Friday, March 16, 2007

Happy St. Kratos Day

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day - and I couldn't be more excited about it. I've been counting down the days, as have a few of my friends.

While I will be enjoying my fair share of Guinness, that's simply a coincidence. More of a nod to the holiday (and the fact that Guinness is the best of all beers), really.

We won't be spending the day at an over-crowded pub, fighting for elbow room, and dodging the vomit in the Gents with the 'amateurs' that hijack the day. We'll be enjoying it in the comfort of my friend's house playing a video game.

Lame, you suggest? On the contrary.

The game is God of War II. The sequel to the best video game ever created, God of War.

I don't play a ton of video games. When I do play them, it's mostly sport games, notably hockey and golf. I've tried other adventure and war style games but I'm never really good (or patient) enough to get more than half way through them. They eventually become too difficult or I get distracted and don't play them for months... then have no burning desire to continue them.

God of War is the first game that hooked me so strongly that I was determined to finish the entire thing. Not only was it tremendously fun to play - the accompanying story line that goes along with it is so well developed, you're forced to finish the game to see how the story ends. It's that compelling.

I can't get into the whole thing in detail but it is based in Greek Mythology, with all its requisite creatures - Cyclops, Minotaurs, Hydras, and the like - and a heaping helping of Greek Gods - Zeus, Athena, and, of course Aries... the God of War, himself. He's the bastard you have to kill at the end to claim victory. And when you do that, you - Kratos - become the God of War, yourself.

This is where God of War II picks up. Kratos is the new God of War and I'm dying to find out what's in store for him. Can't wait to see what new creatures we'll have to destroy. Can't wait to find out what puzzles we'll need to solve. Can't wait to get sucked into the story. It's like playing a movie, is what it is. That's the best way to describe it. It's a movie that only continues when you progress through the game.

Yes, I know I'm thirty-six years old and that may seem a bit old to be playing video games. But I grew up playing them and it's still a great source of entertainment for me. Some may think thirty-six is a bit old to be playing video games... but, I suppose, it's probably too old to be out at a pub, surrounded by a bunch of drunk, annoying amateurs, too.

I'd rather be soaked in video game blood than some punk's vomit.

Our troubled hero, Kratos :

Our troubled hero, Kratos, kicking ass :

See you tomorrow, St. Kratos.