This game is, in many aspects, what its predecessor once was; the god of fast paced action games.
At least as far as I know, God of War II has the best fighting ever. That's the area in which this sequel surpasses God of war.
The game features more secondary weapons, new powers, (although I really wish "Poseidon's Rage" would've been avaulable throught the whole game) new enemies and even cooler boss fights than before.
The flying sequences weren't particularly impressive, as attack movements were quite limited. Still they added to the feeling that Kratos traveled around the land.
Regarding Icaru's Wings, I don't feel they quite suited Kratos, and as I see it, they just put more tedious plataforming into the game.
What surely was a great addition was that swinging around with the chains; lots of fun.
The mini games in the middle of a battle still work like they used to, making cinematic executions feel interactive. Few things in other games feel as pleasant as getting the mini game right and seeing the enemy die in a a bloody mess.
What I do feel has become cheaper is the concept of the game; mainly what has to do with the dialogues and and the story.
I truly enjoyed the story in God of War, and I found the cinematics excellent. The part where it was told how Kratos had obtained his power in the battle against the Barbarians, and how he had slaughtered his own family were the best. There were some very clever ideas put into the story: being killed by Ares and then having to escape the pits of Hades; sorting the traps of that temple where Pandora's box rested and then finding the dead architect of the temple still inside together with his family. And well, the ending was just great. Kratos taking the giant sword that served as bridge, and the final words of Ares "I wanted to make you a great warrior" - "You succeeded". And then he tries to commit suicide, and ends up being a god. Pretty cool if you ask me.
God of War 2 has more to do with Kratos shouting constantly "Zeus you will die" "Athena you betrayed me" "-insert name- you dare to defy me?"
The tragedy of his family slain by his own hand is gone. The elements of the story just pop up suddenly. Kratos is riding the pegasus and he hears the voice of Gaia saying he must go to the sisters of fate. "Oh yeah right, the sisters. You came up with that quite quickly, huh? You sure there's no other way? Why the sisters anyway, you got a problem with them, want them dead? Because you know that any creature that meets me DIES".
And all that stuff they constantly mention of Zeus "betraying" Kratos. WTF? Seriously that's a cheap plot twist. Can it be called such? What Zeus does makes him an opportunist, not a betrayer. Its more like an excuse to make another game than a story element.
One last thing, the boss battles in God of War II are, as I said, great, but they could never beat that incredible fight in God of War, the illusion in which Kratos fights several "copies" of himself to protect his already dead family.
In the end, God of War II is all about the fighting, the only problem is, and perhaps most people won't even care about it, that the game kind of threw away some of those little things that may make a game more interesting.