The first two God of War games rank among the most spectacular titles on PS2 - major technical feats from the console's twilight years, both making a worthy jump to the HD era via Bluepoint Games' excellent PS3 remasters. The Vita, meanwhile, has a mixed history with PS2 ports so far, with Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 taking a visual hit owing to sub-native resolutions, and the Jak and Daxter trilogy running at truly trying levels of performance. So what's the deal with the God of War Collection on Vita?
With Bluepoint otherwise occupied, Sanzaru Games takes point on Vita and it's immediately clear that we're in sub-native waters. 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.