We’ve been picking our way through God of War III again lately and we’ve been finding that our love for Kratos killing shit has waned in a precipitous fashion. This has nothing to do with our wife insisting on calling it Gow (rhymes with cow), G of W (like the mathematical notation), or just War (like the thing the armed forces engage in).
No, our wife’s attempts to inject some comic relief into Kratos’ terrible, rage-filled life have nothing to do with this. After some pondering, we have reached a conclusion. It might have something to do with this:
This is a photo, taken with our cell phone, of the All Clear screen we were rewarded with upon besting Ninja Gaiden Sigma‘s Master Ninja mode. It says we completed it in about 12 hours, but it really should be 16 hours with all the dying.
Anyways, the point is that Ninja Gaiden Sigma is really fast and complicated, with myriad weapons, moves and tactics that are useful in different situations. All of the weapons, moves and tactics are Different. That’s important. God of War III is slow and simple, with 4 weapons that are pretty much The Same. There are differences between the weapons, but they’re little more than cosmetic with some slight changes in speed and strength. There is one really good combo with each weapon, and all the others are just Cool Looking.
All God of War III has is violence. The violence is awesome and excessive and hilarious. Like that one time when you rip a titan’s fingernail off. Or that time you tear a cyclops’ eye out and watch the optical nerve snap. Maybe the part where Kratos pokes the camera’s (your) eyes out with his thumbs was your favorite.
Violence is cool, but violence does not awesome time make, friends. There’s violence in Ninja Gaiden Sigma, but it’s not the star of the show. The player is choreographing and reacting to it constantly, and the player’s tactics are the star. In other words, the player has Agency.
See? Ninja Gaiden can be violent too.
In God of War III, the player is constantly trying to damage the enemies into a Grabbable State, at which time you can initiate an ultra violent mini game. It’s the same cycle over and over again for every fight. Every cool enemy Kratos meets will simply be felled by pushing circle and and then two other buttons in a sequence. There’s just no choice! Since all of the weapons are so similar, you might as well just be using the same ones the whole time.
We used to like God of War so much too. So we’re going to try to give it a couple of months and then come back to it and see if it “speeds up” a bit. Ninja Gaiden Sigma was just so good you guys.
So that’s our sad song about video games for the week. Feel bad for us and keep us in your thoughts and prayers.