Five hours turned seven
By spinning blades, balance beams
But fun none the less
Last night about 1:30am, I beat "God of War" by SCEA. Overall, I found it to be a very fun, visceral experience. The team wanted to make a game that was all about combat, and they succeeded.
My biggest issues with the game were the button pop-up portions of battles ("Okay, I want to throw this guy now...oh, shit, he had a circle over him...now I have to hit these damn buttons as they pop up or I lose my combo and get damaged."), the balance beam portions ("Step, step, fall, X, X, X, X, X, X, step, step, fall, X, X, X, X, X, X...") and the spinning blade puzzles in Hades.
The spinning blade puzzles in Hades deserve some special comments, as those three segments took two hours of my time. I'm at a loss to describe the frustration involved in these sections.
First off, the horizontal spinning blade section is one of the first areas where you are essentially required to jump towards the camera, so you have't acquired a way to gauge your jumps from far to near yet.
Second, most small hits by the horizontal spinning blades were instant death. ("Ouch, I jumped against the flat side of the blade...for some reason, the flat side of the blade is making me spew blood like an anime character with high blood pressure...oh, the recovery time made me fall to my doom...restart from last checkpoint...repeat thirty times.")
Third, you get to the vertical pillars, and the only way to advance is to know that you can jump up faster than you can climb up, although that particular piece of information is never taught to the player.
Fourth, the blades on the vertical pillars were often just close enough that a vertical jump would cause you to hit a blade, fall down, possibly juggle between three or four different blades, and smash the ground, forcing you to start over....thirty times or so.
Fifth, when you finally get past the vertical pillar, you beat up some guys and then you have to do another pillar with blades!!! I don't swear all that often, but when I saw the second set, I screamed at the television, "You have got to be fuckin' kidding me!"
So, while I loved the game, if I ever get the chance to meet David Jaffe, there is a very high likelihood that I'm going to kick him in the crotch and say, "That's for the spinning blades, asshat!"