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God Wars Future Past PlayStation 4 Review

I started playing “God Wars Future Past” with some trepidation. JRPG’s generally come in two flavours in my opinion, derivative and crap or really, good with only the occasional game falling in the middle ground by sheer luck (is it luck if it’s mediocre?). God Wars falls into, the former, the better end of the scale honestly, it’s just a question I guess of ‘what’ does it do well and does it deserve your time?

Gameplay/Controls:

Menus, menus, menus! The legacy of the JRPG. God War is no exception; however, we’re playing with a heavily streamlined game here where the combat is simplified, the movement is easily handled and the combat itself falls into a basic flow of “Move à Attack or Magic or Item or Defend à End Turn”. Even without reading the copious tutorial on combat that falls into the first few chapters, I found this system easy to pick up, simple to understand and initially easy and later rewardingly complex to get into. Later, more depth reveals itself, as you learn elevation plays into combat, with ‘higher ground’ giving you an advantage to combat, lower ground giving a disadvantage and much, much more.

The turn based nature of the game means you can take your time or simply rush through, at your own pace. Things can progress as you want them to. Either make a 3,4,5 or 6 on multiple opponents battle last hours or make it go by in minutes. Things can be as strategic as needed or as foolhardy as you want. This is of course both the blessing and the curse of the turn based strategy game.

All up, the controls are simple, effective and work well for what this game is, they’re open enough to the casual player to pick up and run with and complex enough for the experienced player to not feel pandered to or condescended to by the developer. God War hits a decent mid-point in that respect and does what it does effectively.

Graphics:

The graphics in God Wars are pleasant, they harken back to the days of the PS1 where isometric JRPG turn based combat games were a dime a dozen. Basic polygonal characters with pleasantly detailed textures (albeit low resolution textures) give the game a nice identity but one that unfortunately doesn’t separate it from other games of its ilk. In this respect, this isn’t a bad thing, it’s just that it’s not a great thing either, the best way to describe it is a word I use all too often, ‘functional’, the graphics in God War, are ‘functional’.

Now, contrary to the functional status of the graphics are some delicious animated anime sequences, colourful, vibrant and with terrible English dubbing (a hallmark of anime which I adore), these really set the mood for the game. This elevates God War, seriously, bringing the whole package up a few notches in my eyes. The interspersing of the animation throughout the ‘chapters’ to carry the plot forward keeps you involved and helps you to remain engaged.

What I didn’t like though, at all, was how God Wars overrides the PS4 (in my case the ps4 pro), option to set borders. I adjusted the borders on my television so I can see the whole entire picture of a game as it currently gets cut off by the black plastic shell of the tv. God Wars overrides this and doesn’t give an option to fix it, that I can see. This results in a lot of text being cut off, as well as any detail in the borders such as button instructions etcetera. To be honest this was *incredibly* annoying. Other games didn’t do this to me, so the fact this one did just strike me as incredibly unfortunate.

Sound:

The sound was acceptable, we’re in a day and age where audio production quality is no longer beeps and bops. The music suits the game, with a fantasy JRPG feel to it, yet honestly, it’s also completely forgettable with no memorable tunes alas. That’s neither good or bad, it just ‘is’. I guess it’s a case of ‘how many games do you genuinely remember the music to’? The music just wasn’t that memorable, just, it wasn’t bad?

The in-game sounds are satisfactory, standard PS1/2 era JRPG fare (I know we’re on the PS4 here, but this is the quality sound you’re getting from this, it’s a complete retro throwback on purpose). It’s very pleasant and fun in terms of audio. Nothings bad, everything’s effective and pleasant and everything fits in with the aesthetic of the game. What I genuinely loved was the voicing of all the characters, that was a touch I appreciated. Text overload is a genuine thing in JRPG’s. Voicing the characters was a genuinely excellent touch.

Value:

Here’s where I get a bit sketchy. The game runs approximately $69.95 on the PS store. There’s a lot of fun to be had in the game, but I don’t know if I’d pay that price? You can, of course by shopping around, pick up triple A games for 68 dollars these days, (Yes, this is of course considering major department store markdowns), so at almost 70 dollars AUS, God Wars seems a little pricey? It gets worse, when you consider retail instore, it’s priced at 80 AUS. If you shop around, you’ll find it cheaper no doubt. If you find a second-hand copy at a cheaper pricing point? Grab it. If you’re after that old Japanese turn based strategy flavour, you won’t go wrong here, just be warned it’s pricey as it stands. If you do that’s awesome I just find it hard recommending something like this, at that pricing point that’s all. I would’ve been perfectly fine recommending 50 dollars? But 70 – 80 seems way too high to me. I must take that into account for the final score alas. The length and depth of the game is a definite factor, but unfortunately, so is the actual price.

Overall:

God Wars is a great little game, with loads of hours waiting to be invested in it. You’re going to be eased into it, or thrown into it depending on how you approach it. It’s got great cut scenes and some great retro inspired gameplay. The combat is decent, the sound effective and the music great, unfortunately the game is let down by a too high pricing point. Overall, I must give God Wars Future Past:

Pro’s:

  • Retro gameplay
  • Clean retro PS1/PS2 style JRPG graphics
  • Long campaign
  • Strategic fun

Cons:

  • Price is too damn high!
  • Overrides visual settings.

Rent this game now from GetGaming!

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