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May 22 2012
By: GodModeGOD Treasure Hunter 5628 posts
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GoW:A SP ideas

74 replies 12485 views Edited May 22, 2012

You're all free to denote ideas for the SP (bosses, weapons, etc.) here.  I'll do as much myself in time.  For the moment, I'll stop to evaluate some pros/cons of the various GoW games (only lightly touching on story, graphics, sound, etc. and mostly focusing on gameplay, replayability, etc.).

Ascension suggestions *WIP*

Collisions:

-Take the GoWIII system (wall/object collisions, knockback colliions, full, half *three cases*, etc.) and give it the GoW1/GoWII inverse scaling with Armor.  If there is a move like Battering Ram again, make it (and only it) static.  Simple.

Petrification:

-Partial petrification is a bit much to be honest.  Stare harming statues was also a bit odd, but slightly more acceptable.  I'd allow the latter again, but the former seems destined to come at the cost of having the spell for us to use freely at all (because it would be way too good or force crippling of the spell).  Item versions are a pain to draft up.  I'd rather not have to resort of a possession.  What is desired is simply a spell.  I'm unsure if magic tied to weapons is intended again, but there is a certain case Stheno's powers could be attached to if not just taken through her head being collected (as is desired).  Regarding the system, the GoWII system was pretty much perfect (as I've said and detailed down below).

Friendly Fire:

-Mounting beasts to use them against allies and petrification aside, it is nice when enemy attacks can hit (at least moving) their allies.  Even if the damage were to be reduced, it would still be neat.  Maybe have only certain attacks have the property.

Ring-out:

-Let's try not spamming the invisible walls or making them monstrously high.  If the player falls to their death, that's on them.  If the monsters fall to their death, sucks to be them.  Leaving the option to use this instant kill for the more clever players (not looking to chip things out again and again) is desired.

Enviro:

-GoW1 had lots of traps and they weren't unwelcome.  GoWIII expanded use of pots into this area (oil pots for explosives, ramming in general, etc.).  We always tend to have some environmental edge...but I just want to make clear that always locking us in and spamming featureless arenas (with lots of respawns) would be highly upsetting conduct.

Navigation:

-I don't see 'ropes' coming back even though we're in the past and aren't nearly the same Kratos who would swing around on his own weapon.  If they do, I won't mind it.  That and beams to mess with people who can't navigate them (GoW being forgiving with the grabbing of them).  Rolling platforms too (plenty in GoW1).  Quick movement options are all a must though.  I'm not at all thrilled about this Uncharted navigation talk if it means no wall/ceiling combat.  GoWIII had the wall combat down, but it just didn't set up much of anything to do with the work done.  Ceiling still needed maybe a bit more work though.  Swimming could use the grab (and things to use it on) along with some of the positive attention from GoW1 and GoS.  As for underwater combat, I don't know that I'd want to even dare let anyone try to make it.  There has yet to be an Action game (or much of any) where this was a good idea *but then there are other places where this note of caution applies*.  Icarus Vent/Pegasus like bits are fine, but have to be carefully handled.

Puzzles:

-Rapid moving and turning of boxes was highly convenient, but not so much the kick push being nerfed.  Again, collisions added made for a nice touch.  Again, I cite Catherine as a more recent puzzle game with boxes galore.  Other than that, there isn't much I can say beyond cautioning about some of the past puzzles and how they are felt about in past entries.  Would be nice if one didn't have to do them in repeat playthroughs over and over again even if it meant using EXP just to skip them.  Some might suggest chapter selects (at savepoints/checkpoints).  All fine for NG+, yes?

Armor:

-Shield bearing foes are desired, but not a substance only one weapon can damage.  Having one tool able to completely destroy the stuff with ease is fine, but the others should be able to manage it too, but only with certain moves and such.  If we lake a 'bane' (nice as it was), we could just go back to heavier hits able to chip at the armor if not the really big ones shattering it in a hurry.  Light moves glancing harmlessly or even opening us up (bouncing off like a parry).  A 'phalanx' among said shield users (if Group AI is initiated) would be good.

Aside from this, the same sort of system would be nice for larger foes (spicing them up).  Enforcers desperately need it.  Maybe even destruction of their 'ball arm' as an option if hits are well placed.  Less necessary would be 'covered' Cyclops,  but having that would be justification for the difference in HP being small beyond this advantage they enjoy.  A 'large' Minotaur (CoO/GoS) design isn't bad at all.  A blend of CoO and GoS would be fine (difficult to block or unblockable melee with reversable grab).  But we'll get into all that later.  To note it, Skorpius was not a fine case for a boss with this property (Onyx or otherwise).

Weapons:

NOTE: Besides returning favorites via DLC, possessions, etc., I'd have to think on what to say here.  We've already heard talk of the Hammer and Sword with a 'Spear' shown.  All very GoWII with room for DLC to make them those very weapons (with improvements).  Hopefully not losing the best elements of each.  That would be truly upsetting.  If I operate on the idea that weapons dictate spells still, I can make weapons based on that.  Going the other way, just making them to make them.  I'll get back to this.  At any rate, some moves not altered by Power % *usually specials* would be good.  Piercing Shards and Divine Retribution are the all-star examples of this done right.

-(Stheno's Claws) We've had plenty of slower and heavier hitting 'fist' weapons, but not so much in the way of fast and furious cases.  I appreciate that it wouldn't be very Kratos to treat these too much like Falcon Talons with Ryu (especially the kicks), but there is merit to it.  Being more like what is done in Wolverine Origins would be good (lunging moves into option select *not unlike HC for mounts or the notion of combat grappling* is the most desired special).  Rather than held inputs for charged strikes (busting armor/stuns), held inputs could be used for flurries not too unlike Odette (Bayonetta).  In GoW terms this would be more like Nemesis Whips I suppose (just shorter range to justify slightly more power).  Realy though, this exists for the case where it needs to in order to have the spell attached to it.  Still, it would not be an unwelcomed sight.

-()

Spells:

NOTE: Again, depends on if these are attached to weapons, if we have 'items', etc.  Suggestions from older threads by myself and others might get dropped later.  None of these should be altered by Power %.

-(Stheno's Head) Just make "Euryale's Head" exactly as it was and you would have it pretty well nailed.  For improvements, you can see about making "Gorgon Blast" (tap circle) less crappy be it through larger area of effect, higher potency, homing *like all enemy versions of this* or even just being cheaper.  I-frames are welcomed along with the cancels.  EH with the GoWII system for foe resistance, shakeout time and statue HP really was a solid showcase.

-()

Items:

NOTE: I really liked this system.  Another 'bow' wouldn't be unwelcome, but perhaps go with a slower, heavier case like a Greatbow with huge arrows (costs more).  Adding a penalty of varying lenght (depends on difficulty setting) for fully depleting the bar would be good.  The Force Unleashed way of handling "the force" was good.  Anything that went beyond the meter (past 0 units remaining) went towards filling another meter that took longer to drain than the flipside took to charge.  While it was beneath zero units, you obviously couldn't use it.  One could still fire a volley of light shots of this and that, but would want to beware going beyond the limit or risk it taking longer to get the stuff back (especially if a costly case was used when near empty).  Though there is the matter of using really expensive cases at only 1 unit remaining.  Probably better to use the old system and punish going to 0 at all by making it delay the regeneration start a few seconds.

-(Artemis Bow) Like her oversized Blade, might as well have an oversized bow.  Perhaps silver (or gold).  I forget the color.  Huge shots causing light stun and if fully charged trampling with knockback.  Damage still wouldn't need to be all that high.  Of course, it could also ape Typhon's Bane for Charged Wind Blast for a homing volley blowing foes away (dealing amazing damage on combined targets, but just meh for others *distraction*).  One function for the Apollo case *to the devs* was keeping combos going, but combos just aren't too important in GoW.  The long range utility of it was better (with a regenerating fuel source).

-()

Relics:

-(Stheno's Wings) We've yet to have a Gorgon playing it closer to the description in myth with the bronze/golden wings and claws.  A fine time to do so.  Using basically every part of the kill this time (Native American Kratos).  Functionally the same as Icarus Wings so as to allow the glide, ground/air special and maybe attach the air evade with (R) to it *from the Boots of Hermes*.  If need be, make it so that lvl2 (upgrading it) is necessary to get the specials and air evade.  It would be well worth the investment.

-(Aegis) We lack the fleece.  Besides the Aegis also having a Gorgon Head (Medusa) in myth, it was sometimes a shield (rather than a breastplate).  One that would be more than capable in the art of not only parrying, but counter attacks and returning stare.  Maybe even allowing blocking on the go as with the AoS.  I'd accept having to upgrade it for the option to use counter attacks.  Hell, I'd level it again (lvl3) to have the CoO 360 stun of nearby targets while counting as a 0 damage hit to all in range.  That was a great perk deserving of the investment.  I suppose there isn't too much need of a mobile block without a flame/ice wave puzzle to solve though.  It would just sort of be an extra that you could maybe get as an upgrade perk or something silly.

-(?) Something for swimming obviously.

-()

Collectibles (including Possessions/Urns):

-Aside from replenishment chest (MP, HP and RP), mixed chests (MP, HP, RP and EXP), EXP chests, mega/Uber EXP chests, hidden keys, collectibles (Urns/Possessions) and Gift chests (full extensions in one location), I should perhaps cover some basic wants of the Possessions.  Not all of them have to be hidden in the world.  Some can be earned through the challenge modes, getting Plat, special feats (No Upgrade Run), bought in the likes of "Temple of Zeus", etc.  These are means to modify the game a bit to suit yourself once you've found/earned them and are simply having a go.  Not all need be benefits though.  Hell, they don't even need to have special names and icons.  Just give us the effects to turn on/off in the menu for them.

-(Ambrosia) Infinite HP/full refill.  Because no trophies when these are active anyway, right?  Alterneative being passive life regeneration if that flavor suits people better (when not being struck).  The named object to get is designed to grant immortality though.

-(?) Infinite Magic.

-(?) Infinite 'rage' *assuming there is one*

-(?) Infinite 'item' meter *assuming it or some equivalent returns*

-(?) Draining HP *like Chalice*

-(?) Critical Life *like Bayonetta*.  No matter how strong a damage dealing hit is, it can only take you to 1HP.  When at 1HP, you can be killed.  2HP just leads back to 1HP.

-(?) Zero *Bayonetta.  Any hit you take brings you to 1HP.  Combined with the other element of Bayonetta, you have an amusing case where 1HP is scary business and anything above it is just a glancing blow away from near death.  It's just amusing that even a tiny HP orb with even crap for orb worth would be enough to get to 2HP so as to insulate from the next hit.

-(?) 1-hit-kill foes.  Combined with nearly being one-shot ourselves in other cases, this makes for Heaven Or Hell.

-(?) Immune to petrification.

-(?) Petrification stack per hit with weapons *maybe relics too* as in GoWII.

-(?) Instant QTE win *as in GoS and GoWIII*.

-(?) Reveal enemy life bars, life values, damage done (by our weapons and theirs), etc.  Like something out of an RPG.

-(?) Insane collision damage.  In the unfortunate case where it is decided that collisions are to remain static on all settings (or in a very foolish move, they are to be made weaker than GoWIII), this would remedy it for those that liked it.  Simply use the values for full (50), half (25/0, 25/25, 0/25 *agent/target respectively) and wall/object (1 damage could be raised to 5 damage in my opinion).  Basically, how it would normally be on VH (20% Armor) rather than asking for something like what you would get in GoW1 or GoWII with worse stats (10% or even 5% being 100/50 and 200/100 respectively *for full/half*).

-(?) As another challenge, one could opt to turn on 'Enemy Grabs scale with Armor %'.  When our Armor % is high, their grabs are weaker.  When low, they are higher *like in GoS*.  This should NEVER be the default.  I'd take a possession that cancels that noise out.

-(?) For a flip to this, a case that makes our Grabs scale with Power % (stronger hits make grabs stronger) if not making them stronger by some modifier like 2x or so.  Again, this should never be the default.  Just something amusing to opt in for.

-(?) Spells affected by Power % is, again, the stuff of possessions (or even costumes) rather than something the settings should naturally alter at all as done in CoO and GoS *GoWIII meddled in this with Nemean Roar and GoWII with AQ*.  Spell effectiveness should remain static outside opting to let it be otherwise so when you are weak, they are weak and vice versa.  Alterantively, just allow a possession that adds a modifier like 2x or so.

-(?) Offscreen attacks enabled.  Just because it would be funny *just not as the norm*.

-(?) I-frames disabled.  Same thing.

-(?)

Camera:

-GoW1 and GoWII pretty well handled this.  No off-screen attacks and rarely obscured vision.  GoS was really bad about this.  Light testing should show when one is getting hit from attacks the player couldn't even see (or hear for that matter *cues*).

Targeting:

-Can't stress this enough.  It's fine that when there are MANY foes for attacks like t0 and t3 to stray a bit though it would be preferred that they didn't pick priority (all left up to the player's control), but the antics with grab (OS) moving away from where indicated with (L) towards a 'higher priority' target who cannot be grabbed or even negating a foe right in front to reach through towards one that will repel us?  That's not good at all.  Frustrating to say the very least.  Using (R) to toggle grab targets is fine, but using (L) to fine tune them would also be desired as sometimes I don't want to toss at the only other guy in the room or it might not go where I want quickly enough when toggling if there are a lot of guys.  Much testing is needed in this area.

Enemies:

-(Argus) Dropped GoWIII boss.

-(Upper Pandora's Guardian) Dropped GoW1 boss.  Giant Harpy as in the video/art.

-(Stheno) Final Gorgon sister as a boss to claim her head *at the very least*.  Potentially her bronze claws and bronze wings too (for other purposes).

-()

Percentiles:

-GoWII's approach remains the best:

Easy - 200% all, 25% cheaper spells, 25% slower drain of rage, less aggressive foes

Normal - 100% all *default*

Hard - 100% Power, 40% Armor, 75% HP/MP/RP orb worth, 100% EXP, more aggressive foes in general

Very Hard - 75% Power, 20% Armor, 25% HP/MP/RP orb worth, 75% EXP, very aggressive foes

NOTE: I'm not going to go and ask for something like alternate foe layout on Easy, Normal/Hard and Very Hard as in Vanquish/Bayonetta.  That would be neat, but MP is distracting from the SP enough already (though this would be specifically for the SP).

Guides (falling apart, correct info, covering unexplained bits, values/percentiles given, etc.):

-Having at least the spell cost/damage gives me a leg-up on the testing of values for weapons *because only FuturePress seems interested in giving those*.  Beastiary with pictures isn't a tall order nor HP values and the exact values for ob drops and resistances.  Been done before.  Listing attack names would be swell (GoS), though I wouldn't expect Brady or Prima to list actual tactics of note, denote cues regarding the enemy attack options, etc.  That's FP territory and they don't distribute the product well (and close to launch), so I don't suppose they would ever get the blessing *pity*.  Besides the Beastiary and spell coverage, costume and difficulty settings should have their percentiles.  This is the bare minimum I'd expect/ask really.  Besides, preferably, the binding not being of such pathetic quality that it falls apart straight away with even gentle care *GoWII guide by Brady*.  Said guide wasn't bad at all by standards of guides.  Very good actually.  It just wasn't made of sturdy stuff.

Extra videos:

-The usual is fine (making of and the like).

Aside from videos, having a section that lists enemy HP and other stats *like the guide would*, tiny bits of lore/history, etc. wouldn't be unwelcomed along with looking at their models (rotating them around and such).  Bayonetta did some of this.  You all have the exact values for the damage they can do, their resistance, breakout times, amount of HP before they reach "O", what state they are in before they get grabbed, defense options, attack types, etc.  The guides hardly cover a fraction of it.

Challenges:

NOTE: Having some unlocked via beating the others, bought in some store, DLC or whatever is fine *DLC being unsavory as an extra that can't even be obtained until way later*.  Just keep making them.  I'll list some of the usual suspects later aside from maybe making some tougher suggestions.

-Don't get Hit.  We tend to get one like this.

-Destroy a bunch of crap spread throughout the level.

-

Arena:

-It needs expanding.  Being able to pick a good number of each non-boss foe is nice along with three slots (even using the same foe x1 or so again).  GoS expanded in allowing for the option to make a foe invincibile rather than just at full HP.   A 'timer' was a feature removed before the finished version.  I'd like this back for a timer or stopwatch.

A 'clock' is wanted for some custom challenges if we cannot make/upload our own to share/download on the network (and rate).  I'm fine with lacking the online component (all of them *even leaderboards and especially MP*), but I'd like to be able to tell people the foes, time restrictions, etc. and have them give them a whirl if they so choose.

GoS also allowed for picking the costume.  Infinite MP, HP and RP is desired along with 100 or 200 units (MIN or MAX if not 100, 125, 150, 175, 200).  Again, possessions can cover some of this, but one without them wouldn't know that.  I'd like Arena to allow the option to revert weapons if I so chose (maybe I don't want MAX weapons and want to test with the base power).  GoWII let me have lvl1 SoD or upgrade it if I wanted something more.  I'd like that aspect back.

Regarding arenas, one with huge walls is fine, but all of them blocking ring-outs?  Just silly.  Make at least one with a cliff or lava around the borders.  Maybe one with water we can swim/hide in.  Perhaps spike traps, flamespouts, etc. along the walls of the high walls design.  Make them interesting or give us the means to make them as such.

Picking where to spawn enemies in relation ot the arena would also be nice.  Having control over their respawn (yes/no) is good, but also how much they respawn if not making a spawn pool that changes to different enemies *asking too much I'm sure*.  Turning on/off their attack was a fine option from the start *when it worked that is*.  Same for turning off their 'defense' option *hasn't been done yet*.  We certainly can't go into a training mode that teaches about various mechanics, lets you command enemies to do only a certain move to practice against, etc.

If anywhere should have damage values on display, it should be the Arena.  That's the ideal place to do testing afterall.  It wouldn't even need a fancy RPG display telling you how much damage an attack did to you or the foe (popping up on impact).  Just note it on the bottom like in fighters.  I can easily do the rest (recording the findings, testing for changes on settings, etc.).  Testing for values sucks, but I really like having that info to work with.

A 'dark' map is fine too.  Thus far we've mostly been stuck with featureless circular arenas with nothing to do with them for advantages.  Even the DLC levels are just for a different background really.  Even a very plain looking level with more interesting combat potential would be vastly preferred to a bunch of pretty trees and such that don't have any barring on the fighting to be done.

Costumes:

NOTE: I'd rather simple 'joke' costumes take a backseat.  No 'X of War' silliness, please.  At least tackle some of the more desirable 'serious' cases first.  Some of the requested would be small changes from the main model anyway (not asking much at all).

-(Blue Kratos) as seen here:

http://img150.imageshack.us/img150/4826/littlerfc2.jpg

Regarding stats, I don't really need anything special as I prefer to think of it as an alternative default so 100% in all fields is perfectly fine as I'd rather have the option to use it for challenge runs than the the default.  Normally we force the default costume so as to have everyone on the same page.  Thus why I'd want it to be completely the same as the normal one instead of asking for worse/better stats.  I'd be okay with earning it beyond merely paying.  I'd do both to have it precisely as shown in this concept art (not just a pallete swap or some altered version of it *like Morpheus Armor happening to be blue*).

-(Captain Kratos) 'Dominus Armor' on young Kratos without the ashes. 25% Power/Armor, 12.5% HP/MP/RP orb worth, 1000% EXP worth.

-(General Kratos) Exactly as in GoWII *regarding appearance and stats*.  Again, if collisions are static, costumes with low Armor % should defy this to make the stronger if not a possession doing it.

-(God Armor) Because we've yet to have it in a PS3 GoW title.  Vanilla 200% stats is perfectly fine though he should be leagues better than the rest.

-(Fallen God) GoWII and GoWIII Kratos with the remnants of his God Armor.  Not asking much to let us parade around in this.  I don't exaclty see this as needing much of any altered stats.  Maybe poke fun at his character changing in GoWII and beyond by making his Rage Point orb worth 500% and a perk for filling it 100% faster because he wasn't exactly like this in GoW1.

-(Default) I imagine this is us with the outfit still looking good and no bandages yet.  If that were so, I'd want the GoW1 costume as an alternate to this.  If it he has them from the start thanks to how the game begins, we're already covered.

-(Hope Kratos) Just give him a blue aura and you're basically done.  For stats, make him pretty much 500% across the board.  Unbeatable tanking nightmare cannon to blast through the game with.

-(Death) A reference to the whole thing that Barlog was working.  I won't get into stats.

-(Other Myths) Norse, Egyptian or whatever.  Reference to Jaffe.  Stats are another matter.

-(GoW Directors) The only problem with this *aside from getting each to let themselves be put in* would be fitting it to Kratos' body.  This is why I don't ask for Athena *again*.  Damn shame.  Would be comical use them.  More fun to have them replace normal enemies. *hohoho*

-(300) The graphic novel Spartan.

-(Ancient Spartan) Not like Legionnaire Kratos *stylized*.  An accurate version without the ashes or tattoo.  Just Kratos wearing the armor of a Spartan equal if not a General.

-(Innocent) Kratos in an Elysium garb as if to imply he's gone straight (again no Tattoos or ashes).  Alternatively, Kratos just wearing non-combat attire like when he was a small boy.  Maybe stain his shirt in the blood of enemies.

-(Action characters) Costumes that reference other leads if it can be gotten away with *Both Dantes, Ryu, War, Bayonetta, Prince, etc.*.

-()

DLC:

-Costumes, Arena backgrounds, MP maps/gear, etc.  I'm sure there will be plenty...

Patches:

-Hopefully none that remove neat SP glitches/exploits.  I should like to think game crashes won't be an issue and certainly not targeting (the latter would need fixing if it were a problem).

NG+:

-Needs to be in this time.  Full options preferred.  Start with MAX or MIN upgrades.  Start with MAX or MIN extensions.  Start with all gear or start 'fresh'.  Costume or default.  Obviously NG is where you get trophies though.  So if I want to have all gear from the start, but at base level with the starting bars, I'd like to be able to opt for this.  NG+ NUR+ (and higher) that can be focused on any particular gear with any costume.  Using costumes on VH is a must *just beat it first*.

While on this matter, trophies ought to have a few that are of some challenge.  VH should be a trophy this time.  Challenge are an obvious case.  The likes of 'no magic', 'no hurt' and others would be more difficult to manage a whole run with.  Two simple challenges for two trophies could be 'No Upgrades' and 'No Extensions' when completing the game.  I'd prefer all 'challenge' trophies on Normal or higher in NG though *VH being the best place*.  We seem to get a few filler oddball trophies and a mess of progression trophies each time though...

Grabs:

-Hasn't needed much changing.  Have a few foes where false OS remains relevant (interupting their moves to provoke another *Gorgons doing petrification types*).  The system is good.  As for HC *GoS* or CG *GoWIII*, but are welcome as special moves to be included into the system somehow or other.  Be it specials for the Blades alone or otherwise.  Seriously.  They're both lovely.  OH's "slam" type case should be open to redirection with (L) again.  What is known as alt.OH should be like in GoWIII (one case pulls into the only grab kill for that foe, another pulls into grab option select and another still does the 360 toss as with Harpies).  Foe grabs should definately not be affected by our Armor % though.  Nor even ours by Power %.  Static is best.

Cancels:

-GoW1 and  GoWII did this quite well.  Refer to them.  No weapon switch specials (for God's sake).

I-frames (tricking and othrwise):

-Handle them all as it was done in GoWII.

Various glitches/exploits:

-Wouldn't hurt to playfully leave a few in.  No super high wall collisions *CoO*, allow a HJ method *GoW1*, etc.  Have a heart when judging what gets the axe.  Obviously there is no room for game crashing bugs, but post-release removal of something like a glitch granting NG+ (that should have already been a feature) really warrants all the harping done here.

Saves/Checkpoints:

-Don't make the mistakes of handheld entries (particularly CoO).  Main entries are good with saves.  Checkpoints are usually well provided.  This said, it is time to have the option to pause a cutscene.  Even in the "first" playthrough, some don't care.  Just let them skip the damn things by pausing then selecting the option to do so even if it means just looking at the 'GoW' symbol' during loading that is otherwise masked.  I can't stress this enough.  You don't want to put checkpoints just before an UNSKIPPABLE cutscene, yes?  That's poor form.  GoW usually avoids this neatly.

Older Game Evaluations

CoO

Collisions:

-There aren't any at all.  Not by knockbacks or any other means.  You can't even cause another foe to get knockback or stunned using them.  That was quite the dive in combat options coming after GoWII.  This is a clear negative, but not too unexpected (first time handheld entry).

Petrification:

-It only effects the player in this outing and that's awful.  The 'Gorgon Head' traps even petrify through some of our i-frames (which is absurd).

Friendly Fire:

-Nothing springs to mind even for light damage or knocking foes around.

Ring-out:

-Mostly blocked off with i-frames (limiting instant kill options).  It can be overcome in select instances and in one part (gears in Tartarus) it is entirely allowed (making it stand out).  So far CoO is demonstrated as not enabling options to kill foes beyond slowly chipping away at their HP totals.  Very limited options.

Enviro:

-Gorgon Head trap was a good one.  The saw blades were okay, but not letting either harm foes was a poor call.  This adds strategic value.  Often enough there are AI boundaries and other such things to work with, but things like ring-outs are still seemingly purposefully disallowed as if to pad out length.

Navigation:

-All fine, though combat on walls was simple and a bit 'iffy'.  As usual, no swimming combat (likely for the better).

Puzzles:

-Fine.  Wasn't crazy about the horse activation with statues/light (especially when replaying over and over).

Armor:

-Expanded on the system from GoW1 (for Magic Legionnaires) a bit.  It was a good addition that didn't force a single weapon/spell.  One could use a good variety of options to chip it off before simpler hits would matter.  CW was surprisingly good at removal aside from heavier hits or GoZ charged shots.

Weapons:

-(BoC) To start, I'll make an attempt to keep things more concise with regards to matters like this.  It will take great effort to be concise and thorough.  This said, stuns in general were OP in this outing.  It is for this reason that less than stellar special (Tartarus Rage) could be so good here where it was pretty unsafe (and ineffective beyond minor grunts) in GoWII.  The basic moveset was fine (same for values).  It was a pity that Hyperion Might (hold square) was made poorer after the demo version (knockback stripped away and made weaker as I recall).  Evade moves were 'meh', but not as terrible as they've been elsewhere.  Counter were fine.

-(GoZ) Takes full advanate of the stuns and breaks the game.  It also had incredible damage.  Charged attacks were a good call for adding more damage and harder hit properties.  Letting it launch into OH without having to switch the Blades with the foe in mid-air was a convenient change from GoWII.  Evade moves weren't that interesting and runing moves were 'cool'.  Special and normals were all quite good for this weapon.  It looked ridiculous though.  A giant oven mit.

Spells:

-All are altered by Power % which makes them better on lower settings and crappier on higher settings. This is a very bad call.

-(LoD) A simple projectile spell with an uncharged and a charged version.  It could pause the combo meter much like evading around, doing grab kills, etc.  It had tanking in the draw animation, but no i-frames.  If it had i-frames along with the canceling, it would be be able to stand out on higher settings for that reason alone if not actually using MP to invest in it for the damage (which it wasn't very good for beyond normal).  Not being open to blocking/deflecting helped along with splash damage for the charged shot.

-(Efreet)  Simple AoE that gains "O" mashing.  The problem being that the area covered isn't that large and the mashing pushes foes away from the blast (you need to position them so they get trapped against a surface).  The special kill animation with bonus orb drops was neat though.

-(CW) An inspired addition.  Not quite a projectile, but focused on a single target with medium range.  It cannot miss and cost you MP.  Armor is absolutely destroyed and it can spread between targets (to a limited degree).  Very good damage for the cost (less so on VH obviously).

Items:

N/A

Relics:

-Being able to upgrade one was new.

-(Sun Shield) Not being able to reflect 'stare' was a critical difference between it and the Golden Fleece, but acceptable.  The parry cuasing a 360 stun on nearby foes (no damage) and counting as a hit (keeping the combo meter going) was an interesting way to make up for this.  Giving it a function like that seems like the sort of thing you should get for upgrading it (a great perk).  Instead, the counter moves were locked until you get lvl2 (MAX).  Even when you gain this shield, you couldn't move while using it.  Like the stun, this would have been a nice extra perk for the investment.  No 'rage'.

Collectibles:

-Less are necessary for extensions (understandable given that this is a shorter game).  No possessions/urns that I can recall (despite following after GoWII).

Camera:

-Mostly works aside from some cases of tall foes with their 'O" off-screen or their bodies (more erect Cyclops in this entry) blocking your view.

Targeting:

-No real issues here that I can recall.

Enemies (foes, bosses, appearance, quality, etc.):

-(Banshee) Not exactly Greek Myth.  Why not just call it a Siren?  It fought like a Gorgon minus the petrification (instead a Widow wail).

-(Basilisk) Not much like in myth.  Sort of a giant fire breathing lizard.  A decent fight for a first boss though could perhaps have used on more encounter before the final one.  Pity it didn't have any sort of 'stare' releated powers (petrification or damage dealing while caught in a beam if not an instant death version).  Could have been a nice source of a petrification spell for lack of Stheno.

-(Charon) Odd appearance with the mask and Scythe, but a good boss overall.  Great spell.  Pity about the weapon.

-(Harpy variants) Harplings were indeed "Fodder".  Perhaps a bit too much HP for what they are.  Proper Harpies were more interesting with their diving antics, up until you get down the method for easily getting the ground OS on them.

-(Cyclops variants) Standing tall makes them a screen blocker.  Not exactly mobile, but a sufficient threat as a tanking heavy.  Armored version was neat though not that different otherwise.

-(Minotaur variants) Quite the change from previously established cases.  Armored version had a little something extra to it.  Being unblockable was a surprise and the charge took some getting used to.  A good change to a familiar foe.  Could have used one regular Minotaur case though.

-(Satyr variants) Boy did they get amended in a big way.  Regular cases are completely open to grab whoring.  Grenadiers were interesting though not being able to hurt their allies with the firebombs didn't play to my tastes.  'Dark' versions took away the simple ground OS condition (having to weark them down first).  Wasn't a fan of how rapidly you had to react to the mini-game for the throat slit though (far faster than the other cases in the whole series).

-(Knight variants) Sort of a simple 'tank'.  The first version is blockable and the second isn't (you must parry).  Without some extra attack like a fireball or CW variant, they are lacking in attack options (likely do to the limitations of the system).  Making their own shield was interesting though.

-(Fire soldiers) Guards had a decent flip attack to throw off simple turtling.  Sentinel had the ranged option.  This is fine.

-(Gorgons) Sort of annoying thta the forced lock crashed the game.  This aside, it was something of a bother to not be able to make use of them against others.  Queen grabs would have been more appreciable if they were like that of the Gorgon Serpent (GoWIII).  It ought to have had an alternate firing method (besides just Stare), but again with restrictions.

-(Hoplite variants) Simple minor grunts.  Shades aren't much different.  Melee and projectile variants for each.  Shades could have had an elite (Captain) that made use of the fog if not a lesser unit that could breath it out as a temporary hazard in the room (sticking around for a few seconds).  The regular sort could definately have used a commanding variant.  The shield bearers were appreciated (nice to have them return).

-(Beasts) I hardly think of the later version as a Sphinx, but this foe type is in place of a Cerberus.  It is okay.

-(Persephone) She could have used a phase change in the first stage fo the fight if not an extra stage.  This aside, she could hit hard with some unlbockbles and such.  Decent array of attacks though one can easily steamroll her with GoZ/Sunshield.  Kind of an odd final boss that didn't much take advantage of her wings or 'armor', but still good.

-(Persian King) Failed to use his ranged option *that was visible on his character model*.  Otherwise an okay starting boss with back-up.  Pity about the dropped encounter before the fight we got (with the War Elephant).

Percentiles:

-Not a single entry just gives this info directly (for difficulty).  Odd values from what I recall of testing values though.  GoW1 and GoWII differ here.  CoO seemed to want to do its own thing too.  GoWIII and GoS were in agreement with GoWII.  To note it, chest worth in units was lower than normal by half.

Guides:

-I'm unsure how involved you guys are with helping them gather info, pictures, fact check, etc. for these, but they were quite lacking with notation of costume or difficulty percentiles.  I don't expect damage values beyond spells (FuturePress is more likely to go through the trouble of doing these things like I do).  I won't get into their lacking 'general' tactics.  Brady and Prima just aren't of any real use for serious playing.  They do have an advantage in terms of being able to get sell their product though.

Extra videos:

-There were a few and that's enough for me.

Challenges:

-Had an Efreet based challenge, but nothing for the other two?  No projectile challeng for LoD or 'burning multiple foes in a single cast' deals with CW.  Perfection was a decent challenge.  HP drain cut it close and the same to the object destruction one.  A large guantlet type fight is to be expected.  Overall, not bad.

Arena:

N/A *and that's a grand shame*

Costumes:

-Not a single costume with lower than 100% (read: bad) ratings.  Not one challenge costume.  No 'series costumes' (all jokes).  Having Spud of War with infinite magic is fine, but did it have to also have incredible ratings across the board?  McKratos having extra power (beyond 200%) was nice.  Mime of War was sort of laughable.  Would have been fine for a challenge costume (more so than the others).  I'll get into what sorts of stats are desirable options later (unless you gents want to give us the option to pick them ourselves *which would make it harder for us to verify a runner is keeping to a challenge run*).  Allowing for alternate skins for the 'blades' was appreciated as always.

DLC

-N/A

Patches

-N/A

NG+

-Forces you to start with MAX extensions and MAX upgrades.  It was nice to have the option at least.  With a glitch one could work around the MAX upgrades/extensions as I recall.  Still, one should be able to pick whether they want to carry over from the last game (earning MAX that way if at all) if not picking MIN or MAX.  Besides this, doing NG with a costume rather than only NG+ with a costume (I believe CoO had this particular option though).

Grabs

-False OS wasn't too useful in this entry as I recall.  OH variants were few.  Infinites were toned down since GoW1, but OH and air OS really dominated on those they applied to.  This is good and bad.  Not having an alt.OH after GoWII was disappointing.

Cancels

-Blocks, jumps, etc.  Nothing too notable here.  Weapon switch cancels might have helped make the specials of the Blades a bit safer while enabling more 'combo potential'.

I-frames:

-Pretty standard aside from the petrification example noted earlier.

Various glitches/exploits:

-As usual, more than I'll care to list.  Many good, a few bad and the odd 'ugly' cases.  I choose to mostly pass on this entry in this section beyond again bringing up a lock that occured when forcing a sort of infinite on Gorgons other than the random lock-ups/crashes elsewhere.

Saves/Checkpoints

-The saves weren't too far apart really, but the checkpoints were less frequent than one might expect.  You usually won't notice until challening oneself to higher settings (and specialty runs).  Some take you after a fight you haven't done yet, some remember chests as opening ahead of where you were and other nonsense.  But mostly, sending us too far back (infrequent by GoW standards).

GoW1

NOTE: I'm currently avoiding a full evaluation (which would include coverage of level design, foe layout, etc. for combat scenarios *which GoW1 would get excellent marks for as it isn't simple lock-ins of a featureless arena with a bunch of trash to chip away at*).

Collisions:

-Default damage for 'full' collisions is set to 10.  'Half' at 5.  This at Armor % default (100).  The system is set up to be inverse of Armor %.  Knockbacks are always 'half' collisions, but other collision cases are assigned as full or half in such a way that you really would need to test them to know it (as I've done in the past).  On VH, where in GoW1 you can expect halved Power (though not everything is affected by this) and 5x damage sustained.  Aside from the other things not altered by Power %, collisions are made 5x stronger (50 and 25 with full/half respectively).  This changes the focus of combat more away from the most straight-forward and simple path (square whoring).  Positioning to set-up collisions...to make use of foes against each other was a notably effective approach for higher settings that is hardly more than amusing on lower settings.  But there was only full and the one 'half' type of collision.  In both cases, the system was such that the agent impacts the target to give only the latter the bonus damage described.

NOTE: The series has never really spoken much at all on this system and a few others 'hidden' attributes to grabs and specials.  Like they don't exist.  Hidden facets that it takes series vets to unveil to the rest.

Petrification:

-The system had some bloated values to deal with, but it was still quite a fine start.  Gorgons could never be petrified as with boss foes.  The player default of 1HP as a statue and lower end resistance was put in place.  Gorgons could still very much petrify their allies, but they were limited to "Stare" (the only firing type).  The appeal with the system being that the petrified form had less HP than the creature when not a statue.  If in the air when 'frozen', instant death was assure.  I-frames always trumped it while shrugging off the built up effect (that slows you down as with foes).

That it didn't deal damage was fine along with different rates of escape, different total HPs, varying resistance levels, etc.  It was a well balanced system as an alternative to chipping foes to death with direct damage every time.  Sometimes this was just a far better approach (glitch instances like the 3x Desert Siren shatter aside).  Even at lvl1, you can quickly petrify then shatter Temple Sirens.  The bonus EXP isn't a bad deal either.  Foes could hit their petrified allies too as I recall.  Also, activating 'rage' would break you free (which was nice).  I'll talk about MG itself in a moment.

Friendly Fire:

-Not too much in the way of this aside from the petrification case.

Ring-out:

-Fairly common to be able to send foes off cliffs, into water/lava, etc.  Made the setting a valid consideration for combat.  Sometimes invisible walls were put in place to prevent this in curious fashion (Ex: Hades Bridge with 11 Hades Satyrs), but the likes of the Artemis techniques for ring-out (Homerun, Punt and Spike) are quite able to overcome many of those.  Punt making short work of the specifically cited example.  This gives Artemis a very clear edge over the BoC in this instance even when you consider the many other advantages of the primary weapon (or even the OP spells like PR and AoH).

It wouldn't be terribly necessary to resort to such an exploit if the invisible walls weren't there and the enemy could be hit with a knockback, OH redirected, tricked into aerial recovery, etc. to fall to their doom.  Punt would still be slightly better, but then the Blades too would have this option.  Not that the vast majority of players can easily tango with Satyrs (especially the GoW1 variant) in such a way as to abuse this fact without aid from the example/advise of more experienced types.

Enviro:

-Jaffe's love of Indiana Jones shows through with a mess of flametraps, spike traps, crushers, rollers, pits, etc.  These and environmental aids like chokepoints, space to get around, multiple vertical levels, etc. allowing different approaches.  You didn't always need to do foes in yourself.  Sometimes the environment was quite capable of doing as much by itself. Combat scenarios were made much more varied with this attribute.

Navigation:

-No 'quick' movement at this point (not much of it anyway).  The starting system had more use of ropes and balance beams than the others by quite a bit.  Again, Jaffe's direction showing through, I'm sure.  Shimmy was in,  but there was no 'swinging'.  No ceiling combat, but there was simple wall traversal/combat.  It wasn't bad, but lacking a way to quickly go down was something of a pain.  Triangle attacks were somewhat pointless.  It was safer to chip.  Grabs on walls lacked i-frames, but had collisions and could be mashed for extra 'slams' before ring-out via dropping them off the wall (so long as there wasn't anything for them to land on).

Aside from a section with Harpies accosting us for extra flavor, the trusty Undead were the cheifs of hounding Kratos in unusual combat cases (ropes, walls, etc.), so they knew even how to use a ladder (some might never notice it though). Fallen Legionnaires were something of a pain for some design choices while on a rope though (where the other Undead played by rules that were more fair to the player).

One can swim (plenty of attention to this) and even 'grab' underwater.  Nice exploits made possible with aiming the dive, canceling the animation, etc.  Getting around quicker as we've always been able to on dry land (attack cancel recovery after a roll into a roll cancel of the attack and repeat).  High Jump was apparently left on purpose, but I very much doubt the array of these exploits/glitches were all known and accounted for.  I'm perfectly fine with hidden things like this being left in.

Sometimes navigation was made into a challenge.  One cute mix of puzzle and navigation might be the walking on the roller (always wanted a sort of obstacle course 'challenge' *of 'the Whatever'*) to reach a ladder.  One that is somewhat infamous among navigational challenges would be the spiked columns.  The rollers weren't so bad even for new players, but certainly provided a change of pace.  The moving platforms to hop between with Hades Archers having at us was amusing.  The Underworld must have been a nightmare to those with problems managing the 'platforming' aspects of GoW.  You get used to all that though.  The recent joke about 15 of the spike towers in a row to ascend could make for a fine challenge to deny the Plat in Ascension, but perhaps that's too mean spirited (for the standards of the team).  They joke about it and have since GoWII. I, on the other hand, do not.

Puzzles:

-A fine first showing.  This being before we could rapid push boxes, turn large objects, etc. though.  Object kick was king.  If you didn't have it down, you would likely join the ranks of those whining about Aphrodite's Necklace.  Even if you did have it down, multiple playthroughs would test your patience with resolving the puzzle for Hera's Necklace (instead many will opt to use glitches to skip that if they just want to replay the game without putting in time to move blocks around).  

Armor:

-Magic Legionnaires were the only case in GoW1.  There were glitch means to negate their shields for grabs, but otherwise a false OS would push them back (useful for ring-outs in CotG1).  Artemis had no way to bust their shields and that was another terrible count against it.  Even with RotG you couldn't break it with the heaviest of attacks.  Surely a slow and dedicated move like L1+o (and the other circle enders) should at least be able to do it if not the light and medium strikes or even some of the heavies.  Instead, only the BoC could and with t0 (Plume), t3 (Spirit) and LotF when not using RotG (which removed the explosion and shield busting, but worked directly through the shields like they weren't even there).

Weapons:

-(BoC) The finest example in the series for normals stringing well, hitting hard, being safe (cancels), etc.  The specials were pretty bad though.  The evasive move was excellent and did not conflict with evasion into cancels or quick heavy attacks (quick t1 and quick T).  The R1 attack on the ground could string into combos if not allowing for rapid movement cancels with greater control and speed than in all other entries.  The only special worth noting is LotF.  Uncharged created a small shockwave with decent damage, but fully charged made a huge shockwave (no damage change) with knockback.  An exploit allowed the air version to charge instantly.  The counters were just enders (no i-frames), but that was fine.

The "S" move had different possibilities and string paths depending on how you used it, but really could have used more power though it could cause knockbacks and hit more than once on a single target with the final hit (Might).  The RotG moveset was mostly a positive change (new normals with greater power).  Again, specials aren't altered beyond damage.  We could block, but not cancel 'rage' or gather 'rage' orbs to quickly refill.  There was a special "S" move for the form (TotF) which wrecked everything via damage with incredible reach.  A perk for MAX being infinite MP while rage was active (clearly the clones encounter was designed with this in mind *I pity the poor soul fighting them without such things on VH*).

The launcher hit harder than a plume (other entries have it set to "s1" values), air s1 is a straight shot here (rather than an upward swing) *not desired* and t1 hits with the force of two plumes.  Just to give the notable power differences (that I wanted to highlight).

-(Artemis) It had more infinites, good strings, decent starting damage, etc.  Specials were little more than dedicated normals (exploit for canceling some).  It couldn't break shields.  There was no grab (in exchange for even heavier hits), but it could glitch grab those with a "O" (dizzy/wander).  The block was delayed.  I don't remember it having an air block, but I could be misremembering.

The "Sword Summon" animation makes up for this in that you had i-frames during it (but not the unsummon version).  Very exploitable and perhaps necessary what with the matter of poor safety in using it against Ares1 when he could guardbreak that weapon (not the BoC) and then your delayed block would get you killed.  One might also use it to make oneself invisible to AI that wasn't an Archer or a boss by rapidly summoning/unsummoning (sheath/unsheath).  It could not parry either (so no counters).  BoC had 'rage' and 'fleece' aspects naturally tied into it.  It had an R1 multi-hit thrust that could chain into the enders of light/medium/heavy which was extremely good.  The techniques for ring-outs noted before are a strong draw for the tool over the Blades.

Spells:

-(PR) Simple AoE at lvl1.  Not quite 1:1 ratio, but then it is meant for groups.  I-frames throughout.  A 'panic button' type.  Air casts can be spammed more rapidly. lvl2+ is where it shines.  Power goes wild.  "Wrath" (circle mashing for more range) hits above/below, spreads range out and hits many more times.  The spell of choice for one looking to deal direct damage to groups and be safe doing it.  Hell, it's so strong that it is justifiable even for a single target.  Among the most overpowered spells in the history of the series.

-(MG) No moving while casting, air fire limited to Flash, Stare and Flash can be used at once, no i-frames, decent for cancels, etc.  Petrification has been covered, but not so much firing types.  There is no uncharged circle type.  The charge doesn't take long for Gorgon Rage, but with full charge the range is greatly increased.  The cost is absurdly high though.  Flash is more efficient.  Stare is easily the best call if you've got the sufficient time window and can line targets up for groups.  A great spell for foes you can get in the air (more so if their resistance isn't too high).  Fantastic for some higher HP targets who lack resistance or are troublesome to deal with.  Again, the effect doesn't work on bosses and or some other foes though.  A good spell, but can't compete with PR and AoH in most cases, though when they're all compared at base, MG has a strong case made for it.

-(Zf) Simple projectile toss with good damage for the cost, but it is focused on a single target so that's a must (bare minimum). The problem being that many foes,  besides you missing for a variety of reasons, can block/deflect them if you don't set it up properly.  The other spells all have better options in general.  You don't neeed this for efficient range antics too terribly much.  The charged version adds a small blast radius to the hit (fully charged makes it much larger with knockback added).  The cost does go up though.  The regular version was at least capable of knocking Ares1 out of the air during 'meteor shower'.

One perk of these 'charged' spells would be that when you only have enough MP for an uncharged use, the charged version can be used anyway (getting much more 'bang for your buck' as it were).  That helps.  Unless it misses, gets blocked, etc.  Unfortunately even the charged version bounces off Magic Legionnaire shields.  This issue with being in the same game as AoH and PR while being possible to defend against by foes really hurts the appeal quite a bit.  It is great for canceling, but has no i-frames.  It teams with Artemis very well simply for cancels of even some specials and i-frames quickly being accessed as spell cancels unsummon the weapon only for it to summon back right afterwards.

-(AoH) Cast and forget about it type that is also of the sort that finds targets and goes after them even at pretty notable range.  Lasts a certain amount of time, each soul can deal a certain numer of hits/damage before disappearing, etc.  Very, very damaging, but costly (worth it *especially at lvl2+*).  Teams well with PR.  Especially with infinite MP thanks to RotG with MAX BoC (or Athena's Blades *CotG*).  Bounces targets or otherwise ties them up.  Another contender for most OP spell in the series.

Items:

-N/A

Relics:

-N/A

Collectibles:

-Finding various hidden chests, an easter egg message, locating daughters of poseidon and even hidden keys for a room containing extensions and loads of EXP.  Quite a good way to get one exploring.  Plenty of extra chests people can miss, extra key locations, etc.

Camera:

-Does a pretty good job throughout the game.  Foes mind it very well to the point of being even half off-screen means they'll usually cancel attacks.  Solid work.

Targeting:

-It's rare, but there can be targeting issues.  The Clones is one case where enders like t0/t3 can troublesomely direct where they want rather than where I tell them to with (L).  This is more noticable in Athen's Square with the Brutes and civilians.  It is good that the latter is so keen on giving HP orbs as they get in the way of grabs other than making my attacks go off course now and then.  No such consulation with those most infamous of doppelgangers though.

Enemies (foes, bosses, appearance, quality, etc.):

NOTE: This is an entry with more 'super' variants than the others, but without the guide, it would be hard to tell that some foes had more HP in certain places.

-(Undead) Archers *later with explosives and even multiple shots at once*.  None could really move from their position though.  Soldiers had a few variants.  Regular (general grab condition), Magic (shield *destroy it to make them like the Cursed only open to grabs right away), Cursed (tougher in most ways), Fallen (just a tougher Cursed Legionnaire though some can't reach "O" at all) and Captain/Hades (same thing) with counters, front grabs, etc.  Wake-up attacks were a good idea.  Fallen and below were capable of traversal unlike the other foes.  These were all handled quite well.  Also, they are of the 'grab select' type (multiple choices).

-(Wraiths) Simple burrow attack and some melee.  Light defense.  Very open to grab variants.  The Temple variant had some issues with falling out of air OS *backbreaker*.  It also had some sort of dive attack it liked, but I forget details (mostly because grabs make such short work of them).  Neat though.

-(Cerberus) Seeds could grow up into Breeders.  Offspring had more HP, but could not grow.  Super Seeds had even more HP and could still grow up, but the AI for the Super Breeder was iffy and their birthing made AI dead seeds if I recall right (AKheon's Glitch FAQ covers my old report on this matter among many other things vets have come to know over the years).  Seeds liked to do simple bites less than their slow leaping/rolling body attack.  Grab whoring variants worked well.  The Breeders of this entry were resistant to getting them off the ground, but it was doable (more so with certain tricks).  Once off their feet, their recovery animation was such that they were quite open to relaunch/bounce.  They could be OH'd or even air OS'd.  With the former more work was needed to maintain the lock.  With the latter, you could infinite them (very common in this outing).  They had a grab, some slaps, 3x fireball (blockable), etc.  Interesting enough.

-(Cyclops) Enforcers are curiously the bottom of the barrel in terms of HP (despite armor).  Might be amusing if they at least had actual 'armor' to break off before their low HP hides were revealed.  They had a rush move, ranged flail shot, slow overhead (long recovery), etc.  Simple to get around and do damage if not sending them off a cliff and other such things.  Brutes are the club sweeping chaps with multiple "O" (not too uncommon in this entry).  Back then, that case counted as an OH (meaning no i-frames and you could redirect them).  Also a grab if I remembe right  Cyclops Desert Kings had a flurry and dashing shoulder.  Strangely lacking the Brutal Kill bonus option.  I might note that many foes dropped HP orbs (less common to get MP) and in this entry they were worth a good amount by default (it helped that settings didn't mess with this *just costumes*).

-(Harpy) Grab *instant kill on them if they fail*, dash attack, etc.  Later versions gain the famed 'Bomber'.  Hades Harpies like to spam it.  Grabs are fine call, but ground OS wasn't netting you any EXP when used (as with the triangle option on the Undead Legionnaires).  Petrification makes a mockery of them and air shatters were worth even more back then.  Their most famous attribute in this entry being that their death animation would glitch at times to allow for EXP orb fountains.

-(Minotaur) The simpe axe grunt (chops), hammer grunt (shockwave), warrior (hammer/axe), Tormentor (elite) and Hades variant (Tormentor without launch defense and less HP).  Likely the first case one is to notice and practice infinite air OS (3x for a kill on any of them).  Tormentors stand out with their superior defense against strikes, high HP, resistance to being launched/bounced (takes some work to figure it out), etc.  Plenty of variety between them.

-(Centaur) A strange sort of magic archer and staff combo.  Pity the original version of an Undead/fleshless look didn't get realized (not even in GoWIII as a reskin for Tartarus).  They were quite the dangerous foe with a ground shockwave of significantly more threat than what the Hammer grunt sports.  They had damn good defense and their blocking of each others strikes would provoke them into counter strings one had to watch carefully.  Their bow shots weren't half bad and they could swing their arrows like staffs if they fancied it.  Some minor glitches with their "O" and grab kills,  but a very fine foe.  I'll likely add them to the list of foes I'd like to see making a return.

-(Gorgon) To get it out the way, Medusa wasn't a boss in any real fashion.  Hardly even a sub-boss.  Her HP was outrageous and depleting it would get you stuck.  Her "O" came reasonably early (the intention).  She was a regular Gorgon with slightly more HP, slightly stronger stare, better use of counters and no allowance of simple infinites (she could still be locked up though).  Otherwise Gorgons and Assassins (and the super version) just had different HP amounts and stare potency.

-(Siren) Desert Sirens couldn't be launched *for starters*.  They had a different set of moves than the other (more common version).  Like Medusa they had insane HP, but a low threshold for their grab kill state.  Unlike her, they could be petrified (with a statue at 10,000HP that breaks out in a second or so).  It would be hopeless to bother with it were it not for a 3x rapid petrification glitch that instant kills them for some reason I'm not clear on (but then there was also an unexistance glitch when you petrified many targets at once).  They mostly exist to call you over to lay down a beating though (with back-up that served more as living HP chests for us).  Temple Sirens had an array of odd moves (suction, homing volley *friendly fire*, evade into bolt, swipe, etc.).  Very quick to petrify and quick to break out, but with such low HP as a statue, they were open to sudden death even without catching them in the air.  Not a ground OS general type, but infinites of the OH and air OS variety were on the table.

-(Satyr) The infamous elite "major grunt".  They've been watered down over the years,  but this first outing was their strong debut.  Rapid hit strings, counters, evades, etc.  Back then they had a few extra attacks (notable being the wake-up hitting us, aerial recovery *could be turned on them*, lunging staff twirl and the staff impale *grab*).  Ground OS worked, but the mashing was intense for what wasn't all that much of their total life in damage while leaving us open until we actually win the mini-game.  Air OS was worthless as it did 0 damage (an oversight).  OH was good and combined with hitting them while open (as the wake-up starts), you could lock them while alone aside from redirecting them off cliffs (if not using their air recovery to get them killed).  Petrification was decent, but they had high resistance.  The Hades version was the same thing, but less HP and drops more HP orbs upon death if I remember right.  Likely designed as such because this was to be a gauntlet only encounter.  I nearly forgot to mention the 'fake out' taunt.  That's glorious.  Pity the GoWIII Satyr is so lacking by comparison.  These are the true Satyrs (though actually fawns) and only get dumbed down as the series progresses.

-(Hydra) Multiple encounters with minor heads *hall, deck and twins*.  Different attacks in different places to keep things interesting.  I look to them when considering Ladon's many heads.  Not terribly much like the Hydra of myth (venomous/toxic/poisonous, multi-head spawning from decap, fire to burn wound shut, one immortal head, etc.), but an interesting alternative.  Hydra King was a simple enough fight as is typical of a first boss in this series.

-(Pandora's Guardian) The Lower Pandora Boss Minotaur.  Pity about the Upper Pandora Harpy Boss never getting finished (or being used in a later entry as a neat concept with burning its young/eggs to get it to come for you).  At any rate, this is an environmental type that could reposition itself, be fought on the ground or atop a platform (the latter doesn't change with the stages/phases of the fight so ground is the greater challenge).  Double Lever Pull exploit and a fairly large sweet spot can break the fight down in a big way.  Even withtout them, the right upgrades make a joke of it.  Certainly memorable with the music, setting, etc.

-(Ares) To get the clones out the way, they seemed balanced only for the one approach (Athena's Gift abuse of PR and AoH).  Not being able to move the family at all (without a glitch) leaves you just the one case to contend with.  Agony (Zf) clones not counting towards the kill count is somewhat bothersome aside from them respawning so quickly.  Super Remorse teleport in, Remorse drag themselves out of the dirt (not open to hit properties during this) and Regret had some resistance too.  Hell, the Artemis case used a BotG move we would get in the fight after that (Hades Gift *charged*).  An infamous protection mission.  Particularly among those that have tried it on VH with NUR conditions or higher what with their tanking of attacks (super armor), targeting issues, number of kills needed to drain spawn pools, grab attack on us, etc. They dropped orbs, but it wouldn't do much good with the family getting slaughtered so quickly.

Ares1's multi-phase approach with so much taunting was pretty great.  Same to Ares2 for also being talkative (though more into roaring).  Learning to contend with his counters, how to anticipate and deal with Hammertime, keep close while defending against Flamethrower, etc. made things interesting.  His morphing weapon was something worth coveting if we were ever to get the Soul of War (which never ended up happening).  Ares2 lock-ups were neat.  One had to learn to deal with the Pillars, Unblockable Palm and homing fireballs (when you did learn to control him, he was a cakewalk that could use nothing but blockable strings).

Percentiles:

-This was an entry that didn't have difficulty adjusting percentiles beyond Armor and Power.  Power dipping more than usual for VH (50% rather than 75%).  Armor at the standard 20%.  Orb worth was already higher than usual, but having it remain the same on VH really helped make it easy to recover from damage sustained, MP used, etc.  Recovery of rage wasn't going to go quick outside specific cases (Pandora's Guardian and Ares1 come to mind).

I might suggest looking into the option to switch difficulties in the future though it is preferred a way to know what setting they are on is enabled (the pause screen or even select screen could simply tell how it is *and even if it was switched at any point*).

Guides (falling apart, correct info, covering unexplained bits, values/percentiles given, etc.):

-Not too bad in this outing.  Of course it doesn't note tactics like infinites, AI boundary abuse, etc. or explain collisions, i-frames or really much of anything (least of all damage values), it does a good job with the bestiary and spell coverage (also denoting the costumes/difficulties).  These are the things I desire.  Pretty pictures, extra tidbits on Greek Myth, etc. is cute, but doesn't amount to much usefulness beyond an initial once-over.

Extra videos:

-Plenty of good ones.  Three bad ones that have been a plague to the series (brother arc, father arc and God of Modern Warfare).  Aside from the hidden easter egg in the sky, one can unlock two videos (statue destruction for silliness *killing Jaffe* and defeat VH for for talk of the soul of war *never panned out*).  Character graveyard teased us with Cool Armor (Dominus/Captain), Skinless Centaur and others.  Among them, what I've wanted from the start, the Blue Kratos from the concept art (not a mere palette swap).

Challenges:

-Ring-out exercises, timed gauntlets, huge gauntlets, etc.  Lots of variety.  Very good array here.  It is a pity that we can only have the Athena's Blades for combat here though.  Randomly taking away options is something of a pity.  Many complained about not being able to 'save' along the way or just opt to start or stick with a certain one.  Most famous would be the complaints about CotG10's issue of Kratos block glitching when he should ledge grab and the knockback even on our blocks sending us flying off the platform.

Arena:

-N/A

Costumes:

-Plenty of silly costumes.  Just the one 'serious case' (Ares Armor).  Dairy Bastard had infinite MP, but didn't have incredible stats to go with it (good).  Tycoonius stood in as an exteme glass armor case (with huge EXP worth).  Ares Armor starts the trend for the vanilla 200 (200% on all stats).  The rest aren't worth noting beyond their changes to the main weapons appearance.  That being something too (the main weapon altered with upgrades in appearance *not all entries do this*).

I suppose I should mentino that just as you can't do NG+, you also could not use costumes on VH even after you beat it once.  So no uber collisions in GoW1 just as GoWIII denied this (in a different way).

DLC:

-N/A

Patches:

-N/A

NG+:

-N/A

Grabs:

-Infinites, forced locks, etc. were very common and very powerful in this entry.  OH had just the one type (no alt.OH) with no i-frames, but it could be redirected (only in this entry sadly).  False grabs weren't all that useful that I can recall.

Cancels:

-Many cancels types and they worked very well.  Specials for the singular sub-weapon could be canceled (half of them anyway).

I-frames:

-Pursue, evade, Sword Summon, PR, most grab cases, etc.

Various glitches/exploits (what to leave in and what not to):

-So very many.  Momentum based things, swim glitch, regenerating magic, AI boundaries aplenty, etc.

Saves/Checkpoints:

-Plentiful.  No real complaints come to mind.

GoS

Collisions:

-Collisions make their first appearance on a handheld entry, but only in the 'full' variety.  No knockback collisions even for the sake of impacting others.  Not only that, the 'static' approach was adaped...and furthermore the value is set to 3 damage which makes it pretty close to useless.  Among titles that have the system, this is the worst by making it so weak and limited.  CoO wins only in that it didn't bother at all.

Petrification:

-All foes can be petrified.  Indeed, 'stare' of the enemy causes DAMAGE to statues somehow.  Noticed blocking by foes can prevent full petrification (very odd).  The 'freezing' is a similar mechanic.  Pity about Harpy Widows not quite being able to freeze allies (as I recall).  The kamikaze of Boreas Spawn and Gorgon QTE (taken from GoWIII's idea for a free Gorgon Rage) aren't too shabby for getting a target to stand still.  For a Nemean Lion this instantly brings them to "O".  For Geryon is takes them to each 'stun'.  For armored types it shatters a layer off.  For the Dredge of Boreas it damage it a bit by stages until it stops effecting it (if I don't misremember).  Stare is can bounce off armor (odd).

Most of these odd cases don't exist in SP as the foes in question do not meet (perhaps corners were cut on testing to allow for such strange and exotic things).  I'll speak more on HoB in a moment, but for now will note that the system is poorly realized in this entry for the most part (foes have resistance that is too high, they break out too fast and their statue HP is outrageous *sometimes higher than their real HP*).  It isn't like HoB is an item.  This is MP being spent and in an entry where spells get worse on higher settings (yet it is still better than the others).

Friendly Fire:

-Petrification stand out again.  There are case of heavy hits knocking foes around, but as much as it helps with opening them up (Spiders), it can be a hindrance too (Keres Wraiths).  Being that no damage is dealt (or very minimal damage)...this is somewhat annoying.

Ring-out:

-Pretty thoroughly denied (the demo left a case or so, but those got sealed up).  Terrible design choice.

Enviro:

-Not too much in the way of environmental advantages, but there are some here and there.  Lots of lock-in arenas though...

Navigation:

-A good array of quick movement options as testament that this is the newest offering having learned from the others (this hardly shows in some other respects).  Strangely some wall/ceiling attacks have i-frames, which is quite necessary given the Wretches ability to freely have at us otherwise.  Swimming saw quite a lot of attention, though it wasn't really changed (not bad usage though).

Puzzles:

-Adequate.  But then, I'm not a puzzle fan.  They're over quickly, so I don't recall being bothered on repeat playthroughs.

Armor:

-I seem to recall that it was made necessary to use Thera's Bane to damage armor at all in this entry.  That's troubling to me.  It should have been the case that heavy AoS options and the usal suspects like t0/t3 (of the Blades) could damage them too.  The only exception that comes to mind would be the Urn tied 'Leonidas Kick'.  Though I think I recall HoB shredding it off (at a high price).

Weapons:

-(BoA) As usual, I'll skip noting damage value changes in recurring moves. *for now* This version of the BoA opts to take liberally from the BoE of GoWIII.  "t1" and "t2" are as they were in that entry rather than as they are in all others.  The old t1 can be slow or quick depending on how you chain into it.  It also hits twice do deal its damage (with the second hit bouncing).  The new t1 is a medium speed single hit for that damage value.  I prefer the old approach.

Nothing too notable about the counters and the evasive attacks are still pretty mech (being able to cancel them and/or having 'rush' cause knockback or even string into enders not unlike the GoW1 version would be very nice).  No lvl2 version of specials for this entry (a step back from the GoWIII expansion on moves that just aren't that safe, but provide the flash casuals just love to death).  "S" in this case does fair damage (no knockback unless the foe is off the ground), comes out well for strings and, with Thera's Bane, it (and T *Ascension*) really stand out for a cheaper and quicker way to leave 'bombs'.  T could be cycle canceled (for the first time).  So some improvements here and there were enjoyed.

Making ground TR into what is really just Rising Helios isn't too desirable (that was a bad special).  Even the old ground TR in CoO and GoWII (also GoWIII with BoA) is better.  The BoE version is the best for having the simple and quick hits (other than a charged version that is Rising Helios if the player wants that for some reason).  I recall the air version is the old TR (this is fine).

The star of the show for this outing is, by far, "Hyperion Charge" (rushing grab).  The ground version setting up an alternative option select for some minor grunts or 360 toss for fodder/pests.  Both are quite fun.  The air version being a sort of dive (Hermes Stomp) into body slam.  It's quite 'fun' to use and very effective, though it isn't much good against targets that cannot be grabbed for the moment.  Being able to change the run into Rush or Rise is a good call (but the issue *missed potential* with Rush remains as with the evasion version).  Granted, Rush would be of limited use even if it did cause knockbacks being that we can't ring-out foes or cause knockback collisions in this outing.  So the mount is pretty great along with 'toss'.  To go on about 'mount', each hits seems capable of hitting others near us aside from the toss and actual landing of the move knocking foes away with light damage.  Very nice.

-(AoS) Decent normals, fair range/reach, fine speed/power, etc.  Blocking on the go is nice.  I don't remember the running or evasive moves being that great, but the option is there.  I'd rather have the running square being a (perhaps weaker) "Strength" (square ender) and the triangle option being the triangle ender (Wrath), though it would be a pity to lack the option of rushing/evading into a launcher.

Shield specials were good overall.  Spartan Offensive being cycle canceled to allow for infinites allowed for a very DMC sort of display (Million Stabs) though the move itself isn't all that great beyond flash.  Rage of Leonidas was very good, but it happens to be another case of leaving it to vets to find the goods and share it with others.  What I refer to is that one can charge it...furthermore, if you release that charge the instant it 'flashes (timing), damage is doubled and the move will cause a strong bounce.  Spartan Charge on the ground was just a rushing light block to cause knockback.  It was just sort of 'neat'.  The air version was another 'Hermes Stomp'.  If knockbacks mattered, it might attract more attention.  Where it stands out is the giving of instant shatter properties to it as with another case in GoW history.  Got a high HP statue to destroy, but insufficient damage capability for the time frame allowed?  No problem.  Air SC has you covered.

The spear specials aren't bad either.  The simple Spear Assault hits like "Anger of the Gods" (doesn't trample through targets and keep going and isn't altered by settings like Power %) and allows for vertical hits such as with SoD's Piercing Shards.  It has no knockback property, but in this entry...that is a plus somehow (certain foes react poorly to knockbacks and there aren't any collisions of that sort *again I note this*). There wasn't a charged version sadly.  Being able to deal a tiny bit more damage (5 more would suffice), add the knockback/stun property and trample through a target (unless blocked along the way) would make it more like BoO's Divine Retribution.  It would be a good lvl4 perk.  Spirit of Leonidas wasn't anything too notable really.  Not like it caused a bounce (that I can recall) as a set-up tool.  It was also able to block ice/fire waves, but the case wasn't so with streams fired by enemies rather than traps (pity).  Couldn't protect against petrification either (nevermind returning it).

There wasn't a R+o option if I remember right.  Not sure what else could have been done short of tossing the spear for an impale of a target before it comes back to us (Rebellion style).  Maybe pinning lesser targets to walls for free hits.  While the spear is away, we lack spear hits in our strings.  Pressing R+o again to bring it back.  The lvl4 (because there weren't 5 levels in GoS) moves are nice: Ares Barrage for a volley and Ares Vengeance for heavy ordinance.  Barrage would have been better if it covered a wider area and hit more times for slightly less damage per instance so as to make it more effective for harassing groups or dealing bigger damage to large targets (Ex: Cyclops).  Vengeance hit pretty hard and caused knocback (rather than a bounce) if I remember right.  A positive for it being extra damage for large targets *nicely done*.  In both cases, an element like with the shield bash special's charge/flash (for bonus damage or lasting longer/wider coverage for Barrage) would be desirable.  Barrage might have stood out more if it functioned a bit like the arrow storm for MAX'd (or even lvl3) AoS.  Vengeance had some issues with 'coming out' unless you dialed it up with a canceled s1 first (trick I learned).  Once you start the special up, you can string between Barrage and Vengeance over and over pretty easily.  My notes mention that Vengeance can instant shatter statues only for large foes *I'd have to retest this*.

Spells:

NOTE: All affected by Power % as with CoO.  Making them great on Easy and crap on Very Hard.

-(EoA) Amazingly bad.  I-frames end before we can recover (for starters).  The efficiency isn't good enough for a focused spell.  Arc lightning isn't too likely to chain as it should and doesn't tie up targets too well.  Being able to mash for more hits and arcing should have been good, but it really didn't add much.  Knocking away the target of the last hit should have been useful, but it was terrible for Keres Wraiths.  Again, not strong enough, not safe, not helpful, not reliable (for stuns), didn't arc properly, etc.  Tied for worst spell in the series (with Light of Dawn *which might have benefited a bit if it had some light fire spreading and fire pool elements taken from other moves in that game*).

-(SoE) Should have more closely emulated what Erinys could do.  Our version is a small seeking orb that blocks our vision, lightly draws in foes, explodes (causing the undesired knockbacks *because of a lack of ring-outs, collisions and the existance of Keres Wraiths*) and lightly drains HP orbs (so light that it doens't justify the cost at all).  It was expensive for what it did.  The i-frames at the start don't do enough to explain the cost.  Its just too pricey for what it does on VH.  More HP orbs, more damage (for the cost *or reduce the cost*), better suction, etc. would fix it.  A charged version for the current cost to greatly increase suction range, damage, i-frame window, etc. without homing towards targets would emulate with Erinys liked doing.

-(HoB) The petrification stand in.  Somebody likes Boreas among the team.  What else can explain him turning up so often?  This variant for freezing is a stationary i-frame having AoE type that you hold the input to use longer.  That certainly makes it simple enough (catch them while close).  Sadly, it likes to push foes away a bit rather than reeling them in.  The freezing doesn't slow the target down either (as I recall).  The Horn itself does direct damage for some reason (whatever) and can shatter statues via damage (but is too costly for it).  Again, outrageous cost for what takes damn long to get working on foes (even more so on higher settings)...and they have way too high HP and quick breakout times.  It is like actively trying to make the feature suck.  Yet, somehow, it is better than the other two spells (potentially).  Especially when paired with the AoS (preferably lvl3+ for the air SC instant shatter).

NOTE: This entry had lots of special kill types (ice, fire, lightning, 'dark', etc.) which allowed for a nice variety of orbs.  Pity orbs mean so little with dinky drops and low worth.

Items:

-(TB) Though not technically an item, it uses the same system (as with the relic "Amulet of the Fates").  Despite what one might expect, 'the fire damage' made our Blades hits weaker.  Only the Blades could use this feature.  Isn't that nice?  Again with the Blades being highlighted over all the extra weapons put in (reason to not bother with the new things offered).  This aside, the attacks would chew through guard in exchange (a fair trade to be sure).  It also worked through armor without directly busting it in a single use.

Searing Cores (bombs) were left after landing certain attacks while dealing fire damage (damage didn't seem to vary for the bombs, but the cost to use them for attacks did).  S and T were easily the cheapest and quickest way to lay them.  Turning it on and off only long enough to lay a bomb or break guard was advised.  The bombs, sadly, caused knockback.  Sad only in one context I should say (Keres Wraiths).  A nice feature though the guide talk of it igniting targets isn't entirely accurate (that's a kill animation, not a special feature where a certain number of hits ignites them as in other entries using a 'fire' attack).

No bow, head or boots.  Just Thera's Bane.  Thera being entirely made up for the game rather than merely obscure (like Perses).  Speaking of Perses, why couldn't he be the Titan imprisoned in Atlantis rather than making up another 'fire titan'?  I understand that we didn't visit Tartarus, so it couldn't be Hyperion, but it's not like it was necessary to leave us with just that one.  Pity we never got to deal with Oceanus (that's another matter).  That generic lightning titan (unnamed) could have granted a lightning alternative to the 'fire' of "Thera".  Oh well.

Relics:

-Only the 'Trident' existed in this entry.  Without a 'fleece' type relic gained eventually, we never gained return of petrification and just start off with 'returns' naturally.  No 'wings' obviously.  No 'rage' in this outing (again).

Collectibles:

-Less of each needed for extensions (to be expected) and Possessions: auto-QTE win, secret finder *pity it didn't reveal anything truly notable, reveal foe HP bars/names, show damage per hit as in Symphony of the Night, etc.*, special move *cute*, big time EXP farming tool, infinite MP (but not infinite life or infinite fire option curiously) and the 'shovel'*.  It was cutesy to make us buy the monsters for the Arena (earning boss unlocks there would be more fitting).  The idea of Temple of Zeus wasn't bad at all though.  Sort of reminded me of the Character Graveyard from GoW1.  Pity there was no freezing/petrification Possession for normal strkes.  Also, we got no 'challenge' possession this time (GoWIII had one for draining our HP constantly until near dead).

NOTE: Regarding display options, we haven't had boss HP bars since the first one really.  I understand the immersion thing, but why not make it an option to just see the bar, the values, etc.?  Save me some work on testing, yeah?  Same to our HUD.  Let us turn it on/off (unlike the enemy/boss HP bar/info, this should be "On" by default).  Some might like only seeing things without clutter.  I prefer it with ALL clutter (my HUD, their HP remaining via a bar and numbers, damage per hit, etc.  Hell, another addition to the 'Owl' possession could have been making different color auras on each attack type used by foes to show light (blockable), medium (special block cases *parry, air block, etc.*) and heavy (entirely unblockable) not unlike Heavenly Sword.  The 'Owl' really could have been very informative rather than just locating chests I already knew about by making everything greener as you get near them *annoying*.  Having it reveal false walls and letting us pass through them would also be neat for a hidden collectible or so.  And I'm not just saying all this because Athena is a saint *hohoho*, but as a wisdom goddess, her gift should have given us knowledge that is worth a damn (truly informative).

Camera:

-Like CoO, it had problems with obscuring our vision (tall foes and SoE).  Like GoWIII (but worse), off-screen attacks exist in a game where you cannot control the camera.  At all.  "And that's no good." - Sonic

NOTE: To be perfeclty clear, I don't want camera control.  I know the smoke-and-mirror's approach allows for prettier areas along with all the loading/unloading being hidden in various ways.  I value this approach.  Show us your pretty set piece moments, visual cues, etc.  That's fine.  Just don't let my enemies take advantage of this facet to put us at a disadvantage (they don't lose sight of us *ever*).

Targeting:

-I don't remember any real problems here.

Enemies:

NOTE: Just to note it, NPCs have more resistance than HP which really irks me as yet another insult to a petrification type spell.  Because it is a big deal to me (as an alternative to chipping with direct hits as with ring-outs and collisions), I shall give special attention to my findings *because the damn guide didn't tell me jack about this, but was generous with orb drop info*.

-(Wretch) Able to attack us on walls and ceilings aside from ground combat.  Spit is blockable and can be returned (nice).  Instant kill OS.  No air moves (or OH) as it is one of many who have the new 'knockback b' that takes the place of knockbacks, bounces and launches.  At least it can be knocked on its back to open it up to attacks.  HC is a 360 toss for ground and 'toss' for air HC as is typical.  Damn shame about crap collision damage.  They would have been a welcomed sight.  Figures we would get a giant regular animal again (Spider).  I'm just surprised it didn't come with web attacks (like Nymphs of GoWII) and a boss version (Arachne *something Athena might have us slay not unlike Aphrodite with regards to Medusa*).  More can be done with them in another game.

Their statue resistance is at 'two hits' (on Normal *note that all I'll bring up are as such and get worse *usually* on higher settings and better on the lower ones*) when it should be one hit and their HP as a statue is 5 (30HP normally), which is acceptable (though 1HP is preferred for pests/fodder).

-(Fire Harpling) Should have been more like the Hades Nymph of GoWII.  Explosive upon death, ground OS for instant kill bomb toss and only fireball shots at us.  Just a 'toss' type for HC and it is open to regular hit properties (no knockback B).  One might expect 'fire' damage to be less effective for them (if doing anything at all aside from explosions from the cores of other foes).  Not the case.  Just a Harpy bomb spammer by design that happens to wait for you to finish with grab kills (extending the chase length).  At least it isn't designed to be able to start up the attack and hit as we come out of i-frames, but before we can defend (unlike some other cases...).

Just one hit to freeze.  I forget if they can be statues on the ground.  I have no notes on it.

-(Raven) Only notable in a 'murder'.  Ideally they should share the weakness to fire that their master has.

1 hit is noted.

-(Scylla Brood) Though they could have, they never end up on walls/ceilings.  Rather than spite, they can grab (constant damage, reverse to instant kill them).  I don't recall it being blockable or even open to a parry.  Parry should have flipped them over (low level foes afterall).  Pretty similar to the Wretches in terms of grabs.

1 hit to freeze.

-(Boreas Spawn) Simple attack or Kamikaze *which can freeze allies instantly other than more notable glitch cases*.  Grabs handled much like Cerberus Seeds.  They cannot grow-up though.  Fire should deal bonus damage (doesn't).  Ice damage should be very low if any (not so).  Such things are excusable as that's a bit too much detail (RPG territory).  Surprising amount of HP (50 *guide was wrong about this info*).

2/4/5 hits for freezing (odd they can be frozen at all, but one takes what they can get).  20HP is a bit high for their class of foe though...

-(Cursed Remains) Simple melee rather than laughing (taunt) and spin as it was in GoWII *preferred set-up*.  They still have the bone collapse, but you cannot get them to do it and bring their life up/down to 20HP from 50 though.  This is fine.  They're a different foe with a similar design...and HC instant kills them where OS just damages them until near dead.  They are a general case for grabs rather than a "dizzy" type.  Pity we couldn't have both types.  Each is fairly interesting.  A team with two or each would be fairly interesting.

For a foe open to an instant kill like this, having even 2 hits (1 hit is better) for a 20HP (should be no more than 5) statue is a bit much.

NOTE: Could have used an elite skeleton unit like with the dropped foe from GoW1.  Nice to have a proper Cursed Remains back (unlike GoWIII's reskin) though the shield is laughable (they don't even use it to bash our defense open or defend themselves).

-(Harpy) Simple Harpy that can grab/melee.  That we can grab kill it instantly for EXP seems a bit much (the EXP could be denied like in GoW1 if you go this route).  The air OS instant kill could have been a simple air grab juggle.  That grab is pretty damn annoying in that it is a medium case (defended only by being in the air or parrying it) and we instant kill it upon reversal *only a problem in a specific place* and it will NEVER stop hurting us until we break free (aside from awesome damage dealt to us on VH).  It really doesn't need so much HP, but I should be thankful it is so hardy or it would really suck in certain challenge runs as it already is.

2 hits ought to be 1 hit for this case of shattering.

-(Harpy Widow) Simple swoop or ice breath.  The latter can't affect their allies (lame as Hell).  The air OS instant kill fits them nicely.

2 hits to freeze.  Odd that it works at all, but this is fine.

-(Rabid Hound) No simple melee and only an INCREDIBLY damaging unblockable grab *what the Hell is this?*.  Having it weak, but hold us in place like in GoWIII (even without dog pile) would be better.  Reversing to toss them is nice though.  Pretty similar to old 'hound' cases otherwise.  Pity they don't cue their grabs with a howl and charge like in GoWIII.  Their resistance to the 360 toss of others is an oversight I'm sure...

2 hits for statue (whatever) and 20HP.  Being that their full HP is only 35HP, this is a bit much in my opinion.

-(Hoplite Archer) Quite the array of shot types listed.  Prety standard handling here.

2 hits as a statue (fine) and 30HP as a statue.  It has 20HP normally.  Why the Hell am I spending MP to give it more life?  Explain this nonsense.  This is a foe you can pretty easily grab whore kill.  2 hits and low life is pushing it far enough.  Don't make it tougher when you actually manage to freeze a target that isn't able to run away anyway.

NOTE: Pity we don't get multi-shot archers, explosive arrow types or any that know how to move away from Kratos when he appraoches still.  We've yet to have an Archer using a crossbow/shield combo.

-(Hoplite Guard) Standard array of shield attacks until it gets destroyed (then becomes a 'Soldier'.  A bit too generous on the HP after shield break and the attacks would be better as one-handed cases (Cursed Remains).  Spear use behind shield *GoWIII*. Meh.  This is fine.

Same as with Archer, except the HP to statue HP comparison doesn't evoke rage upon seeing it.  Shield has to be destroyed first.  At least HoB can destroy armor (if it was done instantly while working towards freezing, it would have a great perk on its hands despite the ill-advised values assigned in this entry).

NOTE: Again, a shield bash to deal with a turtling Kratos (guard break *not guard crush*) would be something worth baiting.  Shame they can't bunch up for some Phalanx action.

-(Hoplite Soldier) Surprisingly no 'option select' general grab in this game.  No rushing dog pile (GoWIII) either.  Pretty standard undead variant (like in CoO).  No wake-up attack sadly.  At least it can rush down.

Same set-up again.  30HP is more than half of 55HP though...

NOTE: Rope/wall variant is a different creature according to the guide (not uncommon for GoW to do this).  This entry has two foes that can harass us on walls.  Might have been nice to have the Cyclops (as promised in GoWIII, but not delivered) and flying types (GoW1 did this) to round it out.  Wall comat would have been better if our attack options were more like GoWIII.  But Ascension seems to aim to give all this the axe thanks to MP.

-(Hoplite Sentry) Lacks a grab for Kratos or a group AI shockwave (GoWIII).  Being a general grab condition type is odd for an 'elite' version of a basic grunt.  It has elements of the Fire Guards of CoO.  Also needs the wake-up attack (even more than the Soldier).  Good that it doesn't have rush down to its name what with the flipping attack working as it does.

Another round of 2 hits for 30HP statue (90HP target).  If it weren't open to grabs, this would help justify the 30HP statue a bit (having high natural life *3x* helps).

-(Keres Wraith) A knockback B type where they will burrow after it without fail.  The burrow cannot be stopped (HC doesn't act like CG in this case and even TB won't get them out of the ground) and leads to a medium grab (insane damage, has to be parried or perfectly evade *large hit box and catches you in the air even*).  It's pretty horse s*** to be honest.  It isn't even a general grab condition case like all other Wraiths and has a fairly large amount of HP for the type of foe that it is.  It can counter (which is fine).  The flurry is acceptable.

Morph Uppercut has vertical tracking along with too good horizontal tracking, can be done off-screen (a big no-no), hits very hard and stuns use for about a second (which is incredibly long) aside from reaching into the air just slightly.  Another OP move for this foe.  Get them to "O" in a dizzy state and they crawl away.  Fail to get them in time and they regenerate a little HP, but go into another "O" state when nearly killed (this can loop).  They burrow after this (which can suck,  but is fine *its just the nature of burrow that is annoying*).

Really, Morph Uppercut needs nerfing in general.  The combo of HP, not a general grab case, knockback B and burrow only having an OP grab (not blockable) is a bit much.  Especially with them using their highly damaging stun from off-screen (which they can chain in groups to keep you locked until dead).  They needed so much more balancing it wasn't even funny.

3/5/7 hits for freezing (a bit excessive, yes?) and 40 statue HP.  GoWII's system for petrification would really have been preferable.  40HP per case with them breaking out so quick (as if they were Sirens rather than Wraith variants) is just awful. Without insane power or the instant shatter option, you're not going to capitalize against them and we don't get paired up against them with those that could freeze them for us (Gorgons, Boreas Spawn, Harpy Widow *should have been able to anyway*, etc.).

-(Satyr) Simple slashing combos with blocks/evades.  It gains a sliding grab (that happens to deal insane damage and I don't think it can even be blocked *maybe with a parry*).  Again, grabs are too strong *did Hayashi inspire this game?*.  Luckily they go full blockhead when you mount a foe rather than just casually slidding into a grab as you come out of i-frames (from off-screen as per usual)..

2/4/5 hits for a 30HP statue (140HP otherwise).  A bit on the high side, but acceptable as Satyrs tend ot have pretty good resistance to this sort of thing in exchange for getting rid of a tough pest...though that's before you consider these are the CoO sort and they can be grabbed to death pretty easily, so this just makes HoB look bad again.

NOTE: Where were the 'Dark' versions?  Where was the Grenadier?  Where were the real Satyrs?  Even the Olympus version from GoWIII (rather than the Pandora/Hades or Champion versions) would have been welcomed.  They don't even have that many moves (unlike the Pandora/Hades version that I would never expect for the handheld entries).

-(Triton Assassin) Alternative to 'Archers'.  They can move around and toss junk at us.  Usual array of throw options.

2/4/5 hits and 30HP.  That's quite a lot of resistance for a 15HP target.  And that HP.  Doubled by freezing it...simply awful.

-(Triton Soldier) These chaps have the usual grab *that we can reverse* of Undead and simple melee.

Same resistance as Assassins.  About as ugly a situation.

-(Triton Lord) Loses the grab.  Apparently gains a counter (that I don't remember at all).  Likes to spam a jumping overhead with medium properties (can't normally block it as I recall).  Otherwise the same as the others (just more HP).  Odd that it isn't at least a "Dizzy" state case. Hell, if it needs to be 'general', give it a "O" mashing game like proper Satyrs to deal big damage (at least 40 per successful case and make it quicker than it was in even GoWIII).  It could have done with the GoWIII Satyr wall jump grab too.

Same resistances once more.  Being that it has 120HP, 30 isn't so awful this time.  Still a bit high by the GoWIII scale for such foes as this, but whatever.  Resistance is definately a bit too high for the others.

-(Automaton) All moves are medium if I remember right.  The buzz saw might have been heavy.  Gear Rush was hard to evade.  Stomp counter (easily provoked and exploitable) could be dealt with by merely jumping even at point blank.  Only fire hits and cores could damage it.  Had to be finished with "O" (wouldn't die otherwise) *sort of annoying in that regard*.  AoS couldn't do jack here even with heavy hits.  I forget if spells could work around it at all.  HoB should have at least been able to peel away the initial armor (orb drops *which were appreciated*).

-(Gorgon) Their HP was a tiny bit high for a regular Gorgon.  They have a grab, but you can break free of it and deal damage to them in the process (not unlike the Gorgon Serpent).  I believe the grab can be parried other than clearing it.  Simple melee like usual (not too good with evade into claws if I remember right).  Only 'stare'.  Grab kill counts as 'rage' (360 instant petrification) which is awesome *GoWIII started this*.

NOTE: No Queens, Serpents or Assassins in this outing...I don't even recall false OS making them do stare (that would be awful if it were so).

-(Minotaur) Altered CoO case that allows guarding of attacks and reversal of the 'gore'.  Could have used some of the more basic Minotaurs from past entries too, but this is fine for limited resources.

3/5/7 and 40HP (of 120HP).  A bit much on the HP, but acceptable.  Resistance on VH is too much though (because of the cost of the spell to hit that many times).

-(Minotaur Brute) Same as the other really.  Wasn't even armored to make it differ.  The Hammer didn't possess unblockables (but could slap away allies *no damage*) or even a shockwave (like GoW1) or an AoE (like GoWII).  It really needed this.  Not just more HP to chip away at.

Same resistance for a 240HP foe.  Not so terrible in this case (short cut to victory).  Pity the grab reversal doesn't get stronger to match their HP as these things did in GoW1.

-(Cyclops) The CoO variant, but now it can rush for a pound *Berserkers used to do this*.  It has the grab of Brutes (GoW1)/Tyrants (GoWII).  A bit too damaging on VH *like all grabs on us*.  Grab condition is multiple Dizzy states (a fine approach).  It has a grab kill unlike others that had this set-up in the past.  I-frames in all the cases if I remember right.

4/9/12 hits and 50HP (250HP).  That's the maximum allowable HP for a statue (only the Hades Minotaur of GoWII has had it and otherwise 20HP is the max even for Gorgons).  Pity AoS's instant shatter options are all upgrade unlocked moves.  My notes imply R+t can shatter (lv2) aside from air SC (lvl3) and R+T (lvl4).  Spear toss isn't at full power at lvl1 so you won't likely destroy the statue quickly enough much less two using it alone.  Bane bombs don't destroy them insantly either (pity).  The only one I know does this is air SC (only with double jump for some unknown reason *glitch probably*).  I just don't recall R+t/R+T being able to do this (even for big targets).  That would be pretty great (especially for R+t which is pretty garbage otherwise).  Makes me want to test it.  Still, it being a lvl2 move dampens things a bit...would be a great lvl1 perk for challenge runs (I'm thinking of Keres Wraiths, Cyclops and Geryons).

-(Cyclops Tyrant) Smash is unblockable, grab is unblockable and basically instant death and Rampage hits are blockable until the kick (you can just jump over it as with the Automaton if I recall right).  It ditches running for Rampage (bad call when one realizes it can be defended against as such).  Pity they don't hurt allies beyond knocking them down.  Would be great to use them against their allies.

Same, but on a 300HP armored target.  To clarify, 4/9/12 refers to Easy/Normal/Very Hard.  N and H are the same in this regard (tied to Power somehow, I guess, but I don't remember costumes with less power taking even longer).

-(Dredge of Boreas) 400HP is a bit much.  Even 300HP is pushing it for this type of foe.  Luckily the 'birthing' of spawn is limited to damage along the way to killing it.  Like Automaton, the rush is difficult to clear safely.  Unblockable hits as I recall.  Ice Cloud is so rare I barely know jack about it.  Completely immune to it beyond maybe chipping some spawn off (I forget).  Understandable.  Just wish fire hits were MUCH more potent against it so as to cut through the excessive HP and maybe use Cores to destroy 'spawn' off its back before they can break off and come to live.  That would be swell.  The mid-grab is a fake-out that sets you up for the rush (at least it doesn't deal damage as that would be just cruel).  Somewhat annoying that the "O" lingers like it does so you don't know when the mid-grab is done and the grab kill can begin.

NOTE: Why do we have this sort of thing rather than a Cerberus?  Last time it was Sphinx/Morpheus beast in place of said Greek Myth/GoW staple.

-(Piraeus Lion) Somewhat difficult to predict at first as the smash and grab look the same.  Claw is obvious (and blockable *as with 'smash').  Grab isn't even open to parry if I remember right.  Roar can be evaded (not sure about out ranging) if I'm not mistaken.  Double Jumping off the floor negates it entirely *very useful*.  As I recall, sideways leaps always mean it will use blockables (Claw and Smash) while backwards always warns of unblockables (Roar and Grab).  When it is backed into a wall, you can't see the characteristic swagger it does before Grab which helps make it clear it isn't trying for a Smash.  So many new players have trouble with it for this reason.  Also, 500 f***ing HP and a forced mini-game to kill (not able to freeze it even with a massive investment like 12 hits for a 50HP statue).  Granted, you wouldn't have the spell yet in NG.

NOTE: Didn't need to make this up.  Could have called it a Nemean Lion and just clarified it was one of many minor (mini-boss) versions of the one Hercules dealt with (proper boss I'm sure what with the resistance to direct damage being so high and claws able to tear through even this incredible defense).  This is something of a redone version of the CoO Sphinx/Morpheus Beast (a successful change into a more complete foe).

-(Geryon) All unblockables for this 350HP (excessive) target with multiple 'stuns' at certain HP points.  Slow moving and slow turning.  Lightning Blast ought to have been open to parry/return if not being blockable.  Shock Field is practically instant (no warning) which is more a Ninja Gaiden trait (not a good fit here).  Should have had at least a brief warning cue.  Teleport Discharge being used from off-screen is bad.  The instant teleport is fine, but the instant attack after it that has too large of a hit box and hits above ground?  Absurd.  When you get two of these at once, you're going to see some serious s***.

Making the Discharge open to parry might be asking too much and maybe even reduced AoE or letting it be simply jumped through (as with certain other moves like it).  If this were so, just make the reappearance slam  take longer (once it appears, he holds his Othrus ball in the air just a half second longer).  You can easily be caught evading clear of the move by another teleporting to hit you during recovery even when using cancels. That's truly too much.  Like the Keres Wraith, this foe has problems that didn't get addressed by sufficient VH testing.

It's a good thing they never team up in the game as even two Wraiths and a Geryon would be a killer combination birthed straight from Hell itself.  Instead, the two Wraiths team up with a Cyclops Tyrant (which was insanity without using exploits and even then it could turn ugly).

NOTE: Couldn't this have been just another Cyclops?  Geryon wasn't like this and Orthrus wasn't a lightning ball.  Having their deaths yield either a massive amount of MP or stuns drop some HP orbs with grab kill giving a sizable amount (half a chest) would help justify their antics.

-(Scylla) Looks like a redone "Basilisk" to me.  Being another 'fish out of water' (as with Kraken in GoWII), it is sort of silly.  Not allowing for the old expression 'rock and a whirlpool' as missed twin boss potential.  The 'spawn' were somewhat odd.  The need for a sea boss (so much focus on Atlantis) is understood and having it as the first boss dictates it has to be of the environmental sort...it's just a pity it had to look like it does rather than be closer to the myth.

Defeat of the first few tentacles is simple enough.  The first actual encounter (only real fight with it) was a decent start to the boss fight.  The second is a QTE that can kill the Triton Soldiers (but not the Minotaur sadly) *which is neat*.  Would be great if we could toss the Minotaur into the danger zone and Scylla stupidly grabs and crushes it even if we get no EXP for it (might have been a cute hidden trophy too).  The third encounter didn't even have a proper mini-game as it dragged us a long (could have fought it a bit before it destroyed the balacony, slapped it a bit while underwater (and doged debris), etc.  The final encounter with another QTE case.  It was mostly QTEs.  It didn't even have two actual fights with it.  Just the one.  Something of a shame as it could have had at least two more simple fights before it runs away again.

First sample of a foe with huge attacks that aren't as unblockable as they might seem and hit detection outside their bodies.  Quite upon to being locked too.

NOTE: Where was Charbydis?  She could have been a boss at the Vortex prior to revisting Atlantis.

-(Callisto) Slam is blockable, though it doesn't seem like it should be (at least have to parry it).  Swipe/Turnaround Swipe are also blockable.  Lunge always leads to Wall Grab or Wall Toss.  They look the exact same so you can't tell when it will be a highly damaging exchange between the two or if she'll toss us for 0 damage to either of us (odd).  The only time I know when it will be the Wall Grab is when her life is low and the Lunge is unavoidable rather than running straight (into a wall for a briefly stun).  A decent early boss with a fair amount of HP overall.  This boss reminds me of the fact that we've not been getting full boss refills since after GoWII.

-(Erinys) I'm surprised she *and her daddy* don't have a grab to thoroughly destroy us with.  I half expected Keres Wraiths to team up with her on summons during S2 of the fight.  That would have been a nightmare for challenge runs and even vanilla VH maybe (if you allowed the summon that is).  Claw rush is no big deal.  Raven Summon can be annoying as she can hit through our grab kills if I remember right.  Her blast counter is hard to see coming (like a counter attack) and it cannot be deflected back to open her up briefly and maybe get some MP or HP orbs.  Her Vortex is such that if you got pulled in, you probably deserve to lose HP (less than we do now) and give some up to her (which doesn't happen in the game).

She's just a bit too simple though.  We can't use HC or OS on her, she can't be knocked back at all (denying air OS and OH) and she doesn't even have the sort of grab we can mini-game break out of for light damage on her and none to us unless we botch it (then it can be horrible damage for all I care *you deserve it when you fail a mini-game, not automatically though*).

We then move on to slapping the taste out of her bird form with fire, chasing it down, falling towards her with just a bit less control than desired and her unable to escape us (taking too long) or kill us (projectiles).  This leading to her standing around and tossing blasts with "O" to finish her.  Might have been nice if she backed into the arena upon closing the distance and actually did chill while Keres Wraiths tried to back her up and she might use Blast or Vortex now and then.  Ignoring the Wraiths to get shots in at her being a valid approach.

Really though, the bird form didn't even fight us a little.

NOTE: Amusing that the Furies should be in Ascension when her name is the Greek title for the three sisters.

-(Deimos) Had some neat moves, but blocks pretty well shut him down and HC is all you need.  He can reverse it if you try to ground and pound too much (sometimes he breaks free almost instantly).  He never mini-game reverses the initial grab though (pity as it might help keep you on your toes).  Just HC and toss until he does his own rushing grab that can't be dodged.  Why didn't he have such a lunging grab (straight line like mother dearest) when we fought him?  Also surprising his armored guantlet couldn't be used for ground pounds like Hercules, he couldn't command any residents of Erebus (while under the influence of Thanatos), he didn't fight more like Herc in general (more grabs, tossing huge pieces of junk at us to force evasion, pushing him into walls, etc.), TB to break the guantlet and force him to fight us properly, etc.  Could have been more.  The mount mini-game could have been made more involved if only for this fight (more like UFC fighting games).

NOTE: I don't like the brother angle at all, but I'm glad he (mostly) puts it to rest and wasn't at all like the sissy 'demon' from the old video.

-(Thanatos) I'm not too keen on forced co-op even with an AI (who takes away the AoS no less).  He can hit us too (surprised me). Not all bad though.  Not being able to evade Thanatos' grab mini-game after blinding us (also should have been avoidable) is a bother.  Skill should be alble to trump this (I don't like random elements like him picking me or the brother either).  He has some nice moves though his melee series doesn't always get interupted when you parry (annoying).

His Beast form shots are air blockable if I recall right.  This besides reflecting them or letting Deimos take the hit.  Like Scylla, his hit box is outside his body (too big), but he has 'armor' on for most of the fight in this state.  Deimos spear tosses hurt him in any form as I recall.  Really odd that he couldn't open his mouth wide for an Eternal Vortex (rather than Blast) to try and suck is into the attack (for HP regain on his part) or a munching grab or something.  The last bit with Kaio-Ken Kratos is almost an 'I Win' sort of deal.  Pity no Possession gives us infinite fire to use as such.

NOTE: Charon gets a scythe, but he (and Cronos) didn't?  Bizarre.  He didn't even make use of the SoE (Erinys) or CW (Underworld fire used by Chraron) spells.  He wasn't much like Hades with summons of the dead or Morpheus with killing fog.  He was just a dude with a sword, wings and a 'beast' form that was armored.  Very weird.  Also the whole making it a co-op (with AI parterner) thing.

Percentiles:

-Pretty standard percentiles for settings (costumes are another matter).  The collisions thing has been covered.  Spells were already addressed.  Grabs will be covered shortly, but to say it now, foe grabs on us scale with our Armor % (so they get stronger in this entry).  That's awful because the balancing for the damage is horrendous.  You got grabbed by a Cyclops Tyrant (armored version for this entry)?  You're dead.  Full life?  Still dead.  Escape right away at full life?  Still.  Dead.  Getting caught by the Keres Wraith instantly causes damage that is way high (like with the Rabid Hounds) only to deal more damage after this until you escape.

Guides:

-The guide doesn't note MP cost of spells.  I'm pretty sure I had to test for difficulty and costume info specifics.  It's like they're trying to make the guides worse over time.

Extra videos:

-Plenty of them.

Challenges:

-Two sets of them.  One we have to buy (odd).  They scale with difficulty last played (probably wiser to let the player pick or at least warn them about this).  Chest opening is simple.  The standard guantlet is to be expected.  The crate within a crate was odd.  Spreading them around would be more akin to previous challenges where we break things.  This wasn't really that good an alternative honestly.  A 'no hit' challenge highlighting some bastard antics by the Wretches.  An HP drain challenge to rush and kill a foe three times (testing fire skill).  Stay airborne challenge (simple for vets).  A light test of rushing grab skill.  Armor shattering antics.  Counter testing.  A strange sort of corraling challenge.  MP restore (an HP version would have also worked).  Skelton smashing via grabs.  Coming up with many more would be a simple task.  No platforming trials among them this time.

Arena:

-Finally allows costumes.  Slightly more control over respawn (no placement control).  More limited quanity/variety (thanks to the hardware *could have been updated in the collection version*).  Overall, a better showing for the Arena.  Being able to use the shovel for 'Zeus' was a nice plus.  Pity about not having him for the main game though (who cares if he's invincible? *turn off trophies*).  Limited moveset aside, he would have been a blast to lay down a beating with (ignoring grabs/mini-games in favor of delivering the beatdown).  Arena (via glitch) could turn off special perks of costumes.

Costumes:

-God Armor should have been a vanilla 200 (all stats are great) if not making most stats through the roof.  Maybe it just can't gain EXP (top of the line already).  Instead it is 2x for Armor/Power, default elsewhere, EXP orb per hit *odd choice* and 2x fire regen rate.

Deimos is halved Power/Armor (challenge costume confirmed *good thing thoug it doesn't make too much sense when he's treated as tougher/stronger than use in gameplay and as a glass cannon in the story*).  Rest is default.  Magic price reduced to 25% (why for him *still a great perk and more so when teamed with a weak power/armor type though the power tying to spells dampens this obviously*).  With this, you can see spells in a light that makes them look much more worthwhile on VH even  if they aren't all that strong.  It is claimed it deals 2x damage with AoS, but I don't really see that in the values.  I forget if I tested to see if it had the base values where it should have been halved like with the Blades though.

Ghost of Sparta is just Kratos after killing family and just before we were a made a god (in name only concerning GoS until after the game ends) yet it has some odd properties.  Stats are default, but armor is halved (not quite a glass cannon so much as it has a glass chin).  Giving it halved power too would make more sense than with Deimos.  HP orb per hit *cute,  but the value is quite low*.  4x fire regen.  No costume makes fire damage go up, bombs cost less, etc.  Not sure why this attire would have a Bane affinity or HP orb drops.  Nice to have rewards for clearing challenges though (trophies should follow this example rather than being merely progression based by and large).

Robotos is the joke costume this time.  Only altered stat is power (half).  Strange to me that it should be weaker.  Would be nice if it changed the 'fire' of Bane to lightning (as with EoA) if not having the faster regen given to GoS.  MP orb drop per hit (why for this attire), but spell cost is doubled (truly pathetic for VH).  Extended combo meter time (woo hoo *I'm not moved by such things really*).

Legionnaire Kratos has base power (meh) *supposedly 2x AoS damage, but I never saw it*, 400% armor (better than God Armor *that's outrageous*) and seemingly 200% orb worth (why not for God Armor?).  Magic price is halved.  Again, why aren't these stats for God Armor?  This being a light tank with maybe some more power (for the AoS) would be sufficient for the flavor of it.  If anything, magic should be discouraged for it.  HP orb are desired for God Armor.  MP orbs for a costume with the lower cost advantage.  EXP for a challenge costume.  I don't really agrree with the costume breakdown here, but at least it is somewhat interesting though it lacks some of the favored 'types' of ratings.

DLC:

-Pre-order bonuses rear their ugly head.  Deimos for GoWIII and Legionnaire Kratos for GoS.  Good luck getting the former via the Origins Collection, friends.

Patches:

-N/A

NG+:

-I cannot recall details.  I think we could start with everything, but at base (not sure about extensions either).  My memory is just too foggy here.  The ideal is as previously stated though.

Grabs:

-No CG (obviously).  HC instead (fine addition *instant kills Cursed Remains; Deimos had a mini-game regarding a ground struggle that could have used a bit more work*).  OS is about the same as usual.  OH is limited again.  No alt.OH that I can recall.  False OS had no use that I can recall.

Cancels:

-Decent overall.

I-frames:

-I don't remember them being quite as poor as they were in GoWIII.  I'll leave it at that.

Various glitches/exploits:

-I might come back to this later.  Nothing is coming to mind that I wish to talk about (there are always a host of these things, but it is sometimes hard to pick what I want to bring up *because I'm not looking to denote everything known about every aspect of each game*).

Saves/Checkpoints:

-Not nearly as awful as CoO, but there were some irksome bits here and there to be perfectly blunt.  Much like some contrived 'lock-in' fights.

GoWII

Collisions:

-Same as GoW1.  Just making better user of them.

Petrification:

-System is refined (less bloated numbers).  Gorgons are on the menu, but some mini-bosses (aside from sub-bosses and bosses) are off-limits.  Without getting too technical, it works something like this: Pests/Fodder (100 resist), Minor Grunts (100-200), Major Grunts (250-500), Mini-boss (500-900).  Gorgons were the only cases with 1,000 resist.  Break out times were varied between 2 and 5 seconds for this entry (no 1 second cases like with GoW1 Temple Sirens).  Most things were at 5 seconds.  A Gorgon is at 4, Assassins at 3 and Queens at 2.  It's pretty rare that anything non-Gorgon goes below 5 seconds, but they do occasional make 4 and even 3 second shake-outs.  HP was such that it was always 20HP and below for statues aside from the Hades Minotaur (50HP).  Usually 3's and 5's.  Just to note it, the Queen is at 20HP (fastest break out for the highest normal HP) and Hades Minotaurs took 5 seconds (longest time with largest amount of health).

Of course, Gorgons can and do petrify allies quite well.  Attacks to statues will hurt them even if done by allies.  Our spell for the stuff is at its very best (to date).  More on that soon enough.

NOTE: Unlike the travesty done in GoS, I don't feel the need to note specifics from GoWII (for each and every beast) beyond the general info given here.  It's fairly simple stuff and shows about how ludicrous the handling in said handheld entry really was.

Friendly Fire:

-Not much of any cases of foes really hitting each other beyond petrification that I can really recall.

Ring-out:

-Like GoW1, plenty of it.  Not too often denied.

Enviro:

-Maybe not as much in the way of traps as GoW1 (Jaffe's Indiana Jones vision with 'temples' and such), but a respectable amount of options.

Navigation:

-Swim loses the grab forever (along with cancels for underwater movement and even aiming the rush) and very little is done with swimming in this entry.  Wall climbing is improved with rapid downward movent and more rapid movement added elsewhere.  Swinging via Blades rather than ropes (quick) *one particularly good section using this*.  Ceiling climbing/combat added.  Icarus navigation/platforming (vents).  Pegasus segment (not too shabby).  Pretty nicely handled even if swimming was rarely meaningful  beyond sight seeing in red (blood) or blue.

Puzzles:

-Amulet allowed for some time stuff, but beyond that there were some simple and neat cases.  Pity that not all are terribly fun to do over and over again.  But then, I don't like puzzles.  One very silly case stands out (stacking small rocks for a slight boost).

Armor:

-None.  No 'shield' variants or 'armor' on enemies.  A pity, really.

Weapons:

-(BoA) With the loss of R1 as an attack input, we lose the lovely antics of Hermes Rush (to a lesser extent Hermes Stomp).  The evade move is changed to a triangle input (bad call) and made terrible..  Counters based on enders are gone *a pity even if we gain i-frames, though return of stare is welcomed*.  'Rage' normals aren't all that good, but servicable.  Normals are mostly the same aside from t1 and T being weaker.  Air s3 is now the uppward slash (would be better if it had a very light 'lift* as with the L1+s air special of Nemesis Whips*).  t0 and t3 can not only hit with the 'whipping' motion for a secondary bit of light damage, but the primary can land TWICE, which makes them both extremely damaging thoug they don't cancel as well if I recall right.  'Might' became 'Charge'.  That it lacked a knockback is a pity along with the single hit and weak damage on it.  That it lead to a 'rush' or 'rise' is good, but not good enough.  Shame we didn't just have 'Rush' and 'Stomp with the modifier for grabbing during it to mimic what GoS added years later.  That was a good one.  I'll grant that.  Quick t1 and quick T options are pretty well cut down (especially shameful we can't come out of an evade into them).

This entry eliminates L1+X specials from weapons in favor of Icarus Wings having them (not terrible only because the Icarus Wing specials are both good).  Cyclone of Chaos is slightly bettter than before, but still bad/unsafe.  Rising/Falling Helios (the latter was okay) is replaced with Tartarus Rage.  The ground version is poor, but not so bad as 'Rising'.  The air version doesn't have the same aerial potential as 'Falling', but it is decent special.  Lance of the Furies (by all accounts, a good special) is replaced by Rampage of the Furies.  The ground version is about as terrible as CoC.  The air version is a lot like Falling Helios.  There is no Apollo's Ascension/Offensive replacement obviously, but Icarus wings is better at the job of the former, though it lacks the same 'bouncing from air' attribute (air t1 has this still).

-(BH) Replaces evasion with 'flicks'.  This might be fine if they lasted a bit longer, did at least a point of damage, better distracted foes, etc.  Needed a bit more work.  It had the attribute of gaining more 'rage' orbs', but perhaps not quite enough to justify the drop in other orb types.  It lacks a launcher and isn't too great for knockbacks or bounces on demand either.  Air t1 sort of addresses the latter.  Air s1 sort of addresses the former.  Sort of.  It didn't quite have the 'homerun' effect shown in early pictures.  What it did have was simple normals that were mostly bad.  The heavy hits were truly powerful though.  With cancels, they were the real draw to using this weapon.

Specials are pretty crappy.  Crushing Defeat is awful even with the knockback at the end (just having it by itself and as an S move would be nice).  No evade move obviously.  Might of the King had a nice shockwave, but it didn't quite work like DR or PS (pity).  Decent for ranged chipping through obstacles and crowd control (bounces).  Legion of Souls could bounce and the 'legion' are a lot like flicks (still too weak).  Getting both to 1 full point of damage would be nice with Legion lasting a bit longer ideally.  Cycle Cancels really help in this particular field.  Makes them all safer.  Cancels special things like souls and shockwaves, but it is worth it to be safe.  To note it, all sub-weapon have just the one air special (their L1+t move).  In this case, MotK comes down for a shockwave and the physical part can hit more than once on larger target *cute, but rarely useful*.  The real use for this is in glitch (Infinite Jump).

-(SoD) This weapon had the same orb attribute as with BH, but for MP orbs instead (also needed to net more to justify the decrease in EXP drops *even less MP orb drops than killing normally in some cases*).  A cutesy square string leading into a decent knockback, slightly better damage than the Blades, decent range/speed, etc.  No S option.  "t1" for a launcher with t2 being air stabs (no mashing or holding the input for more) and t3 being a heavy hit (not quite strong enough, didn't hit targets well, no useful propertes other than a RotT glitch on Zeus S1).  The launcher came out quick, canceled well, could lead to pursue if you wanted it to, had good forward and vertical reach, etc.  It was a very clear sign of favor for being a set-up weapon.  Too bad the air attack options were all crap... for combat anyway.

We start with the base version of Altering Slash which doesn't alter jack.  At MAX it gains this move, which as it is, should be the base version anyway.  It can 'alter' any one target (per swing) into a living bomb that hurts them and those too near (not a huge splash, but it is something).  With an exploit, you can make it alter more than one target at time, but it really shouldn't come to that.  If it were a base move, asking for one then two and finally three targets (as with the glitch before it stops working *fake alters*) altered in a single swing would be reasonable.  Maybe make the explosion (not the hit) immune to Power % and scale with upgrades to a small degree as with Piercing Shards.  That would be amazing.  The slash itself hardly allows crowd control as it doesn't cause knockback or send foes away (pushing them).  It tends to miss those that are in range too (when groups are about).  The 'altering' idea is very amusing indeed.  Pity the BoO had a light version of its best special (DR) in the form of AotG with one-third as strong, not quite as trampling lasers in normal strings.  I'd not ask for stacking of altering, but I would have liked MAX level normals to impart one-third as strong explosions with perhaps less 'splash' range and no knockback.  Just a little something extra.  Or maybe make a one-third as powerful, but otherwise equal damage case at least for the square ender landing.  Explosions while they are in our grasp do jack.

Piercing Shards is like what the triangle ender (t3) should have been.  It is the air special too (unchanged).  It is a short range blast unaffected by Power % (only the upgrading of the weapon).  Comes out quick, recovers quick, good power, knockback, etc.  It's amazing.  Even more so with Cycle Canceling to make it even more rapid fire and lvl3 for the extra power.  It can lock plenty of foes against walls, send them into each other (collisions), off cliffs (ring-out) and more.  It and "t1" are easily the biggest draw for practical use while AS and UR are just cutesy along with the other normals.

Unfortunate Remains, like Altering Slash, could benefit from the explosive being immune to Power %.  The bounce of the physical hit (and the damage) is decent.  The bomb is the problem.  They glitch out of existence in far too many cases.  You just lay the one and it doesn't even gain a large explosion radius.  It's not like we can charge it to lay a stronger bomb or lay proximity bombs instead of timed bombs (traps).  The 'altering' for normals and making UR and AS immune to Power % would have helped quite a lot.  No need for a corrupting aura (Vexxtal of SWFU1) or petrification per hit, but turning them to crystal bombs instead.  Nothing fancy like that (though the latter would be neat as a perk if it were balanced such that only KILLING blows with it could do this).  Obvious PS can't do such a thing or 'alter'.

-(BoO) We get lvl1 only for NG and the option to upgrade it in NG+.  The power is decent, the strings are meh, cancels aren't as good as they ought to be, launcher is awful, air normals are meh, etc.  Divine Absolution does pathetic damage and is terribly unsafe.  It doesn't impale anyway, the last hit doesn't do incredible damage, etc.  Divine Sacrifice is the orb milking (limited) special with light stun/bounce properties, but zero damage.  Once foes have been milked it cannot even keep them away if they're light pests, fodder or minor grunts.  It cannot stop projectiles either.  Grand shame.  If it doesn't do damage, it may as well do these other things well.  Shame we couldn't use a killer move like what Zeus did to end the Great War.  The GoWIII spell was a bad joke spell version.

The star of the show is Divine Retribution (ground/air special).  It can only fire straight ahead, but it hits harder than PS (10/15/20 being the upgrade path for SoD where as this is at 15 from the start and hits for phsyical damage when close).  DR doesn't get stronger with upgrades or Power %.  DR tramples through targets (causing knockback) until blocked by something *a foe who blocks or an obstruction*.  It is a fine alternative to PS to be sure.  Even more so when Cycle Canceling makes it safer and more rapid (though the start-up stays a bit slow).  The MAX perk for the weapon is Anger of the Gods which sends out non-trampling DR's at 5 damage (not altered by settings) each via normals.  It is quite the sight.  The 'rage' in GoWIII seemed to drop this sadly...

Spells:

-(PR) Returning favorite for the intro.  It has 'Wrath', but the power is at base much as the 'Godly Blades' have MAX moves, but MIN power.  With the Urn version, you get to replace CR with the full power PR (not quite like in GoW1, but still good).

-(TB) Draw animation is great for a quick, free cancel and had i-frames.  Basic shots were fair damage and weren't hosed like Zf was.  Only got faster with upgrades (not stronger), which was a problem as shots could pass through targets if fired too rapidly.  More power or efficienc would have been better.  Either up the damage by a point or two (perhaps 6 or 7 damage for 4MP) or reduce cost (5 damage for 3 or even 2 MP maybe).  Or fix the rapid fire problem.  Charged Wind Blast wasn't very good at being efficient sadly (pushed targets apart rather than together to get more hits).  It was only good in two cases.  When you had enough MP for just a single bolt, this would be a better deal for that price.  The other case being conjoined foes like BK S1 and a mounted Cyclops Berserker.  The closer you were when you fired, the more false and real hits.  The damage potential sky rockets and if combined with the 'near empty' (MP) perk, it would make the cost versus damage ratio really something to behold.  Also, the shot had i-frames when released.

Lethal Vortex was a launcher shot that went ahead and through walls.  For the cost, it wasn't strong enough and the shot not wide enough even at MAX.  The real draw was that it seemed to make the game believe statues it shot were in the air and landed (like they got launched then registered on the ground).  It would instantly shatter them though it didn't deal nearly enough damage to pull that off.  A rare attribute.  The firing shot had i-frames.  Titan Storm was all i-frames until just before releasing it.  The tornado would cover a large area, go through walls, linger a bit, etc.  It was only a 1:1 ratio, but it could destroy any statue and wasn't likely to miss what you aimed at (the more foes you hit, the more the damage/cost ratio looks pretty good).  It was, like Lethal Vortex, a good team with Euryale's Head for certain sections where you just want a bunch of foes to disappear for a reasonable price (that direct damage alone could not grant you).

-(CR) A cast and forget it type *like AoH* that ties foes up a bit, but doesn't hound them.  Instead, it casts in place and has a decent i-frame window.  Upgrades increase reach, hits, damage, etc. and even add and explosion at the end for knockback.  Simple and effective.

-(EH) Not quite as quick on the draw as with TB, but it has i-frames and canceling perks to its name as well.  Stare isn't quite as efficient as in GoW1, but very close *still good*.  You cannot fire Stare and Flash at the same time in this entry, but you can move will using it (and air fire all but 'Rage').  Flash is more efficient than before, so it comes out looking good (nearly as effective in an instant as Stare over the course of a few seconds).  It has i-frames on firing.  Gorgon Rage (charged) has i-frames, charges quickly, is only twice the cost of flash for a full screen effect with 2-4x the potency.  You can't argue with that value for a mere 50MP.  The uncharged version 'Blast', however, is poor.  Half as strong as flash, not quite as good with coverage and has the same cost.  At the very least it should be as potent.  It doesn't home like the enemy version, so it should also have a good blast radius.  Maybe linger a bit to stack on the stuff.

It's just no good as is.  If there were another petrification spell *and there damn well ought to be* (Stheno's Head *who could also provide a claw weapon and bronze wings for gliding pre-Icarus Wings), it ought to be like EH.  Like EH, but with Stare/Flash/Blast being possible to fire at once (just for the Hell of it), air charged usage of 'Rage' and 'Blast' shouldn't be total crap.  Even if you strip away the i-frames (as you boys seem to have gotten fond of), it would still be incredible despite costing MP to use (rather than a regeneratng source).

-(AQ) The vanilla AoE with mashing.  The panic button with i-frames throughout.  Casual's love it.  This spell is the first to be altered by Power %.  Great for when you're strong, not so much for when you're weak.  Collisions can help (or hurt as can be the case at the Translator where our hits can get him killed).  The 'mashing' is too likely to miss targets.  It's just not very good.  Also, the ported version's air cast explodes the first 'load' in the air.

Items:

-Amulet used the meter, but was considered a relic.

Relics:

NOTE: None of these are upgradable.

-(Fleece) A basic parry exists for weapon without it, but I don't recall this having i-frames and no counters as such.  With it, the parry does have i-frames.  From the start you get two counters (and no more): Revenge (small 360 AoE knockback with light damage) and Return (projectile return for light damage *conforms all returns to a beam of energy rather than returning them as they were* or petrification return via random-button-press to deal 1,000 points of petrification to all onscreen).  Both of these had i-frames.

-(Wings) Temporary glide.  Came with a ground special (360 launcher with auto-pursue) and air special (close range knockback).  Not bad at all.

-(Amulet) Mostly for puzzles.  Almost never around for combat cases at all.  Not even some where you might find a hidden lever or break off some part of a surface or even bring a statue along if located so that you can make use of time slow for a combat advantage.  Wasn't even an "Urn" (original name for "Possessions") for infinite of the stuff or activating it whenever.  Somewhat underused.  Had a nice combat use against Lahkesis (controls the fight well), but didn't do a damn thing with Atropos and Clotho (not to say the latter didn't have it as part of the combat puzzle).

-(RotT) Increased Armor % and tanking is apparent.  Takes away blocking with the Blades while giving them a new (simple) movelist with amusing extra moves: Torment (hold square to keep laying on light hits all around you) and Inferno (Hit count of 25+ feeds into an attack activated by input of block *not well explained by the game at all as 500 is the cap for damage/size increase which my 999,999 hit combo video makes quite clear*).  It can now be turned on when not entirely full (has to have at least 1/5th of the meter though), has an activation cost (1/5th), has orbs for it besides filling a bit faster, can be turned OFF, etc. aside from breaking us out of grabs/petrification when turned on (not while active).  Light hits on us cause the target to recoil.  It doesn't look as neat as electric Spartan armor (we're just on fire and dark and molting for some reason), but it is much more usable.

Where people tend to be mislead is how it alters damage.  Particularly with the sub-weapons that don't lose their block, have those neat extra moves, etc.  It works like this.  In NG, pre-Kraken, you have lvl1 RotT upon getting it.  This brings the damage modifer of the weapon you're using to lvlMID (3 for Blades, 2 for subs).  At Kraken and beyond (all other conditions assume this) is lvl2 with lvlMAX (5 for Blades, 3 for subs).  If you have lvl3 BH and activate lvl2 RotT, you aren't going to deal extra damage per hit.  A move like Piercing Shards isn't altered at all by this sort of thing anyway.

RotG could push beyond the limits (2x damage), but didn't offer the same level of insulation from damage among other faults.  RotT lacked infinite MP while active. These two models make for decent cracks at a powerful tide turning ability.  The only other such case is in GoWIII and we'll be getting to that all too soon...

-(Trident) We have it from the start and it is exclusively for getting around.  Lovely glitch tied to it though.  Wouldn't want to activate it without the Trident *horrifying*

Collectibles:

-Plenty of chests.  Get all the junk for extensions and now they're big EXP chests (rather than recovery as in GoW1 *might be nice to cycle between them all instead*).  UBER chests are used for a one time extension or a huge amount of EXP.  Another Easter Egg is revealed and this time it also grants a mess of EXP.  For the first time, special hidden objects (Urns) with abilities for NG+ are granted.  One for EXP farming (more useful with a Temple of Zeus type of thing), one for petrification build up of around 50 units per strike *taste of the Blades of Medusa that never made it*, an Infinite MP case (none for HP or the 'Amulet), infinite Rage, Fates is wasted on extended combo meter antics and the last for turning CR into PR *nice throwback that is basically never done again*.

Camera:

-Pretty good as I recall (like GoW1).  Enemies mind what you can see quite well.

Targeting:

-Very few issues.  Maybe even less than GoW1, though it is a pity about not being able to exercise some control over where grabs go when more than one foe is around beyond the use of (R) to select a target.  A key case where this fails horribly being the Translator of Lahkesis if you're perhaps kicking a Rabid Hound and suddenly another spawns (no other things around you can target and you can't use the left analog to fine tune the shot) and you can't cancel.  If this is VH (where you would be concerned about such things), the 100HP Translator is now down 50 life.  That is, of course, unless you use RotT to grant the Translator increased Armor % via his conjoined percentile (with ours) while also hosing the damage of the collision via the inverse property it has with regards to that stat.  Nifty.  If you can you use that, knew to do it, react in time, etc.  Of course, these are things that vets might figure out, but the majority are s*** out of luck with cases like that.

Enemies (foes, bosses, appearance, quality, etc.):

NOTE: Despite what I said earlier, I like GoWII enough and have sufficient energy to run down each foe if only in sparce detail.

-(Atropos) Mostly about going after the bridge and has simple Sentry back-up (good for collisions, HP, etc.).  She tosses bolts from afar (sometimes close) and does a beam for bridge damage.  That's pretty much it.  Amulet doesn't do anything here (pity).  Might have been nice to have it provoke her into an action (canceling what she is doing in favor of a bolt, maybe make her come close, send her away or something).  Also, having just the one foe type of all the 'Fates' foes is a bit limited.  Also a bother that there are no ring-outs for us or foes here.  Having her hang-out close enough for an Undead Legionnaire X toss (or even 360 toss) could have been amusing.

Her second appearance is just through mirrors where she has more bolts to distract us with or a beam sweep that makes Laheksis go into 'flight mode'  Not a 'full' twin boss fight, but it is a delicious taste of the possibility that has, as of yet, been unrealized.

-(BK) The drag bit was a neat way to get things started, but it is somewhat of a pity it wasn't more like the Pegasus section in granting some control beyond a QTE.  Short and sweet at least.  The Horse stage was pretty well done with charges, slaps, arrow shots and even a special arrow volley (no use of the souls yet though).  This is the stage one can get a huge bonus set of hits/damage using Charged Wind Blast from close range.  Defeat his horse and it goes to the 'army' stage where he shrinks the size of the arena and becomes invincible (you need to kill all Barbarian Mercenaries) while mostly using a simple 2x swing for close range and MotK from afar.  With his helpers dead, he seems to absorb their souls and gain unblockable hits for simple melee combos (no ranged options other than an AoE that isn't too good).  Working the left heel has been shown to keep him attacking the wrong way other than outranging him with enders or using 'tricking' to keep in his face.  Final stage uses simple swings, rushing swing and souls (the only unblockable *roll back then forward*).  A good fight.  The checkpoint is S3 and that's fine.  Also nice that it grants orb drops.  An extra fight post-win with his crew.

NOTE: I think of S1, S2 and S4 as samples of how this might be to do in the past, but with a crappy regular sword (no shield) among dying Spartans on a corpse hill before calling for Ares to slaughter our enemies, grant us the Blades and then quickly trounce the BK (beheading him in a mock fight).

-(Barbarian Mercenary) Simple melee and a grab *shake out for a 360 toss and HP orbs*.  30HP.  OS is instant kill.  Setting up OH or air OS can be a bit of work with them tanking during attacks.  200 stone resist, 3HP and 5 second shakeout.  No defense.  Basically a simple fodder foe to accompany one boss.

-(Beast Lord) Some simple melee. flurries, rushing guard break into melee, summon (just a Cyclops Berserker) and ride (just the Berserker).  It's aggro antics helped define it and summoning/riding made it one of the stand-out additions in my opinion.  Pity they couldn't get the riding of the Cerberus in for it too.  80HP.  OS is a damaging throw until low enough on HP for a grab kill.  Setting up OH or air OS can be a bother if you don't get them opened up alone after a grab or something.  Infinites lock it up well.  200 stone resist, 5HP and 5 second shakeout.  Blocks, evades and counters (defense).  An elite of the minor grunts as the Satyr is the elite of the Major Grunts.

NOTE: Perhaps one could make Beast Lords into the CoO 'fawns' (with their sliding grab) in appearance, but it is otherwise the GoWIII foe only it can summon a Cerberus too next time.  Having a 'Dark' version later that cannot summon in exchange for not being a general grab condition case (dizzy instead) and uses the 'Grenadier' fire ball might help make for some simple variety between the two other than small appearance tweeks (more gold on the armor of the advanced one about proper combat).  Perhaps just give that sliding grab to the fighting focused case.

-(Cerberus) This version cannot birth, but instead chases you down.  It's 3x fireball are lobbed shots with arcs that we have to parry as I recall.  A charge into head butt and paw swipe mack up the rest of the moves.  300HP, but the "O" conditions are getting it to certain points in its HP where it is dizzy (no damage can be dealt during this time for this foe).  You can ignore the beheading option though.  400 stone resist, 15HP and 5 second shakeout.  Evade and counter (defense).  A throw is noted.  I guess I forgot about it.

-(Cerberus Bastard) What a name *among others attached to it like Mole Cerberus*.  Like the 'new' Cerberus, it hounds you quite a bit and with the same moves.  It does have a flamethrower attack that's similar to Ares1 (shorter range in this case though).  In the second phase of the fight, it gains a heavy (but blockable) stomp.  Definately doesn't use a grab move.  400/200HP.  Sadly the lever that sends a fireball into the arena does 0 damage when it hits the beast (would be neat if setting that up perfectly could beat a whole stage of the fight if not instantly bringing it to "O".  It certainly isn't easy to land.  It is immune to petrification and evades/counters when you get too happy attacking wildly.

-(Cerberus Breeder) Similar to GoW1, but no longer launchable.  False OS interupts their attacks and can cause a glitch mid-grab animation.  250HP.  They are harder to dissuade from birthing and much more into spamming it this time.  I don't recall them having their grab anymore (the other one got it).  They have a mid-grab and a final grab regarding a dizzy state.  Stone resist is at 1,000, 20HP and 3 second shakeout.  Evade and counter (defense)

-(Cerberus Seed) They have some harder to spot lunges and nips that make them more annoying than in GoW1 with the 'blanka balls'.  Same grab antics, but I don't recall them being as generous with HP orbs for stomping them (grab kill).  Decent for collisions though.  They still grow up (no 'Super' version or 'non-growing' version *Offspring* this time).  100 stone resist, 3HP and 5 second shakeout.

-(Clotho) Puzzle boss by and large.  Keeps things interesting, I suppose.  Some navigation worked in too.  That visual cue was long as Hell though.  Last chest in the game is hidden here along with a corpe or two for full HP refill.  The hands are vulnerable to instant downing via a launch while caught in the resting state (other than 20 damage).  Any bounce or launch (maybe knockback too) moves will reset the time it takes for the arm to wake-up.  Skip tricks are very desirable to learn for repeat playthroughs (no reason to do this over and over if you don't have to).

The last bit has fates statues for amulet antics.  Postion yourself for the kill.  The guantlet before the Loom is a bigger highlight than seeing this thing though.  The youngest sister got a raw deal on looks.

-(Colossus of Rhodes) Encounter 1 sees that he has some back-up to distract us (or toss at us).  Neat to use them to hurt him via collisions or apply i-frames.  Lots of fancy approaches and glitches to consider.  The second and third encounters (aside from getting caught peeking *eye damage*) weren't bad either.  The latter had an option to skip a full stage other than draining aspects of your power away after stunning it.  After besting it, you go inside to finish the job.  Hard to fault the fight, honestly.

-(Cursed Archer) No "Fallen" after GoW1 and they didn't bother with "Hades" Archers, so no 5x explosive shot spam at us.  At least this entry had explosive arrows still even if the foe really just had the one fire type.  Like all simple Minor Grunts of the Undead variety, it is an option select case (different buttons for different moves *orb milk/stabs, X toss, 360 toss and torse rip*).  Plenty of other grab options if you set them up, but at 10HP, it can be murdered with raw damage about as quickly.  Stone resist of 200, 5HP (statue) and 5 second shakeout.

-(Cursed Harpy) Simple harassing fodder.  30HP, 100 stone resist, instant death (unless on the ground 1HP) and probably 5 second shake out.

-(Cursed Legionnaire) 90HP non-general grab condition cases with the leaping slash.  200 stone resist, 5HP and 5 second shakeout.  Block/counter and wake-up attack.  They should have a grab too (if I recall right).  Aside from hosing simple OS instant kills and tanking during their attack (rathe than getting interuptted), they are like their lesser brothren (open to infinites of OH and air OS).

-(Cursed Remains) 50HP, but if they fall apart it goes up/down to 20HP by default.  This can work for you or against you depending on how you play it.  They're open to OH and air OS, but neither will do much to them.  The OH can ring them out other than causing collisions.  They're a bit lacking on attack options, but they're sure jolly despite this (partial to laughter fits *which opens them to launches*).  Their "O" is a dizzy case.  100 resist, 3HP and 5 second shakeout.

NOTE: Perhaps future skeletons in GoW can take a few pages from Dark Souls with a Necromancer (High Priest will suffice) regenerating them from death via direct damage, allow for some psycho crusher flips at us, wheel skeletons sawing through HP (maybe breaking guard if not parried to stop them), larger versions *like the dropped case from GoW1*, etc.

-(Cyclops Berserker) 250HP case that originally had talk of knocking the weapon out of its hand or destroying trees in the environment that it would try to weaponize *didn't work out; Dragon's Dogma has some of this though*.  No wall climbing either.  It can be riden/summoned though.  That was neat.  Gave it some new moves though once you knew it could be grabbed to set up the Beast Lord as a collision weapon against the mounted creature...  Wander type grab condition.  900 resist, 20HP and 5 second shakeout.  Content to rush the player down with a kick to stomp combo by and large.  It's eyes are what are needed for the lovely General Kratos costume so prized among vets.  A nice touch.

-(Cyclops Brute) The GoW1 case returns with sweeps and smashes (sometimes stomping before).  325HP, 500 stone resist, 15HP (statue) and 5 second shakeout.  They're just big tanks coming to slap you.  Not much else to them.  They took the Enforcer's kill animation.

-(Cyclops Tyrant) Now this foe has the Brute's grab conditions.  Basically a Brute without a club.  It uses grabs (can get us or Wild Boars *sadly nothing else*) and pounds.  A simple enough foe as with the others.  Berserker standing out for conditions of his appearance (summon) and extra moves (mounted).  500 stone resist, 15HP and 5 second shake out for this 300HP target.

-(Dark Griffin) Listed at 500HP, but that's not accurate.  Damage doesn't matter.  Just zipping ahead a certain distance (about 5 X rushes ahead).

-(Dark Griffin Rider) PS, slaps and rams are all I can recall other than chasing him.  The first case was annoying with 20% Armor or less as the final volley instant kills unless you restart at the cutscene (or die and do it again).  Odd that it does more damage the first time.

-(Erebus Minotaur) Simple melee and a rush comes to mind.  60HP and HP drops normally, but with Theseus they are 90HP with MP drops.  Both are Wander types with 300 stone resist, 10HP (statue) and 5 second shake out.  The attacks of Theseus do not hurt his aids, but can set them up for damage (pity about the lack of friendly fire).  They do block/counter. Surprisingly little to do with the land of death or the ice on their form.  Just a neat name and look, I guess.  OH has to be forcibly locked and air OS no longer infinites (much of those antics are hosed this time *better controlled without making it impossible or weakening the appeal of going for grabs which seperate Kratos from most of the other Action characters*.

NOTE: Minotaur variety sure took a dive.  No Hammers, no elites (Tormentors) and certainly no boss (understandable).  CoO/GoS offer up the mini-boss case.

-(Euryale) The first Gorgon to be a boss.  The second Gorgon sister (after Medusa).  Only Stheno remains (curiously passed on time and time again).  Her head is the best prize yet.  Not sure why Barlog wanted her to be a fatty (rather than Jaffe's approach to have somewhat of a sexual appeal).  Regarding combat, she gets to be a tanking heavy hitter.  A "Big Bertha".  A panzer among Gorgons with plenty of HP, too heavy to open up to grab antics, immune to petrification, able to use the environment, many modes of fire (and some unique to her), etc.  S1 and S3 fundamentally the same with tail swipes, headbutts and quick flash (power struggle return).  S3 gains rapid pounds (pain in the ass) to dog us with and a barrage of 'blasts' (slow and fast homing types).  S2 has a floor sweep other than some slow blast barrages, tail swiping and a belly flop (shockwave).

-(Fates Guardian) 65HP, non-general grab (Dizzy) version of the Sentry.  200 stone resist, 5HP and 5 second shakeout.  Can block.  Simple alternative foes to the regular Undead.  Maybe to allow for a chance to show off more grab types.  The orb milk (slashes) into arm pull (put through head) is notable for brutality.  As is putting them on the ground for a neck break.  X toss is a simple pop-up.  Square toss is a slam (light damage) into toss (collision).  For the latter to register, you must have quite a bit of distance between the target and the point you tossed the agent from or have the target against a wall such that the agent gets stuck against them.  The last half of the full length toss is when the collision is possible (thus the special consideration one must make to use them effectively).

-(Fates Juggernaut) Like the Hades version.  More HP (400).  700 resist, 20HP (statue) and 4 second shakeout.

-(Fates Sentry) Like the Guardian, but a general grab condition case at 35HP.  200 stone resist, 5HP and 5 second shakeout.

-(Fire Harpy) 15HP version that can and will use Harpy Bomber.  100 resist, isntant kill, etc.  Worth noting that a simple ground OS in this title will still grant EXP.

-(Gorgon) 85HP basic Gorgon with tail swipe, claw slash and 'Stare'.  Same set-up as in GoW1, but without the infinites (forced OH lock is another story).  False OS sets up 'Stare' nicely and interupts the other things they might do.  With the Fleece, you have a great means to put them to work for you (against their allies or themselves).  1,000 stone resist, 10HP and 4 second shakeout.  Evade/Counter or 'beam'.  Wander type.

-(Gorgon Assassin) Like the Gorgon, but 150HP and uses 'Flash'.  1,000 stone resist, 15HP and 3 second shakeout.  False OS for Flash response.

-(Gorgon Queen) Like the Gorgon, but 200HP and uses 'slow homing Blast' (and Stare).  1,000 stone resist, 20HP and 2 second shakeout.  False OS will cause 'Blast' as a response rather than Stare.  No grabs just yet.  Basically just the "Medusa" model reused.  Amusingly, they are tougher than the sub-boss the are made from and they're just "major grunts".

-(Griffin) Simple rams and maybe a tail slap if I recall right.  150HP and it does have a dizzy state.

NOTE: A pity this foe type couldn't face us properly as a mini-boss type foe with ground attacks (swipes, bites, grab, tail slap, etc.) and flight moves (fireballs, 'hary bombing' *body press*, etc.).

-(Griffin Rider) Can jump at us for a mini-game *instant kills him*.

-(Hades Arm) Simple 10HP foe with slaps.  Instant kill grab on it.  Lots of orb drops (desirable given the conditions of the fight).

-(Hades Fiend) The first answer to having mobile projectile users and second 'suicide bomber' case in this game.  45HP, 200 stone resist, 5HP (statue) and 5 second shake out.  Block and evade/counter.  Explosive toss and melee make up their attacks other than when killed on the ground via damage, they will try to crawl and explode on you.  Death in the air, special kills (petrification/BoO), ring-out, tend to prevent this.  Grab conditions allow for infinites.  Grab kill is quite pleasing.

-(Hades Harpy) The 'bomb' spammer returns.  45HP, 100 stone resist, instant death, etc.

-(Hades Juggernaut) 200HP tanking bruiser with only melee.  Can give light chase.  Increments of damage towards the whole bust off armor and open it up.  This foe is the inspiration for 'Talos' (obviously).  Another wander case.  500 stone resist, 5HP and 4 second shakeout.

-(Hades Legionnaire) Just a Legionnaire Captain.

-(Hades Minotaur) No longer a lesser version of the Minotaur Tormentor.  Pity that foe type wasn't here this time.  160HP with a "wander" state "O".  Some light slaps and an unblockable (slow).  Too heavy to launch, but can still pressure by chasing you.  500 stone resist, 50HP and 4 second shakeout.  Can block and counter.  A very good variation of the Minotaurs.

-(Hades Nymph) Fireball *straight* users.  Ground OS uses them as a bomb on targets.  They have a hive (underused idea) in Atlas.  Regular damage kills, as with Fiends, leads to ground explosion to watch out for.  100 stone resist, instant deaht, etc. for this 25HP target.

-(Harpy) 15HP for yet another version of this foe type with the same stats as the rest.

-(High Priest of the Fates) 130HP is low for a mini-boss, but his ablities make him an interesting threat.  He can summon (different foes for different areas rather than being random *Cerberus, Minotaur Grunts and Fates Guardians come to mind*), curse (take away evade/jump), energy well, scroll slap, scroll burst and grab (sapping MP) other than his defense (block/teleport).  There is talk of air recovery, but I remember nothing of the sort.  He was a general grab condition, but you had to struggle as with Satyrs (however, you had i-frames in this case).  Air OS and OH were neat, but not quite proper infinites. Grab kill was lovely.

NOTE: Would be nice to have them expanded on.  One specializing in summons and another for curses.  I believe I had plans for three, but I've forgotten what they were.  I'd have to look it up.  Perhaps one was a combat expert with the scroll, grab, etc.  I seem to recall each sapping different orbs as part of the plan.  Maybe the curse case could nerf us, but also buff allies.

-(Hydra Boat Captain) 10HP, 100 stone resist, 1HP (statue) and 5 second shakeout.  There is a glitch means to spare him at least.  Fun to kill him again.  Pity he didn't appear directly for another encounter in GoWIII.  Missed potential.  Even GoS could have done it.  Not so much CoO unless we glimpse him fleeing for his life at Attica or something.  He really could have been a nice running joke/gag as with doing the sex mini-game time and again.  Tradition.

-(Icarus) QTE and mini-game bout.

-(Kraken) In this case, I might have preferred a simple 'giant real animal' to the Clash reference.  Somewhat interesting fight with the body and vent mechanic aside from crawling on the boss (wall/ceiling) to destory protective covers on tentacles before putting it on its last tentacles (slapping it into dangerous territory and using the bridge to finish it).  I'm not crazy about the whiny dialogue before it grabs us, but that's another story.  Being able to avoid the body/vent part is nice (via TB).  Multi-hit spells tend to miss (like CR) too many hits to be as effective as they should be.  Some glitches with hit detection and phantom limbs coming for us.

-(Lahkesis) Good God does she have more HP than necessary in S1P1/S1P2.  650 isn't necessary at all.  400 would already be pushing it.  S2's 200 makes things even longer.  With Atropis, it is 150 per mirror and 125 at the last one.  Amulet baits her into canceling her attacks into an orb toss we can return to down her (unless she returns it back *Persephone was clearly inpsired by this fight, but not quite enough I feel*).  Her evade eventually starts dropping a CR orb explosion with time energy (neat).  Simple melee strings (no unblockables, grabs, etc.)  Overhead slam gained in S1P2 (unblockable).  S2 sees the addition of deadly energy put across the floor. With Atropis, she is limited to S1 moves again.  The last bit sees the moves changed to projectile toss, a push and energy pillars (one of the few moves that trump i-frames like the Atropos beam in the team fight).

NOTE: Definately room for a two-on-1 and even 3-on-1 boss fight.  Castor and Pollux.  The three Furies.  Apollo and Artemis.  Plenty.  Though not every case is workable (can't very well go fighting Artemis and Apollo without making waves in continuity at this point).

-(Last Spartan) Simple melee and a mess of HP (300) while tanking in a mostly 2D stage (inspired GoWIII obviously).  How he gets around or outpaces us... it's like with other 'nothings' getting further than they have business to in Pandora's temple.  Just silly, but they do make nice decorations.  His role was a fine one though.

-(Legionnaire Captain) 150HP version of the 200HP Hades case.  These elites haven't been around since this title.  Now with altered OH and air OS so they don't infinite (cool looking though).  Melee strings and grab make up their attacks.  Might be good if they had a parry stance that worked on light attacks.  Trigger it and expect a riposte grab of notable damage (as high as 50 damage seems fair for that blunder).  Would make sense for them to order the lesser units of their sort around much as the Centaur General does in GoWIII (but only for a select few foes).  300 stone resist, 5HP (statue) and 5 second shakeout.  Block, evade/counter and false grab counter (to punish those that can't control themselves properly even harder).  Still have the mid-grab and grab kill as a Wander case.

-(Minotaur Grunt) Variant of the Erebeus.  120HP, rush replaced with a mini-game chop we can reverse.  350 stone resist, 15HP and 5 second shakeout.

-(Nymph) Uses bolts like the Hades version, but can also use web to hold Kratos down and open him up to hits.  25HP and no explosion.  100 stone resist, instant kill, etc.  The 'web' move is something that would make sense for 'spider' foes if the Arachne route was ever taken (we've already had spider and indeed scorpions *more appeals to Clash*).

NOTE: The third type (green) wa removed.  I wonder what they would have done.  'Hades' for fireballs, 'this' one for 'web and bolts' and green for something else.  Perhaps it could be another 'cursing' foe just there to annoy with energy pillars from the ground and making us unable to evade/jump.

-(Perseus) The man from 'Clash' himself.  A sling, helm of invisibility, simple sword and damn strong shield (which we didn't see fit to take with us despite being the Aegis).  Now that I think about it, that Medusa's head barring shield was like a preview of the future with the 'flash' to blind (Helios Head) rather than Stheno's (as it ought to have been for the spell version or at least a possession to alter it).  First stage of this fight sticks to sword rushes and some sling use.  Being nearly invisible makes it tough at first.  The sword/shield stage focuses on just that (destroying his main weapon).  Shield stage has the sling still, but is mostly him trying to blind us and Kratos pushing him into walls (excellent) to open him up.  The final stand ends with lots of sling use and some more 'flares'.

NOTE: Indeed if things were planned from the start, he could have had Helios Shield (CoO) before we got to use it for the first time (release later) and have it return in GoWIII (not as a possession *his head could be that*, but as an item).  The 'head' option would have been left to Stheno.  Such a pity.

-(Rabid Hound) 35HP, simple bites and doesn't grow up.  Similar grab conditions to the Seeds, but the ground OS is a 'kick' (very useful) and the grab kill is a neck break.  100 stone resist, 6HP and 5 second shakeout.  They get expanded a bit in GoWIII.

-(Raven) Basically dives into you and can only be skipped in Pegasus Flight segment 2.  Calling them 'Ravens' seems in bad taste.  I'd sooner accept "Roc".

-(Rhodes Archer) 15HP, 100 resist, 1HP (statue) and 5 second shakeout.

-(Rhodes Soldier) Same, but 20HP.  Surprising that they cannot block at all despite those large shields of theirs.  Just for show.

-(Satyr) Like GoW1, but without an attack on wake-up, no impale grab, no aerial recovery and no lunging twirl.  The mash for their ground OS is easier and air OS deals damage this time.  I don't recall if the forced lock still works beyond a newer one associated with the SoD.  150HP, 800 stone resist, 10HP (statue) and 5 second shakeout.  Blocks, evades into counter and counter pose (still has this).  Still a worth foe, but it has been watered down.

-(Satyr Champion) 210HP with more linear attacks.  Really not much of a problem.  The flipping air attacks aren't even forcing parries (regular blocks work).  Could have used the GoWIII Satyr 'wall grab' to spice it up.  These two changes would make a world of difference other than maybe letting it air recover and have wake-up attack if the other wasn't going to get it.  It hardly lives up to the name.  It does have a block and can evade/counter, but it doesn't fake out with a pose.  300 stone resist, 10HP and 5 second shakeout.

-(Siren) Simplified since the Temple Sirens of GoW1.  They are down to projectile toss, slash and energy pillar (new).  Otherwise pretty much the same at 120HP.  300 stone resist, 10HP statue and 5 second shake out (not as quick to petrify, break out or be shattered).  No homing bolts or suction.  Certainly no flash scream to stun us (Desert types).

-(Siren Widow) 100HP variant with melee and a scream that stuns (CoO Banshee takes this and combines it with the body of a Gorgon).  Dizzy case at low life (pity the explosion doesn't do more damage to other foes).  300 stone resist, 10HP and 5 second shakeout.  Evade/Projectile defense.

-(Theseus) S1P1 is just a melee exchange.  S1P2 continues this, but he can power-up his weapon for stronger hits.  In both cases, he can block and counter (even wth a grab *reversed on him for great damage*).  In the second phase, he begins using ice pillars (set positions on both sides).  S2P1 and S2P2 are the same thing.  His 'special' Erebeus Minotaurs distract as he tries to hit you with his unblockable slow homing bolt (or quick non-homing bolt) or ice pillars (very damaging).  Getting too close also provokes ice pillars.  The concept of these two phases being the use of magic to chip the boss while using the Minotaurs to refill and keep at it.  Many will have problems here on their first VH run.  He gets his with that grab finish...

NOTE: Neat to fight all these heroes.  Herc got dropped, but we face him later anyway.  Might be nice to meet them in the past too and fight still more.

-(Titan Minotaur) Noted as a Major Grunt, but should be at least a mini-boss.  400HP (1st encounter), 500HP (second) and 365/365 (third).  The first two cases are just sort of it stuck in place to block the way.  The second has Fire Harpy back-up (respawn point we cannot destroy *not targetable sadly*).  Putting them back to sleep, abusing their wake-up pounds, etc. reduce the fight considerably.  Each of these will use a rock toss when you're at range, spin when too close and pounds around medium range.  They ought not to have had the "O" though.  Would have made the final kill more special if just it did (and had the 'Atlas Interior' skin).  Said last fight has an S1 and S3 (identical *doesn't even gain rock toss for the fight*).  S2 is just waiting for the surface to come up, avoiding rocks while on the wall, etc.  S3 could have used it applying pound to one side or another for tilting the platform a bit more (as a mechanic).  It wasn't terribly mobile, but it could get around this time.  Might have helped to have it able to do some gorilla 'running' before jumping for an AoE or something.  This besides making objects fall from the ceiling (shadows/light revealing where they will land).

-(Undead Archer) 10HP, 200 resist, 5HP (statue) and 5 second shakeout.

-(Undead Legionnaire) 45HP, 200 resist, 5HP (statue) and 5 second shakeout.

-(Wild Boar) Rush attack is about all I recall.  35HP, 100 stone resist, 3HP (statue) and 5 second shake out.  Ground OS giving a nice RP orb drop.  Only foe tossed by Tyrants.

-(Wraith of Asphodel) 180HP version of regular Wraiths with their own moveset (traciing ground stab and boomerance arm toss).  Shares the burrow antics.  Block and burrow/counter.  300 stone resist, 10HP (statue) and 5 second shakeout.  Definatley an improvement offensively.  Keres Wraith went about it in different ways that ended up not entirely working out.  The Olympus version apes the Asphodel model while not quite getting it right (and gets hosed by CG).

NOTE: Yet more versions could be made.  Certainly would have made sense to have an intangible Wraith (rather than a Siren), have it able to go through walls like a ghost, etc.  They had such a 'Shade' planned and drawn up, but it didn't make it (GoWII or GoWIII *I forget*).

-(Wraith of Athens) 120HP.  Same sort of foe as in GoW1 (burrrow, spin slap, simple mlee, etc.).  300 stone resist, 10HP (statue) and 5 second shakeout.

-(Zeus) Encounter 1 is somewhat complimented and spoiled at the same time by having other foes (Siren Widows) present.  Obvious mechanic at work with them to hold us still/distract us for the shockwaves, large bolts, etc. to land killing blows.  Use of Widows to open Zeus up then attack his face/fist and repeat (rule of three *though it can be glitch for just two*).  No way to hit him from a distance.  Return of bolts doesn't do a damage thing (pity as that isn't exaclty easy and deserves the reward of skipping at least one round of backbreaking and hand/face slapping).

S2/S4 are BoO stages.  S3/S5 have him wielding it against us.  S5 is S3, but he tanks shots and has low HP other than his lightning shield (rage to destroy it).  The stages where we have the sword see him using 2x medium bolts, shockwaves, punch strings, etc.  No flight, no teleports (does evade quickly though), clones, charged lightning bolts, etc.  BoO stages have plenty of lasers, but he's in no rush to come get us.  CoO hadn't made up the GoZ just yet, so he's not brandishing it for even more power.  Pity he cannot try to pressure us with the charged attack used in the Titanomachy.  He didn't talk nearly as much trash as Ares (he was great at setting the mood).  The last bit doesn't play to my tastes (fake-out into surprise QTE), but I can see where some might appreciate the clever if underhanded tactic to win against a fo that had him by rights.

NOTE: Amusing that Olympians rarely make us of their full Olympian state in GoW.

Percentiles:

-Sets the basic mold for the series in general (adjusting GoW1's approach just a little).  Now all stats change via difficulty rather than just Armor and Power.  Easy at 200% all (magic 25% cheaper and rage 25% longer in duration), Normal at 100% (imagine that), Hard with mostly unaltered Normal ratings (40% armor and 75% recovery orbs) and VH goes for the throat.  Unlike GoW1, VH doesn't opt to reduce us to 50% Power this time.  Just 75%.  Armor is at 20% again.  Recovery orbs are at 25% and EXP is down to 75% (first time it gets touched despite the belief of some).

Guides:

-Good information in general.  I was very happy.  One problem (aside from maybe expecting them to address certain thigns like collisions, alt.OH, etc. even in passing *like they exist*)...it is incredibly poorly binded.  The thing fell apart on me in the first few hours of having it (I'm hardly rough with them).

I understand that FuturePress had a GoWII guide that came out years later with limited release.  Haven't had the pleasure yet, but I've seen some videos.  They do their homework, but I suspect they were copying off the class representatives (the vets).  I respect their guide work for the most part, so I still have interest though there is literally no reason I should believe they know anything I don't.  I just want to see how much they learned from us and offered others.  Their Bayonetta and Vanquish guides were top notch though not quite perfect (what is?).  Brady and Prima are simply dreadful even without that comparison.  What holds them back is getting the thing sold/distributed it would seem.

Extra videos:

-Plenty as usual.

Challenges:

NOTE: A primitive rating and stat tracking system was introduced, but doesn't seem to have been kept.  Grand pity.  Objectives and Bonus ones make things interesting along with ranks to earn even more rewards.

-The first is simple enough.  The next is an air affair that challenges many.  The next is like a test of your knowing to use false grabs and return of petrification.  A challenge using the Amulet and safe spots along with a Translator.  Interesting case to be sure.  EXP collecting.  I don't recall our HP draining constantly in this fight, just it being a guantlet.  A 'no hit' case with an interesting array of foes.  Overall, good challenges.  No platforming cases again though.

Arena:

-The introduction of the feature.  Done reasonably well from the start if a bit plain.  No costumes here, less control than GoS, no special character, etc.

Costumes:

-I'm still bitter about Cod of War (stupid).  Dark Odyssey is just a pallette swap (looks snazzy with the Fleece, I'll grant) and clearly inspired Fear Kratos.  The stats are neat though (glass cannon with great EXP worth).

Athena was neat for a few reasons.  Pity it was Kratos underneath, but it would have been too much to ask for unique moves, powers and VA work.  Her power stat was surprising (she's stronger than Ares and yet only at 100%).  Armor was even more surprising as she is meant to be tougher than Ares, yet she has 66% (why not 50%).  This being the goddess meant to possess the Aegis that nothing can penetrate.  Her defense should at least be near impenetrable, impervious to petrification, maybe a cost reduction on TB and EH, etc.  At any rate, she has extreme orb worth for HP and MP, which is nice for recovey while crap armor means decent collision damage to keep things interesting while she's not so weak that you'll need to fret over chipping contests.  EXP worth is at 200%.

God Armor provided the vanilla 200 while looking pretty with those 'Godly Blades'.  Hercules gave us a glimpse of the dropped inclusion in GoWII (later altered considerably for GoWIII).  A slight power perk and armor drop.  Not much of a cannon, but certainly 'glass'.  So a bit of power and stronger collisions. Would be more interesting if it had good recovery.  Dark Odyssey really should have been huge on 'rage' recovey given the look of it (gold for gold orbs).  Hydra Armor was a stupid look picture, but the team made it look nice (Shao Kahn invoked).  A nerf tank with great orb worth, though just plain with EXP.  Not much for collision or direct damage.  You would need things that ignored power (grabs, ring-outs, petrification, etc.) to get ahead with it.  Really though, it should have been huge on HP recovery above anything else given the nature of the Hydra.

The last costume is General Kratos (Fist of Ares) who strangely has the 'Godly Blades'.  Like the other non-DO costumes, he cannot be seen with the Fleece on.  It's a simple, but appealing look that I'd hoped Ascension would bring back along with the other 'tanned' form (Captain who has the 'Dominus' armor).  The biggest appeal to it is that it happens to be a challenge costumes.  Halved Power/Armor and Quartered HP/MP/RP for 500% EXP worth.  It's a vet favorite and the only costume that gets a special run type that is accepted for one's run resume aside from the default in each game.  So crap recovery, huge damage to us (demeaning the extra life forced on us by NG+), low damage to them (aside from the things not altered by settings), huge collisions (as with DO and Hercules *less so for Athena*) and lots of EXP gathering.  One would think it would be good for 'rage' gathering given the time he comes from, but whatever.

DLC:

-N/A

Patches:

-N/A

NG+:

-It had this, but you had to start with MAX extensions.  If you did a NUR+ for NG and started up another game for NG+, you would keep the NUR aspect (no upgrades), but lose the NER part (base bars).  A good first attempt though.  Far better than how the others have done since.

Grabs:

-Like GoW1, but better (mostly).  OH had many variants, but lost redirect even for "Slam" types *pity*.  Alt.OH became a thing (before it got crippled in GoWIII).  False OS are at the top of their game with forcing Gorgons to use petrification, interuptting many foes out of their attacks and into certain reactions, glitch harming Breeders, etc.  OS and air OS looked good here  as usual.  Air OS and OH suffer from infinites being hosed and damage in general being reduced.  Grabs remain (as always) immune to Power % (which is how it should stay outside maybe 'orb milking' hits or mounted punches).  Plenty to reverse as well.  No group AI stuff just yet (GoWIII).

Cancels:

-Loads of them.  Loses the swim grab and the cancel for it, but gains a few new tricks.  Perhaps the largest case being a glitch (Cycle Canceling).  It's great.  Makes all sub-weapon moves safer (maybe even more combat capable) and allows some speedrunning tricks.

I-frames (tricking and othrwise):

-The most in the series.  Pursue after launch still has i-frames (GoWIII took this out), evades are holy ground, all spells have them (some more than others and for longer windows of time), some attacks have them *rare*, parries/counters, etc.

Various glitches/exploits:

-Again, it would be better to differ to AKheon's compilation (via FAQ) or my own (via playlist).  An undesired case being from the Collection version where certan cancels during RotT would cause game crashes.

Saves/Checkpoints:

-Very well done.  Good show.

GoWIII

NOTE: Just to mention it somewhere, it was nice to have blood build-up on us even if our main weapon didn't change appearance (and looked like it belonged in WoW) with upgrades and foes didn't stick around *understandable*.

Collisions:

-Ah, the impressions the demo left.  Everything was so hopeful.  I warned of how one case could go out of control.  I really hope my words didn't result in the ridiculous 'fix' offered up.  So we have 'full' and 'half' as per usual.  Knockbacks always being 'half'.  360 toss is mostly lost (marginalized to the alt.OH *also about gone* of Harpies*).  Battering Ram allowing for multiple full collisions.  We'll get to the result of this soon enough.  Wall collisions (1 damage) added.  Neat.  Object collisions added (rapid push a box for it).

Now 'half' collisions can work there damage one of three ways depending on the exact case.  It used to be that just the target (not the agent) would take the damage.  Now the cases are (agent/target) 5/0, 5/5 *both* and 0/5.  It was a very interesting prospect though curious.  Having the system expanded was an exciting finding.  But the demo was presumed on Normal.  Even if it was, there was no way to know they would solve the issue of Battering Ram not by decriminating against it (static values for it), but by GENERALIZING needlessly in making all values static.  Truly an awful call.

Petrification:

-No petrification spell this time.  Rather annoying.  Stheno could easily have provided it and kept to tradition with main entries.  A possession for a 'Gorgon' affect replacing the 'light' of Helios would easily remedy the issue for a NG (nevermind NG+).  It wasn't to be, however.  In this entry, rather than petrification of foes causing damage to statues *GoS*, partial petrification is the odd ball addition.  It works on Kratos and foes.

If even partially petrified (as the term suggests), you will shatter upon landing. Kratos has a way to deal with this (gliding).  Foes don't.  Having them caught in the air is a way to work around the resistances being a bit too high for the antics of the Serpents and Gorgons in this entry short of 'rage'.  In this entry, the Gorgon QTE yields a free 'Rage' much like returning it will.  Very useful.  You know, when there is actually one around.  Serpents (more common than the regular sort) don't respond to false OS in the desired way, which makes them less abusable.

Going back to the matter of partial petrification, it would be incredibly exploitable with any sort of petrification within our control.  Especially with 'stare' for more efficient casts.  Having the likes of EH even without this oddity would really do a number on bothersome foes across the game.  Box 7 of the Labyrinth would look awful silly getting shattered in a hurry.  Particularly high priority targets that you might find somewhat bothersome.  Of course, many mini-bosses and some lesser cases are immune.  This is fine though.  Those that aren't would be in for a rather convincing defeat.

Friendly Fire:

-Not much in the way of this by means of physical hits harming each other (sadly), but it does exist to a limited degree.  When you mount a foe, it is completely turned on.  Petrification still applies.  It is good to have this somewhat expanded on.

Ring-out:

-Plenty of cases where it exists, but also many where it is blocked off.  Rather mixed bag as such.

Enviro:

-Not so much in regards to traps, but there are environmental advantages, pots/objects and other such things to consider.

Navigation:

-We get around quite quick in the various ways we're able.  I hardly remember swimming beyond a tube or so just to say we did it.  Wall combat is greatly improved in terms of attack options, but the actual act is sketcy as ever (one boss phase, civilians and basic undead *no fodder/pests or Cyclops beyond just blocking our path*).  Still, it lays a foundation that seems to be eroded with the MP of Ascension demanding a change to the system that will affect the SP in a way that conveniences the former alone.

This aside, we can now rotate boxes and such with (R) and rapid push.  Kick push got nerfed (needlessly).  Should have also cause collisions (full when entirely charged and half when otherwise done if any at all).  Maybe next time, eh?  It was nice to ram targets with these though.  Also, setting them off with the bow or letting foes do it to themselves (multiple times per case even *glitch*).

Icarus Vents were added in a variation of what is done in a Pegasus flight, but more focused on avoiding debris than fighting along the way.  Pity later bits weren't spiced up with foes free falling and otherwise attacking us (and impacting obstacles).  Especially the last one that was entirely too boring.  The second to last was pretty insane.  Writing down a cheap path is a must.  Good that we get full refills after each.  The time-slow with hits is a problem along with obscured vision and not an instant of i-frames after taking a hit (to allow for correction).  The (R) evade isn't very useful (no i-frames at all).  At least we can't hit the walls in any tunnel aside from one canned bit.  Would have been more fun to send that loser boss Skorpius tumbling and giving chase down the tube as with Gandalf and the Balrog (later Erinys being chased by Kratos in free fall).

Puzzles:

-Some clear influence from Echochrome.  Wall of Tisiphone was sort of its own thing.  I suspect if Catherine came out much sooner, it might have been more to its tune.  I loathe the rythmn puzzle on many levels.  Labyrinth had some amusing elements.  Less so if you don't care to seek out chests (overly simple in that case).

Armor:

-Onyx.  Magic Legionnaires become Onyx wielding Sentinels and Guardians.  Talos don't count.  Skorpius is the boss cases for this.  Regular Onyx here and there.  All of these have different properties, but are connected by a single weapon (Cestus).  Having it able to do the job in general is fine (or the only choice for puzzles), but I hardly think it necessary to make them immune to heavy hits from each weapon other than it.  I don't recall false OS pushing them away either.  Magic version worked great other than against Skorpius, but we'll get into those issues soon enough.  I liked having armor back, but wasn't too pleased with the execution.  At least petrification worked around it (too bad we didn't have it on us beyond a hugely overpriced and underpowered case with awful targeting and slight delay).

Weapons:

-(BoA) A neat look to them.  Pretty much the GoWII Blades with Icarus Wing specials and a spell tied to them.  Even has the old coutner (Argo's Revenge).  MAX moveset with MIN damage modifier.  Somewhat surprising the 'possession' version didn't have MAX power or the option to have MIN or MAX.  As such, it is a challenge option exclusively, so many won't really try to use it throughout the game.  Unlike GoWII, t0/t3 won't hit twice for extra damage.  Same pros/cons as in the past otherwise.

-(BoE) As noted in GoS, the t1 and t2 were changed and we're not crazy about that.  This aside, the returning cast of specials are mostly improved though maybe not any more useful (mashing for lvl2 CoC and holding for lvl2 TR).  CG is the big addition and it is pretty much best with this weapon.  'Counters' tied to the Blades rather than weapon specific *as in the demo* and upgrades are needed (lvl2 *Ram* and lvl4 *Rise*).  Return is a default.  Evade special remains terrible in that it denies a quick t1 or quick T, isn't very safe (as implied it would be) and doesn't deal sufficient damage for paying it mind.  It is neat that the charged air TR can get stuck on targets for a bit during the 'falling' hits prior to the plume.  S for this weapon is a flurry prior to a cross-swipe (essentially the GoWII RotT square combo).  Not too bad. Still would be more desirable as in GoW1.  Better than other entries though.  Upgrades raise it up with some nice specials, better spell damage/properties and max it at 300% damage (most costly path).

-(CoH) Decent normal strings.  Great launch (T) and bounce (air t1).  Square ender (Agony) is a bit poor on hit range as a Valor clone.  Upclose it can trigger OH from grounded targets, but curiously NOT all that can be OH'd, which is a huge count against it other than not having control over whether it does this or not.  The S special does a light flurry leading into Agony.  The traingle ender (Curse) is a nice middle ground between Plume/Spirit in terms of damage while lingering as a deterrent.  The bounce/stun isn't as reliable as those two though.  Not having the 'linger' last longe with upgrades and a super version (as Spirit is to Plume) hurts a bit.  Triangle ender coming off of s2 or s3 should be the weaker one, but after t2 (slower path), it ought to be slightly stronger with a bit more range.  Hell, maybe even the super version if you chain to s3.  This being more like how it is with the Blades.

This said, the CG is pretty awful as the distracting souls don't help much or deal real damage.  I'm not interested in hit count.  At least, like all CG, it can pull a Wraith out of the ground.  Lash is bad as it doesn't get the same lvl2 perk as the Blades (no keeping up with competition) to extend his/range and properties.  The air version can hit below/above us, but falls too fast.  Evade move is a bit slow, but not too bad on damage.  Sorrow isn't too effective at the juggling it is meant for and not all that strong.  Costs less than the Blades to upgrade and has higher base damage, but raises to 225% at MAX, which does NOT keep up.  Nice evade though.

-(Cestus) Bunny hop evade with an evade attack over modest damage and knockback *still not very good*.  Normals are simple enough with good base damage.  All quite capable against Onyx.  T is meh and air t1 lacks the range to be truly effective.  S is cute with air S being pretty terrible though neat looking.  Maul is a simple close range, heavy CoC (more damage per hit, less hits and a knockback).  No lvl2 version hurts the appeal.  Crushing Strike spreads out for light damage (too light given how hard it is to land this) and claps together for what should be a better version of Valor (in terms of damage).

CG here is a neat idea that way too often glitches in bad ways with foes not being pulled (sometimes a good glitch with them being punched like the homerun effect of GoW1).  It is to pull foes to us then follow-up with a heavy strike.  If it JUST pulled them to us and we could follow up with the hit by holding the input or simply chain into hits, it would be better.  For heavy foes, it would have been nice if it pulled us to them rather than doing absolutely nothing.  When pulled to them, we could ideally hold the input for a heavy hit.  At least let it CG poke for some light amount of damage (5).  The CG is good for poking Onyx shields (can't rip them away sadly) though targeting can become an issue.  That it doesn't hit harder is something of a travesty given the issues it has with landing.

Less EXP than the claws for MAX, but you get pretty crap specials and reach full power at 140%.  A mere 40% power increase.  What the Hell?  200% is the minimum acceptable amount.  100/125/150/175/200.  This is damage that gets close to what BH and GoZ could do, but isn't quite as overwhelming.  Instead, it drags its feet to 40% more power.  If it needed to cost drastically more to upgrade, that would be FINE just to make it more worthwhile to invest EXP in something other than the damned default weapon we were supposed to be encouraged to experiment outside of.  You would think it would get some RP drops at least for using Stampede (making it more worthwhile to apply).

-(NW) Contempt is the Valor clone for this weapon, but the issue with it is a slight delay before the desired knockback.  It has no real answer to plume/Spirit.  It's s3 does have light stun to it, but isn't really the same thing.  It does allow for infinites when you mix t1 into strings of square.  The air square moves are meh,  but the air triangle moves have some decent coverage (for lack of bounce).  The launcher has a bit less forward reach than I'd like and maybe a bit too much vertical, but it is a very good set-up tool as it was with the SoD in GoWII.  The damage is weak for this basic hit though.  Many hits have fair base damage to compensate for sharing the same problem as Cestus with regards to only 40% power increase with MAX (same cost to upgrade).  What you do gain is increased tirade length.

Tirades are the calling card of this weapon and most moves it has can be held for extra hits with their own values.  The higher level the weapon, the longer it can last.  Each move has its own tirade animation to work with though (some better than others).  These can be extremely damaging even if only held briefly.  Quite safe to cancel out of with the evade it already has (evade move is meh though).  Tirades also have a chance to drop RP and MP orbs for added appeal, though the worth is low such that you aren't likely to be getting enough for another cast of a spell in any sort of hurry even with plenty of targets to wail on as such.  Just a cute perk.  A low chance for HP drops would be more notable really.

This is a weapon adept at set-ups for juggles, air juggles, OH and air OS.  Ring-outs too, but not so much a great bounce or knockback tool.  Decent with the latter.  Its CG is the same as the Blades, but has higher base damage with lower MAX damage.  Without a tirade function, it is too similar though.  Again, with the tirade function you can shred foes and often while they're helpless in the air (lots of lock potential).  Larger targets are such that the t1 tirade can hit them with all hits just because they're sufficiently tall (Talos and larger).

Severe Judgement is a 360 launch with pursue (not bad).  The air SJ can keep us in the air against larger targets or bring lighter targets up with us. *not bad*  Deadly Reprisal is a bit too specialized (catering to the fancy).  If it strung into square or triangle enders, it would be better...but even then it just sort of puts you into the mix without a tirade function to it even at the end.  At least it can glitch raise some large targets off the ground, but that is really only useful when a Gorgon is around to partially petrify them (instant death).  The air version dives like Hermes Stomp into a light knockback that can be held as a tirade (would be better if the hit detection was slightly extended).  Cute.

Spells:

NOTE: Joined with weapons in this entry for convenience supposedly.  More likely to make room for items.  This seemingly at the cost of complex input spells (TB and MG/EH).  It's almost a shame spells weren't seperate so you had a reason to level something else beyond the Blades and it didn't have to be 'flavored' as something done by the weapon itself.  Sort of damning in that regard, isn't it?

-(DR) Strangely not tied to the 'rage' *which isn't an option at the start* and not at all powerful even with the Possession gained (an oversight, I'm sure as GoWII managed this).  Constant i-frames and large AoE.  Only via a glitch can you make the damage for it and the weapon go up (briefly).

-(AoS) The vanilla AoE spell that gains mashing.  It, thankfully, doesn't push foes outside its own blast range and can bounce+knockack which is also good.  The damage is only really good on groups (as is proper for this sort of thing), but it ends up being far more effective than the rest which detracts from their appeal in a big way.  Not because this is too good, but they are too bad.  This is one of the more balanced takes on this sort of spell (didn't get completely out of hand as with PR or absolute crap like Efreet/AQ can be).

-(SS) Lots of different summons *one type of attack each*, but poor targeting and other flaws (falling off cliffs) in exchange for a cast on the go (and forget about it) that lacks i-frames.  Lower level summons get better as you upgrade which usually makes them better than a 1:1 ratio.  Gorgon Serpent doesn't get better at all and remains grossly overpriced (nearly three times the cost of Flash in GoWII for just the half power version with a delay in summon and targeting issues).  Summoning a regular Gorgon to just use Stare would have been far more effective thanks to partial petrification.  Even then, a spell for this sort of thing specifically would trounce the effort of supplanting a great spell type.

Mongrel just runs at a target it wants to and goes for a slap.  if it hits more than one foe, that's added value, but count on just the one.  It can knockback or stun.  at higher levels, it is more powerful for the low cost.  Not bad.  Sentries are pretty bad at finding targets.  If that were not the case, they might be cost effective with some of their hits landing. Not very good.  Archers have a similar issue (targeting).  They should be good, but don't end up as such because of this and rapid projectiles not always counting (sometimes going through targets).

Fiend just blows up near instantly on the spot you cast for a small AoE with bounce dealing damage like Mongrel for the same cost with less chance it will run off a cliff or pick the wrong target.  You just get near the foe and drop the bomb.  Quite good.  Chimera is a 3x fireball from Lion stage (Goat stage's firewave would be more desirable with all that damage in one hit and better coverage).  The cost implies you're likely to land all those hits on much of any target to get value out of it.  It isn't really the case.  Not good.

Berserker can shatter shields aside from greater than 1:1 damage that can (but isn't too likely to) hit more than one target.  Somewhat iffy targeting and can fall off cliffs like other 'moving' types.  I don't believe it can hurt the Onyx on Skorpius though (just as with another spell meant for the job).  General is just a rushing case that knocks over lesser foes and impacts bigger ones.  Better than 1:1 ration and likely to hit more than one guy if they are lined up.  Where it shines is against really large targets it can get stuck on to land as many as 4 hits on (120 damage for 20MP).  HCB *hard* and Skorpius *face stage; easy* are such cases.  Seductress is a longer fuse bomb with knockback and a larger radius for slightly more cost to do the same damage.  If you're confident about your range game, you can stick to Fiend, but for groups spread around you might try Seductress instead as an easier hit.  Pity it cannot shatter shields as an extra perk.  Still, quite good.

So Mongrel is okay, both Undead are bad, Serpent is poorly executed, Fiend is good, Chimera is very bad, Berserker is good, General can be quite good and Seductress is good.  You would need to really work the 'good' ones to get value exceeding what AoS easily gives you though.  A great idea to do something like this and would be welcomed with a second try (targeting definately needs improvement though).

-(Roar) Awful at base.  Less so at MAX (2:1 ratio hurt by targets bouncing above hits).  Made worse by not having an area of coverage in the same way as with AoS while being able to miss those IN the cone of damage.  It can hit shields at least.  Normally spells that start poor like this should start with a lower cost to match the lesser damage.  At best it could deal 390 damage to a single target where AoS could deal somewhere between 250 and 350 (more towards the latter I'm sure).  Seems fine.  Looking back at base, 150 for AoS and 150 for Roar *the former for 3MP less each time while hitting all near us*.  Both grant i-frames at least.  Again, Roar is aimed at Onyx destruction.  Pity it does nothing to Skoprius' legs.  Nothing at all.

-(NR) Nemesis Rage is a projectile version of CR minus the explosive orb granted at max with slightly less power for the cost.  Base is less than 1:1 but it is designed for groups, so that is forgivable along with quick cast (and forget) with a decent i-frame window.  At MAX, it is over 2:1.  480 damage  for use of all 200MP.  When among groups the cost efficiency is great at MAX.  Still good for a single target by that point.

Items:

NOTE: A nice addition.  Amulet's regenerating meter for a new variant on spells.  They note that many players (casuals) have problems effectively using 'head' and 'bow' (projectiles in general) types.  I understand this well (though they are good).  Not wanting to use them as they are focused and using non-group spread spells can be difficult without inefficiently using up magic points.  I get it.  I just wish this didn't come at the price of the hardcore's affection for the alternative to direct damage (petrification).  If avoiding the same things was the point, that objective will have failed with the same sorts of spells being used again and again anyway.

-(Bow) 2 damage basic bolts eating up something like 1/10th of the bar per shot if I remember right *it has been awhile*.  Not too rapid, but fast.  More so in the air.  No i-frames for drawing it (or the head) this time *GoWII reference*.  Pity.  Great for cancels still.  Just not of specials *pity as some could really use it*.  Charged shot hits with a basic bolt then sets the target(s) on fire with the primary for a set amount of time (depends on foe) dealing damage per half second it is active (usually not that long).  It can spread and lock-up some targets (minor grunts and pests/fodder).  The upgraded merely makes the charged shot's damage over time slightly better (not longer too).  Having another upgrade for 1 damage extra (or even 0.5) per bow shot (primary damage) and increase duration of 'charged' shots would have made lvl3 worth having *doesn't exist*.

-(Head) Stare *passive* just reveals things and can be used to reveal things.  Having to wipe it around an intangible foes would make more sense than needing to 'flash' them as that isn't how it worked for chests or anything else.  It costs nothing.  Flash does light damage and 2x use in rapid succession can stun/knockback aside from very briefly stunning.  Flare has a huge area of coverage and a tiny bit more damage while leaving a lasting light source on the area and adding light (temporarily) to target caught by the blast.  It is the 'rage' of the firing types.  Stuns a bit longer, but still not terribly long.

Great for collectibles, but limited combat use.  Upgrading it only makes the basic shot (Flash) deal more damage *than Flare*.  It doesn't increase stun length at all or make Flare any stronger/last longer.  Pity 'Argus' got dropped in favor of Skorpius.  He would have made good use of it.  More excuse to stay in dark caves with it too.

-(Boots) Slightly improved basic movement speed while active aside from the context senesitive (which damns it) wall runs.  The CS cases could have been where it was free, rather than eatting up meter to maintain.  We never did a fancy wall run into a leaping air-to-ground version of OH on a centaur *obviously*.  The special for it is a rush that causes knockback+launch in slow-mo *neat* that can lead to pursue *no i-frames still*.  It has some uses, but it is more a dicking around sort of affair.

The charged version for upgrading leaves an explosive trail that does light damage (with more upgrading it might have been something).  Hell, a special granting a proper 'sprint' to Kratos (even without the explosive trail) *more like the animation of Gabriel in C:LoS* that eats up meter while active would be cute.  Though, it does grant an air evade which is simply awesome (long overdue).  Canceling 'rushes' into attacks/strings would have helped add more value to it.

Relics:

-(Trident) Swimming.  No underwater grabs or much of anything to do with hit as per usual.

-(Fleece) Does what it does.   No upgrades attached to it.

-(Wings) Has specials only with BoA *attached to it instead*.  The 'weapon switch specials' take over its slot *regrettable*.  No upgrade options for more damage, longer duration or anything like that.  Just glides for navigation and such.

-(RoS) BoO not as a weapon, but a 'rage'.  Tanking, high Armor %, etc. to be expected.  ONLY BoO attacks while active while activating/deactiving and being filled in the same way as RotT minus gaining extra perks/powers through progression or upgrading (why?).  It isn't terribly strong (Cestus outmatches it at base), but not weak either.  The normals are somewhat questionalble with s4-s7 moving us all over the place (difficult to direct).  There is no jump, instead it is a special.  There are no special moves.  Running attacks as well.  Activation is a weak attack and air activation does decent damage.  Feels really mishandled.  With Cestus selected, it has 'armor break' properties, but is otherwise defeated by Onyx (silly as Hell).

Collectibles:

-Lots of hidden things (some turning up more than once *glitch*).  Head being used for 'invisible' chests, false walls, etc.  Possessions among the hidden objects (extensions too).  No uber chests that I recall.  Some 'mega' EXP chests other than what you get when the item chests are used when you're MAX'd already.  Not that the EXP is needed though (not much that needs leveling and no Temple of Zeus feature or even 'ranks').

Aphrodite's Garter allowed for BoA (for no clear reason, but it is appreciated nontheless).  Schematic for infinite Item use *nice*.  Hades' Helm for MAX HP, MP and IP bars (turn on/off for refills which effectively grants immortality and makes two other possessions near worthless when this should have been associated with invisibility*).  Helios' Shield as a possession rather than Item (taking the place of a 'head' from a Gorgon) and all it does is grant 3x hits which is hilariously useless beyond my wanting to be able to see if a single hit lands on Hermes during challenge run antics.  How specialized.  Not like this can help with the trophy for hit count anyway.  Huge waste.  Parry 360 stun/hit from CoO with improved Helios Head would be better.  Ring for QTE auto-win (in most cases).  Nice.  Shoulder Guard for one-third damage taken (just make us unkillable for God's sake...we can't get trophies using these anyway).  Coin for 10x orbs, which isn't worth a damn without something worth spending it on.  Shell for infinite MP (lovely).  Eagle for infinite 'RoS'.  Too bad 'rage' is so terrible this time.  At least one can do decent damage without being hurt much.

Chalice offers a challenge in the form of draining HP (much appreciated).  Pity there wasn't a 'gorgon' possesion to make 'light' into petrificaiton.  Would be great.

Camera:

-Mostly keeps up, but off-screen attacks can and do happen time to time.  Especially in Box 7 of the Labyrinth during our gauntlet with Sirens, Guardians, Wraiths and Minotaurs.  In a game where you don't control the camera, this is no good.

Targeting:

-The usual light error with hits among large groups persists.  Not a huge deal.  What is a problem would be targeting for Soul Summon in general and grab targetting/priority.  It can be extremely hard to make it do what you want with some throws, OS attempts, etc. and is often costly when it messes up.  Your only defense being to reposition foes to avoid the issue altogether.  It was so bad that it is wasn't just something the vets note in their challenge runs.  It didn't get patched, but a major plus did (which never ceases to amaze).

Enemies:

-(Gorgons) Why the Hell does a regular Gorgon have so much HP (255)?  The meaty Serpents take the grab antics of 'Queens' (CoO), the heavy strikes of Euryale (not unblockable with the second hit though) and the Flash of Assassins.  No Queens or Assassins in this entry.  Pity.  Good variety between them.  Serpents don't respond well to false OS (not bated into their petrification).  Rather annoying.  At least grab kill yields 'rage' just as return does.

-(Centaur) The only foe that can call other enemies into group tactics (or to be less grand about it...just a certain move they all do).  Lesser undead will rush for a pile-up and the betters will go for a ground shockwave.  Sadly he cannot call for more troops (or summon a higher level foe), make shield users form up in a phalanx, organize Archers to make them fall back and rain down unblockable shots (from the sky *GoS had the attack added*) or just multi-arrow shot or even actually have explosive arrows at all.  Fiends might go for suicide grabs on us.  Things like that.  It was a great idea that could have used more attention.

The rushing grab hitting with foul tip is odd (something done often enough in this game).  Amusing when it misses (no damage to it though).  Catching it (QTE) seems to hurt allies other than sending them away (possibly off a cliff).  Not being able to normally *glitch use needed* ring them out is a bother.  It is a good feeling when you're clever enough to make them run over the side or reverse the QTE to send them into instant death rather than chipping 375HP or getting them low enough for their mini-game.  Too heavy to launch, bounce or knockback in this entry.  Pity their armor wasn't more like it was in GoS or CoO.  I wouldn't want it like the Onyx.  I can deal with it being as it was knowing it could be worse.  Would be neat if inferno could bust the armor off instantly (rather than chipping off slowly with damage) if it meant getting rid of some of its hit stun resistance and skill with deflection/blocking.

One other glitch associated with it would be rapid hits (bow is best) after the QTE reverse to glitch reach "O" long before it is low enough on HP to trigger it normally.  That's nice, but somewhat inconsistent.  Would be a nice hidden facet.  This said, a heavy version focused on melee and ordering others was a good chance from the GoW1 Centaurs (light archers with monstrous attacks).  I'd still like to the have the old version with them though (nice contrast).  Especially with the Undead model (skin peeled off) rather than the weird sort of thing applied instead (Green Baraka's as I recall).

-(Cerberus) The GoWII Cerberus got changed into a 'Mongrel' with the original undead look meant for GoW1 Breeders *looks nice*.  It reaches its Dizzy state very quickly so the HP might as well be considered quite low.  I don't recall it being able to grab.  When mounted, flamethrower (triangle) does amazing damage, but is stationary versus the fireballs for lighter damage.  Having this for HCB would have really jacked him and his Satyr pals up in a hurry.  Put it in the Cyclops guantlet and everybody is going down in a hurry.  Box 7?  Same story.  The damage output is incredible as one can test via the Combat Arena (quite the pleasure to arrange bouts that don't exist in the main game to see what sorts of things weren't accounted for).

The Hades Cerberus has a straight shot with incredibly poor tracking and low damage if it did manage to hit (and wasn't blocked/returned).  It gains an unblockable stomp (taken from the Cerberus Bastard) though *beware as it comes fast*.  Otherwise it is just another case of the same charge happy headbutting chap.  You MUST remove all their heads this time though and failure to react to the Dizzy state will regenerate a bit of their HP and make you try again.

There are no 'Seeds' that grow-up into a Cerberus this time, but there is a 'breeder'.  Hades Cerberus Breeder (HCB) takes the Hades Cerberus and adds the birthing of Hades Cerberus Whelps (all they do is rush at Kratos, howl and explode) *look just like War Hounds*, puts three fireballs on the unblockable stomp and adds a mess of HP (aside from Satyr back-up as if to pretend it were a boss).  Many have quite a bit of trouble with that foe, but AI control goes a long way.  Boy oh boy does it have a lot of HP (900).

-(Chimera) Came out very nice.  Snake stage focuses on a spit that mostly just stuns, a slap and a charging grab.  Not too hard to lock-up.  Lion stage goes Bipedal and takes to taunting (opening), melee (interuptable) and 3x fireball (get off the ground or keep away).  Goat whores charges, hops around (annoying) and firewaves that are extremely damaging.  Again, nice job.  Somewhat of a pity it cannot use any moves from later phases earlier on even if it prefers to stick to whatever phase it is in.

-(Lost Soul) Like civilians, not much of a threat.  They do 'lash out', but very half-heartedly.

-(Undead) To note it, Cursed Remains in this entry are not like in GoS or GoWII.  Just a palette swap of the Olympus Sentry (read: Undead Legionnaire).  The Sentry can now dog pile aside from grabbing us.  Pity about not fitting in the enemy weapon stealing (like with Bayonetta).  Also a pity their different (randomly generated) armor didn't slightly influence total HP, speed and the nature of their melee (mace, sword, axe, spear, barehands, etc.).  Their burning animation and spread of flames amongst themselves (as with Spawn and some others) is lovely.  Being halved when near death was cool too (though it would be good for Fiends too as they could then go NG style and try to grab and suicide bomb us)  The Legionnaire is the non-general grab condition case who can block, does the leaping atack, etc.  That sort of thing.  Keeping either infinite'd with OH or air OS takes more work these days (that's fine). Battering Ram into walls is neat for allowing mashing of circle for extra slams (though not necessary and not granting extra EXP *though it should have*).

-(Archers) Way too simple.  No advanced version later on with explosive arrows, multi-shot, etc.

-(Shields) Onyx properties make for a bother, but the idea is still desired.  Spears while using their shield (no spear chucking though).  They won't form up a phalanx outside of a scripted event that requires a Berserker to break (has to be mounted too *lame*).  Guardians are the lesser version and when their shield busts, they are just Sentries.  Sentinels are the Legionnaire version.  The rushing shield attack and spear thrusts can be annoying when coming out of off-screen.  Having petrification work around shields is lovely, but a sad reminder of what we lack.

-(Cyclops) Berserker is as it was in GoWII.  Remains is a reskin with more HP (neat looking though).  Would have been preferred if it fought more like a Cyclops Desert King and could grab like a Tyrant (even tossing the helpers around at us if it felt like it).  Could have used the bone to sweep like a Brute too.  Enforcers return, but their armor is still just for show (lowest HP version of the bunch).  Their chain ball attack is insanely damaging this time.  Pity one can't opt to ride them and direct the charges and chain ball shots.

-(Harpies) Regular cases have the 'bomb' (get off the ground and you're fine), diving slash and maybe a grab (I forget).  Queens have a feather volley and that's about it as they rarily attack and grabs on them just to a 'ride' used to get around.

-(Hands) Same as before, but we can grab them now.

-(Hounds) Again, no 'Seeds' this time.  Rabid Hounds return, but now they can grab/dogpile which can be incredibly annoying with the priority it takes.  War Hounds are a reskin and Hades Cerberus Whelps are this, but only interested in blowing up on us (no actual HP, but a hit will cancel them outside their i-frames other than kicking them back for light damage *compared to what they do to us*).

-(Minotaurs) All pretty much the same in attacks.  Grabs are nerfed on them.  Elite and Labyrs have bloated HP and defend themselves much better.  The guide talks about the latter having an axe toss, but it just doesn't exist.  The rushing move launches us, but isn't unblockable (outside a specific challenge).  The latter two are have a slightly altered grab kill as well.  HP orb drops are a bit lighter than in the past.

-(Fiend) In the Arena you learn they can actually ride a Berserker, but it was not finished as they merely stand in place and toss fireballs rather than have a complete moveset.  It's a pity this wasn't completed as they could have been a decent 'Beast Lord' substitute despite lacking a charge guard break to really harass players.  Couldn't summon them either.  No interaction with Mongrels at all.  Basically the same as they were in GoWII.

-(Siren Seductress) Widow combined with the GoWII Siren and given an ability of a dropped foe (that makes more sense with Wraiths).  Has a shockwave for stun and MP drain (while in flight), intangible (head to reveal or glitch cases), straight projectile (not that fast anymore) and quick melee/counter.  Mid-grab as in the past, grab kill of Widows (not damaging and misses some targets while not breaking shields).  Not too giving with orbs, but there are some of the MP variety.  Infinite air OS applies still (OH takes more work and with crap collision damage, it isn't worth the effort).  They're immune to the traps of a certain section and that's terrible (even when you get them downed for it).

-(Satyr) Simplified to the extreme.  They still defend well, but lack a fake-out, the wake-up doesn't hit, they don't air recover, they don't have a lunging grab (instead a wall jump version *neat*) and their melee combos are slower (with less variations to dazzle with).  Their grabs (against them) are much more worthwhile than in the past though.  The grab kill might not be as fancy, but it has potential to hit others and impaling them to surfaces is sweet.

-(Spawn) Grab kills abound.  They can lock us which is not appreciated.  Their HP returns are way too small.

-(Talos) Essentially the same as the Juggernauts of GoWII aside from petrification immunity.  Would have been a swell callback to BH to take their weapon briefly.

-(Wraith) An infernior take on the Asphodel model that has its burrow hosed by CG.

-(Leviathan) Hippocampus, rather.  Plenty of variety as a tutorial fight (teaching about the blockable/unblockable, wall/ceiling combat, etc.).  A bit dastardly to not have a checkpoint upon reaching the second ground phase of the first encounter though.  The second encounter had a new move or so to show off.  Well done overall.  I would never have expected this creature of myth much less as a worthy boss.

-(Poseidon) Pity we don't fight him man to man even after getting him out of his protective shell, but we do at least fight that much.  The first and final phase have some PR patterns to learn and a simple stab to one side or the other.  Kept easy as a first boss.  The second phase is more interesting with a variety of attacks (slap, punch, 3x stab, full stab, grab, etc.).  When you learn to take advantage of 3x stab, you get a nice opening other than blocking/tricking the melee hits.  Taking advantage of the full stab takes more time to learn how to do well.

-(Hades) Very nice variety though the 'full ground cover' attack after meat phases should have been extremely damaging if it caught you.  Plenty of variety here.  Just wish there was a checkpoint at least for S2P1's start.  Tug-of-war was odd, but a good way to wrap up before getting his weapon then using it to beat him down.  Something of a pity he didn't make good use of Soul Summon or Army of Hades though.

-(Hercules) Pretty easy despite his back-up.  They mostly helped clear themselves out.  Taking his weapon wasn't too hard (though his flash with it makes me jealous of the stun potential).  Using it to finish him was satisfying as he is tossing parts of the Arena at us, going for grabs, exchanging blows, etc.

-(Helios) Not a fight.

-(Hermes) Didn't exactly have access to rapid dashes, explosive trails to evade or an air evade.  Did he need to be crippled right away before our fight?  Why not a brief round at his best before he flees and gets injured?  Why were his slaps unblockable and so incredibly damaging?  Why was his backflip kick unblockable?  At least his drop kick could be reversed though easy to mess up.  He was a pain in the ass and his immunity to most spells and all item (damage) just compounded this.  Especially in challenge runs (try using Cestus in a PAIN+ against him *go on, do it*).  One does best to keep just outside his aggro range and land the likes of Plume/Spirit, Curse, etc. to be cheap.

-(Cronos) Not a boss.  More of a level.  Neat as such.  Pity about Gaia not doing the same.

-(Skorpius) The infamous giant Scorpion we don't ride or get anything (weapon/spell/item/relic) from.  The Icarus Vent bit was underplayed, but at least it gave a checkpoint sorely needed after the first face phase was beaten.  So many problems.  I noted before that the grab could 'foul tip' for more damage than getting caught could do IF you failed the mini-game.  That's amazingly bad design.  It's unblockable too.  The actual grab defeats i-frames even in grab kills on spawn (bringing them to life again).  The S2P1 version gains more range and can no longer grab (only foul tip).  Why would this be done?  Malice for the fans?  It's an incredibly fast, large ranged unblockable with monstrous damage that looks the same as a harmless, but incredibly annoying grab (because it is the same move occupying the same animation).

The tail stab of S2P1 is a bit too good with the tracking.  The tail slam in general is a pain because of huge range (beyond what it should have), hitting even when we are full under the body (where it cannot reach logically) and enormous damage while we can get STUCK on invisible collision time to time other than landing on top of legs.  You cannot cross around or under Skorpius, but his spawn can clip through him completely and when birthed (which is spammed), they have i-frames and 'stun' us.  During S2P1, he can freely opt to leave whenever the Hell he feels like it to spawn a host of more spawns rather than only at the start and when you get two legs of three broken.  He's especially partial to it if you keep to the back.  Speaking of which, he likes to spam reposition techniques when you're back there.

The idea is to uncover Onyx covered legs where two of the eight are already uncovered from the start (rear most), but their hit detection is bad.  Uncovered legs are nice in that ANY attack can hit them and it will stun Skorpius so long as he is not actively attacking already.  The tail slam he likes to use after breaking a leg? He follows it up with birthing everytime.  If you hit an uncovered leg right after evading the tail slam (that usually trumps the i-frames of evades), it will prevent the birthing which is nice along with using the heavy attacks that are great for managing spawns and also hitting uncovered leg to keep Skorpius (mostly) behaved.  Speaking of those hits, magic and heavy (ground) hits do not hit the covered legs at all and that's just awful.  The camera cue can be annoying too (for face phase).  Having him regenerate ALL legs if you mess up is quite cruel even if only having to break three (though it should be just one to try again) to down it.  The amount of time given for face phase is also a dick move for those on higher conditions with weaker tools.

His breath upon returning to the box can glitch and fling Kratos off the platform aside from breaking us out of our grabs and getting us stuck in the air until combo'd to death by his helpers (clearly not intended).  It can also help by blowing his help off the box.  Again, their HP worth is too low for when one actually tries to use ground OS to get more HP out of them (the drops would be plenty for merely doing damage based kills though).  Perhaps if his grab wasn't glitched it wouldn't be necessary to be able to recover so much HP.  Same to getting stuck under the tail slam.  It's a very frustrating fight that takes time to master the oddities of.  And this is what we get rather than Argus, true Cerberus, Stheno, etc.  It got full attention from the very beginning and still turned out like this.  How?

NOTE: Getting the Icestorm made me feel like we were getting some sort of answer to petrification even if it was late game (surely a NG+ would allow for it from the start), but it was just a puzzle item.  It couldn't even be used as a possession to change Helios Head into a damned scorpion head/sting that sprays 'cold' to freeze targets. *GoS would later do something akin to this, but muck up the system*

-(Zeus) First two phases take the idea of Last Spartan for a 2D fight (MK style as some put it).  He's got a charging grab (reversable), diagonal crash (air bock or parry), punches (unblockable third hit if second lands/is blocked) *jump over or keep away*, lighting lift (blockable), etc.  Sort of like what happened in Dark Souls when they let their boss be parried (into riposte), air grabs made sport of Zeus in a big way.  Odd that this was allowed, but not OH.  He could 'escape', but wasn't too good at it oftentimes.  S2 was just a timed fight where sticking close prevented him from using anything but blockable his.  S3P1 was a return to S1 basics.  S3P2 had him start using the heart to regain HP annd he would evade into clone spam.  The clones not being able to block, having low HP, not using thunderbolts, not evading/making more clones and dropping some orbs...helped.  Just the same, he would sometimes spam the clones to a ridiculous degree if you didn't completely lock him down with air grab whoring.  It was awful if you didn't have upgrades to spam all resources for or have the air grab method down.  Try just using the BoA against him.  Locking him down with it isn't easy like it would sound on paper.

NOTE: Pity about the dropped plans for the fight.  No Olympian state, no BoO (Zeus), no GoZ (Zeus), barely applied his 'fleece' clone, no Aegis, no use of charged thunderbolts (like what one-shot Gaia), resorting to annoying clone spam, still not talking the same noise as Ares, having less of the neat moves exhibited early on for his final phase, etc.  And not even really fighting 'Fear'.

Percentiles:

-As it was in GoWII.

Guides:

-Pretty crappy coverage of petrification, a few questionable values with spells (not uncommon), the usual terrible tactics, some made up cases (certain foe reference), no mention of collisions/alt.OH, etc.  Costume coverage is lacking.  Decent 'walkthrough' for lesser settings, I suppose.  Not quite as helpful for finding chests as the list from the GoWII guide, but at least this one doesn't fall apart in the first hour.

HP representation of foes is pretty bad (just noting when they will reach "O" is better than some cutesy Omega symbol as an abstract).  Pretending Commanders and Generals are different foes comes off as odd. Not having bosses in the back sort of infuriates me, but more so not covering Zeus correctly and giving a questionable value for Skorpius.  It is nice that they, for once, do my job for me in listing 'failure damage' with grabs (even if it was just for one boss).  Highlights nicely how ridiculous the thing is if the failure of the grab is 40 damage, but the foul tip from what shouldn't even be a move is 100 damage (in Action, QTEs that you can reverse tend to be highly damaging or instant kills if you fail, but easy to escape for zero damage, but foul tips surpassing them...).

Extra videos:

-I seem to recall a few.

Challenges:

-First those that come with the game.  Rapidly kill enemies (ring-out and Battering Ram whoring).  Bare Hands takes away attacks and block (the latter was a bit much).  I'd dare say it was too strict with time to the point that if you fail to trick larger HP targets into being rung out, you would not make it in time.  Grab targetting becomes an issue.  Another petrification trial (this time with us being petrified without dying). Gliding, false OS and return have this covered.  The next is just a matter of quickly getting "O" for the Berserker, mounting it and laying trash to waste (focusing on high point targets and preferably ring-out).  A test of skill with mounting.  Though it would have been nice to have a version of Mongrel riding (that's where HIGH damage is at).   You could wipe out an HCB and many others in short order using one or two of these.  Hades' Kids is a joke (Spirit whoring).

The DLC challenges can pose more challenge.  Old Birds is about staying in the air and killing some pests while doing so (resets if you land).  Targeting is a light issue along with foes moving away.  Takes time to get used to how to do this right.  Switch Blade is trouble for many as they don't really learn weapons too well (especially the sub-weapons).  There is no warning about when a switch is coming from what I recall.  Definately cutting it close on time again.  Pandora on Fire was neat for having allowed most (not all) foes to be killed instantly by the flame under Pandora if you get them too near it, through it, etc.  That helps.  It is a challenge where you kill foes to keep her out of the fire until all of them are dead.  Hands Off was such that I don't remember it (just killing Hades Arms).  Use Protection was an amusing shield bashing challenging, but suffered because of targeting problems (otherwise quite enjoyable).  Hades' Kids 2 is quite the trying battle to manage in the little time offered.  Feels like some of the timed cases ought to have been less strict beyond a 'bonus' objectvie rewarding truly fast times.  Fear Itself is us versus a Kratos using BoA with incredible power, LOTS of HP (rather than a little), some unblockable versions of our moves, impossible air escapes, the air evade, parry/counter and grab immunity.  Didn't have spells, relics, items, etc. beyond that.  A bit cheesy in how difficulty was handled.  Could have been done better.  Still, it was a neat to have a unique foe for a challenge for once.

Arena:

-Not much in the way of expansion since GoWII.  Still keeping to simple circular arenas with ring-out mostly blocked off.  At least they had a 'dark' arena.

Costumes:

-Not quite as many as GoWII and certainly not for free.  You get one and it is a palette swap used during a story segment which would imply ourselves as 'Fear' would be weak where Zeus was almighty as such.  Perhaps we were afflicted and not empowered.  It's just odd that Heavenly Sword had "God Armor", but GoWIII didn't.  I mean really though...DLC pre-orders and other nonsense while making others wait a LONG time to even try to get them (with money no less).  What the Hell was that about?

(Fear Kratos) Strangely a super glass cannon.  Upsetting that this gets blocked from amazing collisions like Tycoonius, but in a new way *static collisions rather than not being allowed for VH*.  One gets 4x damage taken and given.  For VH, your Armor % will be 5% (20x damage per hit other than grabs *static*).

(Apollo) Stragenly the only costume that has Kratos without ashes (or a beard *and gold eyes*).  It is Kratos' body with the Apollo concepts approximate look.  Having the ashes removed gives it a GK feel.  50% Power and 200% Armor.  Pity it didn't go full challenge costume, but the Chalice has this covered.  The two are practically made for each other.  One might have expected a 'bow' based perk, but nothing of the sort is done in this entry.

(Morpheus Armor) Rather than Blue Kratos, we get this callback to a foe we never once saw.  Looks neat.  Not sure about the white tongue and black eyes, but glowing is cute.  Being orb focused is okay, if a bit boring when only at a mere 200%.  It should be around 500% so the recovery is notable other than an orb leaching perk.  In this case, HP orbs is desired as the Whips already leech MP and RP via tirades.  I'd rather have had Blue Kratos from the concept art.

(Phantom of Chaos) 500% EXP worth and nothing else is changed.  Could have used a downside or some sort of interesting ability.

(Forgotten Warrior) 400% armor when he's got a skimpy attire?  Truly odd.  Amusing tank, but the look gives the idea he should be a fast and sleek 'Prince' (of Persia) character.  Maybe with high orb worth in general, up to 15% faster animations, weak damage, crap armor, etc.  He just doesn't even look tough.  Would have looked better without the ash.

(Dominus) Rather than being Captain Kratos (who could have been like General Kratos *GoWII*, but twice as extreme), they kept his ash and made it a variant of the Cool Armor Kratos (without the altered tattoos and blades).  It's the current Kratos with the armor that PS2 couldn't make look sufficiently pretty for Jaffe's tastes.

NOTE: Really, I would have preferred "Captain Kratos" (Dominus without ashes), "General Kratos" (Regular Kratos with clean attire, just the eye scar, no ashes, etc.), "Ghost of Sparta" (GoW1 Kratos with bandages and such), "God Armor", "Fallen God" (our default costume is this still *finger less gloves, remnants of God Armor, etc.*) and "Blue Kratos" (alternate tattoos *not just color*, more scars, blank eye, gold eye, some hair *ponytail*, altered chains/blades, altered bandages/light armor, etc.

(Deimos) I can't even remember what the stats were.  I know EXP worth was damn near 0% (not quite though as orbs could still give you some value *obviously EXP bonuses worked around it*).  He might have been really tough/strong here where he was weak in GoS.  I just know he had his glowing (Death influenced) birth mark to make him more interesting to look at.

DLC:

-Annoying pre-orders and special hoops to go through.  Slurpees, pre-order of another game, pre-order bonuses from three different vendors, etc.  It was a nightmare.  Reprehensible to get all these and have to pay for all but the one palette swap that was already in the game (though you do pay for it again if you get teh bonus DLC challenges).

Patches:

-Supposedly fixed an issue with gliding while the controller wasn't plugged.  Confirmed for having fixed not the much reported crashes or targeting problems (especially with ground OS), but the NG+ glitch that gave players a means to have everything from the start as the case should allow.  It's just a pity you couldn't already do this and opt out of MAX weapons (because the glitch doesn't allow it either).  So what if early chain breaking can crash the game?  Fault of the player.  Other crashes were left alone entirely.  If they couldn't work out the kink, they would play things normally to avoid the problem.  Want to skip an area?  Good for you.  No excuse.

NG+:

-Glitch allowed it, but then it got patched (beyond all logic).

Grabs:

-Plenty of grabs, but still no OH redirect of slam, alt.OH options downplayed, false OS is less useful again, etc.  CG is the new 'grab' variant, though not a grab (not immune to Power %).  Infinites are pretty well hosed *not a fabulous thing*.  Grab damage is pretty pathetic in many cases, but the Satyrs are NOT among them (a fine job balancing them out as such).  Horrible job with Minotaurs though.  On the front of QTEs, aside from GoWII expanding these, GoWIII simplified the way it is displayed on screen *nicely done*.  Not sure I like this 'promptless talk' though.

Cancels:

-No cycle cancels that I recall.  Some spell cases, but not as good as in the past.  The cancels for air dashing were awesome.

I-frames:

-Pursue lost i-frames for the first time.  Evasion i-frames were made inferior and often enough hosed in fights (unacceptable).  Cases of attacks negating i-frames (even in spells) weren't notable though.

Various glitches/exploits:

-First entry without a proper HJ or IJ.  Still has swim glitch and other silliness though.  NG+ was a glitch this time (until "fixed").

Saves/Checkpoints:

-Mostly generous saves and checkpoints.  Hades could have used a checkpoint for S2P1 or just having one after each meat stage.  Skorpius was a cruel joke in general and desperately needed a S2P1 (just after S1P2 *first face phase* QTE) checkpoint as he first left the box.

~Might add in area-by-area coverage or expand on some areas.  Might not.  We'll see about that later.  SP suggestions for GoW:A have just begun.  I'll have to review old notes and other threads.  Input of others would be appreciated.

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Keyblade Wielder
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Re: GoW:SP ideas

May 12, 2012

Holy cow man...that's a lot to read through.

Chapters -

I'd love it if they broke GoW down into chapters.  I love the games, but sometimes there's certain scenes I would like to see...and most of the time they aren't in the "cutscene viewer."  Uncharted breaks the game down into many chapters, something like this would be cool.

Skins -

I'd love to see some really unique skins like in god of war 1 and 2. 

Maps -

GoW 1 didn't feel so linear when you got into the temple of pandora...there wasn't much you could do but it was a lot more open than the previous games..you could go do different parts of the temple whenever you wanted...though you couldn't do anything in places you've already beaten. 

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Treasure Hunter
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Re: GoW:SP ideas

May 15, 2012

The current versions of CoO, GoW1 and GoS are done.  Maybe expanding later (perhaps even area by area coverage if I feel up to it).  GoWII then GoWIII.  I should be done with both of those by the end of the week.  Then working on making suggestions for GoW:A SP based on pros/cons from the past.

>a lot to read

Yeah, maybe so.  This is the nature of the work though.  And this is just being very light on coverage.

>chapters

I can respect this.  An 'Extras' option that divides the game up at checkpoints/saves perhaps?  You would have to be able to pick the costume, HP/MP (etc.) you have at that point *if not full*, difficulty and other aspects.  Such a thing reminds me of how I'd like to be able to pay to skip puzzles at least for NG+ (make EXP worth something).

Make it expensive if need be.  Short puzzle done for 1K, Moderate puzzle for 5K and Longer cases done for 10K.  I'd front the EXP happily and likely have plenty to spare.  This besides quiting and loading up another section to just avoid it alogether after having alead earned the right to do so.

>costumes

GoW1 introduced the idea of a costume with a special attribute (not just altered stats), but Possessions really should completely take this over...at least for cases like infinite X/Y/Z.  More damage with a certain weapon, cheaper spells, X/Y/Z orb drops per hit, etc. can be costume specific still, I suppose.  It is the matter of interesting stats (percentiles) that concern me.  I've noted before a few types that I think ought to be in each entry no matter what:

-200% all *vanilla 200s like Ares Armor, God Armor, etc.*

-High Power, Low Armor *glass cannon*

-Low Power, High Armor *nerf tank*

-500% orb worth (except EXP) *recovery; maybe paired with hits dropping small orbs of MP or HP now and then*

-Low everything, 500% EXP worth *as with GK; challenge attire*

One can take concepts like the glass cannon and nerf tank to extremes.  Rather than 200/50 or 50/200 *respectively*, 400/25 *Fear Kratos* or 25/400.

One with nothing extreme attack power (400%) but no faults *all default* might be a bit dull.  It doesn't have to be Armor that goes down below 100% though.  Maybe just EXP taking a dive.  Maybe all orbs down to 50% or even 25%.  A special perk like stronger hit properties (stuns, knockback, launch, bounce, etc.) might be appropriate as a perk.

Same for a case focused on armor (at 400%).  Make it with default Power and crap recovery (orb worth).  You could perhaps use a perk like tanking of light attacks and only a light stun (at most) for heavy attacks.

Maybe a costume that allows perfect parry for even completely unblockable attacks (as with Moon of Mahaa-Kalaa *Bayonetta* or Royal Guard).  Being able to parry free of hit stuns, deal with unblockabls and grabs, etc. would be nice.  Even nicer if a counter built up like with RG to make the counter attacks stronger when finally used.  We've hardly scratched the surface for special abilities on costumes (or just make a possession allowing for such things).

A Possession (or costume) granting Kratos the evasion of Zeus *GoS* would be amazing (almost like gaining Dante's Trickster minus the air evade *unless we are granted this*).

>stages

I fancied the level design of GoW1 and GoWII the most, myself.

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Fender Bender
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Re: GoW:SP ideas

May 17, 2012

Holy Crap Dude, let's just make it what we don't want in it and make that list shorter. Sorry I didn't read it all.

I just have one thing. Don't make the game suck!

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Treasure Hunter
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Re: GoW:SP ideas

May 18, 2012

>holy crap

Not remotely finished.  GoWIII light coverage next.  Maybe circling back to give more details analysis.  Probably not.  Certainly the possibility of going over locations (from run skeletons I've made) to some small extent.

The focus after GoWIII (currently finishing up the GoWII evaluation with light foe coverage) will be some suggestions for GoW:A itself.

>what isn't wanted in it

You would have to be more specific than what you provide.  Also, perhaps suggestions of what to include.  Maybe cite other games (usually similar cases, but not always).  Perhaps even harken back to old entries and how they differe (just listing what you liked/don't like *so they don't repeat themselves in poor ways or 'do' repeat and maybe improve other aspects*).  That's the idea anyway.

>shorter

Can't do it.  That's not the nature of the thing at all.  Has to be long.  Very long.  What I can offer is 'highlights' after most of it in the form of the actual SP suggestions for GoW:A.  There is no 'spoiler' or 'hide' feature for this site yet, so I can't put the evaluations inside them so as to reduce the overall size.  The best I can do is put those after the actual suggestions.  I'm quite sure I'll get very little actual 'fan feedback' to help with compiling any sort of worthwhile list though.

NOTE: It's easier if you take it section by section for each entry and respond as such.  You'll get more posts out of it, but more importantly, managable chunks.  Most of the individual sections are quite small.  For instance:

"There aren't any at all.  Not by knockbacks or any other means.  You can't even cause another foe to get knockback or stunned using them.  That was quite the dive in combat options coming after GoWII.  This is a clear negative, but not too unexpected (first time handheld entry)." - CoO (collisions)

With my wording, you might take it that I consider this a (strong) negative.  Something I don't want repeated at all.  So I do hint at the idea that collisions are valued as a mechanic.  Later GoS sees my admonishing a simplified system that also makes them too weak to matter in terms of damage.  GoWIII catches grief despite expanding the system notably only to cripple it with static values across the settings.  GoW1 and GoWII catch much praise.  Clearly I'm in favor of the old ways while perhaps allowing for GoWIII's many versions, just with the scaling from the originals.

You may take it game and talking point at a time or just a whole talking point (all games considered).  In the above, I gave a quick run down of all entries for that topic. It happens to be one I can do as much for (while skimping on specifics that clarify what is wrong/right with them).

NOTE: Feel free to weight in on this (all of you).  Though, I don't believe many who aren't at least vets of VH (and often not even then) will know much about or care about collisions (square whoring, CoC spamming, magic dependence, etc.).  Just playing for "fun" on lower settings.  I feel all too strongly that the more 'hardcore' players (also long time fans) don't get represented terribly well though those like me are quite vocal about our feelings.

>didn't read it all

I suspect no one has or will.  I don't let such things demotivate me.  I have my own purposes for the list beyond getting others to join in on a dialogue about the SP (rather than just the MP which isn't the focus of the series).  Just on the off chance it makes a difference, or doesn't, I'll have done what little I can.

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Fender Bender
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Re: GoW:SP ideas

May 18, 2012

I might read it since the playstation forums seem to be dead at the moment! However I am expecting more details at E3 this year. Should be here in a few weeks! I am also expecting some sort of release date. On Amazon I get a release date of 12/31/12.  Which I don't think is the actual date. I think they will go with the usual March time frame?

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Treasure Hunter
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Re: GoW:SP ideas

May 19, 2012

>might

My advised way to go about this should simplify things.  Either take it topic by topic in chunks you can handle or even lump together all entries for a singular topic (Ex: collisions) to ask questions about the note, make comments/observations, give suggestions, etc.

>dead

It is often like this.

>more details at E3

I'm more expecting more MP defense to my great dissatisfaction.  I'd greatly prefer only SP at E3.  At least equal in coverage to what MP has had already (afterall, they claim it is getting equal effort and fans know it is the real bread winner of the series).

A gameplay trailer wouldn't be too unlikely, but a live demo would be appreciated.  Even more so if released to fans for evaluation/critic quickly thereafter (within 2 months of the showing).  Feedback and free testing?  What a savings.  It will also serve to reassure many if not giving those with reservations something to focus on other than the undesired element.

>release date

Anything before 2013 has practically zero chance of being right.  My guess remains something like March 25th of 2013, but it could be even later.  The month of March is the time of war (Ares' month).  Hard to say though.  Tradition has been violated before.

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Keyblade Wielder
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Re: GoW:SP ideas

May 23, 2012

Honestly they're going to have to showcase both SP and MP.  They sound like they added MP to really boost sales..if not there's really no point in adding it. 

If they don't, lots of people won't even buy it, and even less will play the MP.

I think adding a MP to a game like this is silly, because most people seem like GMG, they only care about SP....and they care about it a great deal. 

Though, hopefully that love for the series carries over to the MP, because it'll be more like an extention to the game, rather than a hinderance (or should be)

My worries atm are:

1. Will SP suffer because of MP?

2. Will MP suffer because of SP?

3. Will very many people play the game and keep it alive? 

It'd be super lame, especially if the MP is amazing, if there weren't very many people playing to keep it alive. 

I'm hoping SSM goes hardcore.  DLC, skins, extra content, killer story, kick ass MP...I love god of war and if this MP is good I'd spend every minute of my life playing it. 

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Treasure Hunter
Registered: 01/15/2006
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Re: GoW:SP ideas

May 23, 2012

>to boost sales

That's the idea, but it has yet to work for a non-shooter.

>if they don't

Those that will buy it anyway will be much happier for a better SP.

>only care about SP

That is correct.  Between hardcore and casual players of this genre, it is mostly the case that GoW attracts attention for the SP thanks to high production values (good music, good graphics, decent story, simple combat, neat setting/monsters, decent level design/bosses, etc.).

It has always been a very 'friendly' series on Normal that less serious players can pick up, play and have fun with even if they don't learn hardly anything about the combat or much of anything along the way to the end.  There are some casual players that don't really have a feel for the Action genre, so they might think MP can fit (it really cannot).  There are also non-fans that cannot see how MP could ever be a bad thing.

This is one issue the majority of series fans (and Action fans as a whole) agree on *a rare thing*.  SP is the focus and MP detracts from that.  Many have the decidedly negative view that MP just cannot work in this genre anyway.  Particularly thanks to it not being a shooter at all, so it doesn't really lend itself to the models set by others who branch into it (tastelessly as the case was with adding co-op and competitive to Horror  games that have become more about Action than Survival).

>will it suffer

It is already shorter which makes for less room for levels, hidden objects, extra encounter mix-ups between foes, less room for SP foes, a dropped boss or so, rough-around-the-edges signs, etc.  There is no getting around it  It is only a matter of to what degree is damages it.  We didn't need to be told the obvious (that it would be shorter).  It stands to reason they wouldn't just say it will be worse though.  Less than it could have been.  There is no denying that at all.

Seperate teams changes nothing.  Resources, time and effort went elsewhere, space was taken up, etc.  Not only these things, but SP is confirmed to have been altered to match what needed to be done for MP so the engine can run the same for both.   MP takes priority over SP in this case.  One can plainly see why this would be upsetting to the actual fans versus this demographic targeted that simply will not care after a week or so of having the game.

There are no words they can give that will comfort those like me.  It is wasted effort.  Only a 'beta' of MP and a demo of SP can even begin to console us (if things turn out well in both *if not just the latter* that is).  We'll play the 'free testers' game happily.  Just put is in the game, coach.  Listen well to feedback.  You'll not want to miss a thing.

The prospect of PR management of community backlash against MP is wasted effort that could be spent on instead comforting us with a show of SP being alive and well.  It wouldn't even matter to these people of MP was okay, if the SP wasn't to their liking as a result of it, you see.  The quickest and surest path is to make good use of E3 entirely for the SP.  That's my advice.  They'll have plenty of time for MP showcases afterwards...

>MP suffer because of SP

More it will suffer because it doesn't belong in the genre and has to bastardize the SP in various ways to really 'work' if only just a little.  Rapid chest opening is not okay in SP as that is part of the challenge (to get to a replenishment chest before someone brains you).  That's fine in MP, though unnecessary. Wall and ceiling combat was starting to come together in GoWIII only to take a step back in GoS and now it seems to have been scrapped for disgusting on-rails climbing as with Uncharted, Enslaved, etc.  This, apparently, without proper combat (the point being we fight in pretty much in case where we can navigate save for swimming *the final frontier that they are wise to avoid*).

Talk of 'promptless QTEs' is fine for where button presses don't matter in instant kill finishes for MP, but for SP?  Is this to say "O" is replaced with the light beam halo?  And what of the various QTE types?   Are they unchanged or do they get to beams of light too?  There isn't any reason to change the SP approach here.  It was fine.

MPs weapons are apparently making it into SP though the team often enough said it didn't want to do the same things over and over again (why it didn't have guest weapon returns and why my beloved 'head' of a Gorgon was not returned *in reality it wasn't well received by the casuals pandered to and was a complex firing type which would be difficult to work with when you need to input items too*).

Yet here we are, saving resources, with a large hammer (BH), large sword (BoO) and Spear (SoD).  The GoWII sub-weapon have returned and the Blades (primary) are a given.  Back to the originals,  but shall we have the BoE version again though these are the Blades of CHAOS?  Probably.  That's another story for another time.

What of spells.  Being that MP is running the show, does it decree that spells are tied to weapons (GoWIII) or seperate?  Do items get to be in the game this time or is it too much to ask to have something with Kratos that the MP clones can't toy with?  Hard to say given the tight-lipped coverage.  GoWII was very open.  GoW:A might be the most secretive they've been to date as it didn't even get a GameInformer early preview as has been tradition.

>lots of players to keep it going

That's hard to say.  I imagine servers won't get worked too hard, but then there is the matchmaking to consider along with how well it deals with lag and disconnects.  Lots of MP elements to consider.  Very many to be sure.  Most SP guys are not interested in MP at all. Many that will toy with it will do so only with the candy of trophies offered.  Beyond that, not too much is to be expected.  How many of these will become hardcore MP for an Action game?  None of the hardcore SP players, I'd wager.  The majority will get back to what they normally do quite quickly (SP only or MP in other *shooting* games).

When the time comes that the server closes, it will be a dead additon to the game with no value to anyway for lack of offline or local play.  Not much in the way of foresight there, I'd say.  So to combat this, online passes to make money while one still can?  Really showing some fan love if that was the case. Time will tell.  I'm just terribly negative about all this.  It's better we stick to SP discussion though.

Have any ideas to share?  Thoughts on the noted?  Things you liked specifically about the old games (or disliked)?

>DLC

Oh, that's a safe bet.  Lots of exploitative DLC to buy (more likely pre-order and never get a chance to buy until a year or so after release *like GoWIII*).  Things that could easily have just been part of the package deal as they were outside that entry.  Expect more of it thanks to MP.  But we've been over all that. This is the SP thread.  MP discussions can be saved for your topic that deals in that specifically.

~At any rate, I finished the basic evalutations of the older games and only just started making actual suggestions for the SP of GoW:A.  Shall you be the first to do the same?

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Fender Bender
Registered: 02/25/2006
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Re: GoW:SP ideas

May 23, 2012

You know the only thing I hate about multiplayer is the fact you get paired with IDIOTS. Or you get stuck with a kid on his mic that by far SO ANNOYING. I really don't want to play with 7 other players unless they are people that I know and are mature.

I don't think they are doing MP to boost sales. I think most of multiplayer levels actually come from the single player game. I think fans need to just be patient and not so paranoid at this point. There is really nothing we can do to stop it but now we can help support the team that made these awesome games.

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