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<p>In the PlayStation 2 classic God Of War, we are told the mighty Spartan warrior Kratos served the gods of Olympus for 10 years. Now gamers have a chance to not only learn about some of the legendary battles fought during that time - they get to play them!</p>








God Of War: Chains Of Olympus



Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment



Platforms: PSP



Rating: M - Mature



Game type: Action



Rating: ***** (out of five)





What's the premise?


In the PlayStation 2 classic God Of War, we are told the mighty Spartan warrior Kratos served the gods of Olympus for 10 years. Now gamers have a chance to not only learn about some of the legendary battles fought during that time - they get to play them!





This visually stunning prequel to the bestselling God Of War and God Of War II sees Kratos battle more beasts, more gods and countless warriors - all in the palm of your hand on the PSP.





This game is most similar to…?


God Of War, God Of War II





Is it suitable for younger gamers?


Giant, fire-breathing monsters to freak them out, enough blood to fill several Olympic-sized swimming pools and more wanton violence than any kids' little mind can probably handle make this game's "M" rating seem just about right.





One player or more?


The only thing close to multi-player action is when Kratos enjoys his now-obligatory mid-siege tryst with a pair of nubile young servants.





The (not-so) secret to success is…?


On top of the always-impressive dual chain-flame Blades of Chaos that Kratos wields, he also acquires a few magic powers along the way in this game. Using them wisely will help you get out of some rather hairy situations a lot easier.





What's missing?


Some kind of salve to treat sore thumbs after playing this game for hours and hours and hours.





And in the end?


It may not be the true third chapter of God Of War that gamers are eagerly awaiting, but Chain of Olympus is as instantly addictive as its PS2 predecessors and it is probably the single best game so far for PSP.









Super Smash Bros. Brawl



Publisher: Nintendo



Platforms: Wii



Rating: T - Teen



Game type: Fighting



Rating: ***** (out of five)





What's the premise?


The most highly anticipated Wii game of 2008 is finally here! Super Smash Bros Brawl pits up to 35 different characters - ranging from Mario to Pikachu to Kirby, Sonic The Hedgehog, Link, Solid Snake and more - against one another in wild combat action.





This game is most similar to…?


Super Smash Bros Melee for GameCube





Is it suitable for younger gamers?


The violence in SSBB isn't over the top or gory, but it is pervasive. It's up to you to decide if letting your kid use Bowzer to wail on a Nintendog is going to lead to problems down the road.





One player or more?


SSBB has a fun one-player campaign mode that lets you play a variety of characters and, of course, you can play through combat tournaments by yourself, but this game is really one of the most fun social games released for the Wii so far (and that's saying something considering the plethora of titles on the market). The ability to take the action online takes it up to an even higher level of awesomeness.





The (not-so) secret to success is…?


Try lots of characters, shake, bang and point that Wii-mote to see what they can do and you'll be fine. Oh, and grab the hammers whenever they show up. They're kick-ass.





What's missing?


Ummmm… Yoda and Darth Vader? No, wait, that's another game. My bad.





And in the end?


Buy Super Smash Bros Brawl, invite over some friends and let the good times (and Pikachu's little yellow head) roll.









Endless Ocean



Publisher: Nintendo



Platforms: Wii



Rating: E - Everyone



Game type: Adventure



Rating: *** 1/2 (out of five)





What's the premise?


It's time to kick back and let the soothing sounds of the sea relax you as you take a leisurely trip around coral reefs and make friends with the fishies in Endless Ocean. Basically, all you have to do is travel from one idyllic underwater scene to the next, completing missions like finding a certain fish or locating an item. Yes, it's that laid back.





This game is most similar to…?


Flight Simulator (but with fish). And please note I didn't take the easy Ecco The Dolphin joke here.





Is it suitable for younger gamers?


I thought my four-year-old son would love Endless Ocean and it's simple-to-follow controls, however I discovered that he found it too slow paced and he got bored of it rather fast.





One player or more?


You can visit your friends' boats (and have them visit yours) by using the Wi-Fi Gate connection.





The (not-so) secret to success is…?


Dive. Swim. Look at fish. Swim some more. Look at different fish. Swim again. Feed a fish. Return to boat. Repeat.





What's missing?


Sunken treasure? Pirates? Harpoon guns? Sharks the size of school buses?





And in the end?


If what you're looking for is a game to chillax to, Endless Ocean is a nice fit. Otherwise it might just put you to sleep.




jonathan.kuehlein@metronews.ca

 
 
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