Sony and Santa Monica studio produced two of the best looking PlayStation 2 games in the original God of War and its sequel. Bluepoint Games took the reins of updating the titles for the PlayStation 3 for God of War Collection, and recently Sanzaru Games took the lead in bringing those remasters to the PlayStation Vita. How do all of the versions of these games compare? For very detailed technical answers to that question, check out Eurogamer's report on how God of War and God of War II have changed over the years to accommodate new hardware platforms.
In line with many major releases on the platform, both God of War and its sequel render at 720x408 before upscaling to the full 960x544 dimensions of the display. The result is considerably more muddy and blurred than we'd expect, which isn't helped by the grounded greys and browns of the series' colour palette. Visually, it's worth stating right off the bat that almost everything in terms of textures, geometry and lighting makes the jump from the home console editions - but this chop to image quality can't help but impact our appreciation of the fact.
The other major disappointment is in the handling of frequently used pre-rendered cut-scenes, where Sanzaru appears to have significantly cut down the original assets (squeezing both games into a mere 3.3GB download). This reduction comes down to heavy compression of both audio and video assets on Vita, resulting in a muffled dialogue, plus obtrusive macro-blocking artefacts during cut-scenes.
Don't miss the detail photo gallery comparisons and video examination as well. While I think it's unrealistic to expect the Vita versions to stand up to the PS3 remastering, it's interesting to see how the games had to lose a few things to make the jump to a handheld system. I've been playing the games on Vita over the last few weeks and while I do notice that they're not quite as fluid as the PS3 versions, they're not as unplayable as the angry community would have you believe. They're perfectly serviceable and present the core God of War experience. If you really want the true PS3 versions on your Vita though, there's good news: the PS3 versions support Remote Play on the Vita and are Cross-Buy compatible with the Vita versions; buy one digitally and get the other at no addition charge. I've tried playing the games that way as well and have no complaints with them, but of course Remote Play performance is only as solid as one's Wi-Fi connection. God of War stays true to itself through all its conversions. Some just come out of the process looking a little better than others.