Week #4: God of War Collection

The lazyhandheldman’s weekly handheld game recommendation is inspired by subreddit SBCGaming’s “Game of the Month”. Today, my recommendation is God of War Collection.

God of War Collection

Release: 2009 (based on God of War (2005) and God of War 2 (2007)

Original console: PlayStation Vita

Developer(s): Santa Monica Studio

Publisher(s): Sony

Genre(s): Action-adventure

Series: God of War

Recommended handhelds to play: PlayStation Vita

Best for

  • God of War fans who are using PS Vita

Sony clearly showed us that they can make high-quality and premium handhelds, thanks to the PlayStation Vita. God of War Collection is truly a nostalgic experience for every God of War fan over the world, making these games playable on-the-go. At the moment, these games are still the benchmark of the PlayStation 2 system that are really difficult to emulate with current retro handheld emulators, so you really should stick with the PlayStation Vita version.

Moreover, it is easy to buy one PS Vita second hand at only $150, meaning it’s cheaper than even the Retroid Pocket 3 Plus and Anbernic RG405M that can barely touch God of War 2. Graphics are capped at PS Vita’s display at 540p, but for me the native resolution is still much better than anything on retro emulators.

Gameplay isn’t as smooth as PlayStation 2, but far better than anything you can find on current retro handheld emulators
  • People who love hack-and-slash style

In God of War, you will enjoy hack-and-slash to a high degree. Both games in the collection feature so many monsters gathering at one scene, a lot more than all of Prince of Persia titles. Even now, I feel the hack and slash in God of War are very much enjoyable, thanks to the superior sound quality.

I also don’t really like systems that rate your performance after each fight, like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta, so for me alone, God of War is much more enjoyable.

  • People who love Greek mythology

There aren’t many games involving Greek mythology up until now, and God of War is truly a series digging deep in Greek gods era. As an avid reader of Greek mythology, I want more games like God of War, even though I was not really into the PlayStation system in the childhood.

  • People who love PlayStation Vita system

Though the PS Vita is commercially a failure to Sony, it is deemed as the best handheld of all time by its fans (obviously). Though I prefer the concept of the Nintendo 3DS a lot more, I think of my PS Vita as a premium handheld. Sadly, with poor PS Vita library, there are not many games for us to play. God of War Collection is a rare and masterpiece find.

Worst for

  • People who can’t play games with lots of action

Retro games are often meant for adult people who actually played these games in the past, and for a game released nearly 20 years ago, I should expect my readers to be at least 30 years old. So, with less time training with games and weaker reaction due to time, we are just unable to enjoy quick and intense action games like God of War Collection.

Not to mention that the version on PlayStation Vita is limited without proper L2/R2 buttons, and we need to touch screen for the lacking of these buttons. As a result, I find myself accidentally touch the screen a lot of times in both games, making my playthrough a lot harder.

  • People who hate clumsy control and camera of old games

Retro 3D games usually feature very annoying camera angles that make our playthroughs almost impossible to pass. In an action game like God of War, these scenes are a lot more furious that I tell myself to quit many times. But one spoiler, the second in the series doesn’t have such tedious and annoying scenes like Bar Walking and Hades in God of War 1.

Whenever you encounter a scene that you can’t pass, just rest for the moment, and try it later. Because the PlayStation Vita doesn’t have save states, restarting at the opening of each scene is, well, unforgettable.

  • People who aren’t native English speakers

Though it isn’t really a reason to avoid a masterpiece, God of War Collection is just a remastered port of old games, so it doesn’t have subtitles, either. If you find this reason as a barricade to your enjoyment, I advise to find some game scripts to read beforehand.

Recommended handhelds to play

I always recommend using the native handheld for its own system, unless you want convenient features like save states or fast forwarding. The PlayStation Vita isn’t fully emulated on current budget retro handheld emulators at the moment, so I think we should stick with the real hardware. For me, I really like the design and build quality of the PlayStation Vita, so I don’t bother trying other retro handhelds for this system.