God of War Series Ranked

The release of the God of War reboot, which follows Kratos into Norse mythology somehow, (apparantly dying multiple times can not slow this man down), is almost upon us.

While I personally don’t think it looks all that great, I am a huge fan of the series and am excited nonetheless. So to celebrate the occasion, I am going to list all the previous games from worst to best. This is one of Sony’s best franchises, which will make this fun to go back for a quick glimpse at them all.

Haven’t played any or all of them? Not to worry! They re-release them about every 2 years it seems, so they shouldn’t be hard to find. These remasters will not be included in the list, for that would be redundant.

And here we go, starting with the worst game in the series.

#6

God of War: Chains of Olympus

PSP, 2008

Times Beaten-1

It’s been a really long time since I’ve played it, but I remember it being very good, but unquestionably the worst in the series. The handheld system really held it back from it’s potential, but it is definitely worth playing.

#5

God of War

PlayStation 2, 2005

Times Beaten-3-5

This game blew my mind when it first came out. It’s gameplay set the bar for modern day action games with it’s intense, fast paced combat, over the top violence, combos and spells, and just overall awesomeness. Kratos is the definition of bad ass, and it all started here.

#4

God of War: Ascension

PlayStation 3, 2013

Times Beaten-1

This one is a tad disappointing considering it is the latest in the series. It is a prequel to all of them and shows a bit into Kratos’ past, I think, I can’t remember too much. I didn’t like how you have to change into different styles or whatever mid combo to execute all the abilities you had in all the other games, but he’s not as experienced in this one, so it makes sense, right? I don’t know. It manages to be better than the original game because of the experience and growth the developers had with the series, making it more fun and entertaining.

#3

God of War II

PlayStation 2, 2007

Times Beaten-2 or 3

This kept everything from the first game, and then improved upon it, while adding even more to Kratos’ skills and items/weapons. I always found this to be cool. Most games in a series, you start each game with nothing. But not this one. Kratos keeps all his goodies, making it feel like you jump right into the action with a full arsenal. This is easily one of the best games on PS2 hands down. It somehow completely destroys it’s prequel.

#2

God of War: Ghost of Sparta

PSP, 2010

Times Beaten-1

Holy crap. This game came as a huge surprise. I thought it would be a lackluster game like Chains of Olympus, but no way in Hades! Everything about this game is amazing. I couldn’t stop playing it. I was completely baffled that it is better than 2, a game I thought nearly impossible to trump, but this game does it all. Great combat, story, and the different weapons are the best in the whole series in my opinion. Truly a great surprise this game was, and I loved every second of it. Though I guess coming after the third game, it had a lot to live up to…which brings us to…

#1

God of War III

PlayStation 3, 2010

Times Beaten-1

This was the game we had been working towards, where Kratos finally takes down the gods of Olympus. This game had so much hype leading up to it, and it did not disappoint at all. It was everything we expected and more. All the fights, weapons, story, everything, all just incredible. This is probably one of the best games ever made, in fact.

 

Well, that does it. 5 phenomenal games (and 1 very good game) make up the legacy of the God of War series. This also means the reboot has a lot to live up to. I am excited to see how it will hold up in this string of amazing titles! Just remember…judge the game on its own and not how it compares to these 6 great titles and I trust you will like it much, much more. But who knows? It could blow away all of them!

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Final Fantasy IV: The After Years Gripes

I’ve already talked about Final Fantasy 1 & 2, so here I am with another installment as I trek through most of the series. Today I will be talking about the 3 part game known as Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection for PSP, but more specifically, the third and final game, The After Years.

Final Fantasy IV is a pretty solid game, and really is quite good. I like 2 better, but I have no real complaints about the game. The second game, titled the Interlude, is just a quick 2-3 hour plot filler basically.

Then we come to After Years. It starts off with separate tales starring most of the cast from FFIV, their lengths ranging from 2-3 hours. Most of these are okay, if not a little monotonous. You basically just venture around, doing God knows what while trying to solve the same mystery in each tale. Because they are so short, you will get in monster fights every 3 steps to make sure you really get your fill of fighting. But this is all okay, except for Edward’s tale, the wuss of the game, who is stuck with even weaker soldiers to help fight you through his tale. This is the longest tale probably, and only because it takes forever to kill anything with this weak batch of people.

But anyway, the tales all end in one of two areas, combining all the cast into two separate groups. Once you beat all the tales, you unlock the final tale, (can’t remember what it is officially called). By the time you reach this tale, you are kind of burnt out and are thankful that only another 3 hour segment and the game will be completed.

Well…it was going into this game with that mentality that really made it annoying for me, for the final tale is not short. In fact it is around 20 hours long, which is how long it took me to beat the original game. So combined with all the tales, that’s around 40 hours, which is fine, but I felt tricked that it was so long.

That isn’t even the real issue though. I don’t mind long games at all, as long as the length is through reasonable approaches, like story progression or fun gameplay and the like. This is not the case with the After Years. They just made the game long because they could. There is nothing new and clever at all with this game. It is the same locales from IV, and features the same enemies and bosses.

In short, the game drags on and on, and on, and on, and on, and on. I could type that for hours and if you read it, then you might get a feel of how much the game drags. There isn’t even a well told story, so there is nothing interesting to keep you motivated to beat it. I was just beating it for the sake of beating it.

In the final tale, after doing all sorts of stuff, you go to a new moon and have to trek through a long 14 floors of some tower or something. It might even be longer. After you finally make it through that and you again think you are close to beating the game, you are treated to another 23 floors! Dear god…really?

And again, I stress that this wouldn’t be a problem if it was fun and interesting. It is just a monotonous, never ending adventure. And here is everything I recall that really make these some 37 or more floors even more annoying.

Back Attacks…

FFIV_PSP_Back_Attack.pngThis is when the monsters randomly sneak up behind you and get in first hits. This also means your characters set in the back row are now in the front and your front row characters are in the back. Characters in the back row are usually there because they have ranged attacks and low armor values. So these back attacks, if the monsters gang up on one of these characters, ensure a speedy death for them.

This wouldn’t be so annoying, except I swear 90% of the random encounters start with back attacks. In fact, they are so often, I eventually switched the rows of my characters so I wouldn’t have to waste time switching their rows mid battle. But guess what? When I did this, the back attacks stopped happening. I rarely got a back attack. So I switched the rows back to normal, and then the back attacks started to happen overly frequent again. WTF!?!?!?!?

In addition to the game being long and dragged out, so are the battles. Even some regular enemies take forever to kill, these battles lasting close to 5 minutes sometimes. And mind you, when you get a random encounter every 1-3 steps, it becomes so tedious and time consuming. That is when the impatience and rage really starts to build. Floor by floor you go, fighting and fighting, unable to escape the relentless attacks. Oh my God, it is annoying!!

And you know what is even longer? The boss battles. Some of these take 10-15 minutes. It is just a marathon of how long you can keep your guys alive while slowly whittling down their health. And to do the most damage, you would use the most powerful spells and attacks, right? But guess what, that is incredibly time consuming as well. The more powerful the attack, the longer the animation is for the attack. Some attacks have an animation of over 10 seconds long. While they look impressive, it just adds to the length of the game horrendously. And just think, you have 5 characters, and sometimes the enemy can have just as much. If everyone involved uses some big attack, that’s like 2 minutes just for one round!

So in short, you get too many random encounters, that take too long to kill using attacks that have animations that are too long, to go through a tower that is too long, to fight a boss that is too long. And when you kill that boss, it takes like 15 seconds for the thing to explode or dissolve away. If this was a good game, you would take satisfaction away from killing it, reveling in it’s elongated destruction. But no… you are so impatient and angry at this point that each extra and unnecessary, tedious second is like someone twisting a knife in your gut.

And let me tell you how many bosses there are in those 40ish floors. Around 30, if not more. All you do in that big long tower or whatever it is is fight bosses. Over and over again. You fight nearly every boss from Final Fantasy 1-6 I’m pretty sure. I’m not even sure if there are any new bosses mixed in there. And to make matters worse, the random encounters become tougher and longer with each floor too! They eventually become all bosses themselves!

Oh yeah, and every time you kill a boss, you have to painstakingly listen to what each of your five characters individually think about that fight. I’m assuming they are thinking to themselves, because they all have nothing to do with each other. It’s like one says, “That was an interesting fight,” then another will say, “That creature had dark powers,” then another says, “It smells like death in here,” then another says “I need new socks.” Who cares? Just shut up and let me take 3 steps so I can fight another monster! This happens after EVERY BOSS!!!

While killing all the demons in hell and traversing through the tower, there are rest points. These usually spawn an entirely unnecessary story sequence which usually consists of two characters talking at night about more or less nothing. The scenes are so boring, so uninformative and so long, that it just all dumps onto the raging impatience of just wanting the putrid game to end. And there are probably about 20 of these scenes too.

And when you FINALLY get to the last boss and beat him, which takes about 30 seconds for him to explode, you think you beat the game right? Nope. Now you have to run from the place you are in, all the while getting in constant encounters with the still dying boss. This part just happens to annoy you further. It dangles the end of the game in front of you, while doing everything that annoyed you for the last 40 hours all at once.

And then when it is finally all over, you are treated to an incredibly long and boring ending. By this time you are so fed up with the game that you just want to see the final screen, save your game and never look at it again. But this never seems to happen, because my god, the ending is so long. The only thing more boring and longer that I can think of are the ending credits to any Assassin’s Creed game.

FF4 is a great game. But stay away from the After Years, because all it will do is shave a few years off your life.

Final Fantasy-How Did This Game Spawn Countless Sequels?

I am here to rant about a game most people have heard of… Final Fantasy. That’s right, I’m talking about numero uno! The one that started it all back on the NES in 1990. For the time where there wasn’t much expectation and they were still trying to get the genre down, I suppose it was a pretty good game. But I am saying that very loosely. There shouldn’t have been any reason to ever make a sequel to this, much less at least 20 others, though sequel really isn’t the best word since most of them have nothing to do with the rest.

Anyway, before I start my rant, I just want to give you my history with Final Fantasy. The first one I ever played was when I was back in grade school, Final Fantasy 8 for PlayStation. It was a pretty sweet game, and though it’s been well over a decade since I’ve played it, I remember enjoying it. Only problem is once I was about to beat the first disc, the game froze and I could never get past it. What a piece of junk!

Then I got Final Fantasy 7 a little after that, and I enjoyed that too, though I had commitment issues as a child and never finished it. I played for a while, then stopped for a few years, then played again and stopped again and have never gone back to it.

Oh yeah, and I also played an emulated version of Final Fantasy 3 for SNES for about 20 minutes, but never went back to it for whatever reason.

Since that time, a billion other games have come out with the title “Final Fantasy” and the only one I ever got was Crystal Chronicles for Gamecube and actually played it quite a bit, though again, I never beat it. Came close though.

ffweapons_1280_270h

Anywho, throughout my life I have watched these games spew out and watched people rave about them. I began to wonder if I was really missing out on one of the greatest series in gaming history. So naturally, I decided to get back into the games, but starting from the beginning. Soon after I made this decision, the PlayStation store was kind enough to hold a Final Fantasy sale, and I was able to pick up 1, 2, 4,5,6 and 9. I already have 7 and 8, so I didn’t bother rebuying them. Later I got 3 and 13 on Steam.

And by the way, if you are like me and are trying to figure out which games to buy, it is quite confusing. The original versions are all numbered in a non-sequential way, for most of them were never released outside of Japan. It wasn’t until recently that they rereleased them all and renamed them the numbers they actually are supposed to be. So the FF 3 I played briefly is now officially Final Fantasy 6. It’s a confusing mess and I was nervous I was going to buy the same game twice, just with different titles. It also doesn’t help that each game has been rereleased like three times. It’s a nightmare.

Anyway, I have now finally set out on my Final Fantasy adventure, and just like I wanted to, I started from the very beginning. Though I have the updated version from Final Fantasy Origins on PlayStation, so it scares me to think that the original version is even more inferior.

So finally, what are my gripes about the game? Where to begin? Let me start off by saying, it has the potential to be a good game, but there are so many unnecessary annoying things about it that completely ruin it for me.

Let’s start with something I experienced in the very first minute of the game that set the tone for one of the most annoying games ever.

I walked into the first town and many of the people just block your path. There are many tight paths that only one person can fit through, and there are just all these jerk faces standing in my way. I shouldn’t have to wait for these idiots to move before I can proceed! And sometimes they move and I start to go, and then they quick move with lightning speed to block your path again. What crap programming! And there is an item shop that always has some douche blocking the door. I deal with idiot people standing in my way enough in real life, I don’t need it in a game too!

And that is nothing compared to the last town in the game, Lufenia or something. The entire town is practically a one person-width town and it takes forever to push your way through, having to wait every second for someone to walk over to a spot where the road widens and then move out of they way! The spell shops are kind of hidden, and I missed them at first. It wasn’t until I looked it up that I knew how to get them. But it was no wonder I missed them, because they are far off to the side where you have to follow a one person wide path, but I missed it because some guy was always standing in it, and he was nowhere near a two-wide path. So it’s no wonder I missed them. I had to wait close to 5 minutes for his old scraggly ass to move. What the fudge!

There are even sometimes bats in caves and such that love to fly in your way, forcing you to walk around them. This wouldn’t be quite so bad, but every extra step you take is a huge risk of being caught in an enemy encounter, which brings me to my next complaint…

There are a relentless amount of enemy encounters. This is far from the only game with this issue, but I don’t care about those game right now.Rarely do I get to take more than five steps without getting into a fight. This drives me crazy! Especially when you are trying to explore a dungeon and get lost. You never have time to figure out where you are going because you are constantly being bombarded with enemies to ever remember where you have been and haven’t been yet. Like, it’s crazy. And most fights aren’t exactly easy either!ff-nin

So let’s talk about all the issues I have during fights. There are quite a few!

First off and most importantly are your characters. I picked the warrior, thief, white mage and black mage. Of these four only the warrior is good. The other three are entirely useless. And I mean USELESS! Seriously, you could not beat this game and even beat more than two enemy encounters without the warrior.

The warrior has high physical attack power and high defense. Throughout the game, he can kill almost anything in one hit and he also takes very little damage. He rarely ever misses his attacks too. He’s a real stand up fellow.

The other three are just a huge liability. They miss 8 out of 10 physical attacks, and do hardly any damage when they actually connect. The mages don’t have high armor value, so they take a ton of damage, thus they can die very quickly.

Now you might be thinking, “well mages are supposed to use magic,” which is all well and fine, but this game limits your magic to the extreme. Instead of having mana or MP or anything like that, they give you spell levels. Each mage can learn three spells per level, and each level has its own set of charges. So say my black mage knows fire, lightning and some debuff spell, each a level 2 spell. By the time you buy these spells, you probably have about three charges for this spell level, meaning you can only use any of these spells 3 times. And not three times each, mind you…if you use fire, your charge drops to 2, then if you use lightning, it drops to 1, etc.

So basically you have to save your spells for really tight situations. The higher your level, the more charges you can gain, but that’s useless. The most charges you can get is 9 for each spell level.But by the time you get a decent amount of charges, those spells have no relevance anymore, meaning they are all too weak against enemies now, so why would you ever use any of those spells? My point is, your useful spells will always be limited to 2-4 charges before you and the enemies outgrow their effectiveness.ff-char

So yeah, all the characters are just there to inconvenience you. The tempting route is to just let the useless ones die and let the warrior soak up all the experience. He hardly ever takes more than 2 damage, so he is just a killing machine. But you want your other party members to level, so you do all you can to keep them alive, which is more annoying than it needs to be.

Healing is so stupid in this game. My white mage has all sorts of healing spells, but again the charges are so limited they aren’t very helpful, and even when you do use them, they only heal like a fifth of your HP. Your main way of healing is potions. But here’s the kicker. The potions only heal like 15-30 hp, and when your party has 300-600 HP and each battle the useless ones stand to lose 50-150, you have to use an awful lot of potions. So you have to constantly spend around 3,000-5,000 gil (the currency) to restock potions. Having 99 at all times is a must, for it takes 10-15 potions to bring the HP up of a severely damaged character. And you can never buy any more potent potions either. It’s always those. No high potions or super potions or anything like that. What a bunch of crap!

And speaking of potions, you better stock up on a crap ton of antidotes too, because like all old rpg’s, this game loves poison. I would venture to say that at least 60% of the enemies in the game can poison you. And the only way to cure poison is with antidotes. It is so annoying. And what’s worse…antidotes cost much more than potions, though I only usually carry around 25 with me at all times, so buying as many is not required.

Going back to annoying things about battling is the turn order. It seems to be completely random, but I swear it works to your disadvantage all the time. If you are fighting a big group of enemies, (6-9) you will more than likely need to cast a spell to do a lot of damage to them quickly. But your caster will likely go last, so if he is the target by most of the enemies he will die, leaving you with a much longer battle. Or even if he doesn’t die, it’s annoying to watch all the enemies attack you while you wait for your most important attacks to go off. Not to mention you might kill an enemy or two, making you feel like you wasted your precious spell charge. The warrior and his one shot will almost always go last too.

What is annoying is I swear the enemies you target will attack before the ones you don’t. Most of the time, I will select my targets. The ones I selected will all “happen” to attack first. Then my party will go and kill the ones that just attacked. Then all the remaining enemies attack me. What the hell? Why can’t I ever get lucky and kill an enemy before it attacks! The game cheats in that way. And what’s more. When the enemies finish out a round, you think “Oh, good, my guys will go now and finish them off.” Nope. More often than not, the enemies will attack twice in a row, once at the end of the last round, and once in the beginning of the next round, just to sneak in that last attack before they die. What bull crap!

The damage you receive is random as all hell to. I know it is supposed to be, since its an rpg and all, but this takes it to a whole new level. Like I said, my warrior will generally take 2 damage, and my other guys about 30-60 in your average fight from one hit. You start to rely on that formula to know when you heal or not, but then eventually it just will throw you for a loop. My warrior will randomly take 50 damage and the others over 100! And that isn’t even when the enemies land critical hits either. It just randomly will devastate you with the same attack that barely hurt you last round.

Another annoying thing are “enemy first strikes” which means all of them will go in advance before you can even input your commands. This happens in many rpgs and that’s fine, but it happens wayyyyyyy t0o often. I would say once every five fights or so. And it seems like forever when a group of 9 enemies gets first strike. On more than once occasion, I ran into enemy first strikes three times in a row!

There are preemptive strikes where your party can attack in advance, but that only happens about once every 20 fights. Fair, right? And the best part is there are instant death traps that take advantage of the enemy first strikes. You will be walking along a dungeon and a random encounter will occur with enemy first strike. Then they will all use instant death moves and it’s game over. Just like that, there is nothing you can do about it. What is the point of that? It doesn’t add to the challenge and improve upon the game in anyway. It makes you just want to quit the game because it’s so cheap, pointless and just a waste of time! Thus with this always being a threat you have to “memo save” which is just a temporary save for you to restart at if you die, after every battle. How annoying is that?

And when a party member dies, the only way to revive them is to bring them to a town with a church and pay a butt load of gil to revive them. The white mage can eventually learn a revive spell, but if she’s the one who dies, you’re screwed. And you’ll want to save all the charges for the revive, so using any other spell on that level is out of the question.

ff-party-dead

If you’re in a dungeon and the white mage dies, now you have to make your way out to get to a town, fighting enemies every five steps. You don’t have enough HP to fight everything and you want to get out as fast as possible, so you start running from every fight. This tactic will lead to all your party dying except the warrior, who is too slow to run from fights. So you will sit, having to solo fight every enemy that comes along, killing them one by one. This is really fun when fighting 9 enemies, just having to wait for 9 attacks, before killing one guy, then waiting for 8 attacks and so on. You just want to die so you can restart at your memo save, but it is just faster to fight and make your way back than to wait for something to kill you, for when you have 400 HP, and they take away 1-2, it takes a long time. But even if you do run, you end up dying like right in front of a town anyway. It’s really great.

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And what is really terrifying to think about is that I guarantee the memo save is a feature added to the PS version of the game, meaning the original is probably nearly impossible to beat unless you grind the fudge out of every dungeon and have an enormous amount of patience.

“UPDATE”

I learned that you can press L1, L2, R1, R2, Start and Select to reset the game in a way where you don’t lose your memo save. This improves things slightly. SLIGHTLY!!!

Eventually, my thief became somewhat useful, and by the end of the game, he is almost as good as the warrior, but the other two suck unless I need them to perform a spell. But as I said, you are so limited to how many times you can use them that you will do everything in your power not to use a spell. You get to upgrade your character classes, which other than making them all look cooler and allowing the thief to equip heavier armor, more or less does nothing at all.

But those are my beefs with this game so far. Thankfully, I have finally beaten it. Honestly, it is not the worst game out there, but boy is it annoying, and stupid, and bad. I can’t believe this trash is what spawned the biggest franchise in video game history.

Here’s to hoping the second one is a vast improvement. Though I am doing nothing but dreading it right now…

ff-boss