Review by cadetkellyfan

"A game with nice graphic and puzzles, but too unforgiving"

GRAPHICS
The graphics on this game are pretty good actually. The levels feel big, with massive towers and dizzying drop-offs. The water effects are fine, though not that impressive. And the Arabian settings work well in a video game. If there's one big gripe about the graphics, it's that the characters are a little too blocky. Still, overall, the graphics are probably the best thing about the game.

CONTROLS
Fine, though movement tends to be a little slippery at times, and it's a pain that once you jump up, you can't move forward. In fact, the jump is one of the game's greatest failings when it comes to control. If you do a running jump, the game takes over and carries you however far the jump was programmed to go. You can't pull back or push forward to control your descent. This wouldn't be a problem, except you're expected to jump on a lot of ledges, some of them quite narrow.

GAMEPLAY
This sole problem is the reason for the low score. This game is too unforgiving. It's not that I'm saying a game should be easy, but this game borders on near impossible. I know a standard video game requires perfect timing when jumping and fighting, but this one requires it from the first level. Make any mistake, and you're dead, starting back at the last save point. Some of the puzzles are nice, and the death traps are cool, but they present another piece of the same problem. Certain levels require you to basically die 20 times just so you can remember where every death trap is. Some traps are obvious but most aren't. And combat quickly becomes stale. Basically, you just stand there, blocking each attack an enemy throws at you (again, perfect timing with the block button is required in the first guard fight), wait until enemy tires, and then wail on him. It should only take you five or six rounds of blocking to wear him down. Oh, and did I mention you start the game with the ability to get hit five times before you die, and the weakest guard takes seven hits to kill. Sound fun? I didn't think so. And while I'm not sure this goes under gameplay, would it have been too much to ask for the ability to skip the cutscenes? I mean, I know those scenes are there to give you hints as to what to do, but since most of them are between two save points, you'll end up seeing the same one about twenty times before you're done. The gameplay would have at least a little better if I'd had the choice to skip the cutscene after I saw it once or twice.

OVERALL
This game is just too frustrating to be fun. Imagine having to make the same jump four or five times in a row just to figure out where you have to jump from, and dying every time you mess up. That defines the kind of annoyances you'll face in this game. And it's a shame really. The graphics really are kind of cool. And, as I said, I dig the Arabian settings. Maybe if the game designers had spent a little more time tweaking the controls, or making the game a little less of a pain, it might be a worthy little sleeper hit. But as it is, it's just not worth you're money. Avoid this one unless you have bucketloads of patience.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 08/06/02, Updated 08/06/02


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