Sailing the Blue Skies since 2001.
God of War (PS2)
David Jaffe's game to let players "lose it" is a shining example of how key gameplay is to the overall experience of a game. Kratos is perfectly designed in terms of control. His actions occur when directed, look absolutely awesome to watch, and the combo system is delightfully fun. The character himself is very intriguing, and is certainly among the greatest antiheroes in gaming (if not THE greatest). The exceptional voice work, gripping cutscenes and stirring narrative tie up the excellent gameplay into a tour de force of gaming. The musical score is fitting and well orchestrated, and the game's graphics stand as some of the best the PS2 can do. The designers at Sony Santa Monica took the core concept behind Capcom's Devil May Cry and improved upon every facet, making it the premiere 3D action/platformer for the PS2, if not in gaming history.
A few flaws do trip up Kratos' first quest, though. Sometimes the camera works against you, which doesn't help when surrounded by a large group of foes. The paltry amount of boss fights make you hunger for more (only three! *sigh*). The last part of the final boss battle is kind of cheap. Hades is a little frustrating in its level design, especially the rotating spiky columns of hell you have to climb up near the end. And they really shouldn't have designed the Oracle's model in two different ways, one for the cutscene and one for the game. It's jarring to go back and forth between the two. That being said, this is a great game that will easily entertain you. It's a thrill to fight enemies (hear that, UBI Soft?) the puzzles are mostly well executed, and the RE4-esque action commands are perfectly suited for the game. I'm looking forward to God of War 2. ^_^