos meets the disembodies voice, turns out to be some mountain named Gaia, a Titan. She gives me my mission, to go to the Sisters of Fate so they can help me beat Zeus. I have a feeling I won't be doing that in the next five minutes.

56 - All of a sudden I'm back in Hades and I have to crawl out of there with all these hands trying to grab me. Reminds me of middle school.

57 - I escape from Hades and see a* Harry Potter flying horse (thestral; obviously Kratos can see this thing because he has seen death before). *non video game reference ahead

58 - I save one last time and hop on the horsey, who turns out to be Pegasus. A voice over tells me that I'm not a god anymore and that to defeat Zeus, I have to travel back in time to the point where he betrays Kratos, to kill him. But won't that create one of those awkward paradox producing moments where you see yourself?

God Of War 2 Kratos Bloody Gryphon

59 - I get to fly Pegasus and kill gryphons! Why gryphons?

60 - In my final minute, I kill two evil gryphons by chopping their wings off. Very bloody, very cool.

Well, time's up! That was a mighty fun first hour, now time for my ratings out of 10:

First Hour Scores

Minutes to Action: 3

Gameplay: 8
The controls were decent, I dock points for the period of time where I couldn't double jump, and when a piece of plywood killed me. The fighting though feels fluid and it's very fun to produce copious amounts of blood!

Fun Factor: 9
A very fun game first hour! Like I said in the introduction, tons of action and combat. This game throws you right into the battle and doesn't let up the whole time.

Graphics: 10
Everything was gorgeous! The game really shows off the PS2's power, which I always thought was kind of weak, but there were a couple games, especially this one, that really proved it has something powerful inside of it.

Story: 6
Why is Kratos so angry? Why are there random naked women? What is my motivation?!

Overall First Hour: 9
This is what this blog was made for! God of War 2 wastes no time starting you off with a great game and doesn't bother with too much potentially boring story. I highly recommend the first hour of this game to fans of Onimusha, Ninja Gaiden, God of War 1, or your grandma who used to have a fleeting interest in women's rights during ancient Greece.

God Of War 2 Kratos Art