What happens when a Greek demigod with an African-American accent gets pissed off at half of the Olympus?
In a word, the methodical slaughter of each and every Greek Deity of the Pantheon and the annihilation of the heavens!
It took me a long time to get myself motivated to play any of the God of War games. I always thought Kratos looked and sounded too much like a modern-day character who happened to be stuck in antiquity. But you know what?
After playing the trilogy as well as the PSP opus, I can honestly say that he is one of the most charismatic characters to ever land into a videogame series.
Compared to other videogames badasses out there, Kratos simply belongs to another league of ruthlessness. If you take Halo’s Master Chief for instance, he is supposed to be the ultimate space marine killing machine but compared to Kratos, he looks plain and devoid of personality. The reason?
Master Chief ‘s face is hidden behind a full helmet while Kratos is not. You can actually see Kratos strong facial features and the fiery expression of his eyes, burning with rage and anger. He really looks like a captive beast: pissed, brutal, and relentless. No doubts he would simply make burgers out of poor old Master Chief!
Compared to other Sword & Sorcery characters such as for example my all time favorite barbarian Conan, I must admit that Kratos comes out as being even more violent and more deranged. He is so focused on his revenge that he would do anything to achieve it which includes using bodies of men who are still alive in the most gruesome ways to serve his purpose. How about dumping some poor soul into huge gears to jam the mechanism and see the man grinded in the process, or sacrifice another one by arson in order to unlock a door. Or how about smashing the heads of translators against a lectern after they have forcefully done their translating job?
Kratos is the ultimate anti-hero, he is cruel and has no sense of morality or ethics for that matter. When a man rid himself of the invisible chains of ethics and morality, he basically murders religion. Killing the gods and what they represent can result in only one thing: the destruction of the established order and the ascension of man from a prostrating beast to an ego-centered deity. Kratos could indeed be perceived as the embodiment of Zarathustra’s "Übermensch" (or the “over-human”), a man transcending his own nature to replace the gods themselves...
Time for a big retro update! Playing PS3 games didn't make me forget there's always something new to discover within retrogaming. In this case, let's travel back to circa 1984, when the revolutionary Palcom PX-7 MSX1 computer was released. This surprising machine could be connected to a number of Laserdisc players and control them. This means that a few interesting games were developed specifically for the Palcom MSX + Laserdisc player combo. What is truely amazing is that this system came out between the fall of the Atari 2600 and the rise of the NES, and the games were light years away in terms of graphics or music compared to anything else available for home use back then. Why only a handful of games were developed for it before it disappeared in the tides of time is rather simply explained: the steep price to acquire a full set-up!
My current set-up includes a Japanese Palcom MSX PX-V60 (top) which is a compatible evolution of the Palcom MSX PX-7 and an american Pioneer LD-700, which is one of the Palcom-compatible Laserdisc players available. From left to right Strike Mission, StarFighters, InterStellar, Rolling Blaster, Esh's Aurunmilla, Astron Belt, Badlands, Cosmos Circuit.
I was finally able to get a hold of the elusive Nec Pac N-1 module, which is a cool add-on unit for the LaserActive. It allows the unit to read Hucards, Pc Engine CDs and LD-Rom2. LD-Rom2 are laserdiscs specifically developed for the Nec Pac module.
This is my current set up. The Sega Pac with its branded LaserActive controller is sitting on top of the unit, while the Nec Pac is inside the CLD-A100 unit itself. I tested it with a US Turbo Duo pad first, but controls didn't work, so I had to switch to a Japanese Super Grafx controller instead to get things going. On the side of the unit, two LD-ROM2 (Vajra on the left side and Vajra 2 on the right side) and 3 Mega LDs on the back (from left to right, Space Berserker, Hyperion and Triad Stone).